27 Academic staff member from Kurdish universities have participated in a circular field visit at two of the EU university partners in the framework of APPRAIS project: the University of Pisa and the University of Evora. The Kurdish colleagues were Vice-Presidents for Scientific affairs, Quality Assurance Directors and Deans of Colleges implementing Bologna process, as well as representatives of the KRG Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.
This on-the-job training aimed for Kurdish staff to meet the European counterparts (Heads of departments, Deans and Vice Rectors , responsibles of QA and other relevant university staff) and have the opportunity to compare their ways of implementing procedures and mechanisms in key areas such as the implementation of quality standard, the management of the internationalisation units, the management of research activities, and more. The field visits were very practical as a number of visits at the main university offices have been organised with the purpose of sharing experiences and go in depth into the institutional mechanism, to fully understand how to implement in practice the university procedures and strategic decisions.
The Kurdish university staff was able to visit the quality assurance offices of both universities and to compare and dialogue with EU directors, administrative staff and teachers, thus presenting the concrete and daily management of the QA office in the two different contexts, one Italian university and one Portuguese university. In Pisa the APPRAIS partners were also able to concretely see the activities of the internationalization office and speak with their related staff about international cooperation opportunities, students and staff mobility and how to strengthen internationalisation at the Kurdish HEIs. On the other side,the University of Evora organized a day dedicated to the various services offered to support students by the ‘Academic services’ office: from the management of their academic career, up to the daily management of university life (support not only on purely academic issues but also psychological, social and recreational issues, etc.). At the University of Pisa, the Kurdish partners had also the opportunity to meet and visit three different offices: research office, teaching unit and career center, as well as to visit some scientific departments, where they were able to meet with colleagues and and establish links for future scientific cooperation. On the other hand, in Evora the visit focused heavily on technological transfer, innovation and entrepreneurship by organizing, among other things, the visit to PACT, the technological and innovation center founded by prof. Soumodip Sarkar.
This double field visit is a key milestone in the APPRAIS project after the training weeks at the University of Oslo and the University of Sulaymania organised respectively in May and June 2022. The on-the-job training allows Kurdish universities to further work on institutional mechanism, daily management processes, teaching and research improvement, and students services, and will certainly be the first concrete step to establish future and solid cooperation among the EU universities in the partnership. The experience at the two European Universities is also beneficial for Kurdish universities in the definition of their Roadmaps for Bologna process implementation, where for each long-term objective universities must define concrete actions and feasible activities for a short-term improvement process.
To know more about the project, please visit www.appraisproject.eu