9 de julio de 2024

EU GREEN STARTS ON THE PATH TO CROSS-BORDER EDUCATION WITH THE SELECTION OF THREE INTERNATIONAL PILOT JOINT DEGREES

The EU GREEN alliance has started its journey towards cross-border education with the selection of the first three pilot joint degrees that students from the nine universities will be able to pursue. The choice was made during the WP2 Staff Week held at the University of Évora last June.

The selected proposals are: Sciences and technologies for the ecological transition of agricultural and urban ecosystems from UNIPR, UEx, UPWr, UÉ and UA; Green Energy for Sustainability and Resilience from UEx, ATU, HiG, UO, OvGU and Sustainability, Innovation, Entrepreneurship in Intelligent Rural Territories from UEx, ATU, UÉ, UA and UO. The selection of three pilot joint degrees marked a significant milestone in the EU GREEN Alliance’s efforts to promote collaborative, cross-border education.

 

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STAFF WEEK

The Staff Week was organized by the University of Évora and gathered about 80 participants, including WP2 members, members of others WPs, Vice-Rectors, Student Council members and students engaged in the EU GREEN activities. All three days of the meeting were dedicated to advancing sustainability in higher education through a series of workshops, presentations, and cultural activities. Some of them were differentiated for chosen groups of participants, i.e. students or Vice-Rectors.

The first day started with inaugural session and with presentation of State of the Art of WP2 Implementation Teams and of the Students Council. But the clue of the day was the presentation of 8 proposals of Joint Study Programs performed in place or on-line by their proponents, and following session of the Selection Committee which successfully chose three pilot joint degrees of the 8 proposals presented earlier this day.

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The initial session set a positive tone for the collaborative efforts that followed for other participants. Throughout the day, attendees engaged in various interactive workshops, including «Cinema for Sustainability» session, which aim was to raise awareness about environmental issues. Additionally, the «Portuguese 101 Survival Workshop» helped participants gain a basic understanding of the local language and culture, fostering a sense of community and cultural integration. Evening discussions focused on intercultural competence, emphasizing the importance of cultural understanding in creating a collaborative academic environment.

On the second day, session on the «Minor for Sustainability» and workshops on aligning curricular units with Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) provided valuable insights and sparked new initiatives among the attendees. A highlight of the day was however the keynote address by Filipe Rocha, Local Coordinator of the European Campus of City Universities (EC2U). Rocha’s talk on the challenges and solutions for implementing joint European degrees inspired participants to see from more practical perspective the challenges that stands in front of the EU GREEN Alliance.

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The day concluded with an astonishing musical performance by the CORUÉ choir from the University of Évora. In the evening participants could make a visit to the vibrant Feira de São João, blending education with entertainment.

The final day featured presentations of action plans for 2025 by each implementation team and the Student Council. These presentations showcased detailed strategies for integrating sustainability into curricula and institutional practices, setting the stage for future progress. In the afternoon an educational trip to Alqueva and Monsaraz provided participants with real-world examples of sustainability practices, deepening their commitment to environmental stewardship. The event concluded with a dinner at Monsaraz Restaurant, where attendees reflected on the week’s achievements and discussed future collaborations.

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The WP2 Staff Week fostered a robust exchange of ideas and best practices for sustainability in higher education. Workshops on SDG alignment and intercultural competence were particularly important for their practical relevance and engaging content. Attendees praised the event for the opportunity to engage in meaningful discussions. The WP2 Staff Week in Évora was a transformative experience, providing valuable insights and fostering connections that will drive our sustainability initiatives forward. Building on the success of the WP2 Staff Week, the EU GREEN Alliance plans to implement the action plans presented during the event and continue supporting the development of joint degrees and other sustainability-focused educational projects.