Student Initiatives Strand
This strand of the project places students firmly at the centre of Higher Education in the Ukraine. Providing a focal point for each of the other strands, the student activitiy strand will create a student support service centre in each of the four universities. These will provide a permanent and sustainable structure to support student centred activities for the future, thus meeting the needs of a modern university which is responding to the rapidly changng demands of modern society. The project will equip these centres and support the university in running and managing these centres and establishing student run societies among the students themselves.
Student Support Service Centres
A Student Support Services Centre (SSSC) has been created at each university and equipped with modern technology to provide a focal point for the following, each of which links to one or more of the project strands:
A modernised approach to student recruitment that recognises the changing student demographics;
The delivery of soft skills courses to students;
A modern facility with opportunities to use the latest technology;
The promotion of greater collaboration between industry and the university;
The ability to disseminate project activities especially to Alumni and other institutions.
These centres are an integral part of the Tempus IMPRESS project. Staff and students at each university have had the opportunity to visit one or more of the European universities to observe how centres are managed in these institutions and have used this knowledge and expertise to design and deliver their own centres.
Student Led Activities and Societies
A major contribution to the student experience in Europe is the role of student led activities and student societies within the universities. They provide students with the opportunities to try out business, financial, social and management skills and support their personal and professional development. Student societies already existed in a restricted form in the Ukraine. The IMPRESS project took these and developed them further to mirror student societies at Eruopean universities and provide Ukrainian students with the opportunity and encouragement to be creative, competitive, and grow their entrepreneurial sprit. This strand of work is led by the Ukranian Association of Student Self-Government (UASS) and European Students Union (ESU) working in partnership with the students in each university. The project supported the following activities:
• Ukrainian benchmarking of student society activities in Europe;
• Promoting Best Practice from the EU in Ukraine;
• Enhancement and further development from the existing student societies;
• Promoting contacts and partnerships with European Student Organisations.
The approach adopted was that the national student body UASS worked with the ESU in the first year to investigate EU practices, and survey the needs of the Ukrainian students. During the second and third years, opportunities were developed for students in the Ukraine to experience the approaches taken in Europe and to establish the centres and societies within their own universities, supported by the ESU and UASS. The results of the student survey can be found here. This was followed up by a week of training on Quality Assurance bu the European Students Union and Ukrainian Association of Students Self-government in June 2015. There were 30 participants from across the Ukraine. They explored the following topics:
Understanding Quality in Higher Education
Internal Quality Assurance vs External Quality assurance - Ukrainian context.
Quality Assurance in Ukrainian HEIs and student participation in QA in Ukraine
Role of a student expert: promoters, multipliers and student representatives
Participants also undertook an institutional review simulation. A key outcome from the training was the declaration of creation of a pool of QA Student assessors. Photos from the event can be found here.and here.