The recently launched Master's in International Economics and Trade Policy of Vi core member, Belarus State Economic University (BSEU), got off to a great start thanks to a big helping hand from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) project led by German member, the University of Applied Sciences (HTW) Berlin.
The DAAD Partnership on Economic Development Studies, involving nine Vi member universities, has been promoting graduate teaching and research in the field of international economics since 2009. The cooperation with BSEU has provided training for teaching staff, advice on curriculum design and visiting lecturers for the new Master’s.
“It is good to hear that the seeds that we have tried together to sow become fruitful,” writes HTW’s Jan Priewe. “The initial decision to include BSEU in our network was pushed by Vlasta Macku (Vi’s Chief), and we followed her advice.”
The four fellowships awarded to BSEU lecturers in the past three years were the beginning of very valuable consultations on the curriculum and the arrangement of the educational process. Studying and teaching at HTW allowed members of the team to develop research skills, and collect the necessary reading materials for their courses. It was also an opportunity to master very important communication skills with an international audience of Master’s students.
Each step in our cooperation has contributed to enhancing our knowledge, motivation and confidence in implementing this project, which is unique in our university and in Belarus.
The help of the DAAD Partnership was priceless in the first two months of the programme, as it funded the visits of four very skilled professors from India and Mauritius, who lectured in four courses.
Our Master’s students found the lectures from the visiting professors very beneficial, saying their expertise came through in the content of their presentations and that their teaching style was friendly and clear. Students also said these exchanges are essential for obtaining skills in international communication.
Professors Manoj Pant and Alokesh Barua, of Vi core Indian member, Jawaharlal Nehru University, conducted discussions on challenges of world economic development, and a roundtable with the students and lecturers of the programme November 5-10. The lectures by professors Verena Tandrayen-Ragoobur's and Kheswar Jankee, of Vi core member, the University of Mauritius, used very active forms of teaching, which included multimedia presentations, case studies and many finance-related examples from real life and their international experience.
Having the professors here raised the image of the programme, and enhanced our confidence in teaching in English. We hope we have established long-term cooperation with the professors.
We have also benefited from the assistance of the Vi in the revision of the courses syllabi, obtaining reading materials and Internet resources for the courses and UNCTAD publications for our library, and providing videoconferences with experts. We have found the teaching materials on international economics and macroeconomics issued jointly by DAAD Partnership and the Vi very helpful for two of our courses.