An international and multidisciplinary Polish-Spanish-Lithuanian summer school started at the Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering on 3 July.

The BUT Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering is the leader of the project financed by the European Union. The VIPSKILLS, Virtual and Intensive Course Developing Practical Skills of Future Engineers, comprised summer courses for 24 students, 8 from each of the following universities: the University of Cordoba from Spain, the Vilnius College of Technologies and Design from Lithuania, and Bialystok University of Technology. Between 3 and 14 July, the participants attended classes and lectures, and they also visited different businesses. The main task for international and multidisciplinary working teams was to develop an optimum solution for houses in different climatic conditions.

‘We wanted students representing various countries and studying similar but different fields (the Polish students study Environmental Engineering, the Spanish – Civil Engineering, and the Lithuanians – Power Engineering) to learn group cooperation. Each of the three-member teams was given a floor plan of their building whose location in Poland, Lithuania or Spain was drawn at random. Students could learn a lot from each other and gain new knowledge and experience’, explained Dorota Krawczyk, MSc, PhD, Eng from the BUT Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, project coordinator.

‘Participation in this project gives us a great opportunity for development and teaches us to function abroad’, commented Agata Witkowska, a student of Environmental Engineering at the FCEE of our University. She also said that in September the Polish and Lithuanian project participants were going to take part in similar activities in Spain. Her friend, Karolina Weremijewicz, added that the project was also an opportunity for all of them to verify their language skills as well as to get to know other cultures and traditions.

Organising an international summer school was quite a challenge for the teachers from all the three universities engaged in the project, who cooperated in devising the curriculum, conducting teaching sessions, and developing the contents of an e-learning platform and a student book.

‘It’s a novelty. Our project assumes two-week courses on our e-learning platform just after finishing the summer school at Bialystok University of Technology as a further step in the student training. Our teachers from Poland, Spain, and Lithuania have created a virtual laboratory in which the project participants can analyse the influence of various factors on buildings’, said Dorota Krawczyk MSc, PhD, Eng. ‘We were trying to offer interesting and modern teaching methods, so this year will prove if the project participants like the curriculum and if we achieve the planned outcomes.’

The next edition of the international summer school with new participants under the VIPSKILLS project is planned for 2018.

During the official opening of the summer school at the Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Prof. Marta Kosior-Kazberuk, Vice Rector for Education and International Cooperation, said: ‘The VIPSKILLS project is particularly valuable because it places equal importance on students’ education and on practical skills. I believe that during the joint activities you will learn a lot about technologies used in other countries and about the expectations of the European job market. I am glad that the idea of internationalisation, which is presently an obligation of universities, will soon become life experience for you – the participants of the summer school.’

The VIPSKILLS project, part of the ‘Strategic Partnership in the Field of Higher Education’ Measure of the Erasmus+ Programme (KA203) will finish in 2019. One of its effects will be publishing all the teaching materials, training programmes and results to be used by everyone. The students participating in the project have already prepared an abridged technical dictionary in four languages, while the teachers are still working on a coursebook for students.

 

      

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