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Project »Fostering Internationalization at Montenegrin HEIs through Efficient Strategic Planning / IESP«

IESP   



The project Fostering Internationalization at Montenegrin HEIs through Efficient Strategic Planning (IESP) was  aimed at improving international competitiveness and visibility of Montenegrin HEIs through providing an optimum model for strenghtening capacities for various aspects of internationalization including: internationalization strategy with action plans, supporting documentation for internationalization, internationalization of research and innovation, international mobility of staff and students, international networking and quality assessment of internationalization. The project implementation was rated 98.3 (out of 100) in the interim quality assurance report, concluding that all planned activities were implemented with a high standard of quality and excellent cooperation, especially in the Covid-19 situation.
 

Project partners:

  • 3 Montenegrin universities: University of Montenegro, University of Donja Gorica,  Medditeranean University
  • 3 European universities: University Côte d’Azur (France), University of Cadiz (Spain), University of Ljubljana (Slovenia)
  • Non-academic partners: Montenegro Ministry of Science, Montenegro Ministry of Education, Agency for Control and Quality Assurance of Higher Education

    Project website
    E-newsleter
                                                                                                                              Erasmus

 


 

UNIVERSITY OF LJUBLJANA – IMPLEMENTATION OVERVIEW

The University of Ljubljana (UL) has been actively involved in the implementation of the activities planned under WP 1 - Review of EU HEIs models of internationalization, WP 2 - Capacity Building for Internationalization through staff training and equipment upgrade), WP 3 - Development of Tools for Enhanced Internationalization, monitoring the quality of implementation of activities and dissemination.

Visit to the UL was the first study visit planned within the IESP project where practices and experiences in the field of internationalization were presented. An overview of the UL supporting documentation for internationalization, a review of the UL legal and administrative framework regarding the internationalization of education, research, and mobility, and a benchmark analysis of internationalization practices have been prepared. The University of Ljubljana has also organized various workshops and training courses within the project. 

Prof. dr. Tomaž Čater from the UL School of Economics and Business carried out the workshop on Strategic planning where he introduced how a strategic document should be structured, strategic management model, strategic analysis and formulation, strategy development, mission, vision, goals, activities, outcome, creating the strategic map, strategy evaluation, problems of strategy implementation, documenting and communicating the strategy, managing changes and proper leadership. All Montenegrin universities draw up internationalization strategies as a result of the workshop.  

The workshop related to the Development of pilot summer school in English with curricula  focused on sharing practices and experiences regarding the preparation and organization of summer school courses, marketing, defining criteria for the selection of participants and lecturers, preparation of teaching materials, support staff and services, experience from the online performance of summer school courses, additional programmes for students and staff, evaluation and reporting, best practices and lessons learned. The workshop was carried out by the representatives of the four members of the UL: the School of Economics and Business, the Faculty of Maritime Studies and Transport, the Academy of Fine Arts and Design, and the Faculty of Law. The University of Montenegro accredited and organized a summer school "Sustainable development of yachting and cruise industry" at which also the UL teachers gave lectures. 

In the workshop Design of catalogues for courses in English the representatives of the UL School of Economics and Business, the Faculty of Maritime Studies and Transport, the Faculty of Arts, and the Academy of Music shared their experiences regarding planning, designing, and preparation of courses, marketing, defining, supporting staff and services, implementation, evaluation and reporting, best practices, and lessons learned were presented. 

As part of the IESP project, the UL organized several additional activities that were originally not planned within the project.

During the workshop Teaching multicultural groups of students in HE settings lecturers from the UL Faculty of Arts pointed out some good practices of how to operate successfully in a multicultural environment and how to support and enhance the integration of students into the learning community. They also presented the development of cultural sensitivity, understanding of the importance of inclusive higher education, the concept of intercultural education, and its relevance for HE. Participants have explored challenges that students face in multicultural group work and the way teachers can effectively engage students from diverse backgrounds.

The workshop Interculturality in HE was focused on the conditions and challenges that lie behind the implementation of internationalization and the identification of differences in implementing the concept of multiculturalism and interculturalism. During the workshop, dr. Špela Razpotnik from the UL Faculty of Education addressed different topics: aspects of global inequality and their reflection in our daily lives, globalization and the changing faces of Europe, theoretical concepts of identity, minority, equality, institutional racism, and nationalism, theoretical concepts of institutional racism, multicultural versus egalitarian approach, and explicit and implicit prejudices, related to higher education context, challenges of interculturalism in the higher education space and their specifics.

A presentation of Double and Joint degree programs was held at the Rectorate of the University of Montenegro. Pointing out the importance of strengthening international cooperation to establish a system of double and joint diplomas, good practices of the UL were presented. On that occasion, the importance of cooperation based on the development of a sustainable economy and inclusiveness was emphasized. Polonca Miklavc Valenčič and Špela Bajželj from the University Office for First and Second Cycle Study shared their many years of experience through the steps of establishing a system of double degrees between the two universities, as well as the legal framework that is the basis of this type of cooperation. Focused on the same learning outcomes, and understanding international experience as a system of exchange through which one grows both academically and personally, the multiple benefits of this system were presented. 

