The final conference of the IPA IV project was held on February 12th 2015 at the Faculty of Forestry, in the Grand Amphitheatre at 9:00 pm. The conference was attended by sectorial representatives from the Government; representatives of relevant institutions, The Ministry of Science, Education and Sports (Department for EU programs and projects), The Agency for Vocational Education and Training (organizational unit for the management of structural instruments DEFCO), The Croatian Ministry of Agriculture and The Ministry of Labour and Pension System; representatives of The Academy of Forestry Sciences and The Croatian Forestry Association; representatives of vocational clusters (Croatian Wood Cluster Zagreb and Wood Cluster Vukovar-Srijem County), secondary vocational schools and numerous representatives from the wood processing industry; Faculty of Forestry’s professors, representatives of The Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences of The University of Zagreb, representatives of the three partners in the project (Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Croatian Chamber of Forestry and Wood Technology and The University Computing Centre), CROQF’s expert on the project, the external evaluator of the standards of qualifications proposed in the project, and suppliers engaged in the supply of equipment and services to the project.
The conference began with welcoming words from Mrs. SanjaCrnković-Pozaić from The Ministry of Labour and Pension System, and the Dean of the Faculty of Forestry, Professor Vladimir Jambreković, Ph.D. After the opening statements, the core team of the project presented the purpose and the results of the project, and the project partners presented their experiences gained from start of application of the project proposal, to project implementation.
In the past 18 months at the Faculty of Forestry, Wood Technology Department a project was being implemented entitled "Development of higher qualification standards and curriculum on the basis of CROQF’s Industrial Wood Processing Sector ".
In late June 2013, a contract was signed on the implementation of the project that would, with the help of EU funds contribute to the development and implementation of the Croatian Qualifications Framework through the development and modernization of the education system and qualifications in general and higher education and curriculum or program development based on learning outcomes. The project was funded by the IPA Component IV of the Programme for Human Potential, the Further Development and Implementation of CROQF grant. Assistance in the preparation and realization was given by the Agency for Vocational Education and Adult Education, Organizational Unit for the management of structural instruments (DEFCO).
The total value of the project amounted to 451,364.84 euros(non-refundable EU grants amounted to 65.56% of that amount, or 295,914.79 euros). The rest, 34.44%, was the project leader’s and partner’s contribution. Most of the funds were spent on training professors to apply modern approaches to teaching, and equipment acquisition. Twelve professors attended workshops for making e-courses, workshops on the development of entrepreneurial competencies, workshops on active learning and critical thinking in higher education. The faculty’s computer room was equipped with 16 CAD computers, 16 tables and chairs, 2 closets.Works were carried out on the Laboratory for mechanical processing of wood needed for placement of the CNC machine. Six professors were trained to work on the CNC machine, CNC machine operation basics and use of woodWOP 6.1 software package of the CNC machine, and for advance use of AlphaCAM software. Training for the use of newly purchased equipment - a manual viscometer was also organized.
Wood TechnologyDepartment’sprofessorsalong withthe partner from Ljubljana participated in a study tour to Poznan,Poland, where they exchanged experiences on study programme modernization and development of higher education qualification standards for the wood industry sector. Four professors participated in a brief study visit to faculties of Wood Technology of Europe’s universities (Austria, Germany, Ireland and the United Kingdom) with the aim of gathering recommendations of improving undergraduate, graduate and doctoral study programmes.