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Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange National Information Day

  • 11.27.2019

 

UNIMED Director Called on partnering universities to form "Mediterranean Generation" through Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange Information Day.

IUG International Relations Office has held the national information day for Erasmus+ virtual exchange at Tiba Building to discuss the impacts, opportunities, challenges, and activities of Virtual Exchange programme.   

The meeting had been held in coordination with the National Erasmus+ Office in Palestine, in which the Director of National Erasmus+ Office Dr. Nedal Jayousi was headed the meeting via skype.

According to the Assistant Deputy Minister of Higher Education Dr. Ihab Qubbaj, he confirmed that the gem of the virtual exchange program appears in achieving internationalization for Palestinian educational institutions and digitization of education. In addition, it helps increasing the transference of cultural, scientific and practical experiences through building effective channels of communication between local and international universities.

From the UNIMED, the Director Mr. Marcello Scalisi has pledged his allegiance to bolster the partnerships between Mediterranean Universities; "they are crucial to filling the gap caused by cultural differences," he said. He has called on universities partnering in virtual exchange programs to shape what so-called "Mediterranean generation", which would handle the critical issues of the Mediterranean regions equally.

 Prof. Nasser Farahat, President of Islamic University reported that: the experience of Islamic University has been successful. "We are working to equalize the courses taught at the European host universities, and will include them in the student's studying plan."

The day has been encompassed three sessions and a breakout:

 In the First Session, the floor was for Dr. Jayousi, who handled the Erasmus+ opportunities for students and youth. As he clarified, there is a unique range of new and useful Erasmus+ programs including: computer programming, conflict resolution, technology and innovation, intellectual property and software engineering. In terms of academic exchange, Al-Jayousi announced that there are (200) mobility opportunities to European universities and Gaza has owned the large bulk of it, yet the obstacles to travel continue hindering the process.

 Al-Jayousi speech summarized that both virtual and academic exchange programs have vividly increased the scientific output of the universities and has a clear impact on the Palestinian educational institutions.

The Second Session has displayed Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange in a nutshell.

 Cristina Stefanelli defined Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange as an " Innovative way for young people to engage in intercultural experiences online, fostering the mutual understanding and skills development". The number of students, as she declared, to be participated from 2018-2020 is (25000) youth.

Sklossi stated that the proposed topics for discussion in virtual exchange sessions are: current events in the world, religion, social culture, racism, gender equality, media and environmental issues. She stressed that virtual exchange is not limited to sharing files and information, not only to discuss and dialogue, but also to ensure organized interaction and engagement with other youth groups worldwide through the activation of technology and media tools.

The third session has tackled the Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange activities, in which the topic of Online Facilitated Dialogue was given by Katja Riikonen, Open Online Course by Rawan Tahboub, Training for a Transnational Virtual Exchange Project by Philipp Mocklinghoff. In addition, Eng. Amani Elmagadma presented the Islamic University of Gaza Experience with Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange, while the experience of virtual exchange at Bethlehem University was shared by Mawlai Kleiborn.

The Breakout Session involved a discussion between the Erasmus+ groups focused on the development of virtual exchange program activities for the coming years, in which participants answered the following questions: How to expand internationalization at home through virtual exchange program, how to engage Youth communities in virtual exchange, what are the opportunities and challenges for virtual exchange, what are the activities most suited to the organization's needs, what are the concrete steps to be part of Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange.