Features of the Educational Process

Bachalor curricula  and  training programs (in color) (text)
Master degree programs (in color) (text)

    

Studying at National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine has the following training programs:

·         full time (on-campus) education;

·         correspondence education (distant education);

·         external education.

Full-time (on-campus) education is the main form of acquiring degree away from production.

         

Correspondence education is the form of acquiring degree while working and includes, as a rule, two laboratory and exam periods which last according to the Law of Ukraine On vacations from 30 to 40 calendar days. Education management between exam periods depends on individual capabilities and student’s ability to study individually.

Distant education is a variant of part-time education which is based on specific educational technologies with modern methods of teaching and telecommunication devices. The norms used for distant education are the norms of part-time education.

         

External education is a special form of education for those who have definite qualification degree to enable them to get a specific degree by studying independently and passing university exams and credits as well as other forms of testing envisaged by the individual curriculum.

Educational process is a structured system of organizational and didactic measures aimed at performing requirements of a definite educational level according to the state standards of higher education.

Educational process is based on the principles of science, humanism, democracy, lifelong and degree education. It is aimed at bringing up an educated, well-balanced personality capable of lifelong learning, employability, fast adaptation in the conditions of transition period of agriculture and forestry.

According to the Law of Ukraine “On the higher education” in the NULES of Ukraine there is a stage education with the following degrees: Junior Specialist-Bachelor-Specialist-Magister (at the University itself there are Bachelor and Magister degrees). This system gives wide opportunities to meet a person’s education needs and makes education of specialists flexible which makes them more socially protected in the conditions of changing economic needs and labour market. It makes obtaining degree possible in a definite major and is based on definite educational and professional training programs.

The mentioned training system was developed in the NULES of Ukraine already in the middle of the 90-ties after thorough studying of peculiarities of higher education and includes main principles and achievements of our traditional national system as well as Anglo-Saxon, German, French and others. The most important part is that it comprises all educational levels defined by the Law of Ukraine “On higher education” and the Cabinet of Ministers’ regulation “On stage education in Ukraine”.

At the same time, it gives a possibility to integrate to the stage education university systems of the USA, Canada, and other leading countries of Western Europe. Stage system unites the best achievements of traditional national system of education with modern educational systems of universities in the West. Developing this system was supported by authorities and scientists of universities in Iowa and Louisiana (the USA), as well as representatives of the Ukrainian Diaspora in the USA who sponsored the program.

Memoranda on mutual recognition of education systems  have been signed as a result of NULES of Ukraine collaboration with the Universities of the States of Iowa and Louisiana,  DePaul University (the USA), Humboldt University of Berlin, Weihenstephan University of Applied Sciences, Anhalt University of Applied Sciences (Germany), Ghent University (Belgium) and Wageningen University (the Netherlands).

The Laws of Ukraine “On Education”, “On Higher Education”, higher education state standards, “Regulations on Organization of Academic Process”, curricula for relevant specialties and qualification levels are the normative and legal basis for the University training process (Fig. 1.1).

The content of education is a scientifically founded system of didactically and methodically arranged training materials for different educational and qualification levels. The content of education is determined by curriculum, structural and logical scheme of training, syllabi, other normative acts of the bodies of state administration in the sphere of education and institutions of higher education. It is reflected in relevant textbooks, manuals, mehodological materials, didactic means as well as during classes and other kinds of training activities.

Curriculum is a list of normative and optional subjects with the number of assigned hours and the forms of summing up control measures.

Structural and logic scheme of training is a scientific and methodological grounding for realization of educational and vocational training programs.

The content of education comprises normative and optional parts. Normative part is determined by relevant educational state standards, and optional part is determined by Teaching Councils of the University Faculties.

The main normative instrument determining the organization of training process of a concrete training area is a working curriculum realized by the deans of the faculties according to еру educational and vocational programs and structural and logic training scheme. It determines the list and amount of normative and optional courses, succession of their studying, concrete forms of studies and their time amount, schedule of training process, forms and means of current and final controls. The curriculum is approved by the Rector of the University. A working curriculum is worked out for every academic year.

Place and importance of every subject, its general content and required knowledge and skills are determined by a syllabus. For an academic discipline relevant departments work out the working curriculum based on the syllabus and educational and vocational programs that includes presentation of the specific content of the discipline, consistency, organizational ways and scope of study, determines the form and means of current and final control.

The academic process is realized at the University in the following forms: classes, performance of individual assignments, individual students’ work, practical training, and control measures.

The main kinds of classes are lecture, practical, seminar and individual session, and consultation.

Organization of training sessions is regulated by schedule for 2 or 3 semesters and an annual schedule of the training process.



Individual students’ work is a main means for mastering training material at the time free from compulsory classes. The time assigned to individual students’ studies is regulated by a working curriculum and makes up not less than a half of the total amount of the students’ training time assigned to a concrete subject.

