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Projects Proposed for Funding



Georgia Training for Employment Project Proposal to USAID
Proposal to USAID
 
Developing University Lifelong Learning Model for Georgia
Developing University Lifelong Learning Model for Georgia
The aim of the project is development of a University Lifelong Learning structural model for Georgian universities - new structural unit – in form of a LLL centre or Open University – will be set up at Georgian universities to elaborate and implement (on a pilot basis) training and re-training courses for adults in fields of technical expertise in order to enhance their employability chances and career opportunities on the modern labor market.
The project is to be delivered by a group of educational isntitutions based in Georgia (Georgian Technical University [GTU], Tbilisi, grant applicant, Gori University [GU] and Kutaisi University [KU]), Denmark (Tietgen Business College [TBC]), Estonia (Tallin University of Technology [TUT]) and Belgium (European Association for Education of Adults [EAEA]). In addition, two individual experts – one from the USA and another form Georgia – with extensive knowledge and experience of LLL system – also participate in the project.
The Project addresses directly both the development needs and priorities of Georgia and priorities of the EU_TEMPUS scheme fitting in one of the main activities for Joint Projects: “Higher Education and Society – Development of Lifelong Learning in Society at Large”.
The specific objectives of the project are:
• To elaborate structural model of Lifelong Learning for Georgian Universities through establishment of a  new unit at the universities for LLL purposes;
• To share EU experience and develop training programs for university teachers in adult learning methods and LLL curriculum development in order to meet needs of older and more experienced learners;
• To incorporate LLL in the general strategy of universities;
• To develop quality assurance system for the LLL courses based on experience of European partners;
• To develop training and re-training courses for adults in fields of technical expertise in order to enhance their employability chances;
• To pilot training and re-training courses and evaluate piloting results in order to introduce necessary changes/amendments for development of final version of training courses;
• By setting up LLL centre and courses to create a template for the further extension in other sectors and universities.
To fulfill these objectives, project activities, listed below, will be implemented:
On the first stage general framework for the University LLL will be developed – structure of LLL centre at the university will be defined, based on the experience of European partners: would it function as an Open University, should it become a special department in the university structure, etc. Best practices will be studied in order to develop most the suitable structural set up for the ULLL at Georgian universities, of course considering local context and legal background. Principles and working methods of LLL centers will be developed, while sharing European experience.
After defining structural framework, relevant administrative staff (presumably 12) will be trained by European partners in order to manage LLL centers at the universities – three centers at three Georgian universities will be established.
In parallel, academic staff of universities (presumably 11 professors) will be trained in LLL course design, curriculum development for adult learning, teaching and assessment methods of adults using andragogical approaches. This personnell will serve for further training of academic staff (presumably up to 60 teachers) involved in course development. Training materials for teacher training will be developed by European partners with active participation of individual experts and representatives of Georgian universities.
Quality assurance mechanisms for to be developed LLL courses will be elaborated, based partly on already existing policies and procedures of quality assurance at participating Georgian universities and partly on existing experience at Open Universities of partners.
At the same time, Georgian participants will start detailed analyze of labor market demands in civil engineering and communication sectors – although there is huge amount of data concerning skills and knowledge requirements, dialogue with potential employers will be helpful for the design of new curricula.  Establishing links between university and industry in order to define desired competencies of the workforce will help universities to develop appropriate training/re-training courses and ensure high employability chances for course graduates.
Thus, on the first stage the structure and working principles of ULLL unit will be elaborated and implemented – as an outcome, LLL centers start functioning as structural elements of universities.
The work on the first stage will be facilitated in different ways. Much of activities to develop structural model of ULLL centre, its managing principles and legal background will be done by all partners, but the main bulk of the work will be carried out at TUT, TBC, GTU and by individual experts. Of course, input of university administration and academic staff will be required. For the fulfillment of some activities close collaboration with different university structures will be necessary – such as quality assurance offices, strategic development departments, academic departments, human resource departments, etc.
Given separation of activities is rather formal, we know that in practice some activities will run simultaneously and not separate. Of course, preparatory work shall be done in order to minimize possible risks during the implementation stage. Face-to face meetings of project members are an absolute necessity. Project Management meetings, held in different formats – seminars, discussions, presentations - must take place on the regular basis in order to ensure smooth implementation of all project activities. Managerial, as well as content related issues will be discussed at those Project Management meetings.
Second stage of the project is devoted to the development of LLL training courses in some technical fields. As mentioned above, we chose civil engineering and communication sectors because these courses are in very high demand at the moment by Georgia's labor market. Results of research, carried out by university staff in the framework of this project will define more specific objectives of training programs to be developed, as well as expected learning outcomes. A group of subject-matter experts from Georgian and European partner universities will work on curriculum development. Training materials, manuals, and handouts will be also developed. We will also work out flexible schemes for LLL course delivery. At the moment it is impossible to say, what would be an exact academic content or duration of the LLL courses, but we have estimates and advice on this topic from our European partners. FGor now development of at least four training courses is planned: GTU will work on courses in Construction and IT, GU – Project Management, and KU – Communication. The content of these programs will highly depend on employers' input. Considering course duration, the aim is to develop maximal flexibility in order to meet needs of different groups of people – same course could be taught in block during 3 weeks of intensive training Another option is to run them up to 3 month for people whose regular jobs allow them to attend only on weekends or in the evening. Thus, different approaches will be elaborated. The piloting process will show the advantages and disadvantages of each model in the current situation. At this stage, training of up to 120 trainees in 4 different programs at three Georgian universities is planned.
In parallel, we will advertise for new LLL programs in order to attract trainees. Different models of advertising will be used, based on experience of European partners, but also considering Georgian reality.
On the third stage of the project programs developed will be implemented. Courses will be provided by all three Georgian universities and monitored by the group of Georgian and European experts. Evaluation reports will be drafted on the base of questionnaires and other relevant data and if applicable necessary changes/amendments to programs will be made.
At the end of the project, special recommendations will be elaborated for universities to revise their mission statements and strategic development plans in order to incorporate new LLL dimension and adjust other activities to this new function.
Developing University Lifelong Learning Model for Georgia
The aim of the project is development of a University Lifelong Learning structural model for Georgian universities - new structural unit – in form of a LLL centre or Open University – will be set up at Georgian universities to elaborate and implement (on a pilot basis) training and re-training courses for adults in fields of technical expertise in order to enhance their employability chances and career opportunities on the modern labor market.
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