SIMPLE project at SLU, Aug 2021
Sharing experiences of the SIMPLE project at the JobFair in Sweden - within ERASMUS+ ESCAPAdE project
Demographic increase and climate change represent, for the future generation of professionals in the field of Applied Plant Sciences (APS) current challenge: how to plant more crops without an increase of the input? Seven European Universities, amongst them also CZU in Prague through the faculty of Tropical decided to join their forces in order to face this challenge. That is how the project - Curricula in Applied started. This European project of the ERASMUS+ programme Strategic Partnership financed by the European Union, which took place from September 2018 till August 2021 was focused on the development of plant sciences in reaction to the global changes (e.g., Integrated plant protection and breeding).
The project had multiple objectives. One of them was to develop a joint database of courses in the field of Applied Plant Sciences taught at the partner universities to facilitate for students their search of destination in order to complete their knowledge in the field of their specialisation (e.g., during the ERASMUS+ mobilities). Next, it aimed to the implementation of innovative methods in education focusing on the field of APS and the improvement of the interaction between students, academia and professionals and an analysis of the needs and observations between various actors. Results of this analysis were presented within the webinar „Stakeholders expectations from higher education in Applied Plant Sciences in Europe “, which took place also online in May 202 and the results will be also published in the Scientific Journal.
One of the aims was also the organisation of the Summer School. In the original project proposal, the summer schools were planned two, however, due to the pandemic situation in 2020 together with the measurements against spreading of the SARS-COV19 virus and the disease it causes, one of the Summer Schools planned for summer 2020 was cancelled. Other Summer School was organized in Summer 2021. The innovative approach in its organization was that frontal teaching was minimized and participants, master's students divided into smaller groups, were confronted with specific problems, which they tried to find solutions on with the help of tutors, who were PhD students.
Following the Summer School was the Job Fair organized within the project and focused on APS, held from 23. – 24. August 2021 in Swedish . It wasn’t the traditional job fair where the various companies offer their job positions nut the courses, lectures and examples of good practice and recommendation from the professionals to the students. How to approach future employers, how to respond to the job offer and how to prepare themselves for the job interview. Students who couldn’t attend physically had the opportunity to participate in the hybrid form which enables them to gain valuable experiences and knowledge from many future experts in the field of APS.
Representatives of FTZ CZU shared their experiences and build on the previous development and ERASMUS+ projects. Doctors Petra and Olga hand over, during their presentation focused on practical examples for the job applications and further during the discussion at the round table aimed at the professional competencies gained during the ERASMUS+ mobilities, their experiences from the work at the FTZ and the projects ASK Asia and SIMPLE. About the job opportunities after finishing the studies as well as her professional experiences talked graduate of the FTZ Virginia Luciano, emeritus student ambassador of FTZ and representative of YPARD international organisation of young professionals in the agriculture research development.
The Job fair was also attended by doctor Tereza Secretary-General of the Association, an organisation connecting the 34 European universities, who offered to the students through the mobile app or at the booth more details about the projects and possibilities of career development at the partner institutions.
Job fair successfully ended the project and given the narrow focus on APS enriched students not only in the practical aspects but also help in the important networking for their future career.
During the final meeting in all the seven partners of the project agreed on subsequent collaboration for example by creating the joint master’s degree in the field of APS thanks to the developed database of the courses or by submission of the next project within the program ERASMUS+ Strategic Partnership with the aim of consortium extension with new partners.
For more information about the partners, activities and project outcomes you can find at the websites: https://escapade-erasmus.eu