The HEIBus project focuses on strengthening the collaboration between Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and companies by creating new innovative cooperation models. These models will facilitate the involvement of students and staffs from HEIs in international Research & Development & Innovation (R&D&I) projects proposed by companies. During the three year implementation three cooperation models will be developed:
Multidisciplinary Real Life Problem Solving (RLPS)
The Multidisciplinary Real Life Problem Solving cooperation model focuses on bringing students, HEI staff and companies to work together. The idea is that students from different study programs and nationalities are brought together to form mixed groups in order to solve a real-life problem given by a company. The project topics will cover multiple engineering study areas allowing development of complex multidisciplinary projects.
During implementation of a RLPS project, three groups of students compete in solving the proposed topic over one academic semester. Their work is supervised by teachers from participant universities and representatives from the company. The work on problem solving involves one intensive week and a lot distance working and virtual meetings. During the intensive week two student groups meet each other at the coordinating university and get in direct contact with the company that proposed the project. The third student group will participate virtually at the activities from the intensive week.
In the end of the project there will be final presentations of all three student groups virtually. At the end of semester the company will select a winning solution and supervisors will give grades.
The proposed model allows students to gain knowledge of how to carry out real-life problem-solving projects and how to work in an international group. The project-based learning approach allows students to be more motivated and more independent in applying their learning to solve real-life, professionally relevant problems. By participating in these projects, they also increase their teamwork, project management, cultural and language skills.
Expert Level Real Life Problem Solving (EXPERT)
The Expert Level Real Life Problem Solving cooperation model aims to develop a well-defined framework that allows companies to access high level expertise that partners from European universities and companies have. In EXPERT projects companies introduce a real life problem to be solved by a team of experts from HEIs (researchers, teachers) and companies. One project team includes a total of 6 experts from 3 different HEIs (3 different countries) and 2 experts from the company that propose the real-life problem.
During HEIBus implementation 6 EXPERT pilot projects will be developed. The schedule of each pilot project depends on the needs of the company and the problem needed to be solved. Based on the experience in the pilot projects a plan for widening the international expert cooperation model outside the partner team will be made.
This new cooperation model will make it possible for local companies to utilize multidisciplinary and international expert services of HEIs more efficiently. This approach will create the framework that allows the boost of new innovative ideas that can be quickly taken into use in companies to develop new products and services.
Flexible Student Mentoring by Companies (Flex Mentoring)
The Flexible Student Mentoring by Companies cooperation model aims to find and test flexible ways to involve companies in the education process of students. During implementation one or more companies walk hand-in-hand with one study group from the beginning till the end of the studies. The involvement level and best suited methods are chosen, in a flexible way, by each HEI and company.
This involvement is dynamic and can be changed based on different situations, for example the company needs, the study year of the student group, etc. During the mentoring period a supervisor for the study group is nominated from the company. The supervisor together with the HEI staff continuously analyzes the activities of the study group and tries to find solutions to improve the model. The best solutions will be used to introduce them into everyday practice of companies and HEIs.
Flex Mentoring will have as result an improvement in the quality and work life relevance of the education process. These activities will give HEI students new skills and work life contacts that will increase their motivation and study success. For companies Flex Mentoring gives better labor force, easy access to recruiting and in the same time facilitates knowledge transfer from HEIs.