UP, May 2008

EU ERASMUS CD PROJECT DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION OF JOINT STUDY PROGRAMME IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MANAGEMENT
(No. 219410 - IC - 1 - 2005 -1 – LT-ERASMUS-PROGUC-1)

PARTNER MEETING AT THE UNIVERSITY OF PITESTI
27-29 May 2008, Pitesti, Romania

Participants of the meeting:
1. Ana Raquel Rodrigues, International Office (Braganca Polytechnic Institute, PT).
2. PhD Paula Odete Fernandes, lecturer (Braganca Polytechnic Institute, PT).
3. Ana Paula Carvalho do Monte, lecturer (Braganca Polytechnic Institute, PT).
4. Inga Juknyte-Petreikiene, Head of Vilnius branch (College of Social Sciences, LT).
5. Rasa Useliene, Head of International Relations Office (College of Social Sciences, LT).
6. Iveta Graudina, Project Manager of the Faculty of Economics (Rezeknes Higher Education Institution, LV).
7. Iveta Zaluksne, lecturer (Rezeknes Higher Education Institution, LV).
8. Aniela Bednarek, Chancellor (Academy of Information Technology, PL).
9. PhD Pawel Kowalski, lecturer (Academy of Information Technology, PL).
10. PhD Dumitru Chirlesan, Vice Rector (University of Pitesti, RO)
11. PhD Georgeta Chirlesan, Head of International Relations Department (University of Pitesti, RO)
12. Daniela Bondoc, lecturer of Faculty of Economics, Law and Administrative Sciences (University of Pitesti, RO).
13. Iulia Boghirnea, lecturer of Faculty of Economics, Law and Administrative Sciences (University of Pitesti, RO).
14. Elena Jianu, lecturer of Faculty of Economics, Law and Administrative Sciences (University of Pitesti, RO).
15.  John Gould, lecturer (Cumbernauld College, UK)
16. Andrew Paddison (Stirling University, UK)
17. PhD Woodrow Sears Jr., lecturer (College of Social Sciences, LT)

The main goals of the meeting:
Tuesday, 27 May
1. To review implemented and future activities within the project period and to present current situation of the project (Rasa Useliene, coordinator of the project ).
2. To characterize implemented pilot period and to present outcomes of carried out survey; to discuss on revealed strength and weaknesses of the programme (Rasa Useliene).
3. To present conclusions after External Assessment of JD programme carried out in the College of Social Sciences (Inga Juknyte-Petreikiene, Headmistress of Vilnius branch, College of Social Sciences)
4. To discuss on the draft of multiinstitutional agreement for implementation of JD study programme, to agree on possible changes and to confirm final version of the agreement (Inga Juknyte-Petreikiene).
Wednesday, 28 May
1. To discuss on draft of quality assurance system for implementation of the JD program in IBM between partners institution (Inga Juknyte-Petreikiene)
2. To discuss on advertisement of JD study programme and admission of students (Rasa Useliene)
3. To inform about conclusions after assessment of Progress Report of the project; to discuss on redistribution of the budget between partner institutions (Rasa Useliene).
4. To assign and confirm tasks for intermeeting period and terms for implementation of tasks till final meeting of the project (Inga Juknyte-Petreikiene)

Participants of the meeting were welcome by PhD Dumitru Chirlesan, Vice Rector of the University of Pitesti, and PhD Georgeta Chirlesan, Head of International Relations Department of the University of Pitesti.
The meeting was started with presentation of implemented and future activities (presentation was done by Rasa Useliene, project coordinator) with the aim to facilitate involvement into project of new members from partner institutions and to draw clearer view of current situation of project results. The presenter reminded that the structure of Joint degree study programme in International Business Management had been completed and new stage is to start with the aim to legislate developed study programme in national Ministries of Education. Other steps of common activity are development of content of JD study programme, preparation of conditions and practical implementation of it. 
The coordinator of the project presented results of pilot period that was discussed and planned on during meeting in Braganca Polytechnic Institute (Portugal), October 2007, and was foreseen in the application of the project as the form of testing and evaluation of developed JD study programme. Implementation of pilot period was a success in respect of goals and organizational aspects though it was great challenge for all partner institutions.
Pilot period was organized in Vilnius branch of the College of Social Sciences, in the period of 19th February -18th April 2008. Students from 4 partner institutions (10 students from University of Pitesti, Romania, 8 – from Braganca Polytechnic Institute, Portugal, 2 – from Rezekne Higher Education Institution, Latvia, and 10 – for the College of Social Sciences, Lithuania) participated in the testing courses http://www.jodee.eu/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=22&Itemid=28
One of the most significant benefits of the pilot period was outcomes of the survey that was carried out by students, lecturers and coordinators. The survey indicated weaknesses and strengths of Joint degree studies in International Business Management including importance of sufficient English language skills as basics for Joint degree studies.
Complete results of the survey were presented to participants of the meeting.
Inga Juknyte-Petreikiene, Head of Vilnius branch of the College of Social Sciences, presented conclusions of programme’s evaluation made by Lithuanian external experts. The evaluation was inspired with the aim to receive proposals for programme’s improvement. The presenter informed partners about proposed by experts list of subjects extended by electives. Moreover, major attention was paid by experts to mobility of students and lecturers. Mobility issue was indicated as requiring most attention and new attitude. However, in general, feedback of experts was positive.
Members of partner teams discussed on Agreement of Joint Activity for implementation of Joint degree programme in International Business Management. Partners took final decision on all articles that were under discussion during meeting. Moreover, partners didn’t have many notes and remarks on the document of Quality Assurance System defining and assuring quality implementation of JD studies in International Business Management.
Partners took closer look at the issues related to the implementation of JD studies – admission of students and mobility template. Discussion raised on the number of students for admission in every partner institution and in general. Moreover, final list of partners ready to admit students for 2008/2009 was cleared out, and decision to start common admission of students starting 2009/2010 study year was taken (to implement studies in the College of Social Sciences (LT), Academy of Information Technology (PL), University of Pitesti (RO), and Braganca Polytechnic Institute (PT)).
Vivid discussion and brainstorm was characteristic for mobility issue. Due to handicaps that are common for majority of institutions decision was taken to implement 1st year studies in Home institutions. 2nd and 3rd year studies will be organized according to students choice and partner institutions advantages.
Project coordinator informed partners about results after Progress Report submission. Executive Agency evaluated positively the report, suitable management and dissemination of the project was noted in conclusions of experts.
Partners agreed on the suggestion of coordinating institution to redistribute partners’ budget due to different contribution of them into development of Joint Degree programme and implementation of the project. There were no objections for it as some partners faced objective handicaps and other partners’ substitution was provided.
Participants of the meeting were informed about new task concerned the programme - development of content of the programme. Moreover, issues of advertisement for admission were reviewed; financial issues of advertisement were discussed.
Partners agreed on close cooperation to achieve the last goals while developing the Joint degree study programme and starting to implement it as the last meeting assigned after one-year break – in May 2009, at the end of the project. Moreover, partners decided to apply to Executive Agency asking for extension of the project duration due to problems that occurred in the process of JD programme approval in national Ministries of Education (in average it took over 4 months that was not foreseen by application of the project) and thus reasoned staying behind the workplan of activities.
Partners left the University of Pitesti with positive attitude due to achieved results during the meeting.