European Center for Project / Internship Excellence
Funded by European Commission.
In cooperation with Polytechnical University of Porto, Portugal.
Project manager: Nuno Escudeiro
Project duration: 01.10.2011 - 30.09.2014
Project/Internship course units are particularly relevant to engineering degrees. It is through this type of courses that students have the chance to practice their technical skills in a real-world-like setting and experience soft skills that are a key factor for employability. Project/Internship courses might create an environment that is a unique cradle to forge students’ soft skills, such as, team work, communication, initiative, focus. Addressing and improving these skills in students efficiently and efficaciously is seldom done by any other type of instruction. A Project/Internship is probably the most efficient way to improve these skills in students.
There are many distinct flavors of Project/Internship courses throughout the European Higher Education Area (EHEA): multinational teams of students working at their home institutions with a common goal (such as the MUTW), multinational teams working at a host institution (EPS), multidisciplinary teams (University of Minho in Portugal, Fontys University in Netherlands), capstone project courses developed in a company or at a research lab (most engineer universities), small project course units running at the end
of the semester (LAPR course unit at ISEP in Portugal), simple projects (accounting for 6 ECTS, for instance), complex projects (accounting for 20 ECTS, for instance) and many more. This type of instruction is very suited to the Bologna paradigm raising the interest of EHEA players into it. The purpose of the PRAXIS Thematic Network is to set a European dimension to this form of teaching/learning (Project/Internship).
This network is motivated by the previous work of MUTW – Multinational Undergraduate Team Work (www.mutw.eu), an Erasmus Multilateral Project, funded by the EU, running from October 2009 till September 2011.