Study and Mentoring Programs
Scientific and professional top quantifications are two educational goals. The FNC-Council considers of equal importance for a center specific study and mentoring program.
A major engagement of the Center deals with the development and organization of study programs for master students. Within the University of Bonn it organizes the program ‘DGQ Quality Systems Manager Junior’. It is complementary to other study programs and enables participating students of the university to acquire specific expertise in quality management irrespective of their major study line and background.
Successful participation in the study program is certified by the German Association for Quality (DGQ) with the certificate ‘DGQ Quality Systems Manager Junior’. Certification requires participation in various courses, seminars and exercises that cover several ‘semester’ as well as a diploma or master thesis on a topic linked to quality management. The study program was evaluated and approved by an external evaluation committee nominated by the scientific German Association for Quality (GQW).
In connection with the European project QUARISMA the study program was adapted in 2010/2011 to the new university study organization based on bachelor and master study programs. The new model was approved in early 2011 by the German Association for Quality (DGQ). In the new model the students have to choose the following modules:
- Quality Management in Agri-food Industry including a seminar on the use of quality management tools (180 hours workload, 1 exam, 1 attested seminar paper)
Optional Module (one for selection)
- Cold Chain Management incl. seminar (temperature mapping und innovative tools) and practical training (questions of cold chain management on food of plant and animal origin) (180 hours workload, 1 exam, 1 graded seminar paper)
- Product and Process Quality incl. seminar (product quality management) (180 hours workload, 1 exam, 1 graded seminar paper)
- Seminar ‘Special Aspects on Quality of Products of Animal Origin’ (incl. theoretical introduction) (180 hours workload, 1 graded seminar paper)
- Health and Crisis Management incl. seminar (180 hours workload, 1 exam, 1 graded seminar paper
- Master thesis (resp. final thesis) on a topic relevantto quality management (900 hours workload)
The content of the new courses at master level are based on the requirements of the ‘Competence Specifications 9000 for Quality Management employees’ of the European Organization for Quality (EOQ CoS 9000). Approval by the European Organization for Quality (EOQ) is envisaged for the future within the project QUARISMA.
The study program is principally independent of the study program a student follows within the university. However, participants are primarily students of the diploma programs ‘Nutrition Science and Home Economics’ (EHW), ‘Food Technology’ (LMT), and ‘Agricultural Sciences’ (Agrar) but also ‘Food Chemistry’ (LMC) of the university’s Faculty of Agriculture.
The revised model attracts mostly students from Food Chemistry, from the master programs ‘Nutrition and Food Sciences’ (ELW), ‘Agricultural Sciences’ (Agrar) but also from ‘Food and Resource Economics and Management’ (FRECO). Up till now the program has awarded 228 certificates, already one according to the new model. Over 80 % of the graduates are female. About 88 students are still in the program, and following the new study model (see table 10).
In addition to the national study program, the Center has in cooperation with the University of Wageningen and other European partner universities developed master courses on ‘Quality Management’. These courses are being integrated as modules in master programs throughout Europe and especially in the emerging European Master Programs. For the Center, these modules constitute first elements in the development and preparation of a master study program on quality management offered through the Center.
The Graduates have to possess theoretical and practical expert knowledge as well as methodical skills to be socially competent and to be able for critical and interdisciplinary thinking.
The cross-disciplinary education program is unique in Germany and the entire food chain. Thus, the Quality System Manager junior program becomes a cross-disciplinary interface between the consumer and theproducer, between society and industry. 2013 and 2014 two books were published which supported the students in their courses.
In the quality System manager junior program: there are now more women than man (81% to 19%). Nevertheless, despite remarkable academic achievement and professional ambition, the trend across the institutes is that the more senior the position, the lower is the percent age of female researchers – for women, the way to leading positions in science and research is still strewn with obstacles.
Not only for the FNC - the recruitment of young female researchers and professionals for leadership positions becomes a decisive factor for quality and success. Still, however, there is a lack of role modules and visibly successful careers of women in science. Furthermore women have less access to professional networks than men. Therefore the management board of the FNC established a mentoring program as an instrument to faster equality of opportunities in science and professional life and help female earlycareer researchers to systematically develop skills and competencies as well as appropriate career strategies and goals.
Mentoring means that an experienced person, the mentor, takes a personal interest in a less experienced person, the mentee, provides him or her with experiential knowledge, and the generally supports the person in his or her development. This concept has been successfully implemented in the last years now and combined with the Maria von Linden program of the University Bonn.
Comprised of the elements Mentoring, Training and Networking, the program serves to sustainably support the strategic career planning of female junior researchers. In each of the 3 focus group’s young scientists and networking program. 5 of them (Dr. Ricarda Schmithausen, Dr. Nina Langen, Dr. Jasmin Geppert, Dr. Inga Thiemann and Juliane O’Hagen) are at the same time members of the Maria von Linden program.
Table 10: Overview about the participants and certificates released within the the eduction program‚ DGQ/EOQ Quality Systems Manager Junior‘