EuroFaculty Pskov was an educational development project launched in 2009 in the region of Pskov in Western Russia, close to the border of Estonia and Latvia.
The aim of the project was to upgrade university education in Business Economics / Business Administration at the recently created Pskov State University (PskovSU) which is a result of a merger of five education institutions in Pskov. Before the merger the recipient institutions were Pskov State Polytechnic Institute and Pskov Volny Institute (latter until June 2010).
[Photographs of Pskov by Professor Antti Paasio / University of Turku]
Sweden was the Lead Country for the EuroFaculty Pskov project with a representative from its Ministry for Foreign Affairs heading the project’s steering body, the International Expert Group for the EuroFaculty project in Pskov.
The Lead Country coordinated the EuroFaculty project together with the International Expert Group and ensured that the project was properly implemented.The International Expert Group consisted of representatives of most of the donors to the project.
The EuroFaculty Pskov project was financed to date by voluntary contributions from all the CBSS Member States: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russian Federation and Sweden.
The project implementation was carried out by a strong network of leading universities. The consortium, together with the receiving institution in Pskov, had the task of defining and describing in detail the specific actions that needed to be taken in order to start the implementation of the project.
As a result of a competitive selection process conducted in the spring of 2008, a consortium of six universities headed by the Turku School of Economics (later the University of Turku) had been awarded the task of implementing the project. For the second phase the University of Turku continued as the project leader and other partners include Stockholm School of Economics (Russia, branch in Saint Petersburg), Trondheim Business School, Roskilde University, University of Tartu, University of Latvia and Saint Petersburg State University of Economics and Finance. Other universities as Wiadrina University of Germany also supported the EF Pskov project.
The project aimed at creating a strong network between the partner universities – a network which will stay active after the project ends.
One of the big achievements of the first phase (2009–2012) was to create three profiles for Bachelor level: Credit and Finance, Accounting and Auditing as well as International Business. The consolidation work of the Bachelor level continues during the second phase, but new more ambitious objectives are also introduced: The EF-P project will launch an international Master Degree Programme on Baltic Sea Business which will be the flagship of the second phase. It will serve as a model on how to build a modern, networked, resource leveraging programme of study, very strongly supporting the ideas set out in the Bologna framework in terms of student mobility, international cooperation among universities and with stakeholders in the business environment. The programme is intended for graduate students on a scientific Master level to equip them with knowledge, skills and competencies to improve quality of life and business activities in the Baltic Region and more widely in the Baltic Sea Region. The launching of the Management Development Programme for business managers will be another major endeavour during the second phase of the project. A pilot one-year international Management Development Programme is foreseen to start in 2014. The focus of the programme will be on promoting trans-border activities and developing new business opportunities in and between Russia and other CBSS countries. A multi-partner approach is applied in producing the programme. The EF-P project will also put great emphasis on enhancing regional development through university-led activities. PskovSU can be seen as the engine for regional development of the area. Pskov’s ideal location as a border region will be made use of in cross-border collaboration with various stakeholders. New start-ups and innovation are needed for employment creation and economic growth. The development of the Pskov region will be strengthened during the second phase through various activities, i.e. business support organization, cross-border development, student-led entrepreneurship activities as well as through development of business, innovation and entrepreneurship modules. Throughout the second phase the above objectives will be complemented with development work and support in the fields of language teaching, mobility of students and staff, library and infrastructure development as well as faculty development. For more details please download the description of activities of the second phase.
The Council of the Baltic Sea States decided in December 2007 to launch a EuroFaculty project in the Region of Pskov in western Russia, close to the border of Estonia and Latvia. The aim of the project phase was to upgrade university education in Business Economics at two institutions of higher education, the Pskov State Polytechnic Institute and the Pskov Volny Institute, by curriculum development and through new teaching and examination methods, all aiming at bringing the economics studies at these two institutions in line with recognised international standards. Within the subject area Business Economics/Business Administration, the following set of objectives were defined for the first phase: Curriculum development in order to bring relevant degree courses at bachelor and master levels as well as programs of further/additional vocational studies in line with the requirements of the Bologna process. Provision of a targeted and systematic teacher training in support of curriculum development and more interactive and demanding teaching methods, i.a. the introduction of problem and project-based learning with increased self-study. Improved examination methods to ensure the link between what is taught and how it is taught, and what and how is tested. Creation of a quality assurance system which, combined with support to management, will ensure lasting improvements in the quality of teaching and learning. Provision of additional language training for PPI and PVI staff and students to establish the necessary prerequisites for communication and international networking. Provision of enhanced access to books, journals and other means of communicating research results, including training of librarians at PPI and PVI to be of best possible service to the academic staff as well as to the students. Establishment of a mobility scheme which will give MA and PhD students opportunities to study abroad at donor universities for a limited period of time.
Basing a EuroFaculty (EF) project in the Russian city of Pskov was initially suggested by the Governor of Pskov in October 2003 and first discussed by the CBSS governing body, the Committee of Senior Officials (CSO), at its meeting in Tartu and Pskov (March 2004).
Drawing on previous positive experiences of similar EuroFaculty projects at universities in Tartu (Estonia), Riga (Latvia) and Vilnius (Lithuania) during the years 1993–2005, and in the Russian Region of Kaliningrad during 2000–2007, the CSO commissioned a fact-finding mission, whose report became the basic document underlying a potential EF-Pskov.
The report concluded that establishing an EF-Pskov with three years duration would be worthwhile. It further recommended a joint project involving a state and a non-state institution, naming the Pskov State Polytechnic Institute (PPI) and the Pskov Volny Institute (PVI) as the two most promising targets for a EuroFaculty Project.
In April 2007, the then Swedish Presidency of the CBSS financed a feasibility study, which positively assessed the opportunities for the project. The scope of the feasibility study was limited to the two institutions that were chosen by the fact-finding report (i.e. PPI and PVI). The study defined and limited the project’s subject area to “Business Economics” in the broad sense. On the basis of the recommendation of the feasibility report, all CBSS Member States and three external partners decided to pledge contributions to the project.