THE ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT AS A DYNAMIC FACTOR IN UNIVERSITY CURRICULUM
In the future, people will need more education than today. The number of those who want to tackle their lives in a creative manner will be significantly higher while individual freedom and flexibility will increase people’s interest in education. The society will urge citizens to continuously learn more, to be better prepared and constantly adapt to a changing world, because, training, learning, education actually mean ... freedom!.
The future either may exalt or worry us. It is anyways full of opportunities and risks, and demands us to make decisions. It became an everyday reality for a person to study more years than initially foreseen, to take breaks and return later in the school system. Meeting individuals of various ages in the same amphitheatre or laboratory also became an everyday reality. Finding that pupils, students, trainees of any kind are in search for freedom to build their own educational path both in terms of skills they want to acquire as well as timing and manner of acquisition they wish to pursue has also become an everyday reality.
The mission of universities must become that of the personalization of education forms, thereby recognizing the right of an individual to be unique, to choose how he wants to be and what he wants to study to define and integrate himself into society, to be free. Universities are assisted and supported in fulfilling this mission by the European Credit Transfer System and by employers who, in turn, require mobile and creative employees, with professional, cross-sectoral and/or additional skills who can reinterpret information subject to continuously changing contexts.
Diversity is the answer that universities must give to the need for customization of employers and of the individuals included in the working population. Universities should aim to offer a performing response to an increasingly diverse demand, to imagine new directions for education and professions training, to promote experimental education forms, take care of the local, national and international educational needs, to promote educational culture and professional training oriented to meet the requirements of the industry.
The Faculty of Mechanical, Industrial and Maritime Engineering within "Ovidius" University of Constanta currently promotes the Bachelor study programme named "Ports and Marine Installations and Equipments" which experienced a particularly sharp dynamics, determined by the need of harmonization the curriculum content and learning outcomes with the continuously evolving changes of the economic environment.
The authors have proposed to highlight in this paper, the arguments that led the content changes of the Bachelor study programme named "Ports and Marine Installations and Equipments" and the methods used to ensure the dynamics dictated by the evolution of the economic environment in parallel with meeting the regulatory requirements and quality indicators enforced by Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education.
Authors also hope that the case study presented may constitute an example of good practices for a permanent correlation of university curriculum with the needs of the economic environment intended to promote an education system centred on students’ needs.