1 Universidad Politécnica de Valencia (SPAIN)
2 University of Applied Sciences Ansbach (GERMANY)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Pages: 5795-5800
ISBN: 978-84-614-7423-3
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2011
Location: Valencia, Spain
One of the aims of the Bologna process was to further cooperation inside Europe hoping thus to gain a better competitiveness of our European system of higher education. One of the instruments to realize the desired cooperation is the possibility to establish joint degree programs.
As an example of the potential those programs offer we would like to present our Joint Master Degree in International Product and Service Management, offered by the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia (Spain) and the University of Applied Sciences Ansbach (Germany). The pooling of different perspectives allowed us to come up with an integrally innovative concept especially in the didactic realm.
Our master program has the following structure:
It can start with a Bridging semester of equalization modules for all those students who do not fulfill the necessary requirements but are interested nevertheless in applying and help us to ensure an interesting interdisciplinary mix especially for the teamwork parts. Then the program itself takes 3 semesters. It consists of a Core Module which comprises a project, a Focus semester which enables the students to specialize in one area and the Master thesis which can be applied in the form of realizing, analyzing and reflecting on a project in a firm or more theory oriented becoming thus the first step in the doctoral program of the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia.
Our students come from different areas of expertise, mainly business and engineering but also informatics and other subjects (they are all required to have a minimum knowledge in business) and they normally have diverse national backgrounds not only restricted to Europe. We offer theoretical background and we accompany them as coaches giving them the opportunity to reflect on and evaluate their experiences concerning a project itself but also the different dynamics in their groups.
In the focus semester each university offers one focus thus being able to specialize. Valencia offers the focus of services and Ansbach offers the focus of technologies.
All those new skills can then be honed and tested in the Master thesis which consists of a more applied or more theoretically oriented project of one semester.
Speaking of experiences with a joint degree there should be at least mentioned that apart from the really motivating and empowering experience of working together with so many different colleagues from different universities and departments there are sometimes difficult stretches concerning the administration of such innovative programs. They might sound trivial and they do certainly not outweigh the positive gains but alas there they are. All those issues need the willingness to handle things.
Joint Programs, Master Degree.