NESTet 2021

Obsah obrázku text, vizitka

Popis byl vytvořen automaticky

I am very happy I could participate in this year’s NESTet conference. The beautiful city centre of Brussels provided an exceptional setting for the event, which was held on November 15, 16 and 17. More than 100 speakers, panellists and observes from 20 countries attended the conference in a hybrid format, combining in-person and virtual participation. The excellent organisation and enthusiasm of all participants contributed to the conference’s success.

The NESTet opened with introductory words of keynote speakers, representatives of the European Commission, IAEA, OECD/NEA, World Nuclear Association and Nuclear Energy Institute. As the opening session’s chair, Mr Leon Cizelj said: “The world is resting on the shoulders of young people.” He thus emphasised the importance of all the topics discussed. Generally, there was agreement among the conference participants that the actions taken for attracting, training and retaining workforce in the nuclear industry have far-reaching significance. However, particularly during these challenging times of the Covid-19 pandemic, transferring knowledge and know-how to youngsters became highly complicated. 

Throughout the first conference day, speakers discussed current challenges in nuclear education. The contributions assigned to changing skills for a changing world started with an introduction of the IYNC Thermometer Project, which aims to understand the opinions of the young generation of nuclear professionals. Later, another presentation focused on skill shift, automation and the future of the workforce. We learned several inspiring views on digital technologies and knowledge sharing, making education more manageable and accessible. Finally, the last discussed topic of the day was the role of branding in promoting careers. It seems that brand image is one of the critical roles for job applicants. It is essential to highlight the importance of the nuclear field concerning climate change. Nowadays, we are all attracted and united by fighting global warming and looking for a better future.

The following day of the conference was likewise full of compelling insights. Two parallel sessions focused on teaching in times of Covid-19 and innovative pedagogical approaches. Speakers reviewed the efforts and initiatives of several institutions worldwide. Nowadays, institutions have a unique opportunity for flexible communication supported by digital technologies. However, the debate about virtualised education showed also negative aspects of remote teaching since students become less focused and engaged during the lectures. Another session described the area of nuclear authorities’ support for education programmes and the European comprehensive strategic plan for nuclear learning, training and knowledge management.

The after-lunch sessions were dedicated to poster presentations and in parallel to capacity building, including skills and competencies. During the subsequent panel on psychology in times of crisis, feature speakers shared many valuable suggestions to deal with the psychological and emotional impact of a pandemic on nuclear professionals. The end section followed the panel from the previous day. It introduced innovative approaches to training young nuclear professionals, combining new technologies and interactive environments to deliver authentic and flexible learning to students. In addition, specific projects have been launched throughout the pandemic to provide remote teaching, yet also experimental work. The second day of the conference ended with a great dinner in the heart of the city centre. The joint evening enabled further discussions and networking.

The last day’s programme continued with the interactive workshop on the EHRO-N job classification in the nuclear sector and modern teaching approaches. In addition, the following panels were focused on capacity building, networking and creating international relations, and leadership training. The conference was eventually closed by Prof. Gabriel-Lazaro Pavel, an executive director at European Nuclear Education Network. He summarised the main outlines of the meeting and emphasised the significance of the problems discussed.

Overall, in my view, the NESTet conference was an incredible experience, which provided me with an uplifting perspective on education and my future career. Above all, it enabled me to meet many inspiring people in my field. I appreciate participating and thank organisers and the European Nuclear Society Young Generation Network for this opportunity.

Adéla Chalupová