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It is a pleasure to present you a short review of the CBHE projects, selected in 2019 involving partners from Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). The number of projects is 8 and one project is coordinated by HEI from BiH, the University of Banja Luka.
The COVID-19 pandemic slowed down projects implementation, but partners adopted very fast to the new circumstances and activities are continued remotely.
With the hope that pandemic will be soon behind us, we wish you and your families to be healthy and to successfully continue with your work and the project activities.

 

1. Vitalising ICT relevance in Agricultural learning/VIRAL
609755-EPP-1-2019-1-BA-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP

Coordinator: University of Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Project partners from Bosnia and Herzegovina: University of Tuzla; University of Mostar; Dzemal Bijedic University of Mostar; Bijeljina University; Agro voce d.o.o.; Foundation innovation center Banja Luka; Jaffa komerc; Zaklada za inovacijski i tehnoloski razvitak.

Modern agriculture is largely based on new technological solutions closely related to the increasing use of information and communication technologies (ICT) and various software solutions, not only for monitoring, but also for managing production processes. In Bosnia and Montenegro agriculture remains largely dependent on manual farming, with technical and technological solutions being poorly explored. At the same time, both countries have strong ICT sectors employing sizeable number of highly educated professionals who develop front-end software solutions. Building a sustainable regional future for the large extent hence depends on the intersection of the two which, even though a concern that should be addressed in all parts of society as a critical strategic area for development and economic activity, has in so far not been given a fair attention in educational and training practices. With this in mind VIRAL project aims to trigger higher level of knowledge, skills and application with reference to use of ICT in agricultural education and training in both formal and informal settings. Henceforth, VIRAL connects key HEIs and industry learning communities’ participants in the process of co-creating and testing new in and out of the classroom methods and practices, initiating professional pitch competitions (hackathons), and spinning off a distinctive regional university-business collaboration platform. Core learning experience involving agricultural and IT engineering teaching staff and students and passing on the knowledge gained onto professional advisory services and collaboration practices with the companies in the field is realized through intensive training experience and study visits to European universities. On the impact level boosted ICTs use in agriculture underpins sustainable rural development, increases resilience of rural families, improves access of farmers to needed services, and further empowers women and youth living prospects in rural areas.

Viral 1Viral 2

2. Development of master curricula in ecological monitoring and aquatic bioassessment for Western Balkans HEIs/ECOBIAS
609967-EPP-1-2019-1-RS-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP

Coordinator: University of Novi Sad, Serbia
Project partners from Bosnia and Herzegovina: University of Sarajevo, University of Banja Luka, University of East Sarajevo, University of Mostar, University of Tuzla and International University of Travnik.

Project website:   https://www.ecobiaserasmus.com/

The Danube Region is a major international hydrological basin and ecological corridor in Europe. Water resources are shared across borders and go beyond national interests, which implies a regional approach to environmental protection and biodiversity conservation. According to the European Union Strategy for the Danube Region, these challenges are best addressed together by strengthening institutional cooperation and capacity building in education. Present ecological and aquatic bioassessment education in the Danube area/Western Balkans Region does not meet the requirements of European environmental legislation and policies. The aim of the ECOBIAS Project is to develop and improve knowledge/skills/technical resources for ecological monitoring and aquatic bioassessment (EMAB) in accordance with the national and EU policy at seven Western Balkan PC HEIs . The specific objectives of the Project are:

  1. to develop/modernise and implement the advanced master curricula in EMAB in line with the Bologna requirements;
  2. to develop and implement Lifelong Learning courses for professionals in the environmental monitoring sector in line with EU Water Framework Directive;
  3. to equip seven EMAB laboratories;
  4. and to develop regional academic network and ECOBIAS-NET platform in order to organise and promote regional cooperation in EMAB.

Field-based learning and flexible learning pathways will allow students to adapt curricula outcomes in accordance to specific job requirements and stakeholders needs. Development and intercalibration of ecological status assessment system at national and regional levels is long lasting process which require extensive database of regularly monitored biological and environmental attributes. Therefore, building capacities in HE in the Western Balkan Region for the area of ecological monitoring and aquatic bioassessment represents a necessary and inevitable step toward the integration of EU environmental policy in the Region.

 

3. Reconnecting universities and enterprises to unleash regional innovation and entrepreneurial activity/KnowHub
610093-EPP-1-2019-1-AT-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP

Coordinator:  FH Joanneum Gesellschaft MBH, Austria
Project partners from Bosnia and Herzegovina: University of Sarajevo; University of Mostar; Zaklada za inovacijski i tehnoloski razvitak.

