CONFERENCES

National Cascade Training program: Internationalization of Higher Education (January 27th 2022, Confucius Institute the National University of Laos)

On January 27th, 2022, National University of Laos (NUOL) hosted the Toolkit National Cascade training Internationalization of Higher Education.

The event was held in a blended modality with some participants joining physically at the Confucius Institute of NUOL and some other joined online. The event counted more than 50 participants belonging to different HEIs and stakeholders from the Country.

The training started with a warm welcome to the audience and a brief introduction to the session by Associate Professor Dr. Houngphet Chanthavong (Vice- President NUOL) who presented the aim and the content of the training.

The morning continued with the contribution of Mr Phouvanh Vongsouthi (Deputy Director General of International Cooperation Department MOES) who introduced the role of the Ministry of Education and Sports and its importance in relation to internationalization matters. He pointed out how the latter can positively influence the quality of education.

The first training session started with the intervention of Dr. Souliya Mounnarath and Ms. Khamphout Phanyaseng (NUOL) who presented the Mobility Handbook elaborated in the framework of WP4, with a detailed description of the key strategies for the management of Mobility Programs. The floor was then given to Mr. Palitha Douangchack (SU) and Mr. Vanglee Phengxay (SU) which described in details Outbound and Inbound mobility management respectively.

Afterwards, Dr. Nanludet Moxom (NUOL) and Dr. Thongkham Hungsavath (SU) defined the Universities’ International Relations Office Internationalization Strategic Plan. They illustrated their main objectives in order to strengthen and improve the quality of academic services in order to be recognized in an international community.

This first part of the conference was held in Laotian in order to grant a good understanding of the main concepts of the training and allow everyone to interact and make questions.

The second part of the meeting had a full international print with hosts coming from foreign Countries. The first speaker was Ms Fiona Hunter (CHEI, Associate Director Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan) who brought to the table a rather relevant and sensitive topic. She explained how the pandemic is affecting the internationalizations in higher Educations and its implications and opportunities for the future.

Her speech was followed by Mr James Kennedy (Toolkit Project Advisor) who presented the Toolkit Project ‘next steps for internationalization in Laos’.

Finally, the conference concluded with closing remarks and summaries by Associate Professor Dr. Sengdeuane Wayakone (Director of International Relations, NUOL).

Please have a look at the box below for the conference material and presentations.

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National Cascade training in Sri Lanka (18th January 2022, Online Meeting)

On January 18th, 2022, the Toolkit Project consortium and various Higher Education Institutions of Sri Lanka participated to the National Cascade Training organized by the University of Peradeniya and the University of Kelaniya. The event was held through Zoom platform and was attended by a great audience of more than 70 participants, belonging to different HEIs and stakeholders from the country.

The session started with a welcome address and a brief introduction to the program made by Prof. Neelakshi C. Premawardhena, (University of Kelaniya), who presented the project, the aims and the contents of the cascade training. The event continued with the opening remarks made by Senior Professor Nilanthi de Silva (Vice Chancellor, University of Kelaniya), who introduced the Higher Education System’s internationalization in Sri Lanka, highlighting the importance to pursue its improvement for the enhancement of the HE’s quality in the country. Followingly, Prof. Terrence Madhujith (Deputy Vice Chancellor, University of Peradeniya) introduced to the audience the benefits obtained by the University of Peradeniya through the TOOLKIT Project, focusing on how crucial it is to enhance the international collaboration among the Universities for the advantage of the whole National Higher Education System.

In the first part of the training, the University of Paradeniya and the University of Kelaniya presented the knowledges acquired during the first Toolkit training, specifically concerning International Strategies. Prof. Nimal Dharmasena (University of Peradeniya) exposed the main concepts which contributed to the improvement of the international strategy of his university. The exposure on the internationalization strategies continued with the contribution by prof. Neelakshi C. Premawardhena (University of Kelaniya), who showed how the strategies should match with the University goals.

The training continued with a presentation on Project design and Management held by Dr. Nanda Gunawardena (SLT Campus & former Director of International Affairs Office, University of Peradeniya). The discussion included instructions on writing project proposals, the Logical Framework Method (LFM), good practices in project managing, dissemination and risk management. The session continued with the intervention of Mr. S. P. Jayakody (Deputy Bursar/Financial Administration, University of Peradeniya), who explained the main practices concerning the handling of foreign funded grants.

