The design of the project originated in two parallel approaches. One was jointly initiated by the College of Sciences of Poitiers and the ONISEP (French National Vocational Guidance Agency) in response to the growing decrease in the attractiveness of third-level science studies, resulting in the creation of the ‘Vocasciences’ website in 2009, which provides information on existing scientific programs in Poitiers and their career opportunities, and of a ‘career forum’ inside the College, open to students and their teachers. The second one was led by the Council of University Presidents in the Middle East (CONFREMO), and resulted in a joint commitment in 2010 to set up a ‘University Observatory of Careers and Training Programs’. The OIPULES project was the crossroads of these two approaches.
- To create a website to provide information on training courses in each partner University, and on the careers available in each country clearly indicating the career openings for each course. Two academic areas will be targeted, science and economics-management-finance.
- disseminating this tool in secondary schools and higher education institutions, to help high school students better target the University that fits their professional goal and to help university students better understand their university studies.
- to set up a Career & Vocational Guidance Center in each partner University to illustrate the diversity of opportunities in the two areas and to support students in their approaches to the professional world. Administrative personnel will be trained to man this Center.
ONISEP is of course involved as a partner in this grand project as well as two European universities, Iasi in Romania and Coimbra in Portugal. Lastly, the Middle East Office of the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF), also a partner, is very useful in liaising with eleven universities in Egypt, the Lebanon and Syria as part of the program:
- University of Alexandria
- French University in Egypt
- Cairo University
- University of Aleppo
- University of Damascus
- University of Balamand
- Lebanese University
- Saint Joseph University
- Holy Spirit University of Kaslik
- La Sagesse University
- Business School
The program is scheduled to end in October 2014. It should pave the way to many opportunities for international cooperation and co-development in the area of the necessary and crucial professionalizing process for higher education in many third-world countries.