UPPScience Project 2016-2019
UPPScience is a Strategic Partnership for Vocational Schools. The partnership is made up of 21 universities, schools, education authorities and other organisations from 9 countries under the leadership of the Norges Teknik-Naturvitenskapelige Universitet of Norway. UPPScience stands for Using Profiling and Publishing for the upping of Scientific Approaches. It builds on the success of the VISConti project and widens the scope and functions of the Community of Practice that was created in VISConti. It brings together professionals from management of vocational education and training and students from early Higher Education into one Community that will be a platform for publishing of small research projects through an intensive exchange by way of peer review and mentoring.
The project is in part financed by the European Commission under the Erasmus+ funding programme.
UPPScience falls squarely within EU strategies for fostering research, better quality education and a stronger European Research Area. It will build on a Community of Practice (CoP) for managers, teachers and trainers of STEM and IT subjects in Vocational Education and Training (VET) that has been successfully initiated in a previous Erasmus+ KA2 Strategic Partnership for VET called VISConti.
UPPScience will create a CoP with a larger active membership than VISConti, including students in undergraduate HE. It will increase cross border cooperation around the use of professional profiling, research and publishing as a strategy for upping the quality of, and bringing a more scientific approach to VET. It will support participants in the augmented CoP with four training activities in which they will receive training in research methodologies, innovation and creativity. They will be encouraged to push their own boundaries outside their usual comfort zone and to bring in their colleagues and peers through leadership by example. Every partner organisation will appoint an Ambassador of Change to promote the benefits of UPPScience and to catalyse the adoption of UPPScience methodology as a quality and internationalisation strategy within their own institutions.
The project will help the target groups within the CoP and their colleagues and peers within VET and HE in general overcome the perception that research is exclusively for the academic professions and researchers. It will help players in education and industry overcome their inhibitions and to engage in research and publishing, through small but high quality initiatives in this area, within a safe but rigorous environment. During the project lifetime, the members of the CoP will produce a minimum of 150 research projects and publications that will all be subject to peer review by at least two other members of the CoP. This will be supported by a web-based virtual work space, enabling the building and functioning of an active community without borders.
UPPScience will thus use professional profiling as a strategy for better quality education and better employability of managers, teachers and trainers in VET. It will also enable HE students in the first years of study to further their professional training and to engage in research in topics pertaining to STEM, IT and areas such as sociology, economics and fields affected by or that have an effect on the world of science. These two target groups will work, collaborate and operate as a CoP that has as its objective the attainment of new or better standards in education and training. Science professionals will also take part in the CoP activities to ensure high standards of rigour and state of the art thinking.
The partnership is made up of 22 organisations including 3 Universities, 7 VET schools, 6 High Schools, 3 Civil Society Organisations , 2 NGOs working in the field of education and 1 private company. The partnership represents 9 countries with the widest possible EU wide spread, and 1 partner from the Palestinian Authority.
There will be 5 multiplier events in 4 countries as outreach activities for decision makers and potential beneficiaries from outside the partnership.