News

ERACON 2024 – Call for Presentations and Sessions

The European Association of Erasmus Coordinators (EAEC) proudly announces the 20th annual Erasmus Congress and Exhibition – ERACON 2024. This esteemed event invites Erasmus Coordinators, Placement and Internships Managers, Researchers, and Professionals from academia and the business world to participate. It will be held from June 24-28, 2024, at the School of Engineering – Polytechnic of Porto, Portugal.

ERACON 2024 provides a platform for participants to make presentations, submit written papers, and lead sessions on their experiences related to the Erasmus Programme. Proposals for sessions and workshops within the Congress are also welcome. Participants are invited to contribute to workshops, sessions, and round tables on various themes. The official language of the Congress is English. Key themes include ERASMUS+ 2021-2027, Quality of ERASMUS Activities, Staff Mobility for Teaching and Training, and Funding and Policy.

The ERACON Congress will also host the CAREER-EU symposium. Abstract submissions for this symposium can be made under a single registration to ERACON.

Interested participants can register and find more information on the ERACON website here. Don’t miss the opportunity to contribute to ERACON 2024 and be part of shaping the future of the Erasmus Programme.

Successful Visit by Colégio Internato Claret’s 12th Grade Students to ISEP

On Thursday, March 21st, Colégio Internato Claret’s 12th-grade students were warmly welcomed at Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto (ISEP) for an informative and engaging visit. The event was a collaborative effort between ISEP, the Department of Informatics Engineering (DEI), and the Games, Interaction and Learning Technologies Research Unit (GILT).

The visit started with a brief reception, where students and accompanying teachers were greeted. Professor Ana Barata provided a brief overview of ISEP, highlighting its role in higher education and its commitment to excellence in engineering education. Professor Elsa Gomes then presented the Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Engineering offered by the DEI, outlining the program’s curriculum and opportunities for students. The session continued with an introduction to the GILT research unit, emphasizing its contributions to innovative research and development in games, interaction, and learning technologies.

Following the presentations, students were divided into three groups for a guided tour of the campus. The tour included visits to the DEI, GILT, and the museum, providing students with insights into the various research activities and facilities available at ISEP.

After approximately 15 minutes at each location, the groups reconvened for a wrap-up session. Students had the opportunity to ask questions and reflect on their visit before the event concluded.

The visit was a valuable opportunity for Colégio Internato Claret’s students to learn more about higher education in engineering and research opportunities at ISEP. It fostered collaboration between educational institutions and provided students with insights into potential career paths in the field of informatics engineering.

STEAME Teacher Facilitators Academy: European Workshop and Round Table in Porto

Following the upcoming project meeting on April 4, IPP will host a dynamic European Workshop and Round Table Event on April 5, 2024, at the Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto. Organized as part of the ongoing STEAME Teacher Facilitators Academy, this event promises insightful discussions and interactive workshops aimed at advancing STEAME education across Europe.

The day kicks off with registrations, followed by a warm welcome and an introduction to the STEAME Academy project by Gregoris Makrides, the project coordinator. Participants will then delve into engaging workshops focused on STEAME project-based learning (PBL) and creativity plans, led by expert trainers from esteemed institutions such as the Cyprus Pedagogical Institute and Doukas School.

Throughout the day, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in parallel threads covering various aspects of STEAME education, including evaluation methods and the integration of creativity into learning plans. These workshops aim to equip educators with practical tools and strategies to enhance STEAME teaching and learning experiences.

The event will also feature a round table discussion, offering participants the chance to reflect on key themes and evaluate the impact of STEAME education initiatives. Additionally, an external panel discussion with local experts will provide valuable insights and perspectives on STEAME education practices.

This European Workshop and Round Table Event serve as a testament to the commitment of educators and stakeholders to advance STEAME education and foster innovation in teaching and learning practices. By bringing together experts and practitioners from across Europe, the event aims to drive positive change and promote excellence in education for future generations.

Upcoming Event: STEAME Teacher Facilitators Academy Meeting in Porto, Portugal

IPP in Porto, Portugal, is set to host the fifth physical meeting of the STEAME Teacher Facilitators Academy on April 4, 2024. This meeting marks a significant milestone in the project’s implementation period, which spans from June 1, 2023, to May 31, 2026.

The STEAME Teacher Facilitators Academy aims to revolutionize teacher education by supporting the training of both service teachers and student teachers. Through a European mobility-based system, service teachers will mentor student teachers, fostering collaboration between school education, university education, and potentially industry partners. This collaborative effort aims to enhance the quality of education across Europe and lay the groundwork for future STEAME project-based learning environments in schools.

Key innovations to be delivered by the project include the development of the STEAME Teacher Facilitators Competence Framework, learning modules/workshops, an international sharing observatory, a community of practice/mentoring and certification program for facilitators, and policy recommendations for the European Federation of STEAME Teacher Facilitators Academies.

