The Novo Mesto Faculty of Industrial Engineering Adapts its Academic Programs to the Needs of the Economy
The Novo Mesto Faculty of Industrial Engineering was founded seven years ago based on the economy needs of the Dolenjska region. Today it is accredited to provide educational services for training Masters and PhDs.
The Head of the Strategic Planning Sector, the Head of the Quality Assurance Department in the Podravje region, an Independent Technical Engineer and a Technological Development Designer — all these are vacancies available at the Slovenian labour market for engineers of the mechanical engineering industry published on 21 June on the website of the Novo Mesto Faculty of Industrial Engineering (Fini). Each day, the College promptly posts new vacancies, which are in great demand among employers, available for the industrial professionals that the College is training.
The Dean of the Faculty Vera Smodej does not quite understand, why the Government does not grant licenses for the full-time education in the respective programs. Thus, only the extramural education is available for the Fini students so far.
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The training programs are developed in cooperation with the economy sector
Seven years ago, at the initiative of business executives of the southeastern region, the Faculty was founded by the Novo Mesto Community (občina Novo mesto) and the Novo Mesto Education Centre (Šolski center Novo mesto) since at that time, engineering staff was of high deficit. “The Faculty appeared in cooperation with the economy and for the economy,” Dr. Tomaž Savšek, the Assistant Chair of the TPV Company (Novo Mesto), says. His company was involved in the development of academic programs from the very beginning. “Because the teaching staff of the Faculty consists of experts with practical experience, the study programs can be more easily adapted to the needs of the economy. The Faculty programs, which this year comprise 189 students (100 of whom are the last year newcomers), contain vast knowledge of the mechanical engineering industry, which are mutually intertwined from the pharmaceutical and chemical industries to the process-based management and the automotive industry,” Vera Smodej describes.
This year, the Faculty has managed to get accreditation for training specialists on the Master’s and PhD degree programs. It is located in the Novo Mesto Education Centre. This is the first education centre in Slovenia, which trains specialists from an average vocational school level to the PhD degree.
New industries require new professions
The Centre for Training and Developing Industry Personnel was also founded as part of the Fini. According to its leader Ivan Kralj, the director of a successful Arex Company (the Šentjernej settlement), “Today, our country is in need for specialists of quite scarce professions, including in the Dolenjska region as well. We are talking about working areas for CNC-operators and engineers, for example, in the aviation industry. The needs of the military and civil aircraft industry necessitates the improvement of relevant training programs.”
Two silver awards for inventions
The fact that the Faculty is closely linked with the economy, in practice, in proved by that two of its graduates are among the current GZDBK award winners for the best invention. They are Andraž Gunchar — prize for the development of a pellet heater, and Danilo Marinch, who together with his two co-authors, Master Domen Rajshlem (IKU) and Janez Slugo (TPV), was engaged in automating the process of semi-finished products transportation within the production area.