THE ROLE OF UNIVERSITIES IN THE INITIATION AND SUPPORT OF COMMUNITIES OF GOOD PRACTICES IN THE FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT AND AUDIT OF THE PROJECTS FINANCED BY THE EUROPEAN SOCIAL FUNDS
1 Babes-Bolyai University (ROMANIA)
2 West University (ROMANIA)
About this paper:
Conference name: 3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2011
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:The purpose of this paper is to present a project based on a learning concept known as the community of practices. The project presented by us, entitled "Model of harmonization of the practices in the financial management of the projects financed by the European Structural Funds (ESF)" meets the interests of a partnership of five major universities in Romania and the national professional body of auditors.
The concept of community of practices, whose founder is into social learning theorist Etienne Wegner and the anthropologist Jean Lave, is rooted in the learning theory. With time, however, the idea of community of practice has gained more ground currently being used in a wide range of areas such as business, organizational systems, educational systems, professional associations, development projects, etc.
Our overall objective is to support practitioners by providing qualitative information for the successful implementation of the projects financed by the ESF. Moreover, our purpose is to create a community of practices in the financial management field, including those specialists interested in our domain: auditors, accountants and financial managers of the ongoing projects.
The activities of our project include several meetings organized in each of the five universities involved in the project attended by all the professionals interested in acquiring new knowledge in the projects financed by the ESF. The discussions and experiences shared by the participants represent the base of our community of practices. Also, there were organized a series of courses and seminars on different topics of interest. Current results of the project are outstanding, materializing in the existence of a national community of practices with over 1.000 members, hosted by a site with a specially designed forum for its members. The plans of this community of practices are to continue to expand by creating a Best Practices Guide, covering the theoretical and practical aspects discussed during the meetings of our project which will facilitate the activities of its members and other specialists in the field. Our project is a proof of the importance of communities of practices for the social, professional and educational improvement based on the social importance of the university. Permanent exchange of knowledge, experiences and information managed by the partnership of the five universities and the professional body of auditors has resulted in a truly informal national educational circuit with visible results in the practices of the community’s members.
Keywords: Community of practices, European projects, financial management, audit.