COOPERATION OF UTC ZILINA IN INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION AND RESEARCH

Milan DADO, Petr CENEK and Martin KLIMO

University of Transport and Communications, Moyzesova 20, 010 26 Zilina. Slovakia


Abstract. International cooperation of scientific, cultural and educational institutions is one of the activities which have a significant influence on the quality of their existence. A brief history of international activities development after 1989 is reviewed in the contribution. As an example international educational and research projects with UTC Zilina participation are described.

1. INTRODUCTION

International cooperation of scientific, cultural and educational institutions is one of the activities which have a significant influence on the quality of their existence. A degree and a way of communication among countries in the field of science, culture and education determine a direction and a rate of their development.

After 1989 the conditions for mutual communication and exchange of experience in the countries of Central and East Europe have changed considerably. A unipolar model of communication has been and is still being transformed gradually into a model of a global cooperation among institutions.

1.1. A history of international activities development after 1989

In the short history of international activities after 1989 there are visible several steps:

1.2. The meaning of an international communication:

To remove world division to the blocks and establish links between countries with limited contacts there is necessary create communication channels as soon as possible. There are at least two reasons for international communication:

2. Concrete possibilities of cooperation within an international development of science and education

Bilateral relations in science and education are based on agreements among institutions and they are supported from their own budget. As an example we mention cooperation between UTC Zilina and INT Evry (France).

2.1. Projects to promote international cooperation in science and research

More efficient than bilateral relations are multilateral cooperations. There does exists several types of projects in which UTC Zilina find partners:

COST and ACTS projects - to promote a pre-competitive research in Europe. The participation in the project is based on a voluntary cooperation of partners. The countries taking part in the project provide its financial support. COST projects communicate significantly with international organisations engaged in competitive research and with organisations for standardisation.

Eureka, Copernicus and other projects. The Copernicus project was very important for universities. Its basic feature is a research into new objects on the basis of international cooperation promoted by scientific institutions and industries of the countries involved.

2.2. Projects promoting education

The most important project of this category is TEMPUS project which has contributed considerably to the development of international relations among universities, whether it was JEP, JEN, or individual mobility. It has been valuable because of its completeness, systematicness and, last but not least, the meaning of the project itself.

CEEPUS project was initiated by Austria to promote communication among institutions of higher learning in Central Europe. It came into existence in the school year 1994/95. At present it promotes an exchange of students and teachers of universities among Austria, Slovakia, Slovenia, Poland, Bulgaria and Croatia. Other countries from Central and East Europe are expected to join the project. The programme works on a principle of national interest in the participation and is financed from contributions of the participants. Within the CEEPUS project the following activities can be developed:

Although at present only first experience from the mentioned activities are being gathered, the Slovak institutions of higher learning have shown great interest in joining the programme.

Austria - Slovakia Programme

Austria - Slovakia Activity

In May 1992 the Federal Ministry for Science and Research of Austria and the Ministry of Education and Science of the Slovak Republic signed the programme called "Activity Austria - the Slovak Republic - Cooperation in Science and Education for the years 1992 - 1996". The activity is financed both by Austria and the Slovak Republic and its objective is to strengthen the mutual cooperation between both countries in the field of higher learning, science and research.

Several excursions of students to Austrian universities and enterprises have been carried out.

The UTC also participates in the project

- Dynamic management of workshop production and its connection to PPC

A cooperation with TU Wien (CIM centre) and with the companies MARCAM and IBM.The objective is to interconnect the MAPICS programme with a management of workshop production.

The activities of the USA are also important, let us mention various awards or other programmes based on state-supported activities, e. g. the American-Slovak Fund for Promotion of Science, Fulbright Commission etc.

