The monitoring activity of ICM implementation in UV
On June 4, 2020, in accordance with EACEA Executive Agency in Brussels was successfully organized by the Erasmus+ National Office in Albania the online monitoring meeting of the International Credit Mobility (ICM) of Erasmus+ Program at the University of Vlora “Ismail Qemali” for the period 2018-2020.
The purpose of this online meeting was monitoring of the implementation of procedures and documentation of inter-institutional agreements and other binding documents (learning mobility and grant agreements, visibility and publicity obligation), identification of potential problems and recommending solutions to them.
Present in this meeting were the representative of the Erasmus + National Office in Albania with Mrs. Erida Curraj, UV’s incoming and outgoing students, academic and administrative staff and the staff of Projects and International Relations Sector (PIRS) at UV.
The meeting started with the presentation prepared by PIRS where Mrs. Rezarta Sinanaliaj presented to the participants the results achieved by UV during the reporting period 2018-2020, as well as the obstacles encountered, especially caused by COVID19 Pandemic.
During the meeting the participants shared their experiences and the difficulties faced during the realization of mobility or the academic support given for the successful implementation of ICM in UV.
UV was estimated by the Erasmus+ National Office in Albania for the high standards set in the implementation of ICM. The UV Regulation for the Implementation of Erasmus+ ICM and the UV’s Incoming Student Guide has been evaluated as a good practice and also the voluntarily support given by the UV’s academic staff in offering several courses in foreign language which have been very fruitful in increasing the number of incoming students in UV. Till now, 13 incoming students have completed their mobility at UV.
Another strong point contributing in the successful implementation of ICMs at UV were the non-bureaucratic procedures followed by UV regarding the students equivalence of courses upon their mobility completion. This was also agreed by the incoming and outgoing students present in this monitoring meeting.
During the meeting, the Erasmus+ National Office in Albania also gave several recommendations regarding the students/staff financial problems, and how to increase the number of incoming students using individual mentoring through students.
UV has currently 63 inter-institutional agreements with Universities from 20 Program Countries. During the two years 2018-2020 have been realized a total of 94 student mobility and 92 academic and administrative staff mobility.
It is still a challenge the map expansion with countries like Germany, Holland, France and other countries of the program countries that UV does not have bilateral agreements, as well as stimulating students’ interest in participating in ICM Erasmus + program.
Training: “Steps and Techniques of Writing a Quality Project Proposal” at the Faculty of Public Health
As requested by the Head of the Scientific Research Center at the Faculty of Public Health for training and capacity building of the Center’s staff on drafting quality project proposals and applying for research funds / grants, the Projects and International Relations Sector in UV organized on January 16, 2020 at the premises of this Center the training entitled: “Steps and Techniques of Writing a Quality Project Proposal”.
The training was attended by the staff of the Scientific Research Center at the Faculty of Public Health and the last year students in the Master program of this Faculty. The methodology used during the training was a combination of theory and practice, giving participants the opportunity to obtain detailed information on the concepts and basic elements of a project proposal, putting them into practice through concrete examples and group work.
Trainees were also equipped with manual, “How to write a quality project proposal” prepared by the Projects Specialist at UV.
This training is in line with the training on the same subject organized at the institutional level by the Projects and International Relations Sector at the end of 2019, which highlighted the need for organizing this training also at the department level.
Erasmus + National Information Day
Erasmus + National Office in cooperation with the Executive Agency for Education, Media and Culture in Brussels organized on 17.12.2019 in the premises of Europe House in Tirana, National Erasmus + Information Day. The event aimed promoting the Erasmus + Program, informing about the opportunities this program offers to universities and students, and sharing best practices among participants on the application of CBHE, Jean Monnet and ICM project proposals.
University of Vlora “Ismail Qemali” was selected as one of the Best Practice universities in the implementation of ICMs and in the application of the Jean Monnet project proposal, therefor representatives of the University of Vlora were invited to share with the participants their experience as well as their strengths that have led to this success.
UV was also part of the Contact Fair between Universities organized during the event, distributing Guides and leaflets to the participants as well as performing a promotional video of the Erasmus+ activities organized by UV.
Training: “Steps and Techniques of Writing a Quality Project Proposal”.
The Directorate of Internal Quality Assurance and Projects Unit (Projects and International Relation Sector) at UV organized on 25 November 2019 at the facilities of Building C (Library), the training entitled: “Steps and Techniques of Writing a Quality Project Proposal “.
The training aimed to increase the capacity of young researchers / academic staff at UV in writing a quality project proposal and applying for research grants / funds.
The training was organized in two sections: The first section hosted by the Projects and International Relation Sector, focused on the basic steps and techniques of writing a qualitative project proposal, while the second section trainers/academics of UV lectured about research techniques and funding opportunities for young researchers.
