Capacity Building in Higher Education: coordinators met for sharing good practices
A total of 30 Erasmus+ CBHE project coordinators and partners met in Helsinki on 28 August to share best practices on project management. The participants came from 22 different CBHE projects, representing both universities and universities of applied sciences.
Erasmus+ Capacity Building projects in the field of higher education support the modernisation, accessibility and internationalisation of higher education in EU-external Partner Countries. The projects work with partners from Asia, Africa, Central Asia, Latin America, Russia and Western Balkans.
Newcomers and experienced coordinators
In this meeting coordinators from the experienced ones with already several projects completed to the newcomers involved in their first CBHE project came together to discuss and share both their successes as well as the challenges encountered. In international project work settings, cultural differences and technical issues may cause challenges, which we learned from the experiences of Mika Korkeakoski, coordinator of multiple CBHE projects from University of Turku. Katja Maetoloa from the HAMK University of Applied sciences stressed the importance of rigid project management structures and efficient communication.
In addition to discussions and peer-support, the meeting provided also the chance for fact-checking: The Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) which is the agency responsible for the programme management of CBHE projects joined the meeting online for a dedicated session where the project representatives could check their open questions directly from the EACEA project officers. This was especially useful for the projects selected in the most recent call, as they still haven't started their actual project implementation.
How to improve the impact?
The group also discussed on how to improve the impact of the projects. As the impact is something that is reached only long-term, after the actual project life time, it is sometimes challenging to focus on this aspect during the project. One of the thoughts shared during the meeting was, that the first impact that must be made is among the project consortium, so that the whole group is convinced and on the same page. It is important to ensure, that the desired impact is understood in the same way by all the project partners.
All in all, the participants of the meeting found the event useful, especially for exchanging thoughts and experiences with fellow project coordinators facing similar situations. As a follow-up, a facebook group was established as a platform to continue the discussions. EDUFI will also continue organizing similar events in the future.
Text: Sini Piippo and Anna-Maria Strengell