PBLMD Spillover effects

During the implementation phase of the project, a number of spillover effects materialized such as:

  • PBL pedagogical training
  • University autonomy
  • Extra staff mobility
  • BSc in Product Design
  • Inter-disciplinary and inter-institutional student projects
  • New PBL-based initiatives
  • PBL book
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    BSc in Product Design

    Title of the Study Programme: BSc in Product Design

    Level of PBL implementation: Study Program

    Number of ECTS: 240

    PBL:Support didactics ratio: 45:55

    Language of instruction: Ro

    Curriculum/Study Programme development:

    • Study Programme and EU mentoring team: 

    Valeriu Podborschi, Associate Professor, Technical University of Moldova (team leader)

    Maxim Vaculenco, Associate Professor Technical University of Moldova

    Marianne Denise J. Stokholm, Professor, Aalborg University (mentor)

    • MD staff trained in Moldova by EU partners: 25
    • MD staff trained at EU partners (study visits): 2
    • MD staff trained at EU partners (SMS): 0

    Curricular/Study Programme approved: pdf

    Curricular/Study Programme implementation:

    • Students enrolled: 2020 admission
    • MD staff trained at EU partners (study visits): 2
    • MD staff trained at EU partners (SMS): 0
    • EU partners co-teaching, training, evaluating: 3

    Student mobility:

    Autumn 2018

    • N/A

    Spring 2019

    • N/A
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    Extra Staff Mobility

    This extra staff mobility project - PBLMD-TOPUP - contributed to the implementation and sustainability of PBLMD project by offering extra 10 staff mobilities for the AAU team to travel to Moldova and engage in co-teaching, co-evaluation and training activities at newly designed 7 BSc study programs at 6 Moldovan universities. These study programs are:

    • BSc in Business Administration (Academy of Economic Studies)
    • BSc in Software Engineering (Technical University of Moldova)
    • BSc in Industrial Design (Technical University of Moldova/SEED (USAID funded))
    • BSc in Law (Moldova State University)
    • BSc in Public Administration (Balti State University)
    • BSc in Entrepreneurship and Business Administration (Cahul State University)
    • BA in Public Health (Medical State University)

    PBLMD total grant: 25,450 EUR. PBLMD-TOPUP was implemented over a 2 year period. In the first year, the main activities were co-teaching at newly designed BSc study programs; co-supervising and co-evaluating the students; continuous training of Moldovan staff in PBL, student-centered and active learning approaches and methods. Co-teaching, co-supervising, co-evaluating, and training continued in the second year of project implementation. At the same time, student mobility (financed by the mobility tool of the main project PBLMD) commenced during this period, and the above main activities were also integrated and supported student mobility.

    All related activities are integrated into PBLMD Staff Mobility.

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    Inter-disciplinary and Inter-institutional student projects

    Integrating Research Methodology and Design in PBL Education

    Purpose of this inter-disciplinary and inter-institutional workshop is twofold. One, to introduce the importance of methodology and research design in PBL education, incl., group project work. Two, to facilitate inter-disciplinary and inter-institutional PBL group work by bringing the students enrolled at all 6 pilot PBL BSc study programmes redesigned within PBLMD project.

    Agenda is available here.

    Information is available on Project Intranet.


    PBL Inter-disciplinary Project (PBLIP)

    PBLIP builds on students’ experience and taking it a step further. During this PBLIP the students will work in interdisciplinary and inter-institutional teams of 6 (1 student from an MD partner university), identify, investigate, solve and report an interdisciplinary real life problem within the scope of Sustainability Development Goals.

    The following time-table will be followed:

    Feb 21-24: forming groups, identifying project research problems/topics, allocating supervisors, preparing for the project, incl., group exam (BSU and CSU students and staff travel to Chisinau); agenda cane be found here.

    Feb-Mar: intensive project team work, incl.:

    on-line group meetings and supervision

    on-line, at least 2, joint supervision meetings with AAU mentors

    one group face-to-face meeting per team (BSU and CSU students travel to Chisinau)

    Apr 1 by 12pm: submission of PBLIP (electronically via Moodle)

    Apr 11-14: PBLIP evaluation (BSU and CSU students and staff travel to Chisinau):

    Apr 12: Formal group exams: two hours per group; examination team: 2 internal supervisors and AAU mentor

    Apr 13: Project competition (informal group assessment): 30 min per group; evaluation panel: 6 CEOs from Entrepreneurial, IT, Law, Medical, Public sectors; there will be prizes for the first three places

    PBLIP description: available here.

    Summary of PBLIP projects: available here.

