News

Third OpenU High-Level Authorities Meeting (Portugal)

The OpenU project’s third High-Level Authorities Meeting focused on the topic of Inclusive (digital) higher education. Hosted by the Portuguese Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education’s (MCTES) Direção-Geral do Ensino Superior (DGES), the event took place in the context of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the EU.

Taking up the Presidency motto “Time to deliver: a fair, green and digital recovery”, experts from Portugal discussed with the OpenU Policy Cluster partners how the OpenU project can contribute to a fair and inclusive digital transition in the specific context of European higher education.

Presentations focused on Portuguese policies – on the national initiative INCoDe.2030 with a specific action on inclusion, and the Erasmus+ National Agency’s support of inclusive mobility – as well as on national perspectives from practice:

Participants gained insights into the inclusive approaches taken at the Universidade Aberta and the 
ECIU European University, learned more about the NAU platform’s strategies to target diverse learners with MOOCs, and were confronted with the important reflections on inclusion shared by the Portuguese umbrella organisation of local students’ unions (FAIRe).

The following thematic clustering gives an impression of the main topics of discussion:

  • flexibilisation and personalisation of learning paths to cater to the needs of non-traditional students; aiming to embed universal design in higher education policy and practice,
  • (online) lifelong learning, also as a means for upskilling and reskilling, to leave no one behind,
  • the role of micro-credentials to contribute to a more inclusive (digital) higher education,
  • virtual and blended mobility formats to facilitate access for all learners – without replacing physical mobility,
  • fostering digital literacy of teachers and students’ digital readiness,
  • blended formats and the social aspect of learning (and teaching) online: change in pedagogy, the spirit of the digital (international) campus,
  • access and connectivity: being mindful of the digital gap and of issues with accessibility in digital education,
  • language skills for open online education,
  • flexible support services to students and teaching staff, promoting team culture, guarding mental health,
  • taking a participatory approach to shaping the (digital and international) campus in an open, inclusive way.

The recommendations gathered during the event will be integrated into the Policy Recommendations that will be shared publicly as a final deliverable of the project.

The next HLAM, hosted by the Flemish Ministry of Education and Training, will take place in October 2021. This is followed by the HLAM hosted by the German Ministry of Education and Research in December 2021.

29 June 2021

Web Seminar “Quality Assurance of European Universities”

The OpenU project’s second web seminar provided a space to discuss the complex issue of Quality Assurance of the European Universities.

Representatives of the two European University alliances that are involved in the OpenU project, EDUC and Una Europa, shone a light on their approaches to QA. These were complemented by a presentation on the EUniQ project which strives to develop a European framework for the comprehensive QA of university networks.

The inputs provided the basis for the panel discussion with student representatives from the Una Europa Student Board, the European Students Union (ESU), and the Erasmus Student Network (ESN). Moreover, national policy perspectives were shared by guests from the Spanish and the Flemish contexts, and a brief input on the most recent Council Conclusions on European Universities was provided by the Portuguese colleagues of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education (MCTES / DGES).

29 June 2021

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Assuring the quality of online education – a task made more challenging due to the pandemic

The first OpenU web seminar on Quality Assurance in Online Education took place on Friday 26 February. After a warm welcome and brief introduction from Alexander Knoth and Katharina Engel from DAAD in Germany, Esther Huertas from AQU Catalunya spoke in-depth about Quality Assurance and Quality Enhancement in Online Education. In her presentation, Esther talked about:

After Esther’s presentation the audience was asked to take part in parallel breakout sessions on one of 4 topics:

  1. TeSLA: e-assessment as challenge led by Ana Elena Guerrero Roldán, PhD, Lecturer in Computer Science, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Spain, and coordinator of the TeSLA project
  2. E-xcellence: benchmarking approach and roadmaps for innovation-led by Jon Rosewell, PhD, Senior Lecturer in ICT, The Open University UK
  3. (Trans-) National policymaking and (EN)QA led by Anna Gover, Senior Project Manager at ENQA
  4. Networked and joint curricula in online education: virtual mobilities led by George Ubachs, Managing Director EADTU

Over 200 people took part in the seminar which provided an excellent overview of the current status of quality assurance related to online education. Discussions and presentations highlighted a number of examples of good practices along with very relevant sources of further information. This seminar also served as a way to bring together the community of interest in this topic made up of experts and practitioners and provided a really useful opportunity to further discuss the implications for internal/external QA of online education in specific fields and areas of education.

