Tomsk Polytechnic University has launched a survey of faculty, students and representatives of university administration and relevant government departments as well as potential employers in the cities of Russia and Kazakhstan. The survey will make it possible to design a list of competencies necessary for teaching engineering disciplines.
In 2018 one of the applications submitted by Tomsk Polytechnic University won in the Erasmus+ competition. The project titled EngineeriNg educaTors pEdagogical tRaining (ENTER) received funding from the European Commission. The Polytechnic Institute of Porto (Portugal) is a coordinator of the project. The consortium includes 13 large educational organizations from Russia, Kazakhstan, Portugal, Slovakia, and Estonia. The goal of the project is to develop unique international advanced training programs for teachers of engineering disciplines.
According to a member of the project’s working group Olga Ponomareva who is an associate professor at the Research Center Organization and Technology of Higher Education, the unique international programs will be implemented at Russian and Kazakh universities. They are Tomsk Polytechnic University, Kazan National Research Technological University, Don State Technical University, Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Karaganda State University, and other institutions.
Since the beginning of 2019, TPU researchers have carried out serious preparatory work and now they are starting to study the requirements of main stakeholders in the development of advanced training programs for faculty at engineering universities. They primarily include the teaching staff of engineering disciplines, the administration of universities, and heads of departments.
Maria Chervach, a member of the project’s working group and an assistant at the Research Center Organization and Technology of Higher Education says:
‘In addition, we will ask students and PhD students. We want to understand what demands they place on their teachers. We will also take into account the opinions of future employers and try to find their requirements for graduates to make us understand how teaching should be tuned. What is more, we will work with another important group which is the representatives of relevant authorities.’
The survey has already started and will last until September. The results will be presented at the next ENTER working meeting that will take place on 19-21 September 2019 in Almaty.
‘Questionnaires will be circulated among the consortium members with the questions to be adapted for each group. However, the key issue on this stage is to understand what competencies the stakeholders consider as the most important for engineering educators. We divided them into two groups: soft skills and professional ones including language proficiency, ability to organize teamwork, time management, applied skills, etc. Besides, we will ask what disciplines or block of disciplines will be needed in the advanced training program,’ specifies Olga Ponomareva.
Recently, TPU researchers have presented the University’s best practices on advanced training for teachers in engineering pedagogy at the 2nd ENTER working meeting in Tambov.
Head of Research Center Organization and Technology of Higher Education Yuri Pokholkov and Rector’s Assistant for International Cooperation Olga Mazurina presented the programs Problem-oriented and Project-organized Education at University and Higher Education Teacher, and also conducted the expert workshop Evaluation of Engineering Educators' Professional Qualification Level that involved over 30 participants from different countries.