THE TUTORIAL ACTION PROGRAM AT THE ETSI MONTES/UPM IN THE EHEA FRAME: 5 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE IN ERASMUS STUDENTS PROGRAMS
This paper is focused in the 5-years’ experience of the Tutorial Action Program from the perspective of Forest Engineering professors and foreign students in the frame of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). As a consequence of this new situation, the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) decided to make an important effort in the last decade to improve their quality educational standards for international students. This fact was developed under an Educational Innovative Project and introduced to new undergraduate and postgraduate academic degrees for Erasmus students, in which were described procedures for defining mechanisms for reception of these students, tutoring action plans and professional advising.
During the development of the program, the number of tutors that joined in the plan grew moderately, reaching the equality to the number of supervised incoming students. The characteristics of the lecturers participating in this Program, as well as the evaluation of the results of the last years indicated the positive effects of this tutorial action, according to the surveys performed during that period. The main objectives that students valorised were the strengthening of the experience, the establishment of a dynamic support to these new students and scheduling and general responsibility for tutors. Students also valorised positively the help received by the tutorship to solve the difficulties at the arrival and the advices to follow their studies regularly.
The tutorial action also improved the public image and the external projection of the University, as well as new students' reclaim for following years.
In the other hand, tutors demanded that the effort during the development of the tutorial process for future graduates should be recognized as teaching hours in their curricula and the need to introduce changes to facilitate the transformation of the current teaching in a model that incorporates training and educational functions.
Finally, we make some proposals for academic tutoring that would be helpful in future tutorial actions.