Approching secondary school students through Mini-Erasmus project
It can be said that the Mini-Erasmus project designed for secondary school students is a unique project within Slovakia and represents an interesting supplement in presentation of the university, which results from the specific objectives and content of the project. Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra (UKF) with its ESN UKF section joined the Mini-Erasmus project again in the academic year 2016/2017. Mini-Erasmus took place at UKF in the period of November 20 - 24, 2016 during which university received 16 students from secondary schools in Žilina, Prešov, Nové Mesto nad Váhom, Pezinok, Vranov nad Topľou, Bratislava, Tisovec, Partizánske, Žiar nad Hronom, Spišská Nová Ves and Modra. On November 21, 2016, the first activity day of the project, students were traditionally warmly welcomed at Hall of Constantine the Philosopher by prof. PhDr. Gabriela Miššíková, PhD., Vice-Rector for International Relations of UKF. To this end, students received the exact schedules for three days of lecturing (November 21 – 23, 2016), promotional material of UKF and information about cultural programme which followed every day after lectures as a mandatory part of the project. Secondary school students get assigned one university student tutor for each UKF faculty who accompanied them during stay at UKF, took them to the place of accommodation, lecture rooms and for extra-curricular cultural programmme. During the project, students attended veritable lectures and seminars in the context of the study timetables of subjects taught at our faculties in that time. On the last day of the project they were awarded a certificate of attendance. In the anonymous questionnaires on satisfaction secondary school students expressed their satisfaction level and perception of the involvement in the Mini-Erasmus project and study at UKF. Mini-Erasmus project has exact rules and timing taking place on the same days at all participating higher education institutions in Slovakia and therefore our choice of courses for these students is limited by the period of organizing the project. Students were offered 40 seminars and lectures in four UKF faculties and they deemed most interesting the following lectures and seminars: Advanced web technologies, Theoretical concepts of social work, Methods of tourist guiding, Philosophy of media, The Ancient East, Introduction to Study of English Language, Theory and practice of political issues, Thematic cartography, Landscape Science, History of the world and Slovak pedagogy and education, Theory of education, Theoretical foundations of organization and management of teaching, and seminars of the Department of Journalism. Several students, however, said they would welcome also other courses, and would like to “mix” courses of different faculties to make their own schedule. Also they said they would prefer longer duration of the project, but with a lower number of teaching hours per day. Some students were active during lectures and seminars and used the possibility of direct consultation and discussion with teachers on the course content or study options at the UKF faculty. According to them, the opportunity to consult with teachers should be the part of the project as well. 12 out of 16 students would like to join Mini-Erasmus project again and would choose the same UKF faculty. 13 out of 16 students said they would like to apply for degree study at UKF in the future. We are pleased with interest of secondary school students and are glad that we can approch them also through such an interesting initiative the Mini-Erasmus project really is.