Please find here the agenda and the recording of the first webinar

This web seminar was organised with special support from EADTU. It is the first one in the web seminar series that DAAD is organising as coordinator of the OpenU project’s Policy Cluster

3 March 2021

EUF Open Space

The Open Space is a 3-day project incubation event that gives participants the opportunity to find out more about EU funding opportunities, discuss their own project ideas with colleagues from across Europe, and plan the next steps for submitting and managing project applications.

The lively and creative environment also offers multiple networking and best-practice sharing opportunities among higher education staff working on EU projects.

1 March 2021

I·HE2021 conference in Bari

EADTU and The University of Foggia are organising this year’s onsite I·HE2021 conference in Bari (3-5 November 2021). Please check out the conference website, where they inform you about abstract submissions, conference registrations and all other details. 

EADTU and The University of Foggia are looking forward to meeting you all in person again at this year’s event!

1 March 2021

EADTU Message to the Ministerial EHEA Conference 2020

EADTU transferred a message to the Ministerial EHEA Conference 2020 in Rome. This message is the result of EADTU’s Innovation in Higher Education Conference (I·HE2020 online Bridging Event, 28-30 October 2020). EADTU’s Message refers to post COVID responses, the University of the Future, the role of micro-credentials and short learning programmes and the further support of European policies. 

Please read the I·HE2020 – Message here

18 December 2020

DigiEduHack 2020: redefining learning in a digital age

DigiEduHack brings together practitioners from around the world to discuss challenges for education and training in the digital age.  It is an initiative of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) under the European Commission's 2018 Digital Education Action Plan. DigiEduHack 2020 was hosted online on 12-13 November by the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU). One of the three main organisers was OpenU partner, DAAD. 

Check out the videos of the livestream and other resources here

14 December 2020

The EADTU official Short Learning Programmes webinar week was a success (13-15 October 2020) 

The Short Learning Programmes webinar week took place from 13-15 October 2020. It was a real success with insightful contributions from both presenters and audience. We opened the first day with the concept and characteristics of SLPs and the guidelines for designing SLPs. On the second day we looked at the implementation and recognition of SLPs. On the last day it was all about the lessons learned from designing and implementing collaborative SLPs. Overall, this was a very insightful webinar week.

  • Find here the recording of the webinar sessions
  • Find here the presentations of all sessions

11 December 2020

Third European Education Summit 10 December – recordings available

The third European Education Summit too place on 10 December. Entitled Digital Education Transformation, this event took place online  and brought together a wide cross section of stakeholders including national education ministers, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and representatives of the education and training ecosystem. Recordings of all the streamed sessions are available online and you can check out the full programme here.

23 November 2020

41 European University Alliances representing 280 higher education institutions now active

Despite travel and other restrictions, the European Commission’s funded European University initiative is going from strength to strength. This programme is a flag ship initiative of the European Education Area and enables higher education institutions to collaborate in a variety of different ways, each distinct and matching members’ specific interests and contexts. OpenU and the Bloom hub will complement much of that is happening in these alliances in respect to digital collaboration.

You can find out more here 

15 November 2020

Moving target digitalisation: re-thinking global exchange in higher education

On 5 - 6 October 2020, the German Academic Exchange Service invited the international and German higher education community to the virtual conference "Moving target digitalisation: re-thinking global exchange in higher education". The two-day event was an official conference in the context of the German Presidency of the EU Council.

The international conference focused on new aims and opportunities that arise from the digital transformation and its effects on internationalisation in higher education. 

7 October 2020

Staff Support Webinar

EADTU organised a free Staff Support session online on 21 September 2020.

This webinar created a unique opportunity for staff support to meet, share expertise, and learn from their peers about different ways to organise support structures for online distance education during the coronacrisis.

Find more information here 

22 September 2020

24 new European Universities reinforce the European Education Area

European Universities are transnational alliances of higher education institutions from across the EU that come together for the benefit of students, teachers and society. Today, the European Commission has unveiled the additional 24 European Universities that will join the first 17 alliances of higher education institutions selected already in 2019. With financial support from the Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020 programmes, they enhance the quality, inclusion, digitalisation and attractiveness of European higher education.

