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VŠB-TUO is the first university in the country to open a Writing Support Centre

VŠB-TUO is the first university in the country to open a Writing Support Centre
VŠB-TUO is the first university in the country to open a Writing Support Centre (WSC), which will support students at all levels of study and academic staff in academic writing in both English and Czech. Through workshops, seminars, and consultations, it will help students gain competencies related to academic writing and writing for publication. It will also offer a helping hand to tutors who supervise students' bachelor's, diploma, or doctoral theses.

WSC will provide activities in cooperation with the Central Library, PhD Academy, and the faculties. Dana Lynn Driscoll, an expert on academic writing and director of the Jones White Writing Center at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, provided the factual launch of the WSC with a series of workshops for doctoral students and academics.

"It is a great pleasure to launch the Writing Support Centre pilot. We are the first university in the country to have such a centre. WSC builds on the successful PhD Academy, and we are hearing that other universities are inspired by our example," said Jana Kukutschová, Vice-Rector for Science and Research.

The Centre will offer support in both Czech and English to undergraduate students who need to acquire skills related to writing term and final papers, to PhD students, and to academics in connection with their publishing activities.

"We will cover not only the actual writing of academic texts but also research ethics, literature search, citations, etc. Our task is also to support lecturers and train other lecturers in supporting the development of academic writing," said Alena Kašpárková, head of the WSC. According to her, the establishment of the centre follows the functioning of the PhD Academy at VŠB-TUO, which is unique in the country but primarily focuses on PhD students. The organizers are also cooperating with the Center for Academic Writing (CAP), which is part of the Department of Language Studies of the Czech Language Institute, Czech Academy of Sciences (CAS), and has been operating since 2011.

"I'm thrilled that universities are realizing the importance of these centres and that they are starting to emerge. Universities need to create their own programmes and tailor them to their students. I am very supportive of this initiative, and I am glad that it is happening at VŠB-TUO," said Kamila Etchegoyen Rosolová, head of CAP.  This centre provides services to scientists of the CAS, as well as to PhD students from various universities who are employed in the institutes of the Czech Academy of Sciences. "We have received very positive feedback. Students know that it is important for them. Our courses help participants write a professional article in English so that it can be published," Rosolová added.

WSC was officially launched at VŠB-TUO by Dana Lynn Driscoll who came to Ostrava after a year's break. During the past academic year, she also collaborated with the university and led the course Writing for Publication: Supervisor/Lecturer Training. She enriched the start of the new academic year and the activities of the WSC with a series of workshops from 19 to 22 September. During the three Writing to Learn workshops, academics learned how they can effectively support their students through writing assignments and formative feedback. Teachers had the opportunity to discuss their own teaching and create teaching materials for their own teaching. Friday's Professional Development Day was designed for supervisors of Ph.D. students and other researchers/educators who are dedicated to supporting Ph.D. students and early career researchers in their publishing activities. The agenda included information on effective practices in supporting students, methods of providing feedback, as well as new technologies including ChatGPT.

Text: Martina Šaradínová, PR specialist
Photo: Petr Havlíček

Created: 25. 9. 2023
Category:  News
Department: 9320 - Science and Research Management and the PhD Academy