EUROPEAN CREDIT TRANSFER SYSTEM ENABLING STUDENT EXCHANGE BETWEEN RUSSIAN AND (WESTERN) EUROPEAN UNIVERSITIES. BORCH SOUP À LA BOLOGNAISE

W. De Bruyn, G. Baekelandt, D. Borodin

University College Ghent (BELGIUM)
Moscow State Pedagogical University (MSPU), Daghestan State Pedagogical University (DSPU), University College Ghent (UCG), Pedagogical University of Krakow (PUK), Newman University College (Birmingham) (NUC) are working together in a TEMPUS PROJECT called Student EXchanges and credit Transfer Assisted by New information Technology (SEXTANT) to promote better student exchanges and related European Credit Transfers supported by web-enabled information systems..

The objectives of this SEXTANT project are:
• Introduction of new IT tools to support students exchanges and networking at selected Russian Higher Eduction (HE) institutions
• Implementation of ECTS for selected study areas
• Creation of Quality Assurance (QA) mechanismes to facilitate student exchanges and improve student management services at partner institutions

The following three outcomes are identified:
• A developed internal MSPU policy on implementation of ECTS in accordance with the European guide book and administrative staff trained in management of student mobility, special techniques of developing courses on ECTS and advanced English language skills.
• e-database on student mobility and e-Student Mobility Support System (e-SMOSS);
• e-ECTS catalogue of the courses.

During the project extra creativity, energy and confidence was needed to overcome problems like political instability in the Daghestan region, cultural differences between Russian and other (Western) European universities, required administrative support, differences in organisation and objectives.

Finally the implementation of the web-based Studente Exchange System and ECTS catalogue was tested by exchanges of students in both directions and the development of virtual mobility by use of electronic course materials. Further educational, research and administrave staff was exchanged. Sustainability of this initiative is assured by the set-up of an interuniversity exchange supporting unit.

The last three months of the project are devoted to dissemination of the results and a specific congress in MSPU.