Today, February 23, 2023, the UP Faculty of Management held the Consultation UPFM and, as is the case with all of our consultations, it was an opportunity to present the latest developments at UP and UP FM and to gather together as friends. We have also added some practical content that is useful for teaching. We closed the consultation with a workshop entitled Career opportunity: entering university as a young researcher, aimed at students interested in the research profession and teachers interested in becoming a mentor to young researchers.
The consultation started with a welcome by the Rector of the University of Primorska, Prof. Klavdija Kutnar, and was joined by Prof. Štefko Miklavič, Vice-Rector for Scientific Research and Development, Prof. Michaël Mrissa, Vice-Rector for Internationalisation, Prof. Rok Strašek, Vice-Rector for Economics and Finance, Dr. Boštjan Frelih, Chief Secretary, Prof. Dragan Marušič, Assistant Rector, Aleš Oven, Assistant Rector, and Viljem Tisnikar, Assistant Rector. Aleš Oven, Assistant Rector, presented the European Transform4Europe University to the participants of the meeting because the University of Primorska has realized one of the objectives of the Medium-Term Development Strategy 2021-2027 and has become an associate member of the European Transform4Europe University (T4E), one of the 41 European universities, which are an initiative of the European Commission, with the aim of increasing the attractiveness and competitiveness of the European Higher Education Area in the world. Internationally connected universities form networks that will become the universities of the future. T4E brings together universities from different European border spaces. What they have in common is a focus on students and cooperation with environments that are undergoing major transformations. T4E was founded by seven universities (Saaland University, Germany; The University of Alicante, Spain; Estonian Academy of Arts, Estonia; The Univesrizy of Silesia, Poland; Sofia University St. Petersburg, Poland; Sofia University St. George's University, Poland; The University of Silesia, Poland; The University of St. Petersburg, Poland; The University of St. Petersburg, Poland). Kliment, Bulgaria; The Univesrity of Trieste, Italy; Vtautas Magnus University, Lithuania) have come together with the common goal of "transforming Europe through the education and training of knowledge entrepreneurs" - it is knowledge entrepreneurship that can create new successes and respond to the needs of today's society by bringing together universities acting in a unified way.
This was followed by a presentation of the project "E-Lab for Digital Education (LaDiEd)" by representatives of the University of Maribor, who were joined by the project leader at UM EPF, Assoc. Prof. Lidija Hauptman, Assoc. Prof. Igor Perko and Assist. Nuša Basle. The project is funded under the Erasmus+ programme, Key Action 2 - Strategic Partnerships. The project will last for a total of 24 months, from 1 March 2021 to 28 February 2023. In addition to the Faculty of Economics at the University of Rijeka, the project involves three partners: the University of Limerick with its Centre for Transformative Learning, the Faculty of Economics and Science at the University of Maribor, and the start-up Giritech from Dublin. The project aims to create sustainable partnerships between higher education institutions in the EU in order to strengthen the capacity to implement (e-)teaching and (e-)learning by developing digital pedagogical competences of teaching staff, finding innovative solutions to deliver quality and inclusive digital education, and developing and using quality digital content and modern tools. This objective will contribute to strengthening higher education institutions to deliver quality and inclusive digital education by supporting professors in the development of digital competences and by developing education and training systems to respond to these challenges. The target group is mainly professors who need systematic and quality support to improve their skills and competences, not only in relation to new technologies, but also in the development of methodological approaches so that they understand which technologies and tools to choose for their teaching. By acquiring knowledge on new tools, skills and knowledge to tackle the problems and complexities related to digital skills, the aim is to empower stakeholders to use new technologies and to transfer knowledge to other stakeholders. The long-term benefit of the participating faculties is their adaptation to the real needs of society.
The consultation concluded with a workshop on Career Opportunities: entering university as a young researcher. Everyone's career path is roughly mapped out when they choose their course of study. After graduation, most of us are faced with finding our first job and building our career path. Faculties offer creative, varied and challenging careers in a variety of forms, including as a young researcher. The career of a young researcher has also undergone a number of recent changes. The Young Researcher Programme was discussed by Assist. Jan Frančeškin, and Associate Prof. Suzana Laporšek presented the necessary conditions to be met by a mentor for a young researcher. The workshop was also attended by the Dean of the UPFM, Assoc. Prof. Tatjana Horvat, and Prof. Štefan Bojnec, mentor of Assist. Jan. Other participants of the event included students and lecturers of UP FM, who carefully encourage and guide students through research challenges.
The career of a young researcher has also witnessed a number of recent changes. The Young Researcher Programme was discussed by Asist. Jan Frančeškin, Assoc. Prof. Suzana Laporšek presented the necessary conditions that a mentor of a young researcher must fulfill. The workshop was also attended by the Dean of the UPFM, Assoc. Prof. Tatjana Horvat, and Prof. Štefan Bojnec, mentor of Asist. Jan. Other event participants included students and lecturers of UP FM, who carefully encouraged and guided students through research challenges.
Many students and young graduates find it difficult to imagine the possible career paths and opportunities available to them. To make things a little easier, a young researcher from the UP Faculty of Management, Asist. Jan Frančeškin presented the entire Young Researchers Programme. The workshop gave participants an overview of the possibilities and ideas on how to plan their career. Directions from Asist. Jan's presentations were intended as guidelines that can encourage students to think about what best suits their abilities, interests, and values.
Assist. Jan started the workshop with the basic information and conditions needed to apply as a young researcher and then pointed out that the first and most important decision is the choice of a mentor, who plays a key role in the young researcher's completion of the Ph.D. It happens that young researchers hit a barrier, reach a dead end, and then it is the mentor who guides them, advises them, and leads them on. In addition to the exams that have to be passed in the Ph.D. programme, writing the Ph.D. dissertation is the next big step, as the difficulty of writing the Ph.D. dissertation depends on a well-laid foundation of the dissertation. The latter is based on a good literature review, which helps to get a thorough knowledge of the scientific work that already exists on the chosen topic. A literature review mainly involves searching for relevant sources (books, articles, etc.), assessing the credibility of the sources, critically analysing and evaluating each source, and making connections between them, such as themes, patterns, conflicts, or gaps, in order to strengthen one's overall position. A literature review is certainly not a mere summary of existing sources. It should have a coherent structure and argumentation leading to a clear justification of the young researcher's research. The whole process of writing a dissertation, from its inception to its conclusion, is a long one. First, a dissertation is prepared and, once this is approved, the actual research has to be carried out, after which the writing of the dissertation proceeds. In general, young researchers should be aware that the whole process, although it can be demanding, can be a very rewarding experience. A Ph.D. is something that young researchers will be proud of for the rest of their lives and is an important milestone not only in their academic career but can also play an essential role in other areas of business. A Ph.D. thesis demonstrates the ability to research, analyse and solve complex problems in a professional field. These are skills that are desirable in a variety of managerial and professional roles, both in the private and public sectors. This reflects the ability to plan and implement projects, coordinate with different stakeholders, think critically, and argue scientifically - all skills that are important in managing projects and teams in various fields.
In the second part of the workshop, Assoc. Prof. Suzana Laporšek presented the conditions for a mentor for a young researcher, which are derived from the Regulations on the Preparation and Defence of Doctoral Dissertations at the University of Primorska, valid from 16 June 2021 onwards. She also mentioned the mentoring positions stipulated by the rules of stable funding of scientific research activities at the University of Primorska (2021).
You are kindly invited to see the photos in the gallery.