Between 12–15 January, the first coordination meeting for the international project “Developing Approaches to Internationalisation Strategy Harmonising in the area of Higher Education, Science and Innovation in the EU, Russia, Belarus,and Armenia (HARMONY)” was held in the University of Seville.
This project was supported as a winner of the project contest 2015 for the category “Capacity Building in Higher Education” (former Tempus programme). This time the contest was not easy for Russian universities as they did not have a chance to coordinate projects and initiate bilateral projects (Russia-EU). For the category, 515 projects were submitted, 140 projects were supported, including only 13 involving Russian universities – among them 2 projects with participation of VSU.
The project “Developing Approaches to Internationalisation Strategy Harmonising in the area of Higher Education, Science and Innovation in the EU, Russia, Belarus, and Armenia (HARMONY)” was initiated by Voronezh State University in partnership with the University of Seville. It is aimed at boosting attractiveness of systems of higher education of the countries involved in the project, and promoting the universities at the European educational market. The goal of the project is to develop mechanisms of internationalisation strategy harmonising under due consideration of national interests of the countries (the EU, Russia, Belarus,and Armenia). Duration of the project is 3 years. The project is also supported by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Armenia, and Ministry of Education of the Republic of Belarus.
Representatives of all project participants took part in the coordination meeting: the University of Seville, Aston University (Birmingham, Great Britain), Kassel University (Germany), the Sapienza University of Rome (Italy), Polytechnic Institute of Tomar (Tomar, Portugal), Alexander Technological Educational Institute (Thessaloniki, Greece), Voronezh State University, the Southern Federal University, Penza State University, Analytical Centre for International Science and Technology and Educational Programmes (Moscow), Eurasia International University, Russian-Armenian (Slavonic) University, Belarus State University, and Belarusian Trade and Economics University of Consumer Cooperatives.
Voronezh State University was represented by the Vice-Rector for Economic Development and International Cooperation Oleg Belenov, Director of International Project and Programme Centre Alla Akulshina, and a leading specialist of the Centre Anna Nedzelskaya. During the meeting Oleg Belenov presented the university’s key scientific and educational achievements, organisational structure of international activity, and VSU’s experience in international projects.
In addition to the coordination meeting the event included familiarization visit to structural subdivisions of the University of Seville aimed at studying the successful experience in organising international activity of one of leading European universities in the area of internationalisation. The participants had a chance to learn about the work implemented by the department of international academic mobility, the centre for international projects and the department for preparation and implementation of agreements between universities. The representatives of the University of Seville and VSU held a workshop dedicated to development of research methodology and activity organisation of all partners of the project. They worked out and presented for discussion a test questionnaire aimed at determining internationalisation level of the partner universities, set deadlines for each project task, and arranged approximate dates for events.
During the event, Oleg Belenov held a number of meetings with representatives of international universities and discussed cooperation development issues.