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ECTN-1 (1996-2000)

The European Chemistry Thematic Network is a network of over 130 chemistry departments from all Member States of the European Union, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Romania. It was founded in September 1996 and is funded by the European Commission as part of the SOCRATES / ERASMUS programme.

The original aims of the network were based on the outcomes and recommendations of the Erasmus Congress “Chemistry in Europe” held in Lyon, in March 1995. The following topics were prioritised as those to be addressed during the first three years of the network contract :

  1. The Rapid Changes in Safety Legislation
  2. Core Chemistry
  3. Communication and Management Skills
  4. Chemistry and the Environment
  5. Catalysis and New Materials
  6. Post-University Training for Industrial Chemists
  7. Teaching and Learning : Practical Skills
  8. The Image of Chemistry

For each of the above topics, a working group of 6-20 members was established. Membership of working groups provided for a range of expertise and member state representation so that the reports produced by the groups have a true European dimension. The working group reports were circulated to all members and were discussed at annual plenary meetings of the network. The reports and recommendations have been disseminated widely by use of the World Wide Web. They are available on this site, by going to the section on working groups.

The plenary meetings have been held as follows: CPE Lyon, FR, 13-14 June 1997; Rhodes, GR, 1-2 May 1998; Grenoble, FR,  24-27 April 1999; Krakow, PL, 4-7 May 2000; Lund, SE, 26-28 April 2001; Perugia, IT, 10-12 May, 2002; Prague, CZ, 24-27 April 2003; Toulouse, FR, 24-28 April 2004; The next plenary meeting will be held in Thessaloniki, GR on 4-8 May 2005.

ECTN-3 (2003-2006)

“The New Generation of Chemists” project

This new Thematic Network Project ‘The New Generation of Chemists’ has two main general objectives :

  • to provide tools and support to Higher Education Institutions to help meet the significant changes taking place as part of the Bologna process ;
  • to help provide Europe with more, and better trained, chemists.

The main activities and outputs planned to achieve these ambitious objectives are:

  • to play a full part in the second phase of the “Tuning Educational Structures in Europe” project, for which the main objectives are to develop further approaches regarding teaching, learning, assessment and performance and to link up the outcomes with quality assurance; to refine the methodology for measuring student workload; to test ECTS as a tool for curriculum design in chemistry.
  • to determine the feasibility of creating an ECTS-based common framework for second-cycle degrees in specific areas of chemistry.
  • to increase the interest in and understanding of science amongst schoolchildren by assessing the impact of current practices in links between schools and higher education establishments, and identifying and disseminating good practices and materials in this area.
  • to identify best practices in student evaluation of university teachers.

The “Tuning Educational Structures in Europe” group will continue to work in the period October 2003 – September 2004, and in addition 3 new groups have been established. The leaders of these groups were elected at the ECTN plenary meeting held in Prague, CZ, in April 2003 :

  1. Tuning Educational Structures in Europe – Group Leader:
  2. Teacher / Teaching Evaluation by Students – Group Leader: Leila BIROLO, Napoli, IT
  3. Links with Schools – Group Leader: Ingo EILKS, Dortmund, DE
  4. Newly Appointed University Teaching Staff– Group Leader: Paul YATES, Keele University, UK

These groups now have their own web pages on the ECTN site (click on the WG title to access the appropriate page).

ECTN-2 (2000-2003)

A second ECTN project commenced in September 2000, has involved the extension of some of the previous activites of ECTN, as well as the creation of new working groups.

  1. Core Chemistry: Teaching and Learning: Practical Skills
  2. Green and Sustainable Chemistry
  3. Chemical Education using Multimedia
  4. Core Chemistry for the Future
  5. Postgraduate Education and Training
  6. Biological Chemistry
  7. Remediation (environmental)
  8. Industrial placements
  9. Chemistry and Cultural Heritage
  10. Evaluation of Core Chemistry
  11. Tuning Educational Structures in Europe

These groups now have their own web pages on the ECTN site (click on the WG title to access the appropriate page).

ECTN-4 (2006-2009)

“Chemistry in the European Higher Education Area” project.

The fourth European Chemistry Thematic Network project ‘ECTN-4: Chemistry in the European Higher Education Area’ aims to bring together all actors in the chemistry sector to enhance the employability of chemistry graduates at all levels but particularly at the first cycle level; to enhance the professional/generic skills of doctoral level students; to report on and evaluate innovative teaching methods; to develop a European qualifications framework for the chemistry sector; to identify best practices in the creation of study programmes combining chemistry and chemical technology; to create an Internet–based test in biological chemistry; to develop links with other networks, for example through participation in the organisation of the archipelago of science and technical thematic networks and organising a joint summer school with a chemistry research network; to enhance the value of previous Leonardo and Socrates projects involving chemistry; to continue full participation as a core subject area in the Tuning project; and to enhance the public image of chemistry. The project is targeted at all actors in higher education in chemistry in Europe (students, teachers, the chemical industry and workers in that industry, and professional organisations).

The activities and outputs to achieve these objectives are:

  1. A study of the employment of chemistry first cycle degree holders, with conclusions drawn for chemical education policies.
  2. A report on best practices on employability enhancement in chemistry programmes at all levels.
  3. A website for university and industrial placement opportunities for chemists.
  4. Internet-based tests in biological chemistry.
  5. A report on innovative teaching of chemistry.
  6. The development of the website for improving the image of chemistry.
  7. The report on best practices in chemistry and chemical technology programmes.
  8. A series of summer schools for students and recently appointed university teachers.
  9. Participation in the organisation of the TechnoTN forums for the archipelago of science and engineering thematic networks.
  10. Student-led workshops leading to reports on the benefits of mobility in chemistry and on the benefits of chemistry to the public.
  11. The formation of a group of Leonardo and Socrates project coordinators of chemistry projects in order to enhance the dissemination and valorisation of the projects.
  12. The organisation of a conference to disseminate, evaluate, and valorise the ECTN4 project.
    Dresden Final ECTN 4 Conference: speakers’ contributions

SOCRATES PROGRAMME / ERASMUS 3 :Chemistry Thematic Network / 230393- CP -1-2006-1- FR – ERASMUS – TNPP