The conference on the subject of Internship in companies took place on May 16 at FH JOANNEUM. The conference was attended by in-company mentors from partner companies, university teachers and students in the first, second and third years of the degree programs "Production Engineering and Organization" and "Engineering and Production Management". After the welcome by the Head of Institute Dr. Wagner Mr. DI Hochrinner as an aCIRET project manager of FH Joanneum presented the development of the project, the positive effects, the successful cooperation among the project partners and explained the role of the PTO study course as a pioneer in the development of dual study in Austria and ambassador in the topics of dual study.


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On September 17 a mini-conference Belzona – Innovation in Technology  organized by Belse company in cooperation with the GUT Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and aCIRET project team was held in the Main Lecturing Hall of Gdańsk University of Technology.  

 Among several dozens of participants there were representatives of local and regional companies operating in various fields of industry, representatives of academic staff, PhD students and representatives of local authorities. Among numerous presentations there was a presentation with basic information on aCIRET project and higher education in WBL system. The presentation was very interesting for the audience and members of the aCIRET project team had an opportunity to provide more detailed information on the project itself and assumptions of the dual education at academic level during face to face conversations with interested members of the audience. We hope that their interest will result with an increased number of companies and enterprises participating in the aCIRET Apprenticeship Cluster.


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On the 13th Sept. 2019 a mini-conferenceon WBLA and Active Learningwas held at the TU of Gabrovo.The conference was attended by decision makers at national, regional and local level. The deputy minister of Education and Science, Mrs Sacheva, started off by presenting the future strategy of higher education, the challenges the higher education faces at the present and the measures to handle them. The mayor of Gabrovo Manucipality focused on both the WBLA importance and benefits for all stakeholders and regional/local economic growth. The presentations given by representatives of universities, companies, local authorities and a professional high school outlined the necessity of introducing WBLA and its recognition as an official study form in higher education. All requirements for changes and problems the academic and business world set down during the conference were summarized  and sent to the deputy minister Mrs Sacheva and the MP Mr Sirakov in a form of a letter. They promised to present it to the Commission for Higher Education that works on the new draft law of Higher Education.


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Mini conference “Work-Based and Active Learning in Engineering Higher Education”


On 13th September 2019 a mini conference “Work-Based and Active Learning in Engineering Higher Education” was held at the Library Conference Hall of Technical University of Gabrovo. The conference was opened by the Deputy Minister of Education and Science of the Republic of Bulgaria and the Mayor of Gabrovo. The Parliament Deputy of the Gabrovo District, the Governor of the Gabrovo District and the Director of the Regional Education Inspectorate were also present. The key speakers included local authorities, employers’ organization, business people, academic staff and students. The conference outlined WBLA strategies at university engineering education, focused on the viewpoints of all stakeholders involved and presented WBLA best practices.


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Third Partner Meeting – Gabrovo, Bulgaria


The Third Partner Meeting was held on 17th and 18th January 2019 at Mechatronica SC, Gabrovo, Bulgaria. The partnership discussed the evaluation of the Interim Report and the results from the internal and external evaluation. It also monitored project progress and updated its work programme. Two workshops were organized where all partners outlined the next steps in implementing the training of company and academic mentors and pilot testing of the Apprenticeship Cluster, as well as finalized the evaluation forms to be used to measure project impact on target groups. Each partner organization delivered a PP presentation on the dissemination activities been performed so far and the dissemination plan was updated. Bulgarian and Polish university staff and company trainers were able to test the Cluster platform.

Next partner meeting will be held on 13th and 14th September 2019 at the Technical University of Gabrovo, Bulgaria.


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Project aCIRET at "Dzień Strefy" Job Fair at Gdańsk University of Technology


Every year in November, Gdańsk University of Technology in cooperation with Pomeranian Special Economic Zone organizes a Job Fair. During this event, local companies offer the GUT students a chance for getting themselves familiar with the companies' profiles and possible openings for jobs and apprenticeship.

During this year's Job Fair, Polish aCIRET team consisting of the GUT and ECD foundation staff advertised the Dual Studies and presented the key principles, advantages and ideas of this system of Education.



The idea of Dual Education system not only interested many students, but also drew the attention of entrepreneurs and representatives of the largest companies operating in Gdańsk area.




