[ Press Release ]

The first LTT activity successfully held within the DIGI4Teach project

Despite all the challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the first project learning, teaching, and training activity was successfully organized within the project of strategic partnership co-financed by Erasmus+ entitled "Challenges and practices of teaching economic disciplines in era of digitalization" - DIGI4Teach. The activity called Short-term joint staff training - Accounting (LTTA C1) was held at the Hochschule Osnabrück, University of Applied Sciences, Campus Lingen, Germany in the period from 26th to 28th October 2021. The activities were attended by two members of each of the seven organizations involved in the project, which represents a total of 14 realized mobilities, and the activities were also attended by members of the host university.

The first lecture on "Impressions from Covid driven digitized semesters" was given by the Dean of Studies at the University of Applied Sciences, Prof. Dr. Michael Ryba. Afterwards, a lecture on "Smart success and aspects of digitized self-learning" was given by Kathrin Wanninger, a Research Associate from the Learning Center at the University of Applied Sciences. The project activities were then continued with team building, the purpose of which was to get to know and bring together the participants of the activity, held by the professional trainer Stefanie Drees. In the second part of the day, the guest lecturer was Daniel Struckmeyer, a consultant at DATEV eG, who gave a lecture on "Digitized resources in accounting for vocational schools and universities - Status quo and future perspectives“. DATEV eG, among other things in its portfolio, offers software for accounting, personnel management, business consulting, tax computation, office and company organization. After an interesting lecture, the topic of applying DATEV software was continued, since it is also actively used by professors from the University of Applied Sciences. Prof. Dr. Gunther Meeh-Bunse, Local Project Manager at the University of Applied Sciences, Prof. Dr. Marion Titgemeyer and Katja Luer, LL.M. introduced the participants to their own example of practical teaching using the DATEV system through a lecture entitled "Combining accounting and taxation in digitized teaching". At the very end of the working day, the representative of the University of Belgrade, Assistant Professor Dragana Draganac, PhD presented digital teaching methods and tools in accounting that are applied at the Faculty of Economics in Belgrade. The first project day ended with a welcome dinner at the Alte Posthalterei restaurant and an informal gathering of all participants.

The second day began with a tour of the BBS Lingen Wirtschaft Vocational High School. The host was headmaster Heinz Gebbeken who presented examples of practical teaching methods through the digital aspect of modern teaching. After visiting the high school, a lecture on the application of the SAP accounting information system was given at the Lingen Campus by Marianne Hennies and Gladies Merheb on behalf of Refratechnik Holding GmbH. The topic of the lecture was "Corporate Reporting - Digitized State of the Art and Implications for Young Accounting Professionals". After the lunch break, the guest lecturer was tax law expert Tim Lühn, LL.M., on behalf of Volbers Vehmeyer & Partner, a tax advisory and audit firm. The lecture was on the topic "Innovative accounting and tax advisory in Lingen - challenges in cross border (tax) and accounting with special emphasis on IT tools". In the second part of the day, the participants visited the library within the Lingen Campus where the library manager presented the digital aspect of the books and scientific papers searching engine and took the participants through the library. Upon returning to the Campus building where the lectures were held, representatives of the project leader, University of Zagreb, Faculty of Economics and Business, Assistant Professor Mateja Brozović, PhD and Postdoctoral Researcher Ana Rep, PhD, as well as the representatives of the First School of Economics Zagreb, Romana Rusek, MA and Tomislav Polić, MA, presented digital methods and tools of teaching accounting that are applied in their organizations.

