Welcome to the second Newsletter of the Trans2Work project. In this newsletter, we would like to inform you about dissemination and development of activities in the project “School-to-Work Transition for Higher education students with disabilities in Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro” for the period from 15 April to 14 October 2016.
The Project Trans2Work is supported by the European Commission and is co-funded by the Erasmus+ from 15th October 2015 until 14th October 2018.
Dissemination activities of
University of East Sarajevo
The info-day, the first dissemination activity within the framework of the EU project “School-to-Work Transition for Higher education students with disabilities in Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro” organized by the UES team was held on 31th May, 2016 and was attended by around 30 participants. Among them were: students, academic staff, SwD and their parents, representatives of National Employment Service RS, pedagogists from High schools in Pale and East Sarajevo,the leader of the Association for the help to children and youth with special needs ‘Sunce’ Pale, representatives of the Department of economic and social affairs in the Municipality Pale, and their colleagues from the Department of economic and social affairs in the Municipality of East Sarajevo. The info day was organized at the premises of Faculty of Philosophy, University of East Sarajevo.
Objectives of the dissemination activities were:
- Introducing the project to the academic staff, SwD, students, employers, representatives of the state and private sectors;
- Exchange of experiences, needs, and possibilities of connecting high education with job market;
- Continuation of the similar projects already done in UES;
- Initiating the cooperation between national employment services and faculties
The info-day was opened by a welcome speech of project coordinator of “School-to-Work Transition for Higher education students with disabilities in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro” for the University of East Sarajevo, prof. dr Biljana Sladoje Bošnjak.
The first step in organizing this open info-day was to introduce this project to the SwD, students, academic staff and representatives of government and non-government sector, which was done by the project coordinator prof. dr Biljana Sladoje Bošnjak, and a member of the project team, prof. dr Zlatko Pavlović. The moderator of this info-day was a team member, Vera Vujević.
Some of the things addressed at the info-day were:
- Problems SwD face after their graduation, or during their studying;
- Problems their families face while trying to enrol their children at the faculties;
- Collaboration with government and non-government sector;
- Cooperation between universities and national employment service.
Some of the future steps that were proposed and agreed on as a conclusion and guidelines were:
- Involvement of the SwD as active participants of this project;
- Arranging a meeting with employers and SwD;
- Initiating collaboration between faculties, SwD and Center for Social Work;
- Encouraging SwD to accept benefits offered by the Municipality of Pale;
- Promoting this project in the future in order for SwD to benefit more.
Dissemination activity titled “Introducing yourself to an employer” was organized as a workshop with the students and was held on 30th June, 2016 in one of the faculty classrooms. The workshop was attended by by around 15 participants, students, academic staff, SwD.
Objectives of the workshop were:
I Highlighting the objectives of the workshop
II To familiarize students with the basic issues when entering the labor market
III Individual work of participants in group (two of the same task for all groups)
The Joint conclusions (messages)
VI Evaluation of the workshop
The workshop was opened and presented by one the teachers and main objectives and steps of it were addressed. The next step included talks about questions like: What you need to know when you are looking for a job?What are the questions most frequently asked by employers on a job interview?
The third step was work in groups (1 task) – Do you know what questions to ask the potential employer at a job interview?/(task 2) – The most common mistakes when one’s applying for a job.
The final steps were presentation and conclusion/evaluation. Conclusion included six important pieces of advice for anyone who intends to look for a job: Do the research, Focus on your virtues, Do not talk negatively about your former employer, “Embellish” your flaws, Make sure you sound professional, Be calm.
Dissemination activities of University of Sarajevo
Dissemination activity objective – workshop with students, which was realized on Thursday, April 21st 2016, was to develop empathy and awareness of students to identify the needs of persons with sensory impairments, and develop knowledge and skills for educational work with persons with impaired sensory function (vision and hearing). Students have realized the workshops in two parts. They prepared a presentation with the basic characteristics of persons with impaired sensory function in vision, and also hearing, enriched with videos, photographs, didactic and tactile materials, descriptions of specific educational and teaching strategies that can/ should be used in educational work, and various awareness exercise with the aim of training students for educational work with persons with impaired sensory function. Students who participated in the workshop were highly engaged, motivated and actively participated in the discussions after the workshop.
