About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2705-2709
Publication year: 2012
ISBN: 978-84-615-5563-5
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2012
Location: Valencia, Spain

INTEGRATION OF THE RESEARCH PROCESSES WITH THE NEW STRUCTURE OF THE EUROPEAN HIGHER EDUCATION AREA

J.A. Maestro, P. Reviriego

Universidad Antonio de Nebrija (SPAIN)
The recent changes in the European Higher Education Area, partly motivated by the Bologna process, have induced modifications not only in the objectives and paradigms of the educational activities, but also in the structure of many university studies.
The adoption of the Degree, Master and Doctorate structure, which is new in some European countries, has brought two factors:
- The appearance of three tutored projects of different magnitude (End-of-Degree Project, Master Thesis Project and Doctoral Thesis), versus the previous structure in which no undergraduate projects were required.
- The exceptions to the previous comment are the Engineering careers, in which, traditionally, a Final Project has always been mandatory. But this situation is new for most Humanistic studies, which have no previous experience in this kind of projects.
A side-effect of this situation is that teachers can see how their tutoring time increases dramatically, if their portfolio of “project” students is not efficiently managed. But time is not the only problem. Finding interesting topics to work within these projects is also a complex labor, which leads, many times, to unattractive assignments for the students.
On the other hand, research is becoming a very demanding activity, both because of the pressure in getting funds and the high competition among research teams. These teams usually report a lack of human resources to undertake the ever increasing complexity of the research projects.
In this paper, we propose an approach to create effective synergies between the research activities and the tutored projects described before. In this way, when a research team gets a funded project, the overall scope should be divided in manageable working packages of different complexity and criticality. Part of these working packages would be assumed by the senior researchers. Some others, complex enough, would generate doctoral theses to be assigned to Ph.D. students. This has been the usual framework in most universities. But now, some of the working packages with small and mid complexity should be assigned to Degree and Master students, who will collaborate to the research activities through their End-of-Degree Projects and Master Theses. With this strategy, research and therefore new knowledge are introduced in a natural way within the undergraduate environment.
The benefits of this approach are several:
- The research teams are reinforced with extra resources that support the development of the projects.
- Students are more motivated, since their work is oriented to real projects with a clear application.
- Also, the professional experience of the students is enhanced, since they are working in a real environment, most of the times with the participation of client corporations.
- Students inherit the natural deadlines that projects usually have, which most of the times will imply a higher productivity and lesser time to finish their assignments.

This paper will describe how this integration process has been implemented in Universidad Antonio de Nebrija (Madrid, Spain), explaining some success cases that validate the proposal.
@InProceedings{MAESTRO2012INT,
author = {Maestro, J.A. and Reviriego, P.},
title = {INTEGRATION OF THE RESEARCH PROCESSES WITH THE NEW STRUCTURE OF THE EUROPEAN HIGHER EDUCATION AREA},
series = {6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2012 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-615-5563-5},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {5-7 March, 2012},
year = {2012},
pages = {2705-2709}}
TY - CONF
AU - J.A. Maestro AU - P. Reviriego
TI - INTEGRATION OF THE RESEARCH PROCESSES WITH THE NEW STRUCTURE OF THE EUROPEAN HIGHER EDUCATION AREA
SN - 978-84-615-5563-5/2340-1079
PY - 2012
Y1 - 5-7 March, 2012
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2012 Proceedings
SP - 2705
EP - 2709
ER -
J.A. Maestro, P. Reviriego (2012) INTEGRATION OF THE RESEARCH PROCESSES WITH THE NEW STRUCTURE OF THE EUROPEAN HIGHER EDUCATION AREA, INTED2012 Proceedings, pp. 2705-2709.
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