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Engaging European universities in cooperation activities with the Levant

Promoting academic cooperation in the Mediterranean region is among the key priorities for UNIMED. The project PELIARQ, Promoting European-Levantine Internationalisation and Automatic Recognition of Qualifications, funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union,  supports the goal by promoting cooperation arrangements between the two shores of the Mediterranean.

PELIARQ involves UK NARIC as project coordinator, alongside UNIMED and the Maltese NARIC (Malta Qualifications Recognition Information Centre), with support from organisations in Lebanon and Jordan. The project aims to help European institutions form partnerships in the Levant region.

The key objective of the project is twofold: to promote opportunities for internationalisation by European universities, with the focus on the specific target countries in the Levant, namely Jordan, Lebanon and Syria; and to promote improved recognition of qualifications and transparency around the education systems in Europe.

Strategic internationalisation activities are a cornerstone of world class higher education systems, both in Europe and in the Mediterranean. Opportunities for European universities to achieve their internationalisation goals in other regions continue to require additional information and support. In order to ensure these strategies have the maximum success and impact, EU HEIs require clear guidance on the available opportunities in specific regions and the ways in which these opportunities can be maximised. It is necessary to identify barriers to internationalisation (such as regulatory issues) and how these can be overcome, and concurrently any particularly pertinent enablers for the opportunities available, such as the use of technology to support internationalisation, support for public-private initiatives and the degree to which educational levels are aligned between systems.

The project aims to develop a Guidance Toolkit on internationalisation opportunities in the Levant, targeting European Higher Education Institutions, to strengthen the strategic and structured cooperation between universities in Europe and in the Levant, including support for various types of cooperation models. To complement and support cooperation, a Guidance on Levantine qualifications, qualification frameworks and credit systems will be also developed, to support learning mobility between the EU and the Levant, including transitions between different levels of education.

In turn, the project will also promote an element of social inclusion as individuals coming from the region, in particular from Syria, may be refugees or migrants, and improved recognition of their prior qualifications through understanding the education systems in that region will promote their integration into the European education system.

More information on the PELIARQ project are available here: https://www.uni-med.net/progetti/peliarq/