Mar 06, 2020

Erasmus+ KoM 3 agendas

The University of Alicante, a European reference for accessibility, internationalization and sustainability, hosted over 100 representatives of universities and ministries from Asia, Latin America and Europe in an open dialogue to strengthen higher education systems through European funds.

From March 2nd to 6th, 2020, the University of Alicante (Spain) hosted ministry representatives, rectors, vice-rectors, professors and managers of 35 universities – both public and private – from Malaysia, Laos, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Austria, Greece, Spain and online from Italy. The purpose of this gathering, organized by the University of Alicante International Project Management Office (OGPI) team, was to launch the projects MYSUN, ACCESS and OPEN, co-financed by the European Union through the ERASMUS+ programme (KA2, Capacity Building in Higher Education). These 3-year projects are meant to promote cooperation for innovation and exchange of good practices in Higher Education.

international group

The MYSUN project “Malaysia Sustainable University Campus Network” brings together 9 Malaysian universities from around the country (Universiti Putra Malaysia, project coordinator, Universiti Utara Malaysia, Universiti Malaysia Pahang, Universiti Teknologi Mara, Multimedia University, Universiti Malaysia Pahang, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak and Universiti Malaysia Sabah), as well as 3 European universities (Universidad de Alicante, Spain, FH Joanneum Gesellschaft MBH, Austria, and Università degli studi di Genova, Italy) and the Ministry of Education Malaysia.

MYSUN group

MYSUN aims to promote Malaysian university campuses as “living laboratories” for sustainability and energy efficiency. It intends to achieve this by strengthening the human capacities in university campuses’ sustainability and energy efficiency in Malaysia and developing a platform to promote and support a culture of sustainable HEI campuses in the Malaysian higher education system through the establishment of the MYSUN Network and the delivery of a pilot MOOC on sustainability in HEI campuses.

The objective of the kick-off meeting was to make sure all partners have a clear understanding of the expectations of the Erasmus+ Capacity Building in Higher Education programme, to understand the structure and workflow of the MYSUN project, and to be able to discuss the various work packages and their expected outputs, so that each partner understands their responsibilities. It also enabled partners to come together and begin to get to know each other and establish relationships that will help ensure a smooth project implementation. Thanks to the video-conferencing platform AdobeConnect, Italian partners from Genoa – who were not able to join in person due to the coronavirus crisis – were also able to participate and contribute to the meeting.

UNIGE team

In addition to the kick-off meeting, the week-long event included a “sustainable campus” study visit with staff from Austrian partner FH Joanneum and with staff from the University of Alicante, led by the Vice Rector for Campus & Technology, Rafael Muñoz. This included a tour of the award-winning campus, visits to an on-campus solar plant, desalination plant and air quality measuring site, as well as presentations and discussions with staff from the UA’s Technical Office (on managing services and infrastructures following an energy-saving criteria), the Ecocampus Office and by researchers who collaborate with the Vice-Rectorate to study the Air Quality & Carbon Footprint of the UA campus, and on urban sustainability inputs for KPIs in university campuses.

UA Vice Rector

It is hoped that the holding of this joint event in Alicante will allow the representatives of the three projects to share their experiences and good practices, as well as become familiar with important academic, cultural and geographic aspects of Alicante during their stay.

Additionally, it is hoped that the creation of synergies, and the results of the different working sessions, will bring clarity for the implementation of the activities planned in the first year of work for each of these three important projects.

Additional news on the University of Alicante website can be found here.