Approximation of Ukrainian teaching methods and educational materials to the modern European standards in International Tourism Economics education
Development of the EU-based teaching standard for International Tourism Economics in Ukraine
Elaboration and introduction of International Tourism Economics Master Programme at three Ukrainian Universities
Type of Joint European Project - Curriculum Development
Project duration - 3 years
Background of the Project
International tourism as a branch of world economy has gone through rapid growth in the 20 th century. In the 21 st century this process is becoming even more impetuous. And currently it becomes a top priority for many countries in all parts of the world. In the EU the funds generated from tourism industry contribute about 5–7% of GDP, whereas in most popular countries for international tourism this contribution is much higher: 42% in Greece , 32% in Spain , 24% in Italy , 21% in France etc. More than 9 million people are involved in the tourism sector in European countries that consists 6% of total working population. Ukraine having great opportunities and unique possibilities for the development of International Tourism sector in place, is falling behind the European indicators, generating 0,3% of GDP with 13:1 ratio between export–import tourist services. Only 113 thousand of people are engaged in tourist sector of Ukraine. In April 2002, Ukrainian government, realizing the importance of development of tourism as one of the main sectors of national economy, approved the State Program of Tourism Development for 2002–2010 years.
The successful implementation of the State Programme greatly depends on meeting the EU standards in the development of human resources involved in tourism business. However, the biggest problem in human resources development in Ukraine is the lack of professionals specially trained for working in Tourism business. New specialities “Tourism” and “Hotel Management” of higher education level have been added to the State List of Specialities of the Cabinet of Ministers only in April 2002. That is why the majority of staff involved in Tourism does not have specialized higher education that would include:
EU standards of teaching International Tourism Economics;
EU based curricula for training Bachelors, Specialists and Masters in International Tourism Economics;
Teaching staff able to provide modern methodology of teaching International Tourism Economics.
In view of the above, if such system of training specialists for tourism sector in Ukraine is not created in the nearest future, it seriously restrains the development of inner and external tourism in the country decreasing the overall image of Ukraine
Ukrainian higher educational institutions participating in the project already have some experience in teaching tourism at home universities within the speciality “Management of Organizations” on the Bachelor and Master's level. However, this experience is quite isolated, based only on Ukrainian peculiarities and doesn't include modern EU practice. That is why the overall objective of the project is to create a system of training of specialists in International Tourism Economics that would largely include modern European experience in this field.
The idea of the project was the result of cooperation between the consortium members.
This project proposal is the second attempt of the consortium of Ukrainian universities to apply for Tempus project in International Tourism Economics within Tempus Programme. Despite the fact that last year the project was not selected for funding and taking into account the importance and actuality of the project objectives for the whole educational system of Ukraine and especially for the participating universities, the project partners have decided to apply once again for the project this year. All comments, recommendations and remarks given by the assessors during the selection of 2002 were seriously considered and included and the project application was substantially improved.
The composition of the consortium demonstrates a comprehensive approach in the selection of partners for the current project. Ukrainian partners represent three parts of the country potentially attractive for international tourism. Zhytomyr represents Northern region of Ukraine, which has favourable countryside for recreation: forests that are largest in Ukraine, rivers and numerous lakes. Zhytomyr ideally fits for agro-tourism. Zhytomyr State Technological University is the largest higher educational institution and train specialists in Tourism (speciality “Management of Organizations”) since 1995. Ternopil represents Western Ukraine, which is famous for ancient cities such as Lviv, Uzhgorod, Lutsk, and also beautiful Carpathian Mountains and Shatsk Lakes. Ternopil Academy of National Economy is the largest higher educational institution in Western Ukraine teaching specialists in all subjects of Economics, Management and Law. Starting from 2003 TANE started to train Bachelors and Masters in International Tourism within the speciality “International Economics”. Kyiv is the capital of Ukraine, main historical and cultural centre of the country with more than 1500 years history. Kyiv International University is a private higher educational institution that started to teach. On the other hand, the EU part of the consortium includes higher educational institutions with great experience of teaching International Tourism and Economics for Masters in their countries.
As it was stated in the previous part of the proposal one of the most urgent and crucial problems of the further development of Ukrainian higher educational system in the field of economics and specially in the field of International Tourism Economics is the absence of the system of training specialists in ITE that is based on modern European achievements. The lack of experience of teaching International Tourism Economics (Tourism as a Bachelor and Master Programme has been introduced in Ukrainian universities only in 2002) only aggravates the situation. So the main goal of the project is to assist Ukrainian universities in the process of approximation of Ukrainian teaching methods and educational materials to the modern European standards in International Tourism Economics education. On the other hand, the successful cooperation of the project partners could significantly help the Ukrainian universities to develop the national teaching standard that will be based on the European ones. In view of this, the first specific objective of the project is d evelopment of the EU based teaching standard for International Tourism Economics in Ukraine. The urgency of the development of EU-based teaching standard is a high priority for the current project and should be completed by May 2005 and Outcome 1 (“ EU based Teaching Standard for Bachelor, Specialist and Master in International Tourism Economics (ITE) is developed”) should be completed. The work on the implementation of this outcome starts with the setting up the Development Group responsible for the creation of EU-based teaching standard. The DG will be set up in September 2004 and will consist of representatives of the partner universities, the State Administration of Tourism, Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine and representatives of potential customers (Association of Tourism Companies of Ukraine).
EU-based standard should also incorporate the analysis of local market needs, Ukrainian legal aspects and practice. The local analysis will be carried out in Ukraine in October-November 2004 and DG incorporating the results of the local analysis and EU experience should present the draft version of the EU-based teaching standard in International Tourism Economics by the end of April 2005. During two-day national round table with participation of the representative of the national educational authorities and large academic community the teaching standard will be presented and discussed. The final version will be issued and submitted to the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine for final approval. The Ministry will then disseminate the results of the work and recommend other Ukrainian universities to introduce the developed EU-based teaching standard.