The last day of the activity began with a lecture on "Teaching the digitized case study DATEV - accounting for SMEs - Müller & Thurgau" held by Prof. Dr. Gunther Meeh-Bunse from the University of Applied Sciences. Participants had the opportunity to attend and actively participate in the class and, together with students, get acquainted with the accounting program DATEV. In the second part of the day, Aron Rodriguez, Account Manager - Academics and Michelle Karavias, Industry Research Head, from the globally known agency Fitch Ratings and Fitch Solutions, joined the video call from London with the topic “Rating Agencies as Receiver of Accounting Reporting: The Rating Process and the Digitized Fitch Connect Data Base”. After an interesting lecture, the participants visited the TPZ Theater, which was presented by the theater director Nils Hanraets. Participants were also able to hear about theater pedagogy through a very useful workshop that is applicable in all aspects of team building and working with all ages. After an interesting workshop, the presentation of digital teaching methods and the application of digital tools at the Cracow University of Economics was held by Prof. dr hab. Agnieszka Głodowska. The last project activity was in the form of a historical and cultural tour of the city of Lingen, where participants were introduced to the historical culture and heritage of the city of Lingen. The tour was arranged by Kivelinge city tour and farewell, which ended the first learning, teaching and training activity within the DIGI4Teach project. All participants left with a lot of new knowledge, experience and acquaintances that enriched their professional and private status. Also, all participants are sincerely grateful to Prof. Dr. Gunther Meeh-Bunse and his entire team for a great organization and a multitude of activities.

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Transnational meeting within the DIGI4Teach project held online

Within the strategic partnership exchange of good practice, a project entitled "Challenges and practices of teaching economic disciplines in era of digitalization" (acronym: DIGI4Teach) co-financed by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union (Key Activity 2 in the field of vocational education and training), an introductory transnational project meeting was held on 26th and 27th November 2020. Within the transnational meeting, the project framework and course of the project activities, general contractual conditions, financial aspects of grant implementation, and obligations of dissemination of the project activities and results, as well as experiences of the existing use of digital tools in the field of vocational education and further steps within the project were presented. The working part of the meeting also included presentations of experiences of the current use of digital tools in the field of vocational education, the opportunities and challenges of teaching in the context of digital transformation were discussed, and as a result of active discussion conclusions on how to successfully deal with future challenges were presented. Furthermore, the participants were introduced to future steps and activities related to the joint training of teachers involved in project activities that will be implemented within the project. The project coordinator is the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Economics & Business that hosted this meeting. The meeting was opened with a welcoming speech by the Vice Dean of the Faculty of Economics & Business, associate professor Sanja Sever Mališ, Ph.D. and was closed by the Vice Dean, associate professor Kosjenka Dumančić, Ph.D. The Vice Deans congratulated all the organizations involved in this project and wished them a lot of success in carrying out the project activities. The project manager, assistant professor Nikolina Dečman, Ph.D. moderated the meeting, while all the project members from the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Economics & Business team presented the above-mentioned topics.

The transnational meeting was held in a virtual environment via the Google Meet platform. The meeting was attended by the representatives of all the project partners organizations: Cracow University of Economics (PL), Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Management, Culture and Technology (DE), University of Belgrade, Faculty of Economics (RS), First School of Economics, Second School of Economics, and Third School of Economics from Zagreb, School of Economics, Trade and Hospitality from Samobor and the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Economics & Business.

The DIGI4Teach project lasts 18 months and was started on 1st November 2020. The main objectives of the project include: (1) improvement of teaching skills and teaching practices in different economic disciplines with special emphasis pointed out to the era of digitization by sharing existing good practices and analysing use of new digital teaching and learning technologies in vocational education of economists; (2) encouraging digitalization in participating organizations; and (3) increasing students satisfaction with acquired knowledge and skills in developing their own entrepreneurial ideas and better inclusion in the labour market. The exchange of good practice between the project partners is expected to respond to the challenges associated with the use of digital technology in teaching economic disciplines and thus enable students to be more prepared for the challenges that await them at higher levels of the education system as well as in the labour market. Given the set goals, a pleasant working atmosphere throughout the transnational meeting as well as the involvement of all representatives of project partners’ institutions in active discussion, it is expected that the partnership between higher and secondary education institutions will contribute to the development of teaching skills that will stimulate creative thinking and further support the entrepreneurial spirit of vocational education students.

The transnational meeting is followed by preparations for the learning, teaching, and training activities planned for 2021.