    Project competition day:


    • Boris Efimov, CEO, Orhei-Vit
    • Eugen Hristev, General Director, Trimetrica Ltd.
    • Tatiana Petrova, Head of Medical Devices Department, Becor Ltd.; former CEO at Eurofarmaco
    • Dorin Recean, CEO and Founder, PERFORMA
    • Rodica Verbeniuc, Director, The Moldovan Investment Promotion Agency

    Results (70% assesment by judges; 30% - by peers):

    1. 1st place: Group 4 with the project "A study of the impact of social inclusion of 60+ on the development of public institutions"
    2. 2nd place: Group 2 with the project "A study of the impact of biomass on farmers"
    3. 3rd place: Group 1 with the project "A study of the impact of recycling on socio-economic inclusion"
    4. 4th place: Group 3 with the project "A study of the impact of sustainable development in rural areas on the quality of drinking water"
    5. 5th place: Group 5 with the project "A study of envolvement of Public-Private-Partnerships in environmental projects in the context of sustainable development"

    Pictures can be assesed here.

    Mass media coverage of the event:



    Final output: PBL Inter-Disciplinary and Inter-Institutional Project

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    New PBL-based initiatives


    The extension of the PBL implementation was done by implementing the courses based on the PBL at the following programs:

    • World Economy and International Economic Relations (General and International Marketing course, year II, sem. III)
    • Marketing and Logistics Program (The Art of Communication and Professional Ethics course, year I, sem. II)
    • Business Administration Program (all groups) (Fundamentals of Organization Management course, year I, sem. I; Entrepreneurship course, year II, sem. III; Business Culture course)
    • Master's Programs: Business Administration; Management of European Projects; Marketing Management


    The updating the course units curricula and the introduction of the projects to other study programs within the Faculty of Law and Social Sciences:

    • Law (240 ECTS) and Social Assistance (180 ECTS) (Cycle I, Bachelor's Degree Studies)
    • Criminal Sciences and Criminology: Public Administration Management (120 ECTS), Labor Relations and Human Resources Management (90 and 120 ECTS), Supervision in Social Assistance (120 ECTS), Citizenship (120 ECTS), (Master's Degree Studies)


    At the Faculty of Economics, Engineering and Applied Sciences, the syllabuses for the following specialties were modified by introducing the PBL approach and approved by the Senate:

    • Business and Administration (pilot program)
    • Accounting
    • Informatics
    • Engineering and Management in Food Industry

    In all these programs the folowing discipline was introduced: Principles of study by the "Learning by problem research" method (PBL - Problem Based Learning). At the same time within all the mentioned programs were introduced mini-interdisciplinary projects and semestrial projects.


    The PBL strategy was applied (partially or completely) in the Master programs offered at 4 faculties:

    Faculty of Economics

    • Marketing Studies (12 students)
    • Hotel Management, Marketing and Tourism (18 students)

    Faculty of Biology and Pedology

    • Landscape Design and Green Spaces (12 students)

    Faculty of Psychology, Sciences of Education, Sociology and Social Work

    • Organizational and Work Psychology (14 students)

    Faculty of International Relations, Political and Administrative Sciences

    • Public Policies and Services (18 students)


    Implementation of the curricular reform of the study program "Optometry" and modernization of the higher education program in the Republic of Moldova in accordance with the Bologna Process by implementing the PBL methodology.


    Curricula redesigned for 5 Master Study Programs:

    • Information Security
    • IT for Business
    • Information Technology
    • Computers and Networks
    • Information Application Management

    Next steps: At least another 2 study programs to be redesigned: Automatics and Robotics.

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    PBL Pedagogical Training

    To support the development and implementation of the PBL-based BSc programmes, each MD partner took part in the development of internal PBL pedagogical training capacity.

    To support this activity, each university put together a Pedagogical Training Team (PTT).

    These PTTs contributed to the:

    All members of PTTs as well as other academic staff from MD partners took in various training activities 
    organized in Moldova as well as at EU project partners. During the project, the following numbers of MD staff took part in various trainings at home and abroad:

    • MD staff trained in Moldova by EU partners: xx (of whom, xx women)
    • MD staff trained at EU partners (study visits): xx (of whom, xx women)
    • MD staff trained at EU partners (SMS): xx (of whom, xx women)
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    PBL book

    Object in this publication is to explore how curriculum content and learning methods – in this case, Problem Based Learning – are shaped by non-academic, external social and political factors and in particular the extent to which populism and the populist agenda is influencing content and methods.

    Dates: The book will be published in 2020

    Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

    Information: can be accessed here.

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    University autonomy

    Step 1: Derogation request

    • Derogation letter to the Minister of Education (En/Ro)
    • Response from the Minster of Education (Ro)


    Step 2: Evaluation of Education Framework


    Step 3: Proposal for a new Framework Plan for Higher Education


    Step 4: Ministry of Education revised Framework Plan for Higher Education

    This draft has not yet been approved (as of Feb 2019); however, it only partially takes into account the changes proposed above (see Steps 1-3), thus still restricting university autonomy, especially academic autonomy.

    Revised Framework Plan Feb 2019

    Explanatory Note