AQUADEMIA – BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT AND WATER MANAGEMENT COMPANIES
AQUAdemia is a project developed among universities and water management institutions and companies (LLP knowledge Network). One of the pillars of this project is the curricula development at universities in order to analyze the adjustment between academic and professional work, between competences learned and competences needed.
This paper explains some procedures to analyse how to bridge the gap between them.
The process designed has a sequence of five main steps:
1. Identify the problems that companies and institutions have to solve to answer the current social needs in the field of water management in the four countries of the Aquademia partners, Spain, Belgium, Netherlands and Austria. The information collected by surveys and interviews allows to identify what competences are needed to solve these problems and define them in a more specific, comprehensive and assessable way.
2. Translate the identified problems into projects. Each group describes the way to translate the problem into a project to solve it. The competences, the contents, the kind of activities and the tools and criteria to assess competences is designed jointly between academic staff and professional staff and it includes the set of competences to be acquired by people who will be in charge of developing the projects.
3. Planning of competence oriented internships to carry out the defined projects. First of all defining the profile of the students, then selecting master students from all the universities and designing one tutor to monitor each student during the whole process. To develop the project specific software is used.*
4. Evaluation of the results of internships is also provided*. This evaluation is made using several criteria used by the tutors and professionals and it is possible for the students to obtain a certificate of competences.