These innovations draw upon experiences and innovations from 16 completed or ongoing projects, particularly school education projects under ERASMUS+ KA2. The partnership for this project includes at least one partner from each of these projects, ensuring a wealth of expertise and innovation to support the continuous professional development of teachers.

The upcoming meeting in Porto will provide a platform for partners to collaborate, share experiences, and further refine the project’s innovations. By fostering collaboration and knowledge sharing, the STEAME Teacher Facilitators Academy aims to empower teachers, facilitate European-wide mentoring, and propel education into the realms of Education 3.0 and 4.0, preparing teachers to become the creators of the future.

Intra-Africa Mobility Scheme Coordinators’ Meeting Introduces COCREATE-Africa Project

The Intra-Africa Mobility Scheme coordinators’ meeting witnessed the unveiling of the COCREATE-Africa project, selected under the NDICI-2023-MOBAF Call. Held in collaboration with the European Education and Culture Executive Agency and the Directorate-general for International Partnerships, the event aimed to inform beneficiaries about project cycle management and foster networking opportunities.

Among the projects presented, COCREATE-Africa stood out for its ambition to address climate change and poverty in Eastern and Central Africa. Led by a consortium of universities, the project aims to enhance knowledge capacity in climate-smart agriculture (CSA) through the EU’s Intra-Africa academic mobility scheme. With a focus on sustainable development, COCREATE-Africa plans to support 54 mobility flows, including Masters, PhDs, staff, and trainees.

During the event, speakers highlighted the importance of COCREATE-Africa’s objectives in promoting resilience and sustainable livelihoods in African communities. Through targeted training and research, the project endeavors to empower individuals and institutions to confront the impacts of climate change effectively.

As the COCREATE-Africa project sets its course, stakeholders anticipate transformative outcomes in Africa’s agricultural sector, marking a significant step towards a more resilient and prosperous future.

Intra-Africa Mobility Scheme Coordinators’ Meeting Sets Stage for Innovative Clean Energy Project

The Intra-Africa Mobility Scheme coordinators’ meeting kicked off yesterday, marking a pivotal moment for collaborative efforts in education and sustainable development across the continent. Organized by the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) in cooperation with the Directorate-general for International Partnerships, the event serves as a platform to inform beneficiaries about project cycle management and foster networking opportunities among stakeholders.

This three-day event, spanning from March 20th to March 22nd, gathers coordinators of projects selected under the NDICI-2023-MOBAF Call, focusing on Africa-EU partnership and cooperation in the field of education. With a primary objective of enhancing the knowledge base and promoting sustainable practices, the meeting offers a comprehensive agenda covering topics such as project management, contractual obligations, and the management of international mobility.

Among the projects featured is a groundbreaking initiative led by IPP and HCE Solutions, aimed at promoting inclusive homegrown clean energy-driven solutions for climate change adaptation and mitigation in Africa. This project, selected under the NDICI-2023-MOBAF Call, aligns closely with the overarching goals of the event, emphasizing the importance of innovative approaches to address pressing challenges facing the continent.

IPP and HCE Solutions’ project seeks to empower communities by promoting clean energy solutions tailored to Africa’s unique needs. With objectives ranging from facilitating knowledge sharing and technology transfer to enhancing entrepreneurship skills in clean energy, the project embodies a holistic approach to sustainable development.

As stakeholders convene to share experiences and insights, anticipation mounts for the transformative impact of projects like IPP and HCE Solutions’ clean energy initiative. With a shared commitment to sustainability and inclusivity, participants look forward to forging new partnerships and paving the way for a brighter, more resilient future for Africa.

SA2CC Project Advances in Addressing Climate Change Challenges in Agriculture and Forestry

The SA2CC project, grounded in the principles of the Green Deal and digital transformation, aims to support economic, social, and human development while equipping stakeholders to effectively confront climate change challenges. The latest updates from the project highlight advancements in two key tasks, underscoring the collaborative efforts of consortium partners.

Under Task 2.3, consortium members are engaged in both desk and field research to gather comprehensive data on the impacts of climate change on agriculture and forestry. Desk research, conducted by all participating countries, involves the collection and analysis of relevant reports and strategic documents using the provided template. This phase aims to provide insights into the consequences of climate change on the agricultural and forestry sectors.

Field research, spearheaded by partners in Mongolia and Kyrgyzstan, employs questionnaires and focus groups to delve deeper into the learning needs and competencies of individuals working in forestry and agriculture. Questionnaires tailored for both trainees and trainers, along with a focus group template, facilitate the gathering of valuable on-the-ground perspectives. Data collection for both desk and field research is slated for completion by the end of April.