Under the next long-term EU budget for 2021-2027, the Commission proposed to roll out European Universities under the Erasmus programme, in synergy with Horizon Europe and other EU instruments.

25 July 2020

24 new European Universities reinforce the European Education Area

European Universities are transnational alliances of higher education institutions from across the EU that come together for the benefit of students, teachers and society. Today, the European Commission has unveiled the additional 24 European Universities that will join the first 17 alliances of higher education institutions selected already in 2019. With financial support from the Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020 programmes, they enhance the quality, inclusion, digitalisation and attractiveness of European higher education.

Find here more information about the University Alliance

10 July 2020

EUTOPIA takes next steps in making Bridges to European Economic Development through Universities, Partnership and Social Value.

The members of the EUTOPIA were invited by the University of Warwick to a high-level policy roundtable on Wednesday, 12 June 2019 at the Warwick Brussels Office for a policy event on Bridges to European Economic Development: Universities, Partnership and Social Value.

In the 21st Century, the task facing local, national and supra-national governments seeking to achieve socially acceptable economic development is becoming more complex. European universities thinking about their role in the 21st century can no longer merely be bastions of research and teaching excellence, existing in isolation. Rather, they must look beyond their walls to generate synergies with society, to foster both a spirit of international collaboration and to increase benefits to their local economies through ‘place-based’ collaboration. The European Union has recently launched the European Universities programme, which offers the opportunity for consortia of European universities to address these issues.

The EUTOPIA alliance explicitly aims to explore how institutions from across Europe can work together to promote inclusive growth and innovation in their regions and, in doing so, they seek to contribute to social welfare and to create value while promoting their commitment to culture as an instrument for deciphering the contemporary world, and while actively engaging with it. The EUTOPIA alliance will also seek to identify how its members can act as ‘bridges’ between their respective regions in order to maximise the collective impact of their work.

Click here for more information about the article

10 July 2020

Over 170 academics and researchers from Coimbra member universities took part in the pilot European university CHARM-EU’s first induction session for potential staff on 15 June 2020

The webinar introduced CHARM-EU’s innovative new approach to transdisciplinary alliances: Knowledge Creating Teams (KCTs). KCTs bring multiple disciplines together to face global challenges and are organised not by discipline, research or educational activity but by key themes that bridge all these activities. Three themes were chosen for CHARM-EU’s first pilot master’s programme: Life & Health, Water, and Food.

The response was positive and over 170 staff have now signed up to one or more of the KCTs in three areas: Food, Water and Life & Health. These KCTs are now participating in content creation workshops to create CHARM-EU’s pilot Masters in Global Challenges for Sustainability.

Through engagement with CHARM-EU, participants will be supported to build research networks with academic and extra-academic actors from across Europe and to focus their research efforts within thematic challenge areas. They will receive training in transdisciplinary approaches to teaching and research and novel pedagogies including challenge-based learning.

Find here more information 

10 July 2020

Arqus Alliance holds the first meeting of the Arqus PhD Council

On June 30th, the first virtual meeting of the Arqus PhD Council took place, which was organized by the University of Graz as part of the Arqus Action Line 6 "Research Support and Early Stage Researcher Development".
The aim of the PhD Council was to enhance and intensify the collaboration in the field of doctoral training within the Alliance and to explore the possibility of the creation of an Arqus Graduate School.
At this first meeting, the PhD Council, consisting of scientists and experts in the field of doctoral education, discussed best practice examples in the training of doctoral students at the seven Arqus universities as well as institutional strategies for a successful doctoral training. In autumn, the PhD Council will meet again to discuss a first draft of recommendations for closer networking of the structures and content of doctoral training within the Alliance.

Click here for more information 

10 July 2020

4EU+ Alliance: API project presented at the NAFSA 2020 virtual poster tour

On 4 June, the Academic Partnership for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (API) project was presented at the virtual poster tour organised as one of the online replacement events for the NAFSA 2020 Annual Conference, which was due to take place on 24-29 May 2020.