Project website: https://knowhub.eu/

The KnowHub project will reconnect universities and enterprises in the Western Balkans to support the development of innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem through knowledge transfer. This cooperation will sustain and further grow the research and practical teaching capacities of the targeted universities, will increase the international competitiveness of the enterprises and will provide students with practical experience enhancing their (self)employability. This will be achieved through setting-up of Commercialisation Hubs at the European University of Tirana and University of Vlora in Albania, University of Sarajevo and University of Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina and at the University of Montenegro. The Hubs will join knowledge, resources and infrastructure from different university units and centres serving as a one-stop-shop for cooperation with industry. Each Hub’s placement, strategy, business plan and portfolio of instruments will be tailormade to the needs and capacities of the universities from the project. This will enhance the full potential of each university and the Hubs’ sustainability. Within the scope of this project the Hubs and the Partner Country Universities (PCUs) will develop capacities in Rapid Prototyping and Lean Manufacturing through study visits and trainings, as well as peer-mentoring from the EU universities. At least15 enterprises will be engaged in university-enterprise cooperation projects including more than15 professors and 45 students. The project will also develop the Innovation and Entrepreneurship (I&E) capacities at the PCUs. Academic staff will be trained (≥25 professors) in order to increase both the commercialisation of research through entrepreneurial activities (start-ups and spin-offs) and to embed I&E topics and skills into (≥25) technical courses. The first generation of (≥50) students active in the Hubs will be trained on STEM Bootcamp increasing their (self)employability.

 

4. Strengthening capacities for the implementation of dual education in BH higher education/DUALSCI
610251-EPP-1-2019-1-RS-EPPKA2-CBHE-SP

Coordinator: University of Novi Sad, Serbia
Project partners from Bosnia and Herzegovina:
University of Sarajevo; University of East Sarajevo; University of Mostar; University of Zenica; Udruzenje Bit Alijansa za informacione tehnologije; Chamber of Commerce of FBiH; Ministry of education, science, culture & sport of the Zenica Doboj canton; Ministry of education, science, culture & sport of the West Herzegovina canton; Ministry for scientific and technological development, higher education and information society of RS; Ministry of education, science and youth FBiH; Chamber of Commerce and Industry of RS.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIH) the link between labour market and Higher Education Institutions (HEI) is still week. The market has low level of trust in HEI as serious partner in solving technical and technological or any work-related problems but also cannot see their role in the creation of skill and knowledgeable graduates, who are fit for employment. The main aim of the project is to improve the competences of higher education graduates in BIH, through development of generic model of dual education (DUALSCI model) and legal framework for introduction of dual education in order to support different needs and interests of students, companies, higher education institutions (HEIs) in different cantons/entities of BIH and to provide recommendations to HEIs, companies and policy makers for implementation of dual education in the entire BIH. The model will be implemented, as a pilot test, in four universities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The overall aims of the project are: • Improvement of the competencies of higher education graduates in cantons and entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, according to the needs of employers, • Increase motivation to study as well as to improve the employability of graduate students, • Enable students from lower income families to access higher education, and • Improvement of legal framework and accreditation standards in four cantons and entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to adapt to dual education with long-term goal to motivate introduction of dual education in other cantons/entities/districts not involved in the project.

Dualsci 3Dualsci 2

5. Internationalization at Home: Embedding approaches and structures to foster Internationalization at Western Balkans/INTERBA
610429-EPP-1-2019-1-AL-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP

Coordinator: University of Tirana, Albania
Project partners from Bosnia and Herzegovina: University of Tuzla, Dzemal Bijedic University of Mostar

Project website: https://interba.uni-pr.edu/

The internationalization of higher education is not regarded as a goal in itself anymore, but as a mean to improve the quality of education and increase the relevance of HEIs within the society at large. Notably, for higher education institutions from developing countries, internationalization brings significant benefits in terms of the improvement of the academic effectiveness, through the mutual exchange and experience of different practices in teaching and learning. Moreover, it fosters the development of human capacities through international collaboration, and students obtain intercultural competences by being exposed to an international setting. Internationalization of HEIs in the Balkan region has been primarily achieved through student and staff mobility as well as Erasmus + CBHE projects that involved a limited number of staff. HEIs have realized that trying to approach to internationalization through these initiatives leaves room for fragmented and individualistic results which prevents internationalization to be embedded within the institutional structures. In this vein, "internationalization at home” (IaH) is vital as it refers to the policies and processes that purposefully integrate international and intercultural aspects into the curricular and co-curricular activities for students. By leveraging on the potentialities of information and communication technologies, this project aims at removing the financial and formal barriers that prevent internationalisation to reach a wide number of students and staff. The process to integrate learning material and teaching approaches, and the technical solutions that will be devised, will allow promoting a framework that can be re-used in other contexts, thus providing an additional tool for effective internationalisation in higher education.

