Living in exceptional times and with exceptional measures makes you only look forward, work harder and stand stronger. 2021 has been yet another year that challenged the whole world with new and difficult scenarios. And still, like the previous year, the educational sector remained affected. Last year it was necessary to find alternatives to ensure continuity of education, making a quick transition in terms of online teaching and virtual approaches to international mobility and cooperation, rushing into it incredibly quickly. This year we have been able to count on the efforts already made and standing all together to cope with this ‘new normal’.
Despite the restrictions, there are significant insights to be drawn from our shared experience in 2021, and we have noted down a few of the key points below.During this year, we have continued to work together supporting Albanian Higher Education Institutions in adopting and implementing effective ICT-based internationalization at-home activities, and we have enhanced academic staff skills for innovative virtual teaching and learning settings. In particular, this year we have:
- established the VALEU-X centres at the premises of the Albanian partner universities, where specific equipment is available to support the Virtual Collaborative Learning courses
- delivered the E-Tutor qualifications workshop on April 23 – June 25, addressing students and academic staff from the Albanian partner universities, and evaluated and reflected with the learners on their training experience
- shared testimonial videos by E-Tutors of Epoka University appreciating the project, and expressing what they have learned and loved the most
- collected the learning resources from the E-Tutor qualification workshop and made them openly available
- hosted the second Expert Forum at Aleksander Moisiu University in Durres on September 23-27, where all the partners gathered onsite
- signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the project partners to commit to collaborate and facilitate academic cooperation on a long-term perspective;
- hosted an online observation visit and job shadowing at TU Dresden on 6-8 December
Also, this year we have presented the project developments at various conferences and events, namely at:
- the “Soft skills of Students” Conference, in 14 January, which offered a chance for an inter-project exchange in the field of capacity building and strategic partnership building
- the Capacity Building webinar organised by the MED2IaH project on 16 March
- the MakeLearn and TIIM International Scientific Conference organised, among others, by ISSBS on 20-21 May
- the Erasmus Days 2021
- the DAAD Projektmarkt on 8 November
- the 16th International Symposium in Management (SIM) on 22-23 October
- shared best practice contribution in the Online Symposium International Teaching organised by TU Braunschweig on 19 November
As this year ends, we can expect that 2022 will be another year of adaptation. We know that we are standing stronger, still looking ahead, ready for what is coming, for achieving more, for making VALEU-X successful.
We wish you a joyful holiday period, and a happy new year, looking forward to our cooperation continuing throughout 2022 and beyond.