During the second part of the event, the floor was given to Dr. Samanthi Jayawardena, Ms. Hirindu Kawshala and Ms. Sandesha Perera (University of Kelaniya) who explained the important steps to be followed in managing inbound and outbound mobility. Following this presentation, Prof. Neelakshi C. Premawardhena invited 2nd and 3rd year undergraduates’ students to share their opinions and experiences concerning the virtual mobility they carried out during the last years, due to the limits imposed by the pandemic. The students’ involvement gave to the participants the opportunity to listen to a direct testimony of how internationalization can be perceived by mobility students, starting a constructive dialogue on the challenges and benefits of the virtual mobility.

In the last part of the training the discussion focused on experience sharing, provided by EU experts on internationalization of HEIs and opportunities. First, Dr. Fiona J. H. Hunter shared the presentation on “Building a stronger future for internationalization: from reflection to action”, followed by Mr. James Kennedy (Consultant to the Toolkit Project) “Virtual tour of the Toolkit Project”. The experience sharing continued with the contribution of a Sri Lankan perspective, provided by Dr. S. Maheswaran (Snr. Lecturer, Faculty of Management, University of Peradeniya) and Prof. Osantha N. Thalpawila (Department of Political Science, University of Kelaniya).

The training concluded with a brief Q&A session followed by the closing remarks of Snr. Prof. Neelakshi C. Premawardhena. Please have a look at the box below for the conference materials!

National Cascade Training, Internationalization for Higher Education in Myanmar (16 December 2021, Online meeting)

On December 16th, the Toolkit Consortium partners participated in the first National Cascade Training organized by the Myanmar partners. The meeting aimed to share the expertise and knowledge acquired through the project with the country’s Higher Education Institutions leaders and stakeholders. The session started with the opening remarks and welcoming speeches from the Rectors of the University of Yangon, the Yangon University of Economics and the Yezin Agricultural University. The Toolkit partners presented the three trainings carried out within the project framework: Development of Internationalization Strategies, Effective project Writing and Management and Effective mobility flows Management.

The event continued with a presentation delivered by the invited international speaker Dr. Fiona Hunter, Higher Education Management Consultant. Dr. Hunter presented the challenges and benefits of what she defined the “Virtualization of the internationalization”, explaining how the Higher Education community adjusted to the pandemic dynamics. Although the restrictions posed an unquestionable challenge to the educational community, the new scenario also offered opportunities to develop agreements between different HEIs and a greater collaboration between institutions, which became for inclusive and thus creating more opportunities for all.

Finally, Mr. James Kennedy, Toolkit Project Advisor, concluded the event presenting the evaluation and the synthesis of the national cascade trainings. Mr. Kennedy shared with the participants a brief introduction to the Toolkit project website and the related materials, which hopefully will be useful for future collaborations between the Myanmar Higher Education Institutions. 

Please have a look at the box below for the conference materials.

National Workshop “A Global Outlook for Sri Lankan Universities” (ONLINE CONFERENCE, 27 October 2020)

On October 27th, 2020 TOOLKIT Sri Lankan and EU Partners gathered on an online platform to take part in the National Workshop “A Global Outlook for Sri Lankan Universities”, organized by University of Peradeniya and University of Kelaniya in the framework of WP2 - Modernization of Asian HEIs Internationalization Strategies. The workshop saw the participation of different Universities of the Country external to the Project consortium with the aim of sharing the Project’s activities and results for the benefit of the entire academic community.

The event started with the welcome by Prof. Neelakshi Premawardhena, (University of Kelaniya) followed by the opening remarks of Mr. Frank Hess, (Head of Operations, Delegation of the European Union to Sri Lanka and Maldives), the addresses by Prof. Upul B. Dissanayake (Vice-Chancellor, University of Peradeniya) and Prof. Nilanthi de Silva, Vice-Chancellor, University of Kelaniya. Before the start of the presentation session the audience assisted to the address by the Honorable State Minister for Education Mr. Susil Premjayantha.

The presentations session started with the exposure by Ms Franca Maria Mura (UNIBO coordination team) who briefly introduced the Project aims and activities and focused later on the WP1 Report Developing an Asian Way to internationalization: needs and priorities in Laos, Myanmar and Sri Lanka”, with a particular mention to the results of the analysis in Sri Lankan HE context.

The session continued with the presentation held by Ms. Raimonda Markeviciene (Head of IRO, Vilnius University) who introduced to the audience the work done in the framework of WP2 – Modernization of Asian Internationalization Strategies. She showed the work carried out together with Asian Partner Universities during the training held in Vilnius in October 2019, and the results the consortium has achieved so far.