Practical training is a compulsory element of a working syllabus to obtain a qualification level, the purpose of which is to provide a student with professional skills. It is carried out at special subdivisions of NULES of Ukraine (such as educational enterprises and research laboratories, modern leading agricultural and forestry enterprises) under organizational and methodological supervision of University instructors and enterprise specialists.

Organization of practical training is regulated by the Regulations on Providing Practical Training for Students of the Higher Education Institutions in Ukraine that was approved by the Decree of the Ministry of Education of Ukraine from April 8, 1993, and the Regulations on Practical Training Centre of Students NULES of Ukraine that was approved by the Rector of the University from November 5, 2009.

Control measures comprise current and final controls. Current control is carried out during practical classes, laboratory and seminar sessions, and is aimed at checking the level of readiness of students to perform a concrete work. A relevant department determines current control form. Besides, according to the module and rating training system requirements, introduced at the University, every module is followed by compulsory control.

            Final control is carried out to estimate training progress at a certain educational level or at different educational final stages. Final control is carried out in the form of an examination or a test in a certain subject in accord with the Regulations on Examinations and Tests at NULES of Ukraine.

            Tests are a form of check success of laboratory and practical work, students learning educational material on specific parts of subjects, performance and defense of course projects (works), passing the training and practice. Taking tests in laboratory work and practical training expires before the exam session.

            Examinations (course examinations) are taken to evaluate students' knowledge of academic disciplines, their ability to creatively use the knowledge gained to tackle practical issues of professional direction.

            Examinations are taken during examination sessions according to the academic calendar of the University and training process schedules.

            The examination results are estimated by national four-point scale –  “excellent”, “good”, “satisfactory”  and “unsatisfactory” and by marks of European Credit Transfer and Accumulative System (ECTS) - A, B, C, D, E, FX, F. Correlation between national marks and ECTS marks is given in Table 1.5. The test results are estimated by national marks “passed” and “not passed” and relevant ECTS marks.

             The student’s training time is determined by the number of accounting units of time assigned for the purpose of carrying out the training program. Accounting units of training time are: an academic hour, day, week, semester, course and year.

            Academic hour is a minimum accounting unit of training time lasting for 45 minutes.

            A training day of the student lasts for not more than 9 academic hours and a training week lasts for not more than 54 academic hours that include auditorium classes – 30 hours (training programs for Junior Specialists and Bachelors), 24 hours (training programs for  Specialists), 18 hours (training programs for Master), the rest hours are for individual work.

            Individual work under instructors’ supervision constitutes 10-20% of the time allocated for auditorium work within the fund of departments, and it is performed on a daily basis after 18.00 (except for Sunday), and on Sundays – in the course of the day. Every pair of classes – both auditorium and individual – is considered to be equivalent to two academic hours.

            One of the training process special features at NULES of Ukraine is module and rating training system introduced for all training courses and all training programs such as Junior Specialists and Bachelors, Specialists and Master Degrees that is regulated by “Regulations on module and rating training system at NULES of Ukraine”.

            Principle of module training is that training material of each discipline according to its content and structure is divided into content modules.

            Content module is a logically completed part of theoretical and practical training material of a discipline and usually includes several lectures, practical (seminars) classes, laboratory work, accounting tasks etc. The quantity of discipline content modules is determined by the University instructor who is responsible for teaching and is approved by the relevant department. Content modules are included into the calendar training plan of a discipline.

             Recommended number content modules of an academic discipline is 2-4 for a semester with their compulsory control. Content module training is held during auditorium classes and individual students’ studying.

            Total training (auditorium and non-auditorium classes, individual work etc.) is measured by hours or credits of European Credit Transfer and Accumulative System (ECTS). According to the recommendations of Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine (order № 812 from October 20, 2004) 1 credit of ECTS equals to 36 hours.

            According to the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine order № 943 as of  October 16, 2009 “On introducing European credit transfer and accumulative system (ECTS) at higher education institutions of Ukraine ” since 2010-2011 academic year 1 credit will have equaled 30 hours.

            Total students’ training for one academic year should be not less than 60 ECTS credits, for a term – 30, and for a period of three terms - 20 ECTS credits.

The University carries out rating grade assessment of student’s knowledge after logically completed part of lecture and practical classes (content module) in certain discipline and for final control. Rating grade assessment of student’s knowledge does not eliminate traditional rating system but exists along with it. Rating grade makes rating system more flexible, objective and promote systematic and active individual students’ work during the whole training period, provides honest competition between students, helps to find and develop students’ creative abilities.

            Rating grade of students’ knowledge of academic disciplines, defence of course projects (works), reports on all kinds of  practice (training and professional), taking state exams, diploma projects (defence of  Bachelor Degree and Master Degree diploma  papers (projects) )  is carried out by 100-point scale.

