J.M. Adam, D. Bardou

Université Grenoble Alpes (FRANCE)
The ERAMIS (European-Russian-central Asian network of Master's degrees Informatics as a Second competence) Tempus Project started in January 2010 and ended in June 2013 with the creation of a network of 10 ISC (Informatics as a Second Competence) Master's degrees as its main result. Based on a critical analysis of the results and outcomes of this project, this paper presents the motivations of PROMIS (PROfessional network of Master’s degrees Informatics as a Second competence) a new Tempus Project as a continuation of ERAMIS.

The results and outcomes of the ERAMIS project have been presented in several papers (EDUCON 2012 & 2013, iJEP 2012): the main result is the creation of a network of Master's degrees involving 10 universities in Russia (4 universities), in Kazakhstan (3 universities), in Kyrgyzstan (2 universities) and in France (1 university), with the support of 5 European universities. Based on the experience gained during the creation of 9 ISC Master's Degrees in Russia and Central Asia (C. A.), PROMIS is aimed to geographically extend the ERAMIS network by creating 7 new more ISC Master's Degrees in C. A. (1 new one in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan, and 2 new ones in both Uzbekistan and Tajikistan). PROMIS project will also aim at improving the vocational features of the Master's degree network by strengthening the relationships between the universities and the local companies, and adapting the teaching process to the social needs (working status) of the students.

Considering the ERAMIS network we noticed a poor involvement of local IT (Information Technology) companies in the teaching process and studies organization. PROMIS will encourage a closer cooperation at several levels (participation in steering committees, development of internships, setting up courses taught by companies' fellows). This will give the companies the opportunity to express their real needs in terms of required skills for their future recruitments and thus improve the employability of graduated students.

We also observed that almost all students in Central Asia were also part-time workers outside of the university, whether they were in need of money because of the cost of the studies or they were involved in a life-long learning process. This situation led some student to give up their studies (about 30% of registered students of ERAMIS). PROMIS proposes to adapt the teaching process by relying on the "reverse teaching" or "flipped classrooms" during the 1st year of study. Working students will then choose the best time for acquiring the theoretical part of their courses. For the 2nd year of study PROMIS will develop apprenticeships: students will be able to earn money to live, and to get their first professional experience by working part-time in an IT company and completing their studies at the university.

PROMIS will also be aimed at improving the general quality of trainings: production and sharing of teaching materials in several languages, online teaching platforms, internationalization of trainings and creation of double or multiple diplomas. The PROMIS consortium involves 10 Central Asia's universities, 5 European universities and 3 European companies.

After setting up the context of both projects, the paper will synthetically present the main results and outcomes of ERAMIS in a first part. The motivations and work plan of PROMIS will be developed in its second part and it will be concluded by a brief report of PROMIS' kick-off.