The Final Project Conference

The final conference of the Tempus project „Development of Learning Outcomes Approach – a Way to Better Comparability, Compatibility and Employment“ was held in the Rectorate of the University of Montenegro on 6 -7 October. The aim of the project was development of learning outcomes for all three universities in Montenegro, development of data base of learning outcomes, establishment of closer links between the university and the labour market and awareness raising on the importance of learning outcomes for higher education institutions, students and employers.

In the introductory note, the Vice-rector prof. dr Maja BaŠoviŠ in the capacity of project coordinator welcomed all present, in particular the partners from Austria and Greece, and pointed out that the aim of the conference was the exchange of experience of work on the project and summing up of the results after three years of its implementation.

The Vice-rector BaŠoviŠ presented the project results which overlapped with the work on the re-structuring of study programmes at the University of Montengro. In preparation for the accreditation in 2017 all study programmes were redesigned and the structure of studies 3+2+3 was adopted at all the units of the University of Montenegro. New curricula were developed for all study programmes, learning outcomes were written and translated into English language and published in the form of a prospectus available at the web-site of the university. Guidelines for writing learning outcomes developed within the project will serve in the future for writing learning outcomes for all new study programmes and developing qualifications at higher education institutions in Montenegro. All three universities have established data bases with learning outcomes, which will be updated as learning outcomes are changed and revised in the future. Representatives of the Music Academy and the Faculty of Drama of the University of Montenegro presented their view of the process of defining learning outcomes and its specificities for artistic disciplines, and pointed out the dilemmas they faced during the process. They also pointed out that introduction of learning outcomes will bring new quality to study programmes of artistic faculties.

Representative of the Chamber of Economy, Mr Mladen PeraziŠ pointed out that the project importance is reflected primarily in the fact that the academic community has been informed on the very notion of learning outcomes, and the trainings organized during study visits and workshops. The project also contributed to informing the business community representatives on learning outcomes in general, and the importance of their involvement in the process of defining learning outcomes. He also emphasized the fact that it is necessary to work further on awareness raising on learning outcomes and on the strengthening of cooperation between higher education and labour market. It was pointed out that work on defining learning outcomes has only started, and that there is much to be done ahead in order to define them in such a manner to make them suitable to the labour market.

Representatives of the University Mediterranean and the University Donja Gorica presented the results of the projects achieved at their universities – defined learning outcomes for all study programmes and established data bases with learning outcomes. They shared their experience of work on the project, and the challenges they faced during the process of defining learning outcomes and finding and adequate approach for their study programmes. Concrete benefits of defined learning outcomes were presented, among other for stimulating and facilitating student exchanges i.e. comparability with study programmes of other universities.

Biljana MišoviŠ from the Ministry of Education presented the legislative framework that foresees the obligation to write and publish learning outcomes for all higher education institutions from Montenegro. She announced the introduction of Tracer Study for career tracing which is expected to provide useful findings which will show how much learning outcomes help students adapt themselves to the needs of the labor market. At the same time this kind of information will be useful for higher educations as well.  She also announced that the Ministry will continue to support higher education institutions in their efforst to harmonize their offer with those in the European Higher Education Area. One of the activities that will be undertaken with this aim will be the implementation of the new model of diploma supplement, which will include learning outcomes as well, and thus be more informative than before.

The Employment Agency presented the importance of learning outcome for employers from their point of view, and announced continuation of cooperation with the University of Montenegro in the area of career orientation, notably in the form of workshops and trainings for students with the aim of their better preparation for the labour market.