Within the presentation on Exchange opportunities for students and staff Aljoša Belcijan from the University Office for International Relation presented the exchange possibilities for students and staff from Montenegrin universities. Presentations were held at all Montenegrin universities. Currently, cooperation with Montenegro takes place in two programs, namely Erasmus+ International Credit Mobility (ICM) 2020 (KA107) and Erasmus+ "International Dimension" KA171. In both programs, the UL cooperates with the University of Montenegro, which is UL strategic and long-term partner. Based on the available funds and interest, participants also discussed expanding cooperation with the University of Donja Gorica and Mediterranean University. Given the very good response from Montenegrin universities and their students, the UL will redirect unused funds to incoming student mobility and enable them to cooperate with the UL and co-financing of mobility with the help of the Erasmus+ program. 

During the Staff week, which was organized by the University of Montenegro, Aljoša Belcijan also shared practices and experience with Green Erasmus+ and Erasmus+ Digital Transformation. The event was also attended by Mojca Maher Pirc from the UL School of Economics and Business, who briefly presented the project Green TECH WB: Smart & Green Technologies for Innovative and Sustainable Societies in the Western Balkans. Marko Papić from the Digital UL joined the event online and presented Integrated Study Environment (ISE) at the UL which consists of integrated applications and platforms regularly used within the pedagogical process by the teachers as well as students. The Staff week was also attended by representatives of the UL Biotechnical Faculty and UL Faculty of Public Administration, who established contact with representatives of Montenegrin universities and discussed with them about future cooperation.

 


Deliverables of WP2: Capacity Building for Internationalization through staff training and equipment upgrade

The University of Ljubljana was responsible for monitoring the implementation of the activities under Work Package 2: Capacity Building for Internationalization through staff training and equipment upgrade.

The deliverables of WP2 were achieved through 4 tasks:

  • 2.1.: Procurement of equipment for supporting internationalization
  • 2.2: Development/redesign of English websites of Montenegrin HEIs
  • 2.3: Know-how transfer to teaching staff related to internationalization
  • 2.4: Know-how transfer to administrative staff related to internationalization

2.1: Procurement of equipment for supporting internationalization

The University of Montenegro as the coordinator was responsible for the joint procurement of the equipment. The coordinator carried out meetings with Montenegrin university partners on the list of equipment that was sent for approval to the EACEA project officer. The supplier has been selected following a joint public tender. The equipment was successfully received and installed at all Montenegrin universities.
 

2.2: Development/redesign of English web sites of Montenegrin HEIs

All Montenegrin universities updated, modernized, and redesigned their English websites.

The University of Montenegro redesigned Rectorate and faculties websites and developed the eStudents portal that covers all necessary reports for students (programs, courses, exams…) and links students' email and distance learning center.

The Mediterranean University has focused on internationalization and international cooperation in its website updates. The website supports responsive technologies that enable the website's functionality on various devices (phones, tablets, laptops, etc.) regardless of their resolution and orientation, and the streamlining access to the information was created which allows to quickly find relevant information.

The University of Donja Gorica redesigned the visual layout which is much more user-friendly, enriched content with new drop-down menus, and improved optimization of the mobile phone version. The content of the drop-down menu related to research and projects has been increased, with short descriptions of projects confirming the University's references in international projects, student testimonials, and translated the University video presentation.

 

2. 3. Know-how transfer to teaching staff related to internationalization

Various workshops and training sessions have been carried out by the partners in the framework of this work package: 

  1. Know-how transfer related to strategic planning (delivered by the University of Ljubljana)
  2. Know-how transfer related to the internationalization of research and innovation (delivered by the Université Côte d'Azur)
  3. Know-how transfer related to improving English skills of teaching staff for delivering courses in English: each Montenegrin university organized English courses for teaching staff (delivered by the University of Montenegro, the University of Donja Gorica, and the Mediterranean University)

The University of Ljubljana carried out additional training and presentations within WP 2.3.:

  1. Training Teaching multicultural groups of students in HE settings
  2. Training Interculturality in HE
  3. Presentation of Double degrees and Joint degree program
  4. Presentation of Exchange opportunities for students and staff
     

2.4: Know-how transfer to administrative staff related to internationalization

The partners prepared and delivered various workshops and training sessions for administrative staff:

  1. Know-how transfer related to the activities dealing with the implementation and monitoring of internationalization (delivered by the University of Cadiz)
  2. Know-how transfer related to improving the English skills of administrative staff for supporting internationalization. Each university organized these courses: each Montenegrin university organized English courses for teaching staff (delivered by the University of Montenegro, the University of Donja Gorica, and the Mediterranean University)

Significant changes during the project that will help to improve the internationalisation of the Montenegrin universities: 

  1. Change in legislation (tuition fees for studying in a foreign language)
  2. Accreditation of 2 summer schools
  3. Development of an institutional strategy of internationalization at all Montenegrin universities
  4. Setting up Centers for language learning at all Montenegrin universities
  5. Setting up a Project office at the University of Montenegro
  6. A joint program in English is under preparation

 

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