Universite d' Artois (FRANCE)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Pages: 4935-4936 (abstract only)
ISBN: 978-84-615-3324-4
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2011
Location: Madrid, Spain
The IUT Bethune (Artois University) is dedicated to training young people. It is situated in the coal mine area in the north of France.
A historical survey shows that this coal mine area experienced a very strong phase of industrial development until the 1960s and 1970s. People were hired in the coal pits as early as the age of 10 or 12 (till the early twentieth century). Still the tradition of leaving school at an early age was widely spread, especially in Bethune coal mine area. Thus a strong cultural deficit developed for each individual. When the coal mines petered out, substitution industries cropped up. There again, these industries urged local people to work rather than get educated: a real rise in qualification & culture became necessary.

The IUT Bethune was created in the 1970’s and its main goal is to train students to become technicians. Nevertheless, the IUT Bethune quickly was involved in European programmes in order to give the opportunity to its students to move and discover a new way of learning, a new culture, a new open minded spirit and a better level in foreign languages. However not all of them were able to move abroad even under Erasmus programs due to the cost of a foreign mobility.
The "Intensive programmes” adapt perfectly to our constant concern of making our students discover other cultures. The universities involved in these intensive programs have vocational naturally oriented towards university research and have always been eager to develop other poles of excellence and it is naturally turned towards the international one and more particularly towards Europe thanks to the European Programs.

Among all the possibilities are the “intensive programs”. The main objective is to join teaching staff and students from a minimum of 3 universities from 3 different European countries in the same place and make them work together on a common topic for a period of 10 days minimum to 6 weeks maximum.
The main objectives are :
- to support a European teaching in specialized matters, which –without this programme- could not be taught or in a very few number of universities
- to profit from conditions of particular training and teaching to which the students would not have access in only one institution and to thus discover new approaches of the studied matter,
- to allow the teaching staff to carry out exchanges of views relating to the contents of the courses by testing their teaching methods in an international environment.

For instance, next year, we will welcome 16 European universities (one teaching staff + 3 students/university) who will work on the sustainability management and technology programme during 2 weeks in Bethune. In this programme, the exchange of experiences and knowledge is easy to realize and the impacts from these are directly to the partners in form of good practices, methods and tools.
Thanks to this intensive programme, the teaching staff –such as the students- will create new links together, exchange their experience and knowledge, improve their level in English (which is chosen by us as common language) and will have a better knowledge concerning the sustainability management and technology than they could have from any of the involved universities. At a period when the governments of many countries wish to gather their own universities to give them more weight, we can say that this kind of programme is the beginning of the future European universities.