Annual Report and Statement of Expenditure

A. Annual Report

1. Activities carried out during the academic year 1994/95

Duration
(from/till)
Activity Ref. Nº
of
activity
Participating
institutions
Place of
activity
Ref. Nº Country
code
Permanent Curricula work: development of curricula, courses and syllabi 1 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 EE,DK,D,F,NL EE,DK,D,F,NL
Jan. 20-22, 1995 Workshop "General Principles of Informatics Curricula" 2 1,2,4,5,6,7 EE,DK, F,NL Tartu (EE)
Jan. 31, 1995 Opening of the CS & IT Education Development Center 3 1,4,5 EE Tallinn/Tartu (EE)
Feb. 95 Equipping computer classrooms: the second instalment of equipment for the Center 4 1,2,4,5 EE,DK Tallinn/Tartu (EE)
Feb.95 - Jul. 95 Teaching and administration equipment (projector, fax, software, security, etc.) for the Center 5 1,2,4,5 EE,DK Tallinn/Tartu (EE)
Oct.94 - Aug. 95 Establishing CIDEC library(ies): buying textbooks 6 1,2,4,5 EE,DK Tallinn/Tartu (EE)
Apr.95 - May 95 Short intensive courses on CS & IT subjects 7 1,4,5,6 EE,F Tallinn/Tartu (EE)
Permanent Training students and setting up international student projects 8 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 EE,DK,D,F,NL EE,DK,D,F,NL
June 95 Coordinating and evaluating meeting 9 1,2,4,5 EE,DK Aarhus (D)
Permanent Administration of the JEP and CIDEC Center 10 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 EE,DK,D,F,NL EE,DK,D,F,NL

2. Project activities and outputs

2.1. Restructuring of existing or creation of new departments/faculties/institutions

Establishment of CS&IT Education Development Center. During the first year of the project the Estonian partners agreed in joint activities of the Center and prepared the documentation for setting up the Center (agreement, constitution, instructions for implementation, etc.) developed during negotiations between the project team and Rectors of Estonian universities.

On January 31st, the agreement of establishing the CS & IT Education Development Center (CIDEC) was signed by Rectors of Tallinn Technical University and Tartu University and the Director of the Institute of Cybernetics. CIDEC was formed as an independent part of the IOC headed by a council of representatives from all three establishing institutions. Dr. Jüri Vain was elected by the Council to fill the position of the executive director of CIDEC..

Main tasks of CIDEC cover:

The Estonian partners have held negotiations with representatives of Estonian Ministry of Culture and Education concerning financing aspects. Tallinn Technical University, Tartu University and Institute of Cybernetics have agreed in paying equal shares to cover the whole salary of the executive director of CIDEC. TEMPUS finances have been used to cover partly salaries of other CIDEC staff, namely an administrator of CIDEC, computer classroom administrators for both Tallinn and Tartu computer classrooms, and CIDEC trustees in both universities.

2.1. Development of curricula, courses and syllabi

Developing curricula principles in CS&IT education.
The aim of this JEP is to start providing euroeducation in Estonia. One place to start is to elaborate ideal and concrete curricula for Estonian universities. There is not a general curricula available for IT & CS in different universities. The present curricula for IT & CS in Estonian Universities is much out-of-date. There is a mess around: different lectures include the same topics, while some topics are not covered at all. The education that Estonian students get is not up-to-date, not enough systematic. Another thing we are aiming to is to make the real IT & CS curriculae in TU and TTU more uniform, so that in the future courses taken in one would be acceptable in the other.

To generalise the know-how from Western partners how to organise higher education in the field of CS&IT an international workshop General Principles of Informatics Curricula was held on January 20-22, 1995 in Tartu, Estonia with participation of all partners and other visitors. Papers of this workshop are being processed to be published in the fall of 1995. They are also available in the form of postscript files on WWW (World Wide Web) - see URL: http://www.cs.ut.ee/publications/GPIC95.html.

Within the framework of co-operation with a Lithuanian TEMPUS S_JEP-06032 "Modularization and Modernization of curricula for teaching advanced Information Technology in Lithuania" (see URL: http://www.soften.ktu.lt/jep- 06032/city/06032.html) Jüri Vain and Jaan Penjam visited workshop and tutorials "The Teaching of Informatics in the Baltic States" that was held in Kaunas, Lithuania on May 25, 1995 (see URL: http://soften.ktu.lt/~tempus/TEMPUS.html), where they could exchange experience on composing curriculae.

In August 1995, Prof. David Gilbert from City University of London, Coordinator of the Lithuanian S_JEP-06032, visited the CIDEC Center gave a talk and presented a paper "Curriculum Development of Modular Degree Courses in Informatics - the Experience at City University".

Prof. Jüri Kiho from TU visited Eindhoven University for 4 weeks with the aim to study general principles of design and development of computer science curricula (with emphasise on software engineering part). The result is a report (in Estonian) containing principles for undergraduate curriculum design in computing, evaluation of the current curriculum at TU, problems and suggestions for balancing it by incorporating software methods and tools, and main teaching methodologies in software engineering education.

Knowledge obtained by all staff members of TU and TTU who have benefited from mobility grants has been used in redesigning different curriculum blocks. For example, this academic year in TU there was composed a new curriculum block for informatics teachers and in TTU the whole baccalaureate curricula was redesigned (Prof. Jaan Penjam participated in the corresponding commission).

Development of courses and teaching materials.
Another function of the CIDEC Center carried out within the project is preparation of new courses in CS&IT and refreshment of existing ones. During the second year of the CIDEC Project the following mobility flows from East to West were planned to prepare or refresh different courses. Here is the list and short description of results.

From TU:

From IOC:

From TTU:

2.3. Intensive courses

One of the most important objective of the Center intended to arrange are the training activities. They are oriented to requalify teachers and graduate and post-graduate students of Estonian universities in the form of intensive courses arranged in Estonia as well as at Western partner universities.

During the second year of the CIDEC Project only the following intensive course and corresponding mobility flow from West to East took place. One of the reasons for that was the delay of funds from TEMPUS and an unsecured stage about being late with the report. Therefore we started to make definite plans too late and were not able to make more arrangements. Due to pluriannual funding we could start planning earlier in 1995/96 and will try to fulfil all postponed mobility flows.

Using funds of CIDEC other than TEMPUS a visit of Prof. Peter Wegner from Brown University in USA was arranged. On August 15th he gave a seminar Object-Oriented Models of Interaction and gifted several materials for the library of CIDEC.

While visiting workshop and tutorials "The Teaching of Informatics in the Baltic States" held in Kaunas, Lithuania on May 25, 1995 Prof. Jaan Penjam gave there an intensive course Visual Knowledge-Based Programming (4h lectures and 2h demonstration) that has been developed within co-operation between TTU and KTH (Sweden). The Lithuanians received course materials and programming system NUT (developed in IoC and KTH) was installed for demonstrations.

2.4. Training of university staff

No direct training activities have been undertaken, but the mobility scheme of the project does contribute remarkably to the training purposes. Staff members of both universities listen to intensive courses organised, visits of teachers to Western partners result in new courses now included to the curriculum. Visits to the West influence staff understandings and attitudes to improve the content and the form of our teaching system. People have started to work more actively on their individual retraining, acknowledged the excellent possibilities offered by the project for these purposes.

2.5. Student mobility

During the second year of the CIDEC Project the following student mobility flows from East to West took place (students were selected on the basis of recommendations from faculties supervising IT & CS studies in TU and TTU):

Within the framework of CIDEC's function to establish conditions for international co-operation with the aim to put up an international student projects one student mobility flow from West to East took place:

2.6. Upgrading of facilities

One task of CIDEC is to provide teaching materials and modern well-equipped laboratories for research and teaching at graduate and post-graduate level. To fulfil this task computer classrooms were established both in TTU and TU under this JEP. During the second year of the project the following equipment was purchased for both classrooms altogether for about 90,000.00 ECU.

The computer classroom of Tallinn Technical University received :

The computer classroom of Tartu University received:

The Software Development Kit for Solaris 2.4 will be used by computer classroom administrators for maintenance of computing environment and by lecturers to teach CASE and OS UNIX courses.

The CIDEC received:

Our aim has been to keep the amount of money for equipment more or less equal and let both universities freely decide on their plan of development considering what they can manage from other funding.

These computer classrooms are and will continuously be used by some students from TU and TTU in preparing their Master thesis and diploma projects. Both in TU and TTU these classrooms are used in lab practices for several courses. In addition some staff members use the computers for preparing course materials.

CIDEC uses TEMPUS JEP funding to employ (cover part of the salaries of) Rein Lõugas and Vahur Kotkas in Tallinn and Toomas Soome in Tartu as system administrators in CIDEC computer classrooms.

In addition a considerable effort was made in the second year to establish library of CIDEC both in Tallinn and Tartu. Books were selected following the principle to have large variety of books trying to cover as many CS&IT areas as possible and have one book in Tallinn and one in Tartu, at least for subjects taught there (some books were of interest only to one of the universities). Also recommendations of partners and visiting lecturers were considered. Books actually bought this year (for about 10.000,00 ECU) sorted by subjects can be found in Appendix I of this report.

2.7. Cooperation between university and industry/public authorities/organisations in the eligible country involved

One of the partners in this project is the Institute of Cybernetics of Estonian Academy of Sciences. In order to integrate the structures of the IoC with Estonian Universities, a Joint Chair in Theoretical Computer Science was founded in January 1994. This year (1995) the CIDEC was established as independent part of IoC.

Due to these unifying activities the IoC and TTU have become very close and the roles in the project have started to interleave. The acting director of CIDEC Jüri Vain (Coordinator of the project from TTU) is working now at the IoC (as the Center is formally the department of the IoC). Jaan Penjam, head of the Software department of IoC and professor of the TTU is substituting him and performing tasks of the project Coordinator when Jüri Vain is unavailable.

2.8. JEPs involving more than one eligible country from Central/Eastern Europe

In the second year of the JEP we have established co-operation with a Lithuanian TEMPUS S_JEP-06032 "Modularization and Modernization of curricula for teaching advanced Information Technology in Lithuania" (see URL: http://www.soften.ktu.lt/jep-06032/city/06032.html). Our IoC representative Prof. Jaan Penjam was asked to act as an external advisor for the above-mentioned JEP. Dr. Jüri Vain (executive director of CIDEC and Coordinator of our JEP) and Prof. Jaan Penjam visited workshop and tutorials "The Teaching of Informatics in the Baltic States" that was held in Kaunas, Lithuania on May 25, 1995 (see URL: http://soften.ktu.lt/~tempus/TEMPUS.html), where they exchanged experience on composing curriculae.

In August 1995, Prof. David Gilbert from City University of London, Coordinator of the Lithuanian S_JEP-06032, visited the CIDEC Center gave a talk and presented a paper "Curriculum Development of Modular Degree Courses in Informatics - the Experience at City University".

3. Project objective

The main goal of the CIDEC Project is to integrate the teaching system of Estonian universities into the framework accepted in EC countries. For this goal it was foreseen to establish a coordinating Center of teaching and research in computer science and information technology (CS&IT) that took place in January 1995. We hope this will join people of different organisations interested in the subject, academic research and teaching staff.

4. Management of the JEP

The Contractor and the Board of Representatives (consisting of contact persons from each organisation) have the right to make necessary decisions and to evaluate the results. They are also responsible for defining the policy line of the project.