During the second part of the event, the floor was given to Sri Lankan partners who presented the work done on their internationalization strategies after the training. The audience had the opportunity to attend the presentation held by Prof. Shameen Jinadasa (Director, International Relation Office, University of Peradeniya) who gave an overview of the current internationalization actions and strategies in place at UoP and the improvements and updates reached thanks also to the work done by TOOLKIT Project. The last presentation of the day was held by Prof. Neelakshi Premawardena (Director, International Affairs, University of Kelaniya) who shared the experience of UoK at international level, the results achieved and the improvement brought through the participation to the TOOLKIT Project. After a Q&A session the event was concluded with the hope to be able to meet again in person for the future Project’s events.

Please have a look at the box below for the workshop materials.

 

National Workshop: “A global outlook for Laotian Universities” (Confucius Institute, National University of Laos, Vientiane, 14 January 2020)

On January 14th the National University of Laos, hosted the TOOLKIT National Workshop: “A global outlook for Laotian Universities”. The event saw the participation of Toolkit Laotian and EU partners together with representatives of the three other public Universities in Laos: Champassak University, Savannakhet University and University of Health Science. Dr. Khampao Chanphengxay, Deputy Director General, Higher Education Department, Ministry of Education and Sports and Prof.  Houngphet Chantavong, Vice- President, National University of Laos, introduced the event.

After the opening remarks, the audience assisted to the presentation of the WP1 – Toolkit report: Developing and Asian Way to Internationalization: needs and priorities in Laos, Myanmar and Sri Lanka held by Giovanna Filippini (TOOLKIT project Coordinator, University of Bologna). The presentation revolved around the data found through the need analysis conducted during the Project’s first WP on Higher Education System, Internationalization Policies and Strategies, Mobility and International Projects in the three Asian Countries partners of the project. The main focus has been on the challenges and needs faced by the Laotian HEIs in the development of their international dimension. Starting from this analysis, Miss Raimonda Markeviciene (Vilnius University) exposed the importance of the international dimension in the development of HEIs, suggestions on how to build up a strategic plan and how the WP2-Training on International Strategies at Vilnius University has been constructed and delivered according to the needs and priorities highlighted by the analysis.

During the second part of the Morning, Laotian partner Universities presented the outlines of their new/updated strategic plans for internationalization, together with their action plans which have been developed taking into account the knowledge acquired during the training week at Vilnius University. Mr. Amkheng Phenglasy (NUOL) presented the new strategic plan for internationalization of National University of Laos, validated and approved by the NUOL management bodies, which will be included in the next University’s strategic plan for 2020/2025. The presentation has been followed by the exposure of the new strategic plan for internationalization of Souphanouvong University, held by Mr. Palitha Douangchak (SU). The event was concluded by a discussion on the presented outcomes and possible implementation of the future Project’s activities.

Workshop materials available in the following box.

National Workshop: “A global outlook for Myanmar Universities” (University of Yangon Research Centre, January 11th 2020)

On January 11th 2020, the University of Yangon hosted the TOOLKIT and CHINLONE National Workshop “A global outlook for Myanmar Universities”. The event saw the participation of the MM Partners of TOOLKIT and CHINLONE Projects (more info about CHINLONE project available here) and representatives from the other MM universities of the region.The workshop started with the opening remarks of Dr. Thein Win, Director General, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Education and Prof. Pho Kaung, Rector, University of Yangon. During the first part of the morning, Prof. Antonio Fiori (CHINLONE Project Coordinator, University of Bologna) held a presentation on the new trends in international relations showing the internationalization strategies and approaches of the University of Bologna. He gave some hints on goals and possible challenges in the implementation of strategic plans and actions for the internationalization of HEIs in the 21st century world.

The workshop continued with the presentation of the TOOLKIT Project report “Developing an Asian Way to internationalization: needs and priorities in Laos, Myanmar and Sri Lanka” held by Ms. Giovanna Filippini (Toolkit Project coordinator, University of Bologna). The presentation revolved around the analysis of data collected on Higher Education systems, Internationalization Policies and Strategies, Mobility and International Projects of the Asian HEIs partners of the Toolkit project. The focus was on the challenges and needs for the implementation of these areas in MM HEIs. The presentation of the report was followed by the introduction held by Raimonda Markeviciene (Vilnius University) on the importance of the international dimension in the development of HEIs and suggestions on how to build up a strategic plan.

During the second part of the morning MM Toolkit Partners, University of Yangon, Yangon University of Economics and Yezin Agricultural University, presented the results of WP2 Training experience on international