This was the second year that UV has undertaken trainings on related topics which coincide with EU funded grant applications period.
The participants were also provided with a Handbook on “How to Write a Quality Project Proposal”, written by the Projects Specialist at UV.
The training was highly evaluated by the participants who suggested that such trainings to be organized at the departmental level with the participation of all academic staff.
Attached is the agenda and training materials (Shkrimi i Raportit Shkencor, Hapat dhe Teknikat e Shkrimit te nje Projekt Propozimi Cilesor, MANUAL – Si të shkruajmë një projekt propozim cilësor).
Promotion of Erasmus + programs with Ms. Patricia Stanciu from University of Transylvania, Romania
In order to disseminate and promote the Erasmus + ICM program as well as to encourage students to participate in mobility for study/traineeship at universities with which UV collaborates, the Directory of Internal Quality Assurance and Projects, Projects and International Relation Sector organized on 07.11.2019 an activity with students of the Faculty of Technical Sciences.
The event was opened by Mrs. Patricia Stanciu from the Erasmus+ Office at the University of Transylvania in Brasov, Romania. During her presentation Mrs. Stanciu informed the students on the opportunities offered by the University of Transylvania under the Erasmus+ program and invited them to become part of this experience, not only at the university she represents but also at other Universities with which UV has a cooperation agreement with, describing this as one of the most beautiful and valuable experiences for students, not only academically but also socio-culturally.
At the end of the meeting, the Projects and International Relation Sector at UV, discussed with the participants about the barriers they encountered during the application process, their expectations during mobility, and provided detailed information on the 12 calls for student exchange for academic year 2019-2020 that UV is a beneficiary.
Mrs. Stanciu comes to the University of Vlora under the Erasmus + KA107 Agreement UV has with the University of Transylvania in Brasov in Romania. During the first day of her mobility, Mrs. Stanciu met with the staff from the Projects and International Relation Sector at UV where they exchanged experiences, best practices and discussed opportunities for future cooperation within the Erasmus + program between the two institutions.
Erasmus+ “Contact Seminar” with the Western Balkans
The Erasmus + “Contact Seminar” with the Western Balkans took place on October 24-25 in Tirana.
This seminar gathered together representatives from International Office/projects, academics from around 200 higher education institutions from all 34 Erasmus+ programme countries, as well as from the Western Balkan partner countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Kosovo).
This seminar aimed increasing the number of applications within the region under the next Erasmus+ call for proposals by offering concrete networking opportunities.
Among the activities supported by the Erasmus+ program, this seminar focused particularly on International Credit Transfer (ICM) and capacity building in higher education (CBHE). According to the representative of the European Commission for International Relations Mr. Albert Sesé, University of Vlora “Ismail Qemali”, is listed among the four Albanian universities which are evaluated as very active partners in terms of cooperation agreements in the ICM component.
During the two days of the seminar, were held sections on networking between Higher Education Institutions of the EU countries and the Western Balkans Region, as well as several workshops regarding mutual recognition of qualifications and learning agreement periods, Erasmus + application forms and the process of selecting and supporting participants.
Erasmus Day @ UV – I am Erasmus! What about You?
On 11.10.2019 in the framework of international days dedicated to Erasmus +, University of Vlora’s students, participating in Erasmus + Alumni programs, shared with students, teachers and high school students, potentially future UV students, their mobility experience at various EU Universities in within this program.
This event was organized by the Internal Assurance Quality and Projects Directory and Project and International Relation Sector at UV aiming at informing young people, UV students, and high school graduates of the Vlora district on the Erasmus + exchange program and the opportunities this program offers to them.
Erasmus + is a European Union program that financially supports a range of activities in the fields of Education, Training, Youth and Sport including international exchanges of students, academic and administrative staff, the circulation of best practices among educational institutions and strengthening the links between education and the labor market.
Erasmus+ Info Day (May 2019)
On May 31, 2019 at the premises of the University of Vlora’s Hall “Rilindja” was held an open meeting with UV students on Erasmus + programme opportunities, applications for student exchanges and capacity building in Higher Education in Albania. During this event, National Erasmus+ Office staff provided the participants with information regarding short term academic exchanges and full time joint masters’ scholarships supported by the programme, as well as with practical information regarding the individual application processes and answered all their questions.
Monitoring visit for the MARDS project
On 31st of May 2019 the National Erasmus+ Office staff conducted a monitoring visit for the Erasmus+ CBHE project “Reforming Doctoral Studies in Montenegro and Albania Good Practice Paradigm (MARDS)” in implementation by the University of Vlora.
The 3-year (November 2018- October 2021) MARDS project addresses one of the most acute problems in Montenegrin and Albanian education systems, the doctoral studies. Its main objective is to reconstruct them in line with Salzburg Principles and establish sustainable and modern Pilot Joint Doctoral Schools between two friendly neighbours’ partner countries that will serve as an example of “good practice” for the Western Balkan Region.