In light of the cancellation of the NAFSA 2020 Annual Conference & Expo due to the COVID-19 crisis, the organisers developed NAFSA eConnection, a five-day fully virtual programme that included guest speeches, concurrent sessions, chats with NAFSA exhibitors and a virtual poster fair.
The poster, entitled "How to support internationalization through innovative short module programmes", showcases the API project as an example of an initiative supporting strategic international cooperation in academic teaching.
API project brings together 4 member universities of the 4EU+ Alliance: Charles University, Heidelberg University, Sorbonne University and the University of Warsaw. It is funded by the Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange (NAWA).

Find more information here

9 July 2020

Mobility high on the list for policy-makers

OpenU partner DAAD conducted a stocktaking survey at the start of the project to collect information on expectations and thematic priorities from several key stakeholders. They included ministries of higher education in Portugal, Latvia, Germany, France, Belgium, Spain, as well as the Erasmus Student Network. The survey focused on cooperation, mobility and learning as well as the priority actions mentioned in the project proposal. The results show very clearly that mobility, blended mobility as well as the creation of mobility windows is of the highest priority for all partners involved. Other high priority areas highlighted in this survey included the inter-connection to existing initiatives as well as the cultural change necessary within Higher Education Institutions involving university leadership. For more information about OpenU.

Click here

8 June 2020

OpenU contributes to Latvian National Skills Strategy during Riga meeting on 8 July 2019

The first OpenU Policy Dialogue took place on July 8, 2019 and was hosted by the Latvian Ministry of Education and Science in the Theatre Art Hall of the Latvian Academy of Culture in Riga. This meeting provided an opportunity to focus on the Latvian development of a National Skills Strategy as well as on current reforms in Higher Education which includes the preparation of a study on the digitalization level and digital practices in Latvian Higher Education Institutions.

Presentations from practitioners broadened the view on the national level while presenting the use and impact on digital teaching and learning within Latvian Higher Education Institutions.

For more information about OpenU click here.

First CIVIS HUb launched on Climate, Environment

Yet another of the eUniversity networks, CIVIS (a European civic university alliance) is moving ahead with ambitious plans for collaboration. CIVIS involving 8 universities is a transnational collaboration of civic universities. At the end of January, partners met to launch the first workshop on the development of the CIVIS hubs which are interdisciplinary thematic research and education areas which will be used to structure the CIVIS European University. Five hubs have been defined in the areas of Health, Cities, territories and mobilities, Digital and Technological transformation, Climate, environment and energy,  and Society, culture, heritage. Each of these thematic hubs will offer joint study programmes at Bachelor’s and Master’s levels at the CIVIS member universities and will foster multidisciplinary research projects through innovative pedagogies. Climate, environment and energy will be the first CIVIS hub to be developed in 2020.

Read the full story here

2 March 2020

Emily Palmer quotes Macron in her UNA Europa presentation at OOFHEC2019

What do eUniversities and President Macron in France have in common?
Quite a lot it seems from the presentation about the OpenU project given by Emily Palmer from KU Leuven at EADTU’s annual conference held in Madrid on 16-18 October. Back in 2017, President Macron called for  “a network of universities across Europe with programmes that have all their studies study abroad and take classes in at least two languages. These European Universities will also be drivers of educational innovation and the quest for excellence.” That spirit of cooperation and exchange is clearly what underpins the UNA Europa project which Emily presented and which Emily presented and which is one of the partners in the new OpenU project.

2 March 2020

2020 European Universities Call open

The 2020 European Universities call for proposals was published on 7 November 2019 and will close on 26 February 2020. This action aims to encourage the emergence by 2024 of some twenty 'European Universities', consisting of bottom-up networks of universities across the EU which will enable students to obtain a degree by combining studies in several EU countries and contribute to the international competitiveness of European universities.‘European Universities’ have an ambitious mandate aimed to trigger unprecedented levels of institutionalised cooperation between higher education institutions, making it systemic, structural and sustainable. Check out this link for further information.

17 February 2020

UNA Europa officially kicks off 1Europe

The UNA Europa University Alliance Europe kicked off its flagship project 1EUROPE on 22nd and 23rd January 2020 (click here to read their full story).

1EUROPE aims to launch a living laboratory to develop future university models that are both replicable and scalable. 1Europe is funded by the European Commission under the Erasmus+ programme and sets out to lay the foundations of the university of the future, testing innovative teaching, joint learning and public engagement, promoting mobility among both students, and teaching and technical-administrative staff across the universities which are part of the UNA Europa network.

17 February 2020

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