Dissemination activity – Info Day held on Thursday, April 28th 2016, at the Faculty of Philosophy in Sarajevo. Activity goals were: introducing students with the „Trans2Work“ Project, familiarizing students with the activities of the Office for Students with Special Needs (established during the realization of EQOOPP project), and exchanging experiences and challenges in the process of higher education for people with dissabilities and their employment.
Opening and welcome speech was given by the coordinator of the Project for UNSA prof. dr. Lejla Kafedžić, who then presented the objectives and outcomes of the “Trans2Work” Project. The presentation was followed by the speech of Head of the Office for Students with Special Needs at the University of Sarajevo, Mr.Sc. Mirna Marković, who emphasized the importance of the Office as a good infrastructural space for supporting students, but also the importance of strengthening the capacity of the teaching staff at higher education institutions in order to provide maximum support to the students with dissabilities at achieving their full potential. Vedin Hajduković, Professor of Pedagogy in the Centre for blind and semi-blind students, addressed the meeting talking about his experiences during the study at the Faculty of Philosophy few years ago emphasizing all the difficulties and obstacles encountered in the process of seeking employment as a person with a full visual impairment. Experiences and the challenges they face during the education were also addressed by the guests – students of the University of Sarajevo.
Students listened to the experiences and challenges of their fellow colegues with close attention, asking questions, and emphasizing the importance of raising public awareness about the issues of integration of higher education and the labor market for students with disabilities.
At the premises at University of Sarajevo on Tuesday, May 10th 2016 was realized dissemination activity – round table in the framework of the EU project “School-to-Work Transition for Higher education students with disabilities in Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro”. This activity goals were: introduction fo the Project to the academic staff, students, employers and NGO sector, exchange of experiences and thoughts about the need and abilities of connecting the higher education and the labor market, and identifying proposals for actions and measures within WP3.
The round table was opened by the welcome speech of prof. dr. Faruk Mekić, Vice Rector of the University of Sarajevo and prof. dr. Lejla Kafedžić, project coordinator for the University of Sarajevo. The “School-to-Work Transition for Higher education students with disabilities in Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro” was presented by Dr. Lejla Hodžić, a member of the project team, and the experiences from Finland were presented by Prof. Matti Kourelatti and dr. Erja Kautto-Knape. Moderator of this event was prof.dr. Snježana Šušnjara, a member of project team. The round table was organized with the aim of presenting the project to the academic staff, students, employers and representatives of non-governmental sector, exchange of experiences and opinions about the needs and possibilities of linking higher education and the labor market, and in order to identify proposals for actions and measures within WP3. In addition to academic staff and students, the round table was attended by representatives of employers of BH Telecom, the Communications Regulatory Agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Program of Support to Marginalized Groups, and representatives of BiH partners: representatives of the University of East Sarajevo and “Profile MC” d.o.o.
Dissemination activity goals – watching the movie „In Front of the Class“, realized on Wednesday, May 25th 2016, at the premises of Faculty of Philosophy in Sarajevo were: introducing the students to „Trans2Work“ Project goals, acquaint the values that movie promotes, reflect on personal prejudices about the abilities of people with disabilities and reactions on cognitive and emotional level.
To make the tracking of the film and reflection of the same more structured, each student was given a worksheet with the tasks. The most common values that promote the movie, which are led by students, are: acceptance of diversity, acceptance of themselves, do not give up your dreams, understanding the needs, the importance of providing opportunities for everyone, not allowing us to overcome the difficulties, we should not have prejudices, empathy, persistence and perseverance, … The film drew mixed emotions and left many impressions on the students. They felt anger because individuals do not understand people with disabilities, anger towards the father of the main character in the film, a sense of satisfaction because of its success, pride, joy … They were impressed by the importance of family support and persistence in achieving their dreams. The film was stimulating and motivating, it was quite an opportunity for self-observation of personal lives, attitudes and prejudices. “I cried many times during the film…”, wrote one student. “This movie changed me.”
Maribor – Meeting for the Development of activities
Date of Meeting: 19th – 21st September 2016
Meeting Location: University of Maribor; Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Smetanova ulica 17; 2000 Maribor
Meeting called by: University of Macedonia
Facilitator: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Matjaž Debevc
Throughout the meeting following issues have been raised:
- Increasing the familiarity with the project objectives;
- Inform about implemented activities and tasks;
- Inform about produced outputs and outcomes;
- Establish a detailed plan and revise work plans and agree on allocation of tasks and responsibilities;
- Discuss the future procedures, deliverables, steps, and actions to be taken.