 

6. Higher Education–Enterprise platform for fostering, modernisation and sustainable growth in natural stone industry in Western Balkan/BKSTONE
610483-EPP-1-2019-1-AL-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP

Coordinator: Polytechnic University of Tirana, Albania
Project partners from Bosnia and Herzegovina: University of Sarajevo, University of Mostar

The main objective of the project is fostering the modernization and development of the stone sector in Western Balkans partner countries and strengthening the relationship between the higher education and the industry.

For this purpose different specific objectives have been allocated to the project:

The project aims at Higher Education, and this is the reason why most partners are HEIs, but it includes also a VET tertiary level and a stone technologic centre, Marble, Natural Stone and Materials Technology Centre (CTM), Several associated partners will be involved in the project, mainly city halls and SMSE’s. Main products of the project are training content for university courses, a training programmes for VET tertiary level, an Online Resource Centre and multimedia handbooks. The project will last for three years and involve partner from Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo and Montenegro, as partner countries. From programme countries, partners from Spain, Italy, Romania and Greece.

 

7. Educating Science Teachers for all/ ESTA
609719-EPP-1-2019-1-DE-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP

Coordinaor: Ludwigsburg University of Education
Project partners from Bosnia and Herzegovina: University of Sarajevo, University of Mostar

ESTA aims to improve the quality of Higher Education professional development of university science teacher educators staff towards teaching diverse sensitive methods in their courses. Thus, courses on diversity sensitive science teaching will be implemented in Georgia, the Philippines, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Starting from the needs analysis linguistic and cultural diversity is major focus here. In phase one, preparation will be done by Academic Staff Tour of Partner institutions in Program Countries. Second phase is development of courses following Action Research and CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) approach, their implementation and evaluation. Innovative here is the interdisciplinary development of the courses, where educators from science disciplines develop their teaching methods cooperatively with educators from language, general pedagogy and intercultural education departments. Thus, different competences and skills will be combined.

Both pre- and in-service teachers should be reached by the courses and the knowledge and skills about diversity science teaching should be shared. Following new teaching and learning materials for diverse science classes will be developed and implemented. This aims improving learning outcomes. Developed courses will be implemented at the partner institutions and promoted at the regional and national level among decision makers and policy makers. All new teaching and learning as well training materials will be offered at the ESTA website in the meaning of OER and will be evaluable not only to the participants of the courses but also to other interested pre- and in-service science teachers. Thus, possibilities of internationalization and networking is given.

ESTA 1ESTA 2

8. Business driven problem-based learning for academic excellence in geoinformatics/ GEOBIZ
610225-EPP-1-2019-1-HR-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP

Coordinator: University of Zagreb, Croatia
Project partners from Bosnia and Herzegovina: University of Sarajevo, University of Banja Luka, Gauss d.o.o.
Project website: http://geobiz.eu/

GEOBIZ project consortium built out of 15 academic and 3 business partners together with 5 affiliated partners is addressing partners needs regarding geoinformatics business and academic sector in five European countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Moldova and Montenegro. Geoinformatics ecosystem, as a link between technical and ICT subject and professionals, is part of digital industrial revolution characterized with fast technology driven changes and development of new knowledges and skills necessary for efficient use of this technology for satisfaction of user needs. Rapid change is creating situation in which academic sector faces problems. It can't cope with fast changes and lags in introduction of new content in educational process. This results in situation that new professionals finishing academic education do not master necessary knowledge and skills in field of geoinformatics and therefore are not well prepared for industry. Ultimately business sector suffers from such situation lacking new experts which can contribute in their development. Therefore, GEOBIZ project aims to design and establish new business-academia cooperation platform in field of geoinformatics in targeted countries which will bring together geoinformatics subjects, foster their cooperation and create situation in which all stakeholders will benefit. Based on this cooperation HEI's will improve quality of education of geoinformatics and related courses using business-driven problem-based cases which are prepared (designed) by geoinformatics companies for use in educational process and thus modernise their geoinformatics courses. This modernisation will result in raising attraction of geoinformatics studies for students, deliver well educated and prepared professional, satisfy needs of business sector for expert work force and ultimately offer to society geoinformatics sector capable to answer on societal needs in efficient, timely and cost benefit manner.
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