Integrating and validating practical entrepreneurship skills in engineering and ICT studiesEuropean business sector pays an ever more increasing attention to competences such as sense of initiative and entrepreneurship.  The recommendation 2006/962/EC on key competences for lifelong learning highlights paramount importance of these key competences for employability.

These competences related to entrepreneurship play a paramount role in EU neighbouring countries in their development process towards higher performing market economies and convergence with EU economic and social standards, their employers miss these competences in graduates particularly from ICT and engineering. WB countries and Russia in general have a high level of resistance to private initiatives, business and entrepreneurship. Many of the youngsters prefer “safe” employment at public enterprises, awareness and appreciation of own entrepreneurship potentials is low.

The project aims at developing, testing, validating and mainstreaming holistic and needs driven open learning modules to promote entrepreneurship competences of ICT and engineering graduates at the interface of academic education and learning in practice business contexts.

Competence level of graduates in participating partner countries will be researched and regional training needs identified; modular, practice-oriented entrepreneurship trainings will be developed; validation system comprising a suite of entrepreneurship-related competences descriptions, context-related reference systems to assess and evidence these competences, and an online assessment and validation system based on the proven and tested Level 5 approach will be created; a connection of this assessment and validation system to formal validation and accreditation systems (ECTS) and certification systems (EUROPASS) will be made to allow for transnational exploitation of acquired competences; entrepreneurship training modules and competence validation system will be piloted, evaluated and mainstreamed into existing curricula in ICT and engineering programmes.

Programme:  Erasmus+
Key Action:  Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices
Action:  Capacity Building in Higher Education
Action Type:  Joint Projects
Call for Proposals:  EAC-A04-2015
Project title:  REady for BUSiness –  Integrating and validating practical entrepreneurship skills in  engineering and ICT studies
Project acronym:  REBUS


Project intends to support development of key competences for employability that will guarantee more flexibility in the labor force and allow to adapt more quickly to constant changes in an increasingly interconnected world. Entrepreneurship is foreseen as major factor in innovation, productivity and competitiveness and entrepreneurship training modules and competence validation system will be piloted, evaluated and mainstreamed into existing curricula in ICT and engineering study programmes.

Enhancing entrepreneurship competence and entrepreneurial attitudes of graduates of ICT and engineering in the Western Balkans and Russia will support increased employment and improved development of these countries as overall project impact. Universities will build positive attitudes of students towards business and entrepreneurial competencies development, and will be capacitated to plan, initiate and sustainably manage a business.

 As transition countries from state regulated towards market economy, Western Balkan countries and Russia, as a heritage from the former political system have a high level of resistance to private initiatives and entrepreneurship. EU partners will give strong support to address a challenge of bringing entrepreneurship into HEIs, establishing also a cooperation network of EU and partnering countries.Training modules and validation system on entrepreneurship competences will boost the labor market.

Specific objectives of the project:

  • Develop a range of different forms of innovative, work-integrated entrepreneurship training modules, integrate modules into existing curricula
  • Create a system for validation of entrepreneurship competence development
  • Train HE staff in innovative entrepreneurship teaching
  • Implement and evaluate the training modules and validation system in the partner countries
  • Establish system for students’ promotion in entrepreneurship orientation

The project is consisting of seven work packages:

WP 1 Preparation: Research and needs analysis

WP 2 Development: Competence-based entrepreneurship learning approach (incl. validation)

WP 3 Development: Training and counselling of HE staff

WP 4 Development: Piloting the Competence-based entrepreneurship learning approach (inlc. Validation) of competence developments, accreditation and certification

WP 5 Quality Plan

WP 6 Dissemination and exploitation

WP 7 Management

They are clustered in four central research and development work packages (R&D) and three supportive and cross-cutting WPs: quality assurance, dissemination and exploitation and project management.  The partners will work along an action research oriented approach in the R&D work packages.

In a first step they will investigate, develop and implement open learning (and ICT-aided) assessment and validation systems in regard to the acquisition of key competences at the interface of HE and business practice. Output will be a large-scale survey based on qualitative and quantitative research to be finalised at the end of the first year. Interim results will be delivered in project month 6.

Parallel an inventory for sub-competences for the key competence 7 (entrepreneurship and sense of initiative) with a minimum of ten sub-competences each will be set up. For each of the competences so called reference systems will be set up that describe the competences in three dimensions (knowledge, skills and attitudes) on five quality levels. Parallel a modular, competence oriented learning approach (COL) will be set up which is transferable to different target groups, learning settings both in HE and in real business sectors (CPD).

In the pilots the learners will work in the traineeships along a project development approach – guided by counsellors both in the HE institutes, intermediate organisations and their contact partners in the enterprises. The key competences that the learners will have acquired in the real projects will be validated and documented. The results of evaluation and quality assurance (internal processes, developed products, outcomes and impact) are fed back to finalise the REBUS survey as a profound research work and to facilitate the valorisation and transfer.

This way REBUS shows a circular structure securing quality as in modern QM systems like ISO or EFQM.

In the framework of the product and programme evaluation the REBUS approach, its products instruments will be assessed against specific criteria adopted by the partnership and finally transferred on different levels:

–          in innovative learning modules and open learning environments in HE

–          in innovative learning and validation modules in CPD

–          in new validation schemes and accreditation blending formal and informal validation (ECTS, EQF, LEVEL5, EUROPASS)

The Project Cycle Management Approach (PCM) will be used as project planning instrument. There will be a share of content related and administrative project management tasks, the latter will be carried out by a competent staff member of the contractor.

The main steps of the project will be limited by project milestones in the form of 3 transnational meetings.

In a work breakdown structure (WBS) operational objectives envisaged products and related activities will be fixed for each organisation. The results will be rated according to objectively verifiable indicators (OVI’s). The OVI’s will be evaluated during the partner meetings and will then be processed and adjusted for the next evaluation period.