The first day of the meeting had begun with Press conference with opening and welcoming speeches, than coordinator of the project Prof. Dr. Lefkothea Kartasidou join the conference via Skype. The conference main outcome was dissemination of the project.
The rest of the day was reserved for WP2 by topics:
- Connecting HE with Work for students with disabilities: performed and planned activities, tasks: Dev 2.1: web-based tool for employers.
- Connecting HE with Work for students with disabilities: performed and planned activities, tasks: Dev 2.2: web-based tool for IwDs.
- Connecting HE with Work for students with disabilities: performed and planned activities, tasks: Dev 2.3: Piloting the web based tools.
- Discussion on WP2 deliverables for implementing WP4 trainings in MNE, SER and BiH, along with setting the content of trainings.
University of Kragujevac presented a presentation on all the above topics witch led to overall discussion among partners „what is the best way to implement all develiebres“. The closing of the first day lead to agreement that discussion needed to be continued the next day.
The second day of the meeting had begun with Meeting participants once again raised questions regarding the dilemmas that are related to WP2. The University of Kragujevac than suggested a workshop on the content for all partners to take part. Workshop had three main topics: 1) mentors, 2) sustainability of the WP2 and project and 3) IT issues related to web tools. We than had a presentation of the each group and overall discussion. The rest of the day was reserved for WP3 and WP4 by topics:
- WP3 Higher Education and Work based learning: Planned activities and tasks: presentation of overall conclusions from WP3 from University of Sarajevo.
- WP4 Training university and non-university staff to support SwD towards transition: introduction to the workshop regarding the content for the trainings, presentation of the first draft of the content proposed for the training – pedagogical, technical and organizational aspect, overall presentation of planned activities and tasks, methods of training, procedure for the train-the trainers program, requirements for the train-the trainers program. Presented by University of Maribor.
- WP4 Training university and non-university staff to support SwD towards transition: workshop on the content for trainings and lecturers all partners have taken part in workshop.
- WP4 Training university and non-university staff to support SwD towards transition: presentation of conclusions regarding the proposed content for trainings, detailed distribution of work among partners, detailed instructions (plan) and providing names for trainees at each training institutions (Annex I). Presented by University of Maribor.
- Discussion on implementing WP4 trainings in MNE, SER and BiH.
University of Sarajevo presented a presentation on the topic planned activities and tasks for WP3 and University of Maribor presented a presentation on all of the rest of the topics witch led to overall discussion among partners and to workshop, the closing of the second day lead to agreement that discussion and workshop needed to be continued the next day.
The third day of the meeting had begun with Meeting participants once again raised questions regarding the dilemmas that are related to WP4. Than we had a presentation of the each group and overall discussion by each topic. The rest of the day was reserved for WP3 and WP4 by topics:
- WP4 Training University and non-university staff to support SwD towards transition: presentation of the content of trainings held in Maribor, short presentation of lecturers of the training in Maribor presented by University of Maribor.
- DISS7 Dissemination: Delivered outputs/ outcomes and next steps next planned dissemination activities regarding the trainings presented by Belgrade Metropolitan University.
- EXP8 Exploitation: Delivered outputs/ outcomes and next steps: Technical part of the deliverables; Use of Accessible data base and website; E-learning seminars presented by University of Donja Gorica.
- Discussion on disseminating trainings within WP4.
The closing of the third day lead to agreement on all of the topics presented this past three days and argument on the next meeting.
Trans2Work Project Workshops at Elearning Conference
The 2016 eLearning Conference (traditionally held for 7th year in a row at Metropolitan University in Belgrade, Republic of Serbia) included presentations on numerous topics, where partners from Trans2Work project also took part in.
The authors of the papers dealt with the following: identification and analysis of employers’ needs, opinions of students with disabilities (SwD) and employees with disabilities (EwD), transition of SwD from HEI to labour market, comparison between students with disability (SwD) and employees with disability (EwD) in RS, BiH and MNE and a technical overview of adaptive technical solutions for D/HH, blind and weak sighted persons. This conference provided an excellent opportunity for the project to become more visible within the international academic community as well as to draw attention to the importance of the problems this project aims at resolving.
More about the conference and the papers can be found at the conference’s website here.