SEMINAR DUAL STUDY IN HIGHER EDUCATION – APPRENTICESHIP CLUSTER IN MECHANICAL ENGINEERING AND MECHATRONICS

SEMINAR DUAL STUDY IN HIGHER EDUCATION – APPRENTICESHIP CLUSTER IN MECHANICAL ENGINEERING AND MECHATRONICS

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.