Orange Educational Program for University of Politehnica Bucharest (UPB) is a partnership aimed at the professional education of students, future IT and telecommunication engineers. It offers three types of educational packages, ranging from one year scholarships to short term scholarships covering the period of summer internships (2 months) or the period for conducting guided research within the company for completing the graduation project (4 months). It is mainly addressed to students in the two departments: Telecommunications Technologies and Systems (TST) and Telecommunications Networks and Software (TNS), but is open to all students of the Faculty of Electronics, Telecommunications and Information Technology.
For instance, in the university year 2018-2019, the program offers a total of 49 scholarships, organized in three educational packages: the first package (10 positions) comprises a 200Euro/month scholarship covering the whole year, a place for the summer internship within Orange’s relevant departments, participation the relevant training and attestation programs within the company, mentoring and support for realization of the BA thesis within Orange Romania; the second package (20 positions) comprises a three-month scholarship in amount of 10 Euro/month, a place for the summer internship within Orange’s relevant departments, participation in the relevant training and attestation programs within the company and support for realization of the BA thesis with Orange Romania; the third package (19 positions) assures the summer internship in a relevant department within the company, participation in a selection of courses and attestations within Orange, and potential support for realization of the BA thesis within the company’s projects. In addition, all three categories are possible candidates for hiring within the company, the first one being considered priority. The selection of applicants for all three packages is made jointly by UPB and Orange and the courses are held at the Orange Training Center.
The Training Center, founded in 2007 within the Faculty of Electronics, Telecommunications and Information Technology, offers a wide range of courses delivered by professionals from Orange and partner companies (Nokia, HUAWEI, ANCOM, Ericsson, etc). Advanced telecommunications technologies, Network Planning and network resources management, Cybersecurity, IT&C New Trends are some of the topics of the specialized courses. The curricula also includes Soft skills training and notions of the Economics of the telecom market which offer students a more comprehensive approach for the world of work. The Center includes a library and a laboratory equipped for applied research.
More than 300 students have graduated the program since it started and a high proportion were subsequently hired by Orange or partner companies. All graduates were rapidly integrated on the labor market within the field of professional specialization.
The case stands out through several characteristics: the learning environment created is adapted both to the requirements of the private companies involved and to the exigences of UPB’s educational standards; the environment thus created is able to facilitate integration of students in the world of work and direct their academic interests towards areas of applied research; the program is a paradigmatic example of cooperation between educational actors and stakeholders and illustrates the advantages of a flexible and personalized approach to PHE, broadly conceived; last but not least, the stimulation of academic excellence through this partnership.
This partnership brings clear advantages to both parties involved: UPB maintains a permanent partnership with one of the main actors on the telecom industry, provides an appealing scholarship program for its students and increases their chances of employability. Through this partnership, Orange has access to a pool of potential employees that are selected and further trained according to their needs, they are strengthening their employer’s brand and maintains a relevant contact with the relevant academic fields. Both parties extend this partnership, on a case-by-case basis, in forms of advanced collaboration for research and development.