Methodological Approach

The PERSEUS action aims at defining and implementing a staged accreditation system for aerospace related higher education degrees, as a tool for improvement and harmonization of the EU education in the sector. Harmonization is intended on the basis of quality of the processes and sharing of the learning objectives. Overall, once the full accreditation system is proposed, measures for allowing some intermediate stages of accreditation will be proposed, to stimulate all the EU curricula to improve in the direction of the full accreditation, thus implementing a continuous improvement loop. The work plan of the project is composed of three sequential phases:

Phase 1: The first phase (involving work packages 2, 3 & 4) is a conception phase. The first task will be the analysis of the current situation in the EU regarding existing aerospace curricula and the quality measures foreseen in the member states. This task will also identify options for complementary actions specific for the aerospace sector, to be included as a sectorial accreditation scheme. In parallel, the required learning outcomes and competence profiles for aero-engineering curricula will be identified looking at the tendencies and needs of the job market. A third task, completing the conception phase, will be the proposition for aerospace specific accreditation criteria that would complement the existing European, national or regional accreditation systems for engineering education. These criteria should build on existing accreditation criteria and mechanisms and be, as much as possible, compatible with existing national processes, to avoid duplication of administrative efforts on the University side. The criteria should in fact be designed in such a way to show the compatibility of the learning outcomes offered by the degrees and the employability of the graduates. The criteria should also allow a sort of classification of the skills according to their relevance for the job market, allowing for a staged accreditation system, thereby gradually enhancing the quality level of the higher education degrees.

Phase 2: The second phase (involving work package 5) is an implementation phase. The procedures identified in Phase 1 will be tested on 6 aerospace curricula, from different EU countries. The Universities on which the testing will be performed will be selected also on the basis of the dimension of the aerospace curricula, in terms of students and on the international ranking of the Universities, in order to show the applicability to very different situations. The presence in the consortium of Universities from the PEGASUS network and EASN allows having an extremely solid set of Universities on which to leverage for the accomplishment of this activity. All together, the two networks cover all EU Universities active in the aerospace education.

Phase 3: The third phase (involving work packages 6 & 7) is a refinement phase. The initial expectations identified in Phase 1 are compared to the results achieved in Phase 2. The comparison will lead to two different kinds of suggestions. A first set of suggestions concern the update of the proposed processes, to lead to a final proposal for the EU regarding the sectorial accreditation of aerospace curricula. A second set of suggestions will look at harmonizing the curricula and developing knowledge and emerging technologies as well as facilitating students’ exchanges across the EU.

In parallel to the three phases, constant dedicated outreach, networking and dissemination activities will be organised and performed.

The project will end with a Final Conference organized in Brussels. This final event, where the results and conclusions of the project will be presented, will be open to any interested participant, to promote the best practices identified.