ANALYSIS OF THE EXPERIENCE OF THE STUDENTS AFTER THE FIRST YEAR OF A NEW GRADE ADAPTED TO THE EUROPEAN HIGHER EDUCATION AREA
The new Degree in Environmental Sciences of the University of Vigo has begun to teach in the Faculty of Ourense during the current 2010/11 academic year. This Degree is a certification with a strong multidisciplinary content, giving to graduates the training adequate to cover environmental issues from various fields of knowledge. Future graduates should have knowledge of the theoretical and practical aspects of Natural and Social Sciences, as well as the tools to apply them to practice. These characteristics are consistent with the philosophy of this degree that cover many different topics, but always connected by the theme of environmental conservation.
Thus, the objectives of the Degree in Environmental Sciences of the University of Vigo can be summarized as follows: (1) The overall profile of the Degree in Environmental Sciences should be directed to the formation of professionals with a multidisciplinary vision of environmental issues from different fields of knowledge. (2) Studies leading to the Degree in Environmental Sciences must provide adequate training in various aspects of the environment. A good environmental professional must be able to address the environmental problematic in an interdisciplinary way, according to the complexity of their field of work. (3) This degree will train professionals taking into account the conservation and management of the environment and natural resources, territorial planning, management and environmental quality in business and government, from the perspective of sustainability. (4) Thus, professionals will be equipped with the knowledge, techniques and practical tools necessary for the achievement of all the proposed objectives.
The first course is divided into two semesters, each one with five subjects. In addittion, each semester is divided into two bimonthly periods. Thus, during the first two months of the first semester students must attend two subjects (Geology and Mathematics I) and during the second two months three subjects (Biology, Chemistry I and Physics I). On the other hand, in the second semester there are three subjects during the first two months (Mathematics II, Computer Science and Environmental Legislation) and two subjects during the last two months (Chemistry II and Physics II).
To examine the experience of students during the first year of this new degree, several analysis were performed. From their results, it was found that most students are satisfied with the experience during the first semester. Thus, they believe that its adaptation to the teaching methodology is simple and progressive. In particular, it should be noted the positive response regarding the ongoing distribution of bimonthly periods during each semester.