Project workshops and meetings
On February 19-20, 2018 at the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain, a kick-off meeting for the project 585845-EPP-1-2017-1-ES-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP - "Development of an interdisciplinary master's program in computational linguistics in Central Asian universities" was held. The consortium of the project consists of 12 universities from six countries (EU: University of Santiago de Compostela University of La Coruna, Spain; University of Porto, Portugal; Technological Educational Institute of Athens, Greece; Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland; Uzbekistan: UrSU, SSIFL, A.Navoyi USUULL, NUU; Kazakhstan: A.Baitursynov KSU, L.Gumilev ENU, Al-Farabi KazNU).
The partner universities from Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan emphasized the relevance of the project for both countries. European partners were active, showed a keen interest in Central Asian universities and demonstrated a desire to cooperate. The Steering Committee of the project was defined, it includes one representative from each partner university. The partners of the project were welcomed by Almudena Hospido, Vice-rector for Internationalization and María José López Couso, Dean of the Faculty of Philology at the University of Santiago de Compostela. The meeting allowed the partners to get acquainted personally, to present universities, to coordinate current and prospective joint activities for the project and to envisage partnership opportunities that are beyond the scope of the project.
During the meeting, the coordinator and partners presented and discussed the following issues of the project implementation: Project management, incl. financial management of the project; Quality assurance strategy in two aspects: the quality of the project and the quality of the development of the interdisciplinary master program; Strategy for Dissemination of the project results and Strategy for Sustainability of project results.
The Action plan, approved by all participants of the meeting (3 representatives from each university), defines the nearest project activities, activates the project implementation and stimulates regular interaction between partners. To store and exchange materials for the project, Dropbox folder is used; and since May 2018 - the website of the project will be applied.
From June 18 to July 3, 2018, KSU staff participaited in professional training in the field of linguistics, blended learning, natural language processing instruments for the purpose of development and realization of Computer Linguistics master programme. The training was hosted by the University of La Coruna (Spain).
The training was based on the following educational modules: Basics of learning in virtual environment; Linguistics of English for Central Asian universities; Natural language processing; Quality assurance in European higher education.
In the course of the treining, the above mentioned modules were taught in forms of lectures and practical tasks. The training was performed with the use of Moodle platform, which allowed the participants to activate their background knowledge and absorb new information from the lectures and practical tasks. 7 partner universities took part in training. KSU was represented by Ye. Kandalina, head of International Office and Project Coordinator; S. Zhabayeva, Head of Foreign Philology Department; O. Bizhanova, Senior lecturer of Software Department; M. Kulbayeva, Senior lecturer of Practical Linguistics Department. Upon completion of the training, the certificates of attendance were issued. Also, it was decided to organize workshops for KSU staff (72 days in total) to further disseminate the experience gained during the training.
From 14.10.2018 to 20.10.2018, National University of Uzbekistan (Tashkent) hosted coordination meeting of the project partners. The meeting went in accordance with the agenda containing three main sections. In the beginning, the international experience of realization of educational programmes in the field of computer linguistics was considered. A number of presentations were given on that matter the following participants of the meeting:
- Prof. Zigmund Vitulany, Adam Miczkiewich University, Poland;
- Pablo Gamallo, Santiago de Compostela University, Spain;
- Carlos Gomez, La Coruna University, Spain;
- Belinda Maia, Portu University, Portugal;
- Diana Rakhimova and Gulmira Madiyeva, Kazakh National University;
- Altynbek Sharipbay, Eurasian National University;
In the course of the meeting there were also discussions about development of curriculum of interdisciplinary master programme that is being elaborated within the project framework, and approval of the project realization plan for the period from October 2018 to March 2019. Approval of the final variant of the educational plan on behalf of Kazakhstan was conducted by Ye. Kandalina, project coordinator from KSU.
From 18.05.2019 to 31.05.2019 Adam Miczkiewich University in Poznan (Poland) hosted training course on the international experience of realization of educational programmes in the field of computer linguistics.
The event focused on the following topics:
- Study of the international experience of realization of computer linguistics educational programmes;
- Natural Language Processing instruments, development of language technologies;
- Application of ontologies for study and information purposes;
- Machine translation;
- Introduction to acoustic phonetics;
- Creation of database for multilingual dictionary;
- Turkic and other тюркские и другие agglutinative languages;
- Introduction to wordnet, lexical databases.
This course was visited by KSU staff: S. Zhabayeva, Head of Foreign Philology Department, M. Kulbayeva, Senior lecturer of Department of Practical Linguistics, Zh. Satmagambetova, Senior Lecturer of Software Department. All the participants were presented with certificates of attendance.
On September 26-27, 2019 the second coordination meeting was conducted on the venue of the University of West Attica. The meeting was attended by the representatives of all project partners, and also by vice-rectors of the University of Santiago de Compostela and University of West Attica. Each partner presented report on the progress of realization of the project activities fulfilled. The report of A.Baitursynov Kostanay State University was presented by Yelena Kandalina, project coordinator.
Apart from the individual partner reports, the coordination meeting also focused on the following matters:
- Enrollment of students in the universities of Central Asia;
- Development of the courses of blended learning based on MOODLE platform;
- Development of natural language processing (NLP) instruments;
- Preparation of study guides in the field of computational linguistics.
In the course of the meeting, the requirements of quality provision, administrative and financial matters were discussed. A crucial topic of duscussion in the field of dissemination was a matter of unified approach to creation and publication of video clips.