DUALMON project addresses the following relevant thematic national priority: 1. Developing the Higher Education sector within society at large: National priorities: University-enterprise cooperation. Additionally, it is in line with the priority 2. Improving management and operation of Higher Education Institutions: Internationalisation of higher education institutions. The project is also in line with Regional Priorities for Joint & Structural Projects (Erasmus+ KA2 – Capacity Building in Higher Education) for the Region 1 (Western Balkan) and is related to: 1. Category B: Learning and teaching tools, methodologies and pedagogical approaches; 2. Category D: University-enterprise cooperation, entrepreneurship and employability of graduates. 3. Category D: Definition, implementation and monitoring the reform policies.
Explanation: a. The project proposes a new educational approach in Montenegro in order to make HEI more professionally oriented with emphasis on offering the exact working skills to the students b. Dual higher education connects the employers that request particular set of skills with students that have strong propensity and potential to acquire that set of skills. c. Dual higher education gives the students an opportunity to acquire much needed work experience before graduation which in turn enables them to be more competitive on the labour market. d. Dual higher education implementation requires from the HEIs to develop such study programmes that are highly compatible with students’ future profession and altogether create a teaching ambience similar to that of a workplace. e. The project will provide the legislation background for establishing currently non-existing dual higher education studies in Montenegro. f. In long-term the project will provide a base for internationalisation due to better compatibility with HE systems in program countries.
The topic of the project application is dual education. A dual training system is characterised by a combination of company-based and school-based learning which is aligned to the needs of the labour market in a particular way and which leads to qualifications in nationally recognised training occupations” (KREKEL/WALDEN 2016, p. 55). During project it will be enhanced the relationship between the universities and companies. Universities will develop mechanisms and measures to increase participation in training and improve the companies’ ability to provide training for students. Also, very important issue will be a change in the interlinking of dual training with general education. Strategies and indicators for dual training will be introduced, and additional legislation will be developed.
There is only one HEI from Montenegro in the consortium, but this project application will be oriented also at other HEIs in the country and transferring experiences and good practices and raising awareness about dual education among students, staff and society. Model for dual education will be developed and planned for wider auditorium. Modernization of teaching process will be done through establishing competence-based courses, which will be in accordance with market needs. Training of staff at companies who will be in charge of practical training of students and modernization of the existing curricula, development of different catalogues of knowledge and skills will ensure the sustainability of the project activities in the longer period of time.
Few very important documents in Montenegro emphasize dual education as one of the main objectives in the development of higher education. Together with quality assurance and internationalization dual education is one of the main prerequisites for successful development of higher education in Montenegro. The Law on Higher Education speaks about stressing on improving skills of graduates, involving market in the practical education of students, and reform of programs at all HEIs.
The education of mentors for students in the companies is also mentioned in several strategic documents. Clear objective is also modernization of all study programs in accordance with needs of the work-field, harmonization of qualifications and etc.
Special accent is on changing of laws providing possibilities for this kind of education and making friendly surrounding for closer connection between companies and universities, for forming spin-off and start-up companies, transfer and using scientific results in commercial purposes.
A broader framework will be given for higher education based on a tripartite agreement that would regulate the relations of all parties in the process: students, higher education institutions, and employers. This model allows the individual rights and obligations between the three parties to be regulated on an individual basis, depending on the specific requirements of the practice, both from the standpoint of the student and the higher education institution, as well as from the point of view of employers.
It will be necessary for HEIs and employers to make some effort, each on their own side, to facilitate the establishment of this relationship. As far as the faculty is concerned, this is primarily about providing a space for practice in the regular teaching schedule, a way of recording and recognizing time spent in practice in terms of credit, and the participation of success in practical teaching in the final assessment of a particular subject. So through this both sides will realize the importance of enhancing the employment rate in Montenegro through rising quality of education on all levels and defining the set of competencies of final graduates, which will be defined in the joint cooperation between educational institutions and the market.