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UNIVERSITIES-EMPLOYERS COOPERATION IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF MARINE ENGINEERING CURRICULA

M.G. Chitu1, S. Zagan2, E. Manea3, A.M. Gherasim4, I. Firsa5

1Ovidius University of Constanta (ROMANIA)
2Maritime University of Constanta (ROMANIA)
3Constanta Shipyard, Greece Representative Office (ROMANIA)
4POLITEHNICA University of Bucharest (ROMANIA)
5Shipyard VARD Tulcea SA (ROMANIA)
According to the Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education "Quality education means a set of features of a study program in which are achieved the stakeholders' expectations and quality standards." Curriculum content of an academic program must meet clear objectives highlighted by program name, assumed mission and competencies expected of graduates.

The key role that the employers have in developing and implementing the Lisbon Strategy and the Bologna Process, occurs both in addition to the significant contribution to the construction of the National Qualifications Framework and the employability of graduates, as a fulfillment of important components of the proposed learning objectives. Thus, the employers are a major player and partner in the process of quality assurance in higher education.

Transition from school to work has become in recent decades a very interesting subject for specialists in employment policies. The need for communication between higher education institutions and employers' representatives to find effective solutions, favorable to labor market insertion of graduates, is a point of interest and motivation of this paper. Development and implementation of an effective system for qualification in higher education, a system in which disciplines dedicated to the specialty branch of knowledge (mainly) are directly related to the actual requirements and dynamic of labor market is the successful scenario in which the universities can contribute to the development of human capital.

By its content, the paper aim is to highlight the influence that the economic and labor market has on study programs in higher education of marine engineering (dynamic economic sectors give rise to curricula and maintain them). The authors illustrate in this paper, the development of study programs in the field of Naval Architecture (bachelor - Marine Systems and Equipment and master - Engineering and Management of marine Systems and Equipment) under the direct influence of Constanta Shipyard and Vard Tulcea Shipyard as major employers.

The paper also presents opinion, suggestions and recommendations of the main employers in relation to how that should be thought out development strategy for the study programs, including a series of corrective measures and remedies for the future in order to increase training level of youth, diversification of knowledge, skills and competences and their insertion in the labor market.