Task 2.4 focuses on identifying the curriculum needs of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to update their courses effectively. Consortium members from HEIs in Mongolia and Kyrgyzstan are tasked with providing existing syllabi for courses and utilizing the designated template for course material. The material will be categorized into five thematic clusters, aligning with the project’s objectives:

  1. Animal Production (Husbandry)
  2. Crop Production and Soil Science
  3. Forestry
  4. Water Management
  5. Economic Sustainability/Circular Economy

By gathering and organizing course material based on these themes, HEIs can tailor their curricula to address the evolving challenges of climate change in agriculture and forestry. The deadline for submitting existing syllabi and course material is May, ensuring timely integration of updated content into academic programs.

Over the long term, the project anticipates impactful outcomes in the private sector, benefiting farmers, cooperatives, and food businesses through the implementation of project results.

Breaking Stereotypes and Empowering Choices: SECOVE’s “Theatre of the Oppressed” Workshop in Cagliari

In a bid to revolutionize vocational education and training (VET) and promote inclusivity in career paths, the SECOVE project recently organized a transformative “Theatre of the Oppressed” workshop in Cagliari. The event, held on January 15, 2024, marked a significant stride towards fostering innovation and breaking down stereotypes in the sustainable and renewable energy sector.

With a resolute focus on dismantling societal biases and prejudices that often dictate educational choices, particularly among young women, the workshop offered a dynamic platform for self-reflection and collective action. Using the innovative Theatre of the Oppressed methodology (TDO), participants engaged in a series of interactive exercises and theatrical techniques aimed at unveiling hidden societal conflicts and encouraging proactive problem-solving.

Originating in Brazil in the 1960s, Theatre of the Oppressed has emerged as a potent tool for social transformation globally. Through a blend of games, exercises, and role-playing, the workshop challenged conventional narratives surrounding educational and career trajectories, paving the way for empowered decision-making.

Central to the workshop’s success was its emphasis on collective engagement. Audience members were not mere spectators but active participants, stepping onto the stage to explore and address the societal pressures shaping their choices. By fostering a collaborative atmosphere, the workshop fostered a sense of ownership and agency among participants, enabling them to envision alternative pathways free from societal constraints.

Through techniques like image theatre and forum theatre, participants creatively articulated the challenges they face in making educational and career decisions. From familial expectations to institutional norms, the workshop delved into the multifaceted influences shaping individual trajectories. Importantly, it sparked a dialogue on how to transcend these limitations and ensure the freedom to choose and be.

As the SECOVE project continues to unfold, events like the “Theatre of the Oppressed” workshop serve as poignant reminders of the transformative power of education. By challenging stereotypes and fostering inclusivity, SECOVE is not only shaping the future of vocational training but also laying the groundwork for a more equitable and sustainable society.

To learn more about the project, please click here.

STEAME: newsletter from February 2024

The STEAME TEACHER FACILITATORS ACADEMY project, under the auspices of ERASMUS+, stands as a beacon of innovation in the realm of teacher education across Europe. Bringing together a consortium of 14 diverse organizations spanning 9 countries, this initiative represents a collaborative endeavor aimed at reshaping educational paradigms.

Recent strides in the project’s journey include the convening of virtual meetings, serving as platforms for robust discussions on project progression. These gatherings foster an environment of collaboration and idea exchange, essential for steering the project towards its ambitious goals. Central to the project’s mission is the development of Learning and Creativity Plans tailored for educators. These plans serve as comprehensive frameworks designed to inspire and empower teachers in the integration of STEAME activities into their classrooms.

As part of its commitment to knowledge dissemination and community building, the project is spearheading workshops and roundtable events. These gatherings provide invaluable opportunities for stakeholders to engage directly, sharing insights, best practices, and project outcomes. Through collaborative efforts, participants contribute to the cultivation of sustainable networks, essential for the long-term impact of the project.

In addition to these events, the project hosts a series of free webinars, offering educators and enthusiasts a deeper dive into STEAME education topics. Led by experts in the field, these sessions provide a platform for knowledge exchange and professional development, equipping participants with the tools and insights necessary to excel in STEAME pedagogy.

Moreover, the project’s involvement in past events such as the Cyprus STEAME Festival and international conferences underscores its commitment to broader engagement and dissemination of knowledge. By showcasing its initiatives on these platforms, the project not only amplifies its impact but also fosters dialogue and collaboration on a global scale.

This information can be found in the second newsletter, in attachment. 

VR4All Meeting in Brno: Advancing Accessibility Through Hands-On VR Testing

The Teiresias Centre at Masaryk University in Brno, Czechia, hosted the VR4All Meeting, a pivotal gathering focused on advancing accessibility through immersive virtual reality (VR) experiences. Organized as part of the European Erasmus+ project, VR4ALL aims to explore the integration of VR technology in the initial stages of the design thinking process, with a strong emphasis on inclusive design.

