STARBIOS2 Education University of Primorska

Education and RRI: experience of the University of Primorska, Slovenia

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STARBIOS2 _ UP_ Education
How do you understand Education in biosciences research?

Education is, to our opinion, main link between biosciences research and transfer of obtained knowledge to next generation of scientists. This process is deep-rooted but not necessarily made explicit and it should be exploited much more effectively for the benefit of all involved stakeholders. The best way of enhancing the motivation of both academics and students is linking research and teaching and furthermore transferring this knowledge not only to students but also to broader public.

What are the current standards and actions to achieve better Education in your University and in your country?

Studies at the University of Primorska are based on modern teaching methods and are carried out in various forms, such as lectures, seminars, exercises (field work, laboratories), tutorials and independent study. Teaching and learning processes are based on proactive methods that encourage students to critically evaluate their acquired knowledge and skills and are focused on the integration of education and research. International cooperation and mobility of academics and researchers is one of the basic policies of our University. We also promote mobility within existing schemes (Erasmus+, CEEPUS) and within bilateral agreements on different levels (national, university and faculty).

What are you aiming for with the implementation of the STARBIOS2 actions towards better Education standards for your institute?

At the University of Primorska, we are implementing key actions of the ‘Science with and for Society’ by connecting together researchers, citizens, policy makers, business and third sector organizations. We believe that all societal actors working together could improve Education as well as research at our University. With our activities, we are aiming at better understanding of RRI not only at university level but more importantly at secondary educational level. We are targeting next generation of bio scientists in hope for them to recognize and implement RRI as important part of their future work.

What kind of actions are you going to establish to fulfill your objectives?

We will organize round tables, workshops, thematic lectures, field work activities aimed and prepared specifically for different target groups (High school biology teachers, researchers, students, general public). We also plan to involve in teaching process experts from other fields such as media, NGOs and business. One of the main activity is changing the syllabus of 3 different courses at undergraduate and graduate level, which will implement RRI as part of mandatory basic training for students of Biodiversity and Nature Conservation.

Who is involved, from your University, in the Action Plan in order to complete your final objective?

Main activities are foreseen by STARBIOS2 core team with assis. prof. dr. Vladimir Ivović and PhD student Katja Kalan as leading researchers dedicated to RRI Education key. We are also involving researchers and academics from several departments from the University of Primorska, particularly from department of Biodiversity and department of Applied Natural Sciences, as well as experts from local media (Regional broadcaster), NGOs, Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical, Universida de NOVA de Lisboa and Universite Pierre et Marie Curie – Paris, France (ERASMUS+ project).

Read our previous blog post written by STARBIOS2 partners from the University of Primorska on the topic “Open Access in Biosciences”.