G. Kanlis, P. Logothetis, G. Katselis, K. Poulos

T.E.I. of W. Greece (GREECE)
In many cases, fresh graduates of the Higher Education Aquaculture Departments, newly employed in the corresponding industry, can face difficulties by not being able to solve actual problems ensuing in the fish-farms and hatcheries. Consequently, these graduates show a relatively low working efficacy despite the high level courses taken by them during their studies. This is mainly due to their lack of work experience as beginners and the stress introduced to them by their new work environment. That is a rather embarrassing situation for our graduates and has generated the demand of providing our ex-students with an extra course that could combine the integrated knowledge obtained in the classrooms with the current needs of the industry. This course included, in the form of specific questions and answers, many issues derived from the daily work in various fish farms and hatcheries, fish feed manufacturers, packaging units, and transportation systems of live, fresh or frozen fish. Industry experts and Company managers conducted the lectures and hands-on training sessions in site, introducing the management methodology required from their employees. Thereafter, the course was completed by in-focus lectures in our Department and conversations with our participating students and graduates on the precise and updated technological and scientific information that could lead them toward a more production-oriented outcome through a number of relevant applications.

Referring to the benefits of our Department’s cooperation with the Industry, this resulted to:
A) for our Students:
- A close observation and better understanding of the daily work done by the Industry employees, and how technological and scientific knowledge are routinely applied in aquaculture.
- A right attitude for their graduation thesis and, also, on how to carry out their work placement.
B) for our Graduates and the Industry:
- Employment of the graduates in fish farms, hatcheries and fishery companies with improved skills and education in farming methods and biotechnological applications.
C) for our Department:
- Strengthening of the ties with the Industry which can be beneficial with respect to other activities as well, e.g. the sponsoring of our Department’s participation in Aquaculture Conferences and Exhibitions.
- Feedback for improving our educatory output.

In conclusion, the introduction of a special short-course and the direct interaction with the Industry confirmed our concept that Technological Education should evolve on a hand-in-hand basis with the industrial development and the needs created from its day-by-day operation not only by producing innovative technological solutions but also by providing graduates with cutting edge capabilities in real work conditions.