Throughout the event, attendees delved into practical aspects of the VR4All project, engaging in hands-on sessions to test and experiment with VR assets developed to simulate various disabilities. From visual impairments to motor disabilities, participants explored the immersive environments designed to foster understanding and empathy towards different user experiences.

Key sessions included discussions on Quality Assurance, Dissemination strategies, and the development of 3D environments and VR application assets. However, the highlight of the meeting was the series of hands-on VR sessions, where attendees actively engaged with the technology, experiencing firsthand its potential for creating inclusive design solutions.

The VR4All Meeting in Brno marked a significant step forward in harnessing the potential of VR technology to promote accessibility and inclusive design. By providing attendees with practical experiences and opportunities for hands-on testing, the event facilitated meaningful discussions and collaborations, paving the way for future advancements in the field.

SA2CC website and social media launch

In the face of escalating climate change challenges, a pioneering initiative emerges, aiming to revolutionize agricultural and forestry practices. The Sustainable Agriculture, Forestry, and Livestock Production Towards Climate Change (SA2CC) project embodies a paradigm shift towards a more integrated and adaptive approach to land management.

Recognizing the intricate interplay of ecosystem dynamics, SA2CC emphasizes the necessity of holistic landscape-scale understanding. Traditional siloed approaches, where forestry and agriculture operate independently, are deemed inadequate in the face of evolving climatic conditions. Hence, SA2CC advocates for a cohesive strategy, bridging the gap between these sectors for enhanced resilience.

At the heart of SA2CC lies a commitment to innovative solutions. Outdated forest policies, which have long hindered progress, are slated for transformation. Embracing an integrated perspective, the project seeks to leverage synergies between forest trees, hedges, and agro-forestry techniques.

Central to SA2CC’s success is collaboration. The project fosters a dynamic partnership between forestry and agriculture specialists, pooling expertise to devise smart climate adaptation strategies. From water management to wildfire prevention, from logistical challenges to ensuring wood availability for rural communities, SA2CC advocates for a comprehensive approach to resilience-building.

In a bid to amplify its impact, SA2CC has launched its website and social media platforms. These channels serve as vital conduits for disseminating project findings, fostering dialogue, and mobilizing support. Through active engagement and knowledge-sharing, SA2CC endeavors to catalyze transformative change on a global scale.

To access the website, please visit https://sa2cc.eu/.

All social media can be accessed through the website as well.

SECOVE WP3: IPP finishes challenge-based module

In a groundbreaking endeavor to bolster vocational education and training (VET) in the realm of renewable and sustainable energy, the SECOVE project is making significant strides. With a vision to establish a cooperation platform for Centres of Vocational Excellence (CoVEs) across Europe, SECOVE aims to revolutionize learning opportunities in this vital sector.

At the core of SECOVE’s mission is the localization of expertise, with a CoVE designated in each partner country. This decentralized approach ensures that tailored solutions are developed to address the unique challenges and opportunities present in diverse European regions.

The primary objective of SECOVE’s platform is to facilitate the uptake of innovative and high-quality lifelong learning opportunities. By focusing on skills development, competencies, and qualifications, SECOVE aims to empower individuals to excel in the rapidly evolving field of sustainable energy. Moreover, the project actively promotes mobility opportunities, encouraging knowledge exchange and collaboration across borders.

The rationale behind SECOVE is firmly rooted in addressing pressing challenges identified at the European, national, and regional levels. Sustainable energy, including areas such as energy efficiency, renewable energy, and smart energy systems, is a cornerstone of European policy agendas. SECOVE aligns with strategic initiatives such as the European Green New Deal and the European Skills Agenda, striving to develop innovative learning programs that meet the demands of sustainable development.

One of the project’s key focuses is promoting work-based learning and engaging the labor market in VET education, in line with trends identified by CEDEFOP. Additionally, SECOVE endeavors to address gender disparities in technical qualifications, promote innovation and entrepreneurship, and establish a culture of excellence, inclusiveness, and sustainability in vocational training.

As part of its ongoing efforts, SECOVE’s Work Package 3 is set to release Challenge-based modules for entrepreneurial mindset and skills in September 2024. Already, significant progress has been made, with the Introduction to Entrepreneurship, Integrating Entrepreneurship into the Curriculum, Identifying and Nurturing Entrepreneurial Talents module completed as part of the Empowering VET Teachers: Fostering Entrepreneurial Mindset in Sustainable Energy Innovators course, under IPP responsibility.

With its innovative approach and commitment to excellence, SECOVE is poised to redefine vocational education in the sustainable energy sector. By fostering collaboration, promoting innovation, and empowering individuals, the project is driving positive change and paving the way for a sustainable future across Europe.