FINAL REPORT ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE JEAN MONNET EUROPEAN MODULE "EUROPEAN INTEGRATION ADVOCACY TRAINING"02 July 2014р.
European Integration Department of the Faculty of International Economics and Management SHEE “Kyiv National Economic University named after Vadym Hetman” successfully completed the training activities for the three-year grant project Jean Monnet European Module “European Integration Advocacy Training” (№ 199755-LLP-1-2011-1-UA-AJM-MO, implementation period: 01/09/2011 – 31/08/2014). Grant agreement envisioned six phases of the project implementation – two 40-hour training sessions each year.
The key success factors which secured high quality and adaptability of the training were the following: active use of an interdisciplinary approach; establishment of an interdepartmental team of professional trainers (training was developed by the representatives of the departments of European integration, international finance, international management, and the Centre for International Relations); professional specialization of training developers (trainers) on a narrow range of selective educational topics for which they have high personal achievements in research and applied studies; geographical diversification of trainees’ groups and departure from the traditional over-centralization of such projects in the capital-city; combination of quantitative and qualitative methodologies to assess the educational product value added, created in the flow of the project.
One of the core guiding principles of the European Module “European Integration Advocacy Training” was the geographical and professional diversification of the training audience which provided for the regional targeting of the project (see Figure 1), wherein the overwhelming majority (57.6 %) of the total (184) participants was related to the regions situated outside the capital – Simferopol and Dnepropetrovsk.
The implementation of the first phase of the project - a five-day training on 10th –14th October, 2011 – held in Simferopol at Crimean Economic Institute of SHEE “Kyiv National Economic University named after Vadym Hetman” for teachers and students of non-economic specialties has proved the correctness and feasibility of the project. It is essential to emphasize the fact that the training was conducted only in Ukrainian, not causing any resistance on the part of the students. The positive reaction of the local population was confirmed by the rave reviews and plenty of questions addressed to the project manager and team members on Crimean TV, which devoted a cycle of telecasts to the European Integration Advocacy Training during 2011-2012.
During April 9 – 13, 2012 the second five-day training event was hosted by Kyiv National Economic University named after Vadym Hetman in the city of Kyiv. Training audience in accordance with the terms of the grant again was dominated by the teachers and students of non-core professions (engineering, medicine, law, political science, journalism etc.), facilitating the interdisciplinary knowledge diffusion effect of the European studies.
During the 2012 / 2013 school year, two 40-hour trainings in Dnepropetrovsk and Simferopol were held, which revealed a strong interest in the study issues stated, but at the same time – a weak understanding of the essence, structure and mechanisms for implementing EU policies by the participants of non-economic occupations. Most notably it was unveiled at the training in Dnepropetrovsk, which was attended by a great many of environmentalists, engineers and experts in other non-economic areas.
The fifth and the sixth stages of the project had come under schedule on September 30 – October 4, 2013 and April 14 – 18, 2014 at Kyiv National Economic University named after Vadym Hetman (Kyiv, Ukraine). The trainings were attended by 35 and 19 people respectively. It should be noted that even under severe conditions of military conflict inside the country, the public interest in European studies did not die away, and as it turned out later (in March with the signing by Ukraine of the political part, and in June 2014 – the economic part of the Association Agreement with the EU) - not in vain!
The fundamental principle of the implementation of the training was the focus of its content on the non-economic specialties (geography, regional studies, law, political science, economics, journalism, information technology, computer science and other technical occupations), which resulted in the careful selection of educational material, elaboration of the most clear and favourable for the unprofessional listener educational technology. However, training has gained high popularity among economists experiencing urgent objective need to increase their professional competence in the field of European integration. This fact suggests, that the project was really important and the implementation period selected – timely and adequately meeting the cognitive request of the audience!
Also we can argue that the interdisciplinary project “European Integration Advocacy Training” formed synergistic relations with other our Jean Monnet projects – economic European Module “EU Innovation and Investment Development” and the Jean Monnet Chair (Professor Chuzhykov) “European Regional Development Model” focused mainly on regional studies. This allowed positioning the Module at the initial level of the European Union cognitive identification.
The main tool for the quantitative assessment of the training activities was a methodology of determining the rates of competence of students developed by National Council on Economic Education (USA) adapted by professor Chuzhykov, which is based on the preliminary (pre-assessment) and final (post-assessment) knowledge control. The advantage of this evaluation technique is that it allows capturing the increase of trainees’ competence through the use of the identical set of tests, focused on some theoretical and applied aspects of the European integration both at the beginning and at the end of each of the six stages of the training project. Thus, we determined the differentiation of competence not only within the same training group, but also managed to perform the cross-group comparative analysis. As it derives from Figure 2, although the six training groups had almost the same (quite low) initial level of the European studies competence, the final rate of success was characterized by a certain variation for the benefit of the capital region, which might be explained by the qualitatively diverse (in terms of education, skills and age) structure of the training groups.
The efficiency of the training technology is also confirmed by the use of innovative teaching methods, which allowed to increase the level of competence of the project participants by an average of 62.9% (see Table 1). At the same time, the idea of regional geographic diversification of the training audience proved its feasibility, as the initial level of its European studies competence was on average 16% higher in Kyiv compared to the other regions of the country.
In order to summarize and disseminate the effects of the project completed the module leader Professor V. Chuzhykov and the module team member Associate Professor O. Fedirko took part in the Jean Monnet conference “EU Eastern Partnership – from Capacities to Excellence”, which was held at Latvian University (Riga, Latvia) June 11-13, 2014. In their speeches the members of the training team summarized the main problems of the methodology of European and regional studies in Ukraine, focusing in particular on the nature of information requests from the Ukrainian society in the field of European studies, the comparative analysis of regional innovation development, as well as the prospective ways of harmonization of socio-economic development of Ukraine with the EU imperatives.
In general, the overall effect of the training may be evaluated through the benefits of multiplication effect, as many teachers who were involved in this and received all presentation materials received the opportunity to actively use it in their daily activities.