The second project's specific objective that consortium members plan to achieve by the end of the project is the elaboration of Master Program in International Tourism Economics with EU-based curricula and teaching materials, and the introduction of the developed Master Program in teaching process at Zhytomyr, Ternopil and Kyiv universities. The objective could be reached by the implementation of three major results/outcomes: curriculum/courses/teaching materials development (Outcome 2), retraining of Ukrainian academic staff who will be involved in teaching of Master program in International Tourism Economics (Outcome 3), and one-year pilot program teaching of the developed Master Program by the retrained Ukrainian staff for Masters in International Tourism Economics (Outcome 4).
Outcome 2 “ Curriculum and Courses for Master Programme in International Tourism Economics are developed and a set of teaching materials is developed” begins with setting up the curriculum team in September 2004 that will be responsible for elaboration of the Master program curriculum and main part of related courses and teaching materials. The draft version of “International Tourism Economics” curriculum should be prepared by March 2005 for the discussion on two-day workshop that will take place in at Zhytomyr University. The Scientific Councils of three Ukrainian universities will approve the revised version of the curriculum in May 2005. The state accreditation of International Tourism Economic curriculum will start in May 2005 and should be successfully finalized in August 2005. The academic work on the development of courses starts in the second project year (September 1, 2005) and lasts till February 28, 2006. Four new courses (Strategic Management in Tourism, Hospitality Management, Agro and Green Tourism, Resorts and Sanatoria Services) will be created, four courses (International Marketing in Tourism, Project Management in Tourism, International Service Standards, Advertisement and Publicity Activities in Tourism) existing at the EU partner universities will be adopted to Ukrainian needs, and two courses (Management of Tourist Services Quality, Innovation Tourist Technologies) currently existing at Ukrainian universities should be modernised in accordance with EU standards by the team work of Ukrainian teachers from UKR1, UKR2, UKR3 and project academic staff from EU1 and EU2.
In general the courses development should be finished by February 2006 and further development will be stimulated by the feedback received from the students and academic staff on the third year of the project. The developed courses will be printed out and presented and discussed during the two-day workshop on Course Development in Kyiv in March 2006. The representatives of the partner universities, the State Administration of Tourism, Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine and representatives of potential customers (Association of Tourism Companies of Ukraine), as well as representatives of other Ukrainian universities willing to teach International Tourism Economics at their universities will take part in the workshop.
The development of a set of teaching and learning materials needed in Master Programme in International Tourism Economics, both for academic staff and student, starts in April 2006 and will be finished by the end of the project. It foresees the development of three textbooks for students and ten teacher's handbooks (one for each course). The progress of teaching and learning materials' development will be discussed on two workshops (Kyiv – March 2006, Ternopil – March 2007). All materials will be printed out and e-version will be put in the Internet on the website of the project.
The retrained teaching staff from three Ukrainian universities will play a crucial role in the introduction of the Master Programme in International Tourism Economics in Ukraine at the participating Ukrainian universities. The selection of the Ukrainian project academic staff that will be done in January 2005 should identify 24 teachers (8 from each UKR partner). The selected academic staff will take two-month English language training in February-March 2005. The retraining at the EU partner universities will be done annually for 8 Ukrainian teachers, so to say, all 24 selected academics will take a 2-week retraining either at the EU1 or EU2. Three one-week summer schools organised in Kyiv (1st year), Zhytomyr (2nd year) and in Ternopil (3rd year) under the leadership of EU partners, will strengthen the teaching capacity of the Ukrainian academic staff involved in the Programme.
The created and equipped Resource Centre at each Ukrainian partner university that will be created during the second project year will be important for self-improvement of teaching capacity of the retrained Ukrainian academic staff. The created Centres will be used as classrooms for teaching students of Master program in International Tourism Economics and for carrying out project presentations and workshops.
The opening of World Tourism Organization Antenna in Kyiv in December 2005 will be done with active participation of Kyiv International University. The cooperation with Kyiv Antenna will give a practical element of training of Masters in International Tourism Economics and will assure free access to the last achievements and initiatives in world tourism.
Pilot teaching in Master Programme in International Tourism Economics for 20 students at each partner university (10 full time and 10 part-time) during the third project year will be an important verification of the quality of developed and elaborated courses and teaching materials.
The Outcome 4 “Newly developed Master program in International Tourism Economics is introduced” will start with the establishment of Section “International Tourism” within existing Chair “Management and Marketing” in Zhytomyr, and Chair of International Tourism in Kyiv in March-May 2006. MP entrants' admission will take place at Ukrainian Universities during July-August 2006 in order to start teaching them in September 2006. During one year the newly developed program will be delivered to 60 post-graduate students using elaborated teaching materials. The students' work at the joint Greek-Spanish-Ukrainian venture “Students International Tourism Agency” (SITA) created by the consortium members in September-December 2006 will be the practical element of training of the MP in International Tourism Economics. The running of the SITA will give an exceptional possibility for teachers and students to apply the obtained knowledge in practice. In order to acknowledge MP students with EU experience in teaching International Tourism Economics at the EU partner universities it is foreseen to organise the one-month intensive course for 15 best students from UKR universities at the EU consortium members. The EU universities will award a special certificate on successful completion of intensive training course to Ukrainian trainees. Students' practical placement at Ukrainian Tourist Companies in May-June 2007 will enrich students' Master thesis that should be defended in English on the second week of August 2007. State exams commission at each Ukrainian partner university will include one representative from EU partner that will additionally promote delivering of joint EU-Ukrainian diploma in International Tourism in the future.