Editorial: Academics, programmes, and methodologies for fostering students’ competences
The title of the present Issue is Academics, programmes, and methodologies for fostering students’ competences. The focus is again “fostering students’ competences”, but – given the complexity of higher education systems – “fostering” may best occur if the several involved actors are accordingly prepared and if the many intermediate steps are properly taken care of. In other terms, as we all know, the winds of innovation may follow quite different paths for new implementations and actual improvements, according to local situations, country- and time- priorities and according to the good will of actors. Indeed, the present Issue starts with the assessment made among some U.S. history academics on the impact of the paradigm shift in teaching and learning brought about by the Tuning and other projects. Next, a quite comprehensive overview of the innovative changes occurring in the field Engineering Education in China in recent years is presented (a most important step at discipline and programme level). The following article deals with the challenge of measuring with a compact operational tool the quality of a degree programme and at the same time the quality of its component units (an innovative step for programme planners and evaluators, carried out in Japan). Then, an experience aimed at re-designing a fourth year of the Bachelor of Education in a South African university on the basis of a constructive alignment methodology is described (again a step at programme planners level). The conclusive article in this issue is quite different from the others and deals with the possible global role to be played by universities as institutions for research, education and any other third mission, in our quickly changing world. We hope that the fundamentals extensively described in this paper may start a fruitful debate among readers and potential future authors.
Published online: 29 November 2018
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