            Student’s rating of knowledge of an academic discipline consists of training work rating – 70 points and attestation rating – 30 points. Thus, rating of content modules, that are constituents of an academic discipline, makes 70 points. Rating of content modules as well as attestation rating are also measured by 100-point-scale.

            To put a mark into an examination sheet, a record book, a register for rating student’s knowledge, their rating points of different forms of training are converted into national and ECTS marks according to Table 1.5.

 Tabl 1.5. Relation between national and ECTS rating grades and student’s rating 

 

National Rating

Grade  

 ECTS

Rating

Grade  

Percentage of students who achieved Relevant Rating

Grade at European Universities

Determination of ECTS

Rating Grade  

Student’s Rating Points

1

2

3

4

5

Excellent

А

10

EXCELLENT - outstanding performance with only minor errors

90 - 100

Good

В

25

VERY GOOD -above the average standard but with some errors

82 - 89

С

30

GOOD -generally sound work with a number of notable errors

75 – 81

Satisfactory

D

25

SATISFACTORY- fair but with significant shortcomings

66 - 74

Е

10

SUFFICIENT - performance meets the minimum criteria

60 – 65

Unsatisfactory

FX

FAIL- some more work required before the credit can be awarded

35 - 59

F

FAIL- considerable further work is required

01 - 34

 

 Students that got 60 or more points for academic work can get an examination markautomatically” in accord with the points converted into national rating grade and ECTS rating grade given in Table 1.5.

 

 

In case a student wants to raise his own rating and improve the mark, they should pass the semester attestation. The semester attestation is compulsory for the students that got less than 60 points for academic work. A student should get not less than 60 points for each content module and totally – not less than 42 points for academic work to be entitled to pass the attestation.

 

Students that got higher rating for the training period have some advantages of:

·         getting a job after graduating from the NULES;

·         getting a hostel room and a scholarship;

·         choice of enterprises for production and training practice;

·         permission to choose the individual curriculum and schedule;

·         changing their specialization;

·         having an opportunity to practice abroad;

·         having an opportunity to continue their study after getting Bachelor’s Degree.

To improve the mobility of the students and scientific pedagogical staff according to the recommendations of Bologna process, the NULES has initiated the students’ training using English. Most disciplines are taught in English for some student’s groups (Bachelor and Master training) in such areas of training as:

  1. Veterinary Medicine;
  2. Agronomy;
  3. Plant Protection;
  4. Biotechnology;
  5. Ecology and Environmental Protection;
  6. Management;
  7. Accounting and Audit;
  8. Finances and Credit;
  9. Philology (Translation);
  10. Administrative Management;
  11. Geodesy, Cartography and  Land Managment.

That enables the university graduates with good English skills to easily integrate into and adapt to the present national and international job market or to continue their study at the leading world universities and fill in the corresponding job openings in the different international institutions.

Another feature of the university is an opportunity for Junior Specialists to choose a short term (externship) (up to 2 years) Bachelor’s curriculum, provided their specialties are related to the area they study. The areas include 17 training directions.

·            Veterinary Medicine;

·            Forestry and Park Gardening;

·            Wood Processing Technologies;

·            Agronomy;

·            Plant Protection;

·            Ecology and Environmental Protection;

·            Mechanical and Power Engineering in Agriculture;

·            Electrical and Technical Systems of Electrical Consumptions;

·            Automation and Computer Integrated Systems;

·            Transport Technologies (According to the Types of Transport);

·            Accounting and Audit;

·            Management of Enterprises;

·            Finances and Credit;

·            Management;

·            Law;

·            Geodesy,  Cartography, Land Planning and Management;

·            Technology of Production and Processing of Animal Products.

According to the exam results the Junior Specialists are admitted to the first–year students of the certain area of study with short term of training (externship) or at the vacant places of the second or third year of study depending on the academic difference of the syllabus (in that case the training is fulfilled according to the individual curriculum). This system of higher education is in accord with the paragraph 13 of the law of Ukraine “On Higher Education” which was introduced into the University in 2005.

For two consecutive years the university offers the Junior Specialists who study for a Bachelor’s degree, a summer semester. The objective is to reduce the academic difference on the curricula for Junior Specialists and Bachelors to facilitate their further studies at the university.

In 2009 the summer semester was offered to students from 19 training areas who studied 211 disciplines, and 120 disciplines were academic difference. The summer semester is not free. The tuition fee goes to a special university fund.

Of great importance is the new information technology. The computer networks of the University and NULES subdivisions are based on the internet technology and are grouped into a system consisting of 2500 computers, dozens of servers and 14 websites. (NULES website is www.nubip.edu.ua).

NULES has created a training and informational portal using Moodle (Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment) (original Ukrainian version). The portal offers computer training courses for students. The courses are used to find information, organize practical work and independent research, test knowledge as well as discuss issues in forums and chats etc.

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