The Flemish Council for Science and Innovation (VRWI) has reflected upon the further development and profiling of the professional bachelor studies at the university colleges, and more specifically on the impact of practically-oriented research in the professional bachelor studies on education and the region of Flanders.
The importance of practically-oriented research for the university colleges is situated on four levels:
- Practically-oriented research results in innovation and valorisation of knowledge in the field of activity. It is better accessible for certain target groups, like SMEs and non-profit organisations;
- Practically-oriented research results in high-quality renewal of education and curricula at the university colleges;
- Practically-oriented research results in graduates with information processing skills and an investigating attitude;
- Practically-oriented research results in buildup of expertise and increased professionalism of staff, while also enhancing the way graduates carry out their professional activities.
In its advice the VRWI requests consideration for the following points:
- Further profiling of professional bachelor studies in the innovation chain;
- Promoting collaboration between professional bachelor studies at university colleges and academic studies at universities in order to boost and close the innovation chain;
- Sufficient scope for research within the professional bachelor studies with differential duties for teaching staff;
- Further elaboration of output-financed practically-oriented research;
- Enhanced collaboration and coordination between the innovation actors;
- Presence of expertise on practically-oriented research in the relevant science and innovation policy bodies;
- The option for university colleges to participate in the FRIS (Flemish Research Information System) research portal and further research into the research reporting requirements by university colleges;
- The adaptation of article 225 bis of the decree on university colleges.