Establishing Smart Energy System Curriculum at Russian and Vietnamese Universities (ESSENCE), a large-scale project has completed. Tomsk Polytechnic University was a national coordinator and leader in the development of teaching materials for curricula.
The project was implemented within the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union, Key Action 2, Capacity Building in Higher Education. The project had been carried out since 2017. The aim of the working party became the development and implementation of a basic model of a master’s degree program meeting the challenges of the current agenda of the energy industry.
“The planned results have been achieved. Due to the joint efforts of the project members under the rather challenging conditions, we have formed a basis for the development and modernization of curricula as recommended learning outcomes, educational technology and teaching materials of key subjects. The member universities launched new and modernized the already existing smart energy system curricula. We received a high appraisal of our results from external experts and the National Erasmus+ Office in Russia. At the moment, the aim is to assure stability of project results in a long-term outlook,” Anton Prokhorov, Head of the project at TPU, says.
The main problems discussed by international experts within the project became the significance of a competency-based approach in the development and implementation of the modern curricula under the conditions of rapidly changing technological priorities of the energy industry, as well as strengthening ties with the industry and participation of company experts in an educational process.
“We possess the rich experience of cooperation with industrial companies being leaders in the Russian power engineering. For over 10 years, we have been implementing joint educational projects with OA System Operator of the Unified Energy System. We were the first to launch training of interdisciplinary experts able to complete digitalization tasks immediately after graduation. Due to such experience, it is possible to assure a high-level orientation of the curricula to the expectations of the industry and their compliance with a global agenda.
The work results in ESSENCE demonstrated that our curricula correspond to the best international practices from both a set of formed expertise and core content,”
Anton Prokhorov adds.
The project experts gave special consideration to the implementation of academic mobility programs under the COVID-19 conditions. According to them, the main decision was an organization of events in hybrid and online modes, however, at the same time, it was required a careful selection of new educational technology assuring the effectiveness of a distance-learning mode. Within the project, TPU held an international summer school on smart energy systems during the summer. The experts emphasized its success, therefore, there was a decision made to hold the school annually.
“As the experience shows the formation of strong and long-term ties with overseas partners at the level of subdivisions and staff allows countering global challenges. This year, after the 2020 lockdown, TPU again accepted students from France. Thus, four students from the Conservatoire national des arts et métiers (Paris) have already arrived to study an academic mobility program modernized within ESSENSE,” Anton says.
At the end of September, the final meeting of the project experts was held in a hybrid mode at the venue of Ural Federal University. Over 200 representatives of universities, organizations and industrial enterprises of Russia, Europe and Vietnam took part in the meeting. They summed the project up, as well as discussed the development of the university curricula under the conditions of digitalization of the power engineering, cooperation modes of universities and industrial companies, and quality assurance of education.