The creation of an international course in Biotechnology in English with the participation of twelve European Universities had the objective to create a common mentality in students coming from Universities of different countries. Two courses were developed: one of first level “Job creation oriented Biotechnology” of three years and one master “Biotechnology Medical Application “of two years. The teachers were selected from expert coming from all Europe countries. The project was successfully developed for 10 years in Perugia University and now in Turkey (University of Eirciyes in Kayseri).On the same period 43 modules were prepared for distance learning and are available in the apposite web-site thus permitting to students and workers to follow a great part of the course, In this way we have favoured the diffusion of this project in all Europe not only in the Universities, but also in the enterprises of the sector.
In 1996 a thematic network project on Biotechnology was approved co-ordinated by University of Perugia and during three years an analysis was made on the formation in Europe of this discipline considering how it will be important in order to promote development of enterprises in this sector thus favouring economy and employment. The relevance of this discipline for Europe future was also affirmed in 2000 when it has been established that the economic growth was due to the computer science until this data, but for the next ten year no many new technology can be expected in this sector whereas the emerging area will be the biotechnology.
It was therefore established that during 10 years new innovation and enterprises must be expected in Biotechnology for Europe economic growth. On the same time at the end of our TNP project we concluded that the formation must be potentiate especial as regard the applicative aspect of this discipline and its international participation.
A new curriculum was proposed in which also some disciplines like management ,business and patent law were included in order to prepare students to work in enterprises and to develop possibly their own idea. The course was called Job creation oriented Biotechnology , it was established that official language will be English and students selected by various European Universities may participate. This proposal has been approved by the Italian University Ministry and financed.
The course start in 2000: 12 European Universities decided to participate signing the Statute .
This document establish the objective of creating in the young students an international mentality thus implementing their communication and obtaining a Joint Diploma. Three Committees were established: Teaching Committee formed by teachers representing each participating University responsible of programme, profit of students and of selection of teachers coming from different Universities using Erasmus mobility grant; Quality assessment Committee formed by teachers coming from non participating Universities responsible of formation quality at level of student and teachers including all facilities for course development; Student Committee formed by two students selected in each year of course who can present their problem or difficulty to the co-ordinator who may inform other Committees. The Universities who signed the Statute are Perugia University, Udine University and Lecce University from Italy Gdansk from Poland, Bon from Germany, Valencia from Spain, Lisbon from Portugal, Budapest from Hungary, Prague from Czech, Sophia from Bulgarian, Turku from Finland, Lille from France.
The students follow the courses in Perugia, but three stages in research laboratory of University and enterprise were established especial at the end they have six months for preparing the thesis which must be an original work. The stages are in another country also outside Europe. During these ten years the students went in Canada, United State, in Australia and in other country so this experience was diffused and in some University scholarships were offered to the students since they are appreciated for their preparation. Practically at the end of the course all the students obtain a job in qualified institution. The Joint Diploma was signed by 12 Universities and was given to the students together with the diploma supplement. In 2010 a ceremony was organised in Brussels at the presence of Domenico Lenarduzzi who was the first person in the community who favour the Erasmus programme creation.
The programme was developed in Perugia with success with students coming from various Universities and obtaining some grants for a total of 1800,000 Euro which has permitted to offer some scholarship to students.
During these years other Universities presented to the teaching Committee the request to enter in our Consortium. In these cases teaching and quality Committee analysed the request evaluating structure and competence in this area and the general quality. The University of Eirciyes of Kayseri in Turkey presented an application in 2009 and after the evaluation made during a visit of two members of Consortium the request was accepted. Therefore in 2011 the teaching Committee decided that the course may be open in this University, since as established in the Statute the location may be in every participating University in relation to the more convenient offer. This is also another mean for increasing communication and diffusing experience.
With similar aim we have decided to create an apposite site for describing our experience including the content of our courses. An apposite platform was prepared and some modules accompanied by thirty questions were created. by different experts The modules are now 43 and some are dedicated to the practice describing in interactive way the principal methods of laboratory. These modules are tested on the students of the international courses with success. They are prepared not only for students, but also for workers that need to update their formation. In this way we have also extended our experience to other persons and in particular to the enterprises,
The access to the platform is free, each person can ask the creation of an account and then can choose the modules that wish to study.
The modules prepared by different teachers cover in great part the course of first level and it is the intention of the partner to complete them in order to permit to follow the course at distance.
In fact in 2007 an Association was created (European Biotechnology Thematic Network Association, EBTNA) which will take care of the platform and the diffusion of all activities concerning the course also outside Europe, in particular in the Tempus countries .
The impact was evaluated on basis of interest of Universities also outside Europe and on student participation including the persons who required to visit our platform of ODL modules .
This project is innovative for their character and for the participation of many teachers and students coming from various Universities and obtaining a Joint Diploma. They also disseminate this project in the world choosing the stage in laboratories outside Europe. The fact that these courses will continue in Turkey is a demonstration of the impact of our project and a proof of its sustainability.
The website www.EBTNA.net contains all information about the project and the student curricula.
For the long distance learning the web-site is http://elearning.ebtna.net platform.
For the EuroBiotech project the web site is www.eurobiotechproject.net