The University of Bucharest is, starting from February 2023, a member of the coordination team of one of the six projects selected by the European Commission to define the future European Diplomas, according to the Project Selection Results.
The announcement of the European Commission thus reinforces the role and importance that the University of Bucharest, the only comprehensive university in Romania co-organizing such a project, and the European Alliance “CIVIS – Europe’s Civic University Alliance” play in the development of educational policies at the European level, as part of the major innovation and development project of a European Education Area.
The project of which the University of Bucharest is a part, called “SMARTT – Screening, mapping, analyzing, recommending, transferring and transforming HE international programs”, with an implementation duration of 12 months, is based on the cooperation between member universities of the CIVIS Alliance and of other European alliances involved as associated partners in the project (EUTOPIA, NeuroTech and UNITA).
The project is centered on the “South European Studies (EUROSUD)” program, a joint master’s program run by four of the CIVIS universities, as well as more than 50 other study programs and educational partnerships run by the universities involved in the projects.
Thus, by obtaining an automatically recognized European qualification, this complex process will ensure students an easier entry into a European labor market and will facilitate their mobility both educationally, through easier access to study programs, as well as professionally, through a greater diversity of jobs.
Among the associated partners we mention the West University in Timișoara, the “Iuliu Hațieganu” University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Cluj-Napoca and the Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ARACIS).“Experts from the University of Bucharest have coordinated numerous efforts to innovate the European education milieu, through far-reaching projects at the level of the CIVIS alliance, but especially through proposals for educational policy reforms, on topics aimed at micro-certifications/micro-credentials (we mention that UB developed the first public policy proposal in Romania regarding micro-certifications), joint study programs, innovative pedagogies and virtual mobility. Now, through the SMARTT project, we are happy to be able to contribute to the creation of a European Education Area, where ideas and study programs are transnational, interdisciplinary and connected to the current needs of society”, says prof. Marian Preda, PhD, rector of the University of Bucharest.
Among the results proposed within the project are recommendations and proposals regarding the development and implementation of the European Diploma, starting from the approach of testing and piloting a “label” applied to the study programs included in the process. Also, the project team will work together with the European Commission in order to finalize the content elements and the strategic and technical components necessary for the official launch of the European Diploma in 2024.Thus, the project aims to evaluate, test and facilitate the implementation of the Common European Diploma, through transnational cooperation at the European level and beyond.
The European Diploma “Label” represents a certificate of excellence attached to the qualification of students graduating from joint study programs carried out through the cooperation of several higher education institutions, based on a set of criteria co-created at European level, an important step towards the launch of European study programs.In this context, prof. Romiță Iucu, PhD, member of the CIVIS Alliance Coordinating Committee and UB representative in the CIVIS Educational Council, points out that “the University of Bucharest continues the broad approach of innovation in the Romanian and European academic milieu, being active in the most important forums and pilot projects at the level of the European Commission and the European University Alliances. The SMARTT project is part of this path of academic curriculum innovation, paving the way for the design of future European Diplomas and common study programs recognized at the European and global level.
Thus, the European Diploma offers future students the opportunity to become truly European students, citizens of a dynamic and strong transnational community, where acquired skills and learning experiences are the most important asset for a guaranteed professional future. We are confident that the new study programs and an academic curriculum altered through the micro-credentials’ philosophy will create a SMARTT area for academic and professional growth for a global education market, in which Romanian universities will also become important players.
”The University of Bucharest has been involved from the beginning in the co-creation of criteria and standards for the design and issuing of the European Diploma, also offering a series of recommendations and proposals that formed the basis of the appeal launched by the European Commission. Moreover, the virtual mobility design and implementation model proposed by the UB team in the CIVIS Alliance is considered by UNESCO as a model of good practice at the European level. The same international appreciation is enjoyed by the UB team’s proposals regarding the application of the micro-credentials’ philosophy to the design and innovation of the academic curriculum at the European level.
Moreover, prof. Romiță Iucu, PhD, ensures the coordination of the European Diploma Subgroup of the FOR EU working group within the European Commission. Established with the first wave of European universities, the FOR EU working group is the representative group of the European Alliances for the General Directorate for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture within the European Commission, bringing together the representatives of the European universities established so far.