3. A survey of the UTC participation in international programmes

EURESCOM

Owing to the fact that the UTC has various branches of study and science focused on modern information and telecommunication technologies, the University teachers were interested to be engaged also in such projects which do not relate directly to academic activities, but which help acquire information about the latest development of these areas significant from a social point of view. The aims resulted in a participation in two projects of the European organisation for research into telecommunication technologies EURESCOM:

COPERNICUS

The UTC entered this programme focused on a promotion of applied research in 1994. At present four projects are being solved:

The projects promote a development of modern information technologies both for management and formation of networks and their application and also for their implementation in management of companies and enterprises. From establishing communication links point of view is interesting LINGUIDE project. The aim of this project is to create databases network which contain human resources in telecommunication and iformatics.

TEMPUS

TEMPUS JEP

- Multimedia Systems in University Education

The main objective of the project is to create an international network of organisations in order to transfer technologies and knowledge needed for implementing multimedia technologies in a teaching process and gathering necessary technologies and know-how to support a development or translation of educational multimedia systems for the needs of university education in the Slovak Republic and Bulgaria.

- MEng Course in Transportation Infrastructure and Modern Technologies in German

An international programme to prepare specialists in the field of road civil engineering in German. There are 5 students studying at the Faculty of Civil Engineering of the UTC and the teachers have been preparing teaching materials and delivering lectures in the Slovak Technical University in Bratislava and SIC Gyor

- Modern Technologies in Transport Logistics

The objective of the project is to introduce modern technologies in transport logistics. The final target of the project is to introduce new subjects into the curriculum of the Faculty of Management Science of the TUC.

- Computer Aided Education in Transportation Science

The objective of the project was to prepare and assess the curricula and syllabuses in the field of theory of transportation and design of transportation and communication networks, to build laboratories for practical exercises of the above subjects and to provide education for university teachers and post-graduate students within the project mobilities.

- Improvement of Educational Activities in Power Electronic Application

The objective of the project was to exchange experience gathered from educational activities in the field of management of output electronics equipment, to build laboratories for practical exercises from this field and to educate the staff and post-graduate students within the mobilities.

- TELEKOMNET

The project which is coordinated by the Slovak Technical University is focused on the building of an educational system for continual and distance education in telecommunications promoted by significant educational institutions in West Europe and making use of the capacities of three technical universities in the Slovak Republic.

-DECENT

The project is coordinated by the Technical University Kosice. In the UTC the project is focused on an exchange of experience from continual education for information and telecommunication technologies and environment.


-Information Systems Industry

The objective should be to build the basic study of industrial engineering in the Slovak Republic. Four laboratories are to be built, syllabuses and textbooks are being prepared and the Institute of Industrial Engineering is to be founded.

TEMPUS JEN Project:

- Improvement of Educational Activities in Power Electronic Application

The project is a continuation of the JEP project mentioned in the preceding part and is aimed at an implementation of acquired experience into other educational institution in the Slovak Republic and abroad.

COST

The University of Transport and Communications participates at present in four COST European Cooperation in the Field of Scientific and Technical Research projects in the field of modern photonic networks, wide-band telecommunication networks and safe communications. The participation in the projects enables to obtain information about the latest development of pre-competitive research in Europe and is a contribution for all participants, mainly from the point of view of a mutual exchange of experience and know-how with the aim of looking for new solutions.

CEEPUS

The University of Transport and Communications in Zilina participates at present in two projects of cooperation among universities in Central Europe. The objective of the projects is an exchange of experience gathered from educational activities in the field of applied mechanics and design.

3. Conclusions

In the very beginning we have already mentioned that the period of last six years was a period of a transformation of a unipolar communication model into a model of a global institutional cooperation. After a period of poorer contacts with organisations in the countries of Central and East Europe, also these contacts are being re-established. It is useful both for our universities and also for other institutions abroad which have established contacts with our universities within a bilateral cooperation and also within activities promoted by international programmes mentioned above.

The basic sense of every international cooperation among cultural, scientific and educational institutions has to be the building of conditions which enable to know priorities and shortcomings and on the basis of the knowledge to create conditions for more fruitful life of people on this planet.


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