Interview on Japanese Style Engineering Education with the Technical University of Moldova (UTM)


On April 6th, 2023, JICA Ukraine Office had an interview with Mr. Vitali Gladis, who participated in JICA training course "DEVELOPMENT OF ADVANCED INDUSTRIAL HUMAN RESOURCE THROUGH JAPANESE STYLE ENGINEERING EDUCATION" from 22 November to 17 December 2022. This training course was conducted in Japan.

Mr. Gladis is a head of "Fablab" - the UTM engineering hub, that aims at providing students with practical works and developing programs in engineering fields as part of the UTM. He is a scientific researcher who has over 15 years of experience in practical activities in various engineering fields.

Since the UTM is a leading university in Moldova and one of the key partners of JICA, we asked him the following questions to obtain useful inputs for future cooperation with the university.

- How was the training course in Japan?

The course was very useful and practical for me as a member of engineering education system of the UTM. I was able to learn a lot about the Japanese technical education system and, also, highly appreciated the practical side and visits to other Universities and factories in Japan. Also, visiting the country was an absolutely unique experience, that allows participants to submerge and get to know the culture, the people and the best practices. Also, I really enjoyed experiencing Japanese culture, beautiful nature, and food. Learning new cultures gives us new insights. I appreciate JICA for the great opportunity.

- How would you plan to utilize your knowledge and experience obtained through the training in Japan?

For me, it was particularly insightful to learn about Japanese engineering education, teaching methods, curriculum and collaboration among business, academic and governmental circles. I could see the strong cooperation between businesses/employers and educational institutions. All these are very good practices to take over by our university. Thus, I plan to apply this knowledge in my day-to-day work, and also, try to disseminate and replicate it within UTM, particularly, how to teach engineers, and how to prepare students for actual work by emphasizing on team spirit, effective problem-solving approaches, problem-based learning, and so on.

- Do you have any specific idea about a possible collaboration between the UTM and JICA?

During the course, we were introduced to the ecological security SciLets course, an online academic program designed to teach students about local and global environmental issues and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We would appreciate assistance in following the course, but also, we would desire to cooperate with the course creators to replicate and create a pilot course for Moldovan specialists. UTM under such a scheme could act as a platform for the training of local experts and even transform this into a student course. This would allow students to learn valuable knowledge needed in Moldova and the UTM will be able to issue certificates to them upon the completion of the course.

We appreciate Mr. Gradis for taking his time for the interview. JICA would like to deepen our cooperative ties in various fields for a better future for Moldova.


Mr. Gladis holding the certificate of the training course


Mr. Gladis with his students at a 3D printing laboratory oft Fablab (on the left) and while operating a laser cutting/engraving machine (on the right)

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