The project is coordinated by the University of Montenegro, and includes 15 partner institutions from Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Slovakia, Montenegro and Albania. Albanian partners in the project are: University of Shkodra “Luigj Gurakuqi”, Polytechnic University of Tirana, Metropolitan University in Tirana, University of Vlora “Ismail Qemali”, Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth of Albania and Union of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Albania.
Monitoring visit for the TEAVET project
On 31st of May 2019 the National Erasmus+ Office staff conducted a monitoring visit for the Erasmus+ CBHE project “Developing Teachers Competencies for a Comprehensive VET System in Albania (TEAVET)” in implementation by the University of Vlora.
The 3-year (2017-2020) TEAVET project aims to develop reforms to the teaching profession at the non-tertiary education level for in-service training for teachers by designing, implementing and monitoring a comprehensive lifelong learning (LLL) Teacher Training System in which Albanian universities.
The project is coordinated by the University of Leon in Spain and includes 10 partner institutions from Finland, Austria and Albania. Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth of Albania, University of Sport in Tirana “Vojo Kushi”, University of Durres “Aleksander Moisiu”, University of Elbasan “Aleksander Xhuvani”, University of Shkodra “Luigj Gurakuqi”, University of Gjirokastra “Eqerem Cabej”, University of Korça “Fan S. Noli” and University of Vlora “Ismail Qemali” are the Albanian partners in the project.
Discussion meeting about EU funding at the University of Vlora
At the Rectorate’s premises on May 31, 2019 a collaborative meeting was held between the Rector of the University of Vlora “Ismail Qemali” Prof. Dr. Roland Zisi, Mrs. Xheni Sinakoli, Program Manager at the European Commission and Ms. Aida Breti Coordinator of the Erasmus + National Office in Albania. The main focus of the meeting was discussions on the co-operation established so far under the umbrella of the European Union and the possibilities for applying for EU-funded projects from the University of Vlora.
Monitoring Visit for the Erasmus+ ICM (International Credit Mobility) Projects
On 27th of September 2018, National Erasmus+ Office (NEO) in Albania held a monitoring meeting for the International Credit Mobility project in implementation by the University of Vlora “Ismail Qemali”
This event served to ensure that all binding documents for ICM implementation were signed, for monitoring the fairness of criteria used and transparency of the selection process of participation in mobilities, to enquire on service provision to ICM participants and recognition of the credits earned by them during the mobility period by the University of Vlora, as well as for NEO staff to give recommendations for the improvement of ICM projects implementation in the future.
Informative Seminar on steps and techniques of writing a quality proposal project
On November 15, 2018, at the University of Vlora hall “Rilindja” was held an informative seminar entitled “Steps and techniques of writing a qualitative project proposal”
In the framework of the IPA CBC and Erasmus + CBHE calls for project proposal, the seminar aimed to increase the capacity of UV staff in writing quality project proposals.
The idea of drafting a manual on writing a qualitative project proposal arises from the institution’s need and ambition to increase its human capacities to be not only a partner in a project proposal, but also the leader of a consortium. This ambition is more than justified as UV (UV staff) has already established a successful experience of several years in implementating a cosiderate number of projects. Participants in the activity were academic and administrative staff of UV.
The Importance of Students Involvement in UV Evaluation Policies
On November 19, 2018, was held at the University of Vlora hall “Rilindja” an activity on the importance of student involvement in the UV evaluation policy. This activity was aimed at informing and encouraging UV students to be involved in the evaluation of the institution as well as in the establishment of Student Councils. Participants in the event were UV students.
Erasmus+ Info Day (November 2018)
The activity on “Erasmus Info Day” and “Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees” was held on November 19, 2018 at the University of Vlora hall “Rilindja”. The main purpose of this activity was to inform the students on short-term exchanges offered by the Erasmus + International Credit Mobility program and to encourage students to apply in the calls for mobility announced on the official website (www.univlora.edu. al) of UV. The event started with the greeting speech of Prof. Dr. Roland Zisi, UV’s Rector to be followed by Mrs. Aida Bërxolli, coordinator of the Albanian office Erasmus + who highlighted the availability of institutions to assist students in the Erasmus + ICM process.
Information session by representatives of National Erasmus+ Office in Albania
At the library “Nermin Vlora Falaski” of thw University of Vlora “Ismail Qemali” was organized by representatives of the National Erasmus+ Office in Albania a training and information session addressed to all academic staff of UV, planning to apply as part of a consortium or not, for CBHE projects according to the CBHE 2019 upcoming call for proposal under the Erasmus + program. During the activity, new ideas for project writing were identified.