Hopefully, the contacts established between the aCIRET team and representatives of local and regional companies will allow us to increase the number of companies involved in the Apprenticeship Cluster for Industry-Ready Engineers of Tomorrow. We also hope that students educated in the Dual Study System will find their employment in leading local and regional companies operating within the Pomeranian Special Economic Zone.





Career Fair on 5th December 2018


Technical University of Gabrovo, Mechatronica SC and Municipality of Gabrovo jointly organized a Cereer Fair on 5th December 2018.

Nine companies from Gabrovo and Ideal Standard Vidima SC from Sevlievo presented their business line – basic activities, products and services, markets, career opportunities and their willingness to employ students as apprentices to be involved in the real company research and development processes.

On the other hand, engineering students from TU of Gabrovo were able to make personal contacts with company reps and to choose a perticular company whoose profile best matches their interests and preferences.

The very fact that the career fair took place at Mechatronika SC premises provided students with the opportunity to get acquainted with production processes in real life as “nowadays mechanical engineering and mechatronics do not have anything in common with the common perception of engineers as employees stained with oil to the elbows” as Nikolinka Hinkova pointed out.


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Cluster Promotional Meeting was held at the Technical University of Gabrovo where students following engineering degree courses were given the opportunity to meet university teachers involved in the apprenticeship cluster development


On 10th October 2018 a Cluster Promotional Meeting was held at the Technical University of Gabrovo where students following engineering degree courses were given the opportunity to meet university teachers involved in the apprenticeship cluster development.

This event aimed to inform students about both the idea and opportunities offered by the cluster and the benefits for their career development. Steps, deadlines and required documents when applying for an apprenticeship position were presented.

In his presentation Prof. Dr. Sc. D. Dichev laid focus on the opportunity the cluster creates in order for students to apply the theoretical knowledge they acquired during the study into real-life work environment thus making the transition from academic to professional life easier. 

The students were invited to participate in the Career Fair on 5th December 2018 where they will be able to establish personal contacts with companies that are cluster members and are going to offer apprenticeship positions.


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On 8th June 2018 a seminar on Dual Study in Higher Education – Apprenticeship Cluster in Mechanical Engineering and Mechatronics was held in the conference room of the library of the Technical University of Gabrovo. It was organized by the Technical University of Gabrovo, MECHATRONIKA SC and Municipality of Gabrovo.

The seminar was attended by Nikolai Sirakov – deputy in the Bulgarian Parliament, Prof. Dr. Kostadin Kostadinov – advisor to the Minister of Education and Science, Nela Rachevits – vice-mayor of Gabrovo, Ventsislav Slavkov – chairman of the Managing board of the Cluster “Mechatronics and Automation”, Prof. Dr. Sc. Raycho Ilarionov – rector of the Technical University of Gabrovo, representatives of local and regional businesses, academic lecturers, students, representatives of professional organizations, etc.

During the seminar the participants were briefed on the objectives, target groups and products of the European project Apprenticeship Cluster for Industry-ready Engineers of Tomorrow. The cluster structure and its functionalities were presented as well. A special emphasis was placed on the fact that through the implementation of the project the first step was being taken towards introducing work-based learning, also known as dual or cooperative study, in higher education in Bulgaria.

As pioneers in this area, however, the Technical University of Gabrovo and Mechatronika SC are confronting challenges arising from the existing regulatory framework, which impedes the recognition of dual study as an official form of higher education. All participants were summoned to combine their efforts and advocate amendments to the Higher Education Act, as well as to the National Classification of Occupations and Posts.

During the subsequent discussion different points of view were shared and problems and possible solutions were voiced, aiming to bridge the gap between the world of higher education and business.

Second partner meeting - Technical University of Gdansk, Poland

On 14th and 15th June 2018 the second partner meeting was held at the Technical University of Gdansk, Poland. During the meeting a monitoring report on the project progress was presented, as well as an action plan covering the next 6 months. In addition, the results from the internal and external evaluation were shown and corrective and preventive measures were outlined. The project dissemination strategy was examined, the dissemination events carried out so far were reported and the opportunities for organizing future activities were discussed. Furthermore, 2 workshops were conducted where the form and content of the e-modules for train-the-trainer courses (academic and company mentors) were defined.

The next project meeting will be held in January 2019 in Bulgaria.


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