Exchange by Promoting Quality Education, Research & Training in South & South-East Asia
 EXPERTS III

EXPERTS III

 

Closed on 14th July 2016. For the project's summary statistics please go here.

 

Project Objectives:

The main objective of the EXPERTS III Project has been to facilitate new collaborations between Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) from the lesser developed countries in South and South-East Asia and Europe, and likewise to reinforce existing cooperations in the region through the exchange of information on science and policy and addressing key issues such as sustainable development in academic cooperation. The project sought to establish an innovative framework for the capacity development of junior faculty staff, undergraduates, postgraduates, doctorates, and post-doctorate researchers by training and upgrading their skills in specified fields of study through a scheme of structured mobility between 7 European HEIs and 13 HEIs in South and South-East Asia (SSEA) covering 10 countries in all.

 

Other key objectives within the EXPERTS III Project included:

  • Building on the experience and existing cooperation of the EXPERTS Consortium, and establishing sustainable cooperation among the partners from both SSEA and EU in terms of high quality research and education;
  • Enhancing the international cooperation capacity of the participating institutions from SSEA by transferring and sharing know-how and best practices, enhancing administrative capacities, and offering an opportunity to train the next generation of researchers and academic staff;
  • Exchanging ideas, views, and knowledge among the partners from both SSEA and EU, thus creating opportunities for enhanced communication, collaboration, cultural awareness, and a heightened understanding of the roles of HEIs nowadays;
  • Promoting EU Higher Education systems in the participating third countries, in particular to enhance the attractiveness of European higher education in the region;
  • Promoting cooperation between sending and hosting institutions, with the goal to increase the compatibility of Higher Education Systems in the EU and Asia and their joint efforts in establishing partnerships by facilitating the transfer of know-how and good practices.

 

As in EXPERTS I and II, special emphasis has been paid in the EXPERTS III Project to research and cooperation potential, as well as the development of collaborative research initiatives and business opportunities through joint research initiatives in the priority field areas, namely Engineering and Technology, the Agricultural Sciences, Environmental Studies, Business Management, and the Social Sciences. Training opportunities have also been provided in the field of internationalisation by means of staff mobilities, and innovative and high quality research proposals have also been developed within the framework of doctorate and post-doctorate mobilities. The Consortium has also successfully cultivated sound and effective institutional cooperations amongst the partners, and consistently strove to develop and implement joint study programmes. Both bilateral and multilateral international academic cooperations have been established over the course of the project period, which are highly promising for the future of the international Higher Education sphere and the socio-economic situation of the countries invovled.

 

 

Project Activities and Accomplishments:

A total of 133 scholarships were awarded within the framework of the EXPERTS III Project, which was in accordance with the number originally planned in the project proposal.

In essence, the EXPERTS III Project has been successful in meeting the objectives of the project by organising and implementing structured individual mobility arrangements between the European and Third Country partners. Cross-cutting issues, brain drain, and vulnerable groups were taking into account and successfully addressed within the project, such that females ultimately accounted for 44% of the total scholarship-holders (which, given the context in certain countries, could be considered as a particular and very welcome achievement) and applications were received from candidates of all Target Groups. All in all, the EXPERS III Project has awarded scholarships to students, researchers and staff from 10 different countries, and cultivated international academic cooperation between 17 different countries in total. Truth be known, in most cases, the highly talented scholarship-holders who benefited from the scholarship would not have been able to enhance their qualifications in Europe without the funding provided through the project. A targeted and ultimately successful promotional strategy was employed within the EXPERTS III Project, which focused on covering every geographical, gender-related and background-related aspect in order to ensure that numerous academically worthy candidates have been given the best opportunity to develop themselves both personally and professionally by means of this scholarship.

 

The impact of EXPERTS III Project has also been felt on an economic and social level in the partner SSEAN countries, with the key thematic areas relevant for the third countries forming a fundamental point of consideration in the distribution of the scholarships, ensuring that academically able students and scientists in important fields of study for their institutions, programme, and region could benefit from the opportunity to develop their research and teaching skills for the benefit of their home communities. In accordance with the development priorities of the Third Countries, scholarships were distributed as follows according to field of study:

 

Total Mobilities per Field of Study

Agricultural Sciences

23

Education, Teacher Training

11

Engineering and Technology

20

Geography and Geology

11

Medicine and Public Health

4

Natural Sciences (incl. Microbiology and Biotechnology)

36

Social Sciences (incl. Development Studies and International Relations

17

 

On the whole, all participants in the EXPERTS III Project have attested to the personal and academic development which it has afforded, including the enhancement of educational qualifications, career prospects, and teaching and research skills. The project has also been credited with widening its scholarship-holders’ cultural horizons and in having contributed to promoting European Higher Education and the principles of the Bologna process. Exposure to alternative educational, teaching, learning, and research systems and principles has provided the project’s scholarship-holders with alternative educational perspectives and, perhaps, ideas on how systems in the home countries could be maximised to their full potential. In similar vein, the exposure which local students have had to different educational systems through their contact with the scholarship-holders at the host university has also fostered and promoted intercultural understanding and tolerance.  

 

Besides benefit for the scholarship-holders themselves, the EXPERTS III Project has also been beneficial to the partner universities involved, enabling them to develop and enhance capacity building within their respective institutions. The participating institutions have not only strengthened pre-existing cooperations amongst the Consortium partners, but have also been able to initiate and develop new sustainable cooperations both amongst the Consortium partners and external to it within the regions concerned (namely Europe and South and South-East Asia) through participation in this project. It is hoped that the cooperations thus formed and sustained will lead to even more long-lasting success in the future of international academic cooperation and will generate a positive impact on the social and economic scene of the countries concerned. Indeed, the increase in expertise and knowledge which has been acquired in the fields of study specifically chosen due to their relevance for the participating countries has the potential to render positive changes to by contributing to their academic, social, and economic development. Furthermore, the visibility of their institutions on the international Higher Education stage has been increased, as has their institutional reputations. New units have been established, institutional changes have been introduced, joint research projects have been conducted and joint publications have arisen, the curriculum has been developed, and bilateral/multilateral agreements have all been concluded: all of these aspects have also further contributed to the internationalisation of the institutions involved, as well as the regions concerned in the long run.

 

According to feedback received from the scholarship-holders and partners themselves, most mobilities have also resulted in a positive influence on the home institutions, be it through the introduction and promotion of new teaching or research methods, the establishment of new cooperations or networks, or the way in which mobilities are managed at the home university. Undoubtedly, the increased mobility streams and exchanges of experience between the participating EU and SEAN countries has contributed towards improved efficiency regarding university administration, and has provided a solid foundation for interdisciplinary education and research. 

 

All in all, the EXPERTS III Project has provided a sound platform for the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and best practice, permitting scholarship-holders and partners alike to address global issues and possible solutions. The project has also been highlighted as having contributed to the systematic social improvement of the scholarship-holders, partners, and countries alike, which is in no small part due to the enhanced internationalisation of all participants and participating institutions, international exposure, and experience/knowledge-sharing which has resulted from the mobilities undertaken. Furthermore, the individual mobilities undertaken, as well as the cooperations arising amongst the partners, have clearly had a significant direct and indirect impact on regional and national levels, which it is hoped will prove sustainable over the coming years. Further plans for joint and intra-Consortium cooperation are also expected to enhance the sustainable impact of the EXPERTS III Project in the future.



Last update on 27/06/2017 -
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