DESTIN team from Zaporizhzhia National University successfully approved updated study programs in Journalism

ZNU Journalism Faculty made a step further in implementing a three-year Erasmus+ КА2 project DESTIN. In March, a DESTIN expert panel visited the university with a mission to peer-review the modernized curricula of BA and MA Journalism study programs in ZNU. The panel chair was Nico Drok (President of EJTA/European Journalism Training Association, Professor of Windesheim University, Netherlands), and other representatives were Veronika Menjoun (a journalist and media expert, Fojo Institute of Linnaeus University, Sweden), Marc Schwärzli (expert in quality of education, World University Service, Austria), Kostiantyn Kovalishyn (Ukrainian Student Association, Kyiv) and Iryna Kondratenko (Hromadske Radio, Kyiv). They had a series of meetings with university rector and administration, academic staff, students, alumni and employers, who cooperate with ZNU Journalism Faculty.

After this meetings and studying of the peer-review documentation, the experts provided a detail report with recommendations how to improve the study programs in Journalism. The EU experts mentioned in their report: «International experts of DESTIN project appreciated the work of ZNU Journalism Faculty. They were impressed by the changes the ZNU team has made over the past fifteen months. These changes comprise of actions such as the development of a mechanism for surveying students, introducing/expanding student-centred learning, involving students and alumni in the process of updating programs. They all emphasize the necessity for quality journalism. Having such a common view within the team and together with stakeholders is a valuable asset; it serves as an indispensable foundation for building academic programmes».

ZNU team updated both BA and MA curricula, but the latter one had been changed the most. The previous Master’s program in Journalism at ZNU offered a set of modules that formed a journalist, a researcher, and a university lecturer. ZNU Academic Office approved the updated curricula. Thus, since September 2020, the new program will get rid of the pedagogical component. Instead, Master’s students in Journalism will become media analysts, media managers and researchers. A number of modules in the program version 2020 will contribute to the acquisition of relevant skills and abilities demanded by the society and the labour market. New Master’s Journalism students will experience all advantages of a progressive curriculum. After all, it covers the demands of real and potential employers. The modules form integrated relevant skills in the profession and students can independently choose modules and assess the quality of learning and teaching according to the student centered approach.

The European experts in their peer-review report also provided some recommendations about the internationalization of both BA and MA study programs. They suggested more intensive involvement students into participation in the national and international exchanges and academic mobility. They also advised to broaden geography of internships outside Zaporizhzhia region as well as deepen ties with stakeholders for monitoring the quality of the study programs at the faculty.