Aston helping to develop harmony

Conference delegates
Harmony conference delegates in Thessaloniki

9 November 2016

  • ·Harmony initiative among universities in EU, Armenia, Belarus and  Russia
  • ·First international conference for Erasmus+ funded initiative
  • ·Consortium discusses internationalisation strategies

Universities from across the EU, Armenia, Belarus and Russia took part in the first international conference for an Erasmus+ Harmony initiative looking at further developing internationalisation strategies in higher education, research and innovation.    

The conference in Greece saw almost 30 representatives from the consortium running the three year Harmony project come together and was hosted by partner, the Alexander Technological Educational Institute (ATHEI) of Thessaloniki.

Wendy Yip, Director of International Development at Aston University, said: “It was the consortium’s first conference and third workshop and included a series of talks, meetings and workshops on how we can work together to develop strong approaches to the harmonisation of internationalisation strategies for the benefit of higher education, research and innovation.

“We looked at best practices in internationalisation strategies and explored the different structures and current approaches in place within the eight different countries represented by the consortium.” 

As part of the event Wendy gave a presentation on the drivers for internationalisation within UK universities, and shared best practices from both Aston University and the UK perspective.

Aston University currently has students from over 130 countries. With such a highly diverse student population and ever greater numbers of international students choosing to study at Aston, the university is committed to promoting and enhancing the learning experience for all students studying UK programmes, irrespective of geographical location, home country or background.

Participating in the initiative alongside Aston are the University of Seville, Sapienza University of Rome, Kassel University, Instituto Politécnico de Tomar in Portugal, Alexander Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki, Eurasia International University and the Russian-Armenian (Slavonic) University, in Armenia; Belarusian State University and Belarusian Trade and Economics University of Consumer Cooperatives, Voronezh State University, Southern Federal University and Penza State University in Russia. The Ministries of Education in Armenia, Belarus and Russia as well as the International Centre for innovation in Science, Technology and Education (ICISTE) in Russia are also involved.

The project is funded through a €894,000 grant from the Erasmus+ Key Action 2: Cooperation for Innovation and Exchange of Good Practices programme which focuses on enabling organisations to work together on sharing, developing and transferring innovative practices in education between different countries.

The project runs until October 2018 and Aston’s leads are Provost & Deputy Vice Chancellor, Professor Helen Higson, Aston Business School’s International Relations Manager, Selena Teeling and Director of International Development, Wendy Yip. 

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