In January 1995 CIDEC was established as an agreement between Tallinn Technical University, Tartu University and Institute of Cybernetics. The CIDEC is headed by a council of representatives from all three establishing institutions. Dr. Jüri Vain was elected by the Council to fill the position of the executive director of CIDEC. An administrator (Monika Perkmann), computer classroom administrators (Rein Lõugas, Vahur Kotkas and Toomas Soome) and trustees of CIDEC in universities (Jaanus Pöial - TU and Priit Parmakson TTU) were employed for CIDEC.

CIDEC has its WWW home page - see URL: http://www.cs.ioc.ee/yik/yik.html, where one can find information and links about our partners, activities, reports etc. and has started to issue newsletters - first was issued in May 1995 and second is due to come out in October 1995.

Management meetings of CIDEC are arranged weekly, many management decisions related to TEMPUS JEP are made at those meetings. In addition the Estonian contact persons meet about once a month either in Tallinn or Tartu.

The Board of Representatives of the JEP have decided to do most of the international management via e-mail and during workshops, schools etc. and not arrange just only pure management meetings. So this year most of the partners met at the workshop General Principles of Informatics Curricula that was held on January 20-22, 1995 in Tartu, Estonia, where also project activities were discussed in informal manner.

A larger coordinating meeting planned for this year was replaced with a smaller one that took place in June in Aarhus (AU), where Prof. Jaan Penjam (IoC, TTU) and Dr. Merik Meriste (TU) discussed project activities with Prof. Brian Mayoh (AU). The saved funds are planned to postpone and use for new activities next year (Spring school and workshop on Baltic cooperation of TEMPUS JEPs).

About finances: the rooms, energy supply and most of the salaries of all local teams are supplied by their local organisations (covered in local currency and not included in the Project costs). Part of the salaries of CIDEC administration is covered by TEMPUS. Rooms and energy supply for CIDEC is provided by IoC (and TU - Tartu computer classroom) and both Estonian universities have appointed the computer classrooms to be managed by CIDEC.

On dividing overheads the project's Board of Representatives has decided to use fixed rates that require no more documentation (max. 2.5% of total grant of given year) and divide 4500 ECU between partners in the following way:

AU - the Contractor and IoC+TTU for CIDEC - 1,450 ECU each and all other partners EU, US, UN, and TU 400 ECU each.

5. Impact and perspectives

5.1. Impact

The TEMPUS support was requested for purchase up-to-date equipment for the Center as well as for implementing training and curriculum development activities during first years of the existence of the Center and transferring know- how between partner organisations.

The second year activities have had the following impact on Estonian universities and IoC:

  1. at university level the establishment of a coordinating institution - CIDEC - as an agreement between TU, TTU and IoC (see also section 2.1) and .

  2. a TEMPUS CME project has been prepared in the name of CIDEC to investigate possibilities of establishing a Graduate School (accepted as CME - 01011 - 95 A Graduate School in Information Technology and Computer Science in Estonia);

  3. at departmental level case study of principles of curriculum of CS&IT is starting to show in changing curriculae of universities;

  4. at individual level visits of teaching staff to JEP partners (targeted to course development and curricula work) give excellent possibilities to individual retraining that staff members have acknowledged and started to work more actively in that direction. Student mobility has contributed to preparing a new generation of teachers and researches e.g. now MSc. Varmo Vene from TU attended a study period in US on Functional programming and is at present teaching a corresponding course at TU.

5.2. Perspectives after the end of TEMPUS funding

Partly the financing of CIDEC is coming and will come from founding partners - TU, TTU and IoC. IoC has asked for support to CIDEC from Estonian Science Foundation considering CIDEC function to initiate projects.

The main topics of negotiations held between the Estonian partners and representatives of Estonian Ministry of Culture and Education have concerned financing aspects. The question to include financing of the Center into Governmental Budget from 1996 have been discussed at the level of Ministry, and we have quite realistic hopes to succeed.

Separately, the contact persons of the Estonian partners have held preliminary talks with some Estonian firms (EENET, Assert, Intex, etc.) to integrate them into the higher education development process. It seems that firms have come to understand the importance of co-operation with universities and scientific institutions, and they have developed quite an interest to invest in education.

Involvement of CIDEC in higher education standardisation and quality assessment process is under discussion.

CIDEC has applied to national (e.g. Informatics Foundation) and international foundations to finance summer schools and workshops e.g. to NorFA to finance a summer school Engineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence in June 1996 (no reply yet). At the moment all these possible developments are rather weakly constituted and in their preliminary stage. The actual further development of the Center depends on economical situation in Estonia in the following years as well as on our success in fulfilling the JEP during its first years. The Project team sees it as one of its most important tasks.

There have been plans for CIDEC to grow into a graduate school, which will offer a program for gaining the Doctoral (Ph.D.) degree in Computer Science. To investigate such possibility a TEMPUS CME - 01011 - 95 A Graduate School in Information Technology and Computer Science in Estonia) has been started.

Within the framework of Estonian-Finnish co-operation in Informatics CIDEC applied and received from Finland - Finnish Ministry of Education a grant (350,000 FIM) to support informatics education in universities that is now planned to be used to hire a certain Finnish Professor with experience in starting a graduate school in computer science as a consultant to the CIDEC activities.

In today's prices the maintenance, its structure and working load of CIDEC is estimated to need 375,000EEK (25,000ECU) per year. The maintenance and the renewal of the equipment purchased using TEMPUS support is estimated to need 750,000EEK (50,000ECU) per year. These figures are calculated assuming to hold true when all TEMPUS support has been utilised as it is scheduled in this application and should be achieved by September 1996.

CIDEC has and is going to cooperate with younger TEMPUS JEPs in the same field to disseminate speciality and management experience (S_JEP-07256-94 Estonia: information technology in teacher education and a Lithuanian JEP 09752-95 that has just started).

To put an effort for preserving JEP network in the future via establishing long-time contacts, we intend under our JEP to put up international student research projects (Johan van den Berg's practical placement in IoC was aimed to investigate possibilities for co-operation using Nut system).

In co-operation with Lithuanian S_JEP-06032 (see section 2.8) we are attempting to use arisen personal contact to establish international research projects involving JEP partner organisations. Also we have agreed to disseminate developed course materials between partners of both JEPs e.g. when Prof. Jaan Penjam gave at the workshop in Kaunas an intensive course on Visual Knowledge-Based Programming the Lithuanians received course materials and programming system NUT (developed in IoC and KTH) was installed for demonstrations.

6. Personal appreciation

6.1. Problems

The most hard problem of the Eastern Universities and research organisations still seems to be brain drain. Mobility organised through this JEP has given some members of university staff a chance to retrain and establish personal international contacts. Fortunately this has given a significant motivation besides staff also to some post-graduate students to stay and start working in Estonian universities.

We have not found any effective way to establish motivating conditions for Western people to come and stay at Eastern organisations for longer than 1-2 weeks. We are looking for other ways to give courses - distant courses via computer network and arranging a spring school to both attract more lecturers and make it easier for local students to participate in short intensive courses that are not that easy to include into regular curricula.

6.2. Benefits of EU partners

There seems to be two areas that our western partners can benefit from. First, organising workshops, where problems common also to Western universities are discussed e.g. our partners showed great interest in the problems discussed at the workshop "General Principles of Informatics Curricula" held in Tartu in January. Second, they are interested in learning about education systems in Estonian universities to compare with their own.

6.3. Suggestions

This year we have established tight relations with Lithuanian S_JEP-06032 (see section 2.8). We came up with some ideas how to cooperate to preserve and enlarge the international network of our projects, but TEMPUS rules do not allow us to apply for additional or redirect existing funding to cover such mutual activities (we are allowed to travel only to partners of our own).

7. Individual Grantholder Reports for 1994/95 mobility


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