Nowadays Ukrainian technical universities together with whole Ukrainian industry are trying to cope with new situation (dramatic fall of industry during 90’s, great changes in the structure of regional industries, another fall in national economics because of world financial crisis 2008, etc) – via introduction of new art-of-state knowledge and technologies into educational process. The problems they are facing are very difficult and a considerable crisis they are going through has two major aspects – (1) low state investment in laboratories and equipment and (2) widening gap and lag in new technologies with industrialized countries. As a result of these difficulties, most courses (especially in micro- & nano- technologies) are now purely theoretical. Most modern methods of teaching are not available to the general university community. Now, four universities that were ranked very highly in the world as recently as fifteen years ago, are in technological decay. The Ukrainian universities have been not considered as subjects of market relations so far. But now the educational market and labour market are considerably unmatched: the educational services fall behind the labour market demands; the sphere of labour and the sphere of education are not coherent from the point of view of regional industry structure. All this influences the condition of educational system, which is still unable to self-perfecting to full extent, as well as the condition of labour market that cannot get necessary specialists in spite of great number of persons with higher education. It is very vital and urgent for Ukrainian universities to bring new state-of-art knowledge and experience from the West and to learn the EU universities experience in the field of interaction with industry. All four universities has a strong theoretical and partially practical background in microelectronics and new information technologies. The primary objectives of our effort are to incorporate interdisciplinary fields, to expose students to recently emerged technology like micro- and nanoelectronics, and to prepare qualified engineers and researchers.

Microelectromechanical systems (called also MEMS or Microsystems) are more and more commonly used in applications ranging from car airbag accelerometers and inkjet printer heads to mobile phone sensors, actuators for telecommunications and Lab-on-chips for chemical or biomedical analysis. While their growing prevalence has generated a strong interest among students from a wide range of courses and the potential employers demand for graduates with Microsystems experience, no universities offer Microsystems courses with laboratory components that provides practical instruction. The development of various Microsystems has resulted in their expansion into many inter- or cross-disciplinary fields, such as optical communication (MOEMS), biological applications (BioMEMS), radio frequency communications (RF MEMS), microfluidic systems like LoC, etc. Even though the researchers involved in mechanical engineering have taken an interest in this field later than that one from electrical engineering, now, the mechanical engineering plays also a key role in Microsystem domain, the same as it does in traditional fields. The movement of mechanical engineers into Microsystems research is in line with the demands of 21st century engineers.

The rapid growth of Microsystem devices put current curriculum into an awkward situation. Some of Ukrainian Universities offers only descriptive courses at undergraduate level, for instance, courses at LPNU, KNURE, DNTU and TSNUK. Due to high demand of Microsystem courses for graduate students, some Ukrainian universities are trying to offer relevant courses at graduate level. Some of them have opened a new program or option, such as, nanotechnology program at TSNUK., and Mechantronics & Embeded systems at KNURE.

Our aim is to restructure the curricula in order to improve the existing state of affairs and to introduce, for the first time, master's level courses in Microsystems Design at beneficiary universities. We would also like to ensure that the new curriculum allows full integration into the European educational space (according to the Bologna declaration), and to join the efforts of colleagues from other departments and faculties at LPNU, KNURE, DNTU & KNUTS in implementing similar methods. These general trends have been identified and tested in the industrialized EU countries.

The idea for the project came from both the applicant - TUL and LNPU. Effectiveness of universities consortium in this project is conditioned on - (1) Poland and Ukraine are neighbors and now their border is border of EU, (2) two countries have mutually understandable languages, joint history and the same experience in post-soviet transformation; Poland is leading the way, (3) TUL and LNPU and above-mentioned departments have long and strong background of cooperation, (4) TUL has a great experience in conducting educational and other sort of transformation, has implemented best EU practices and has prominent partners in domain of microsystems in old EU countries, (5) LNPU has a long-live fruitful ties and cooperation with KNURE and DNTU, (6) LNPU, KNURE, DNTU & TSNUK represents the best technical UA universities and can introduce best practices in education of Microsystems, (7) TUL and EU partners are ready to help and share their knowledge and experience with technical universities from their eastern border.

Main project idea, aims and teaching methodologies have been already presented on the special session of 5-th Int. IEEE Conference "PERSPECTIVE TECHNOLOGIES AND METHODS IN MEMS DESIGN" MEMSTECH’2009 (22-24 April 2009 Polyana, Ukraine). The project idea was accepted, received support from both Ukrainian and European scientists, and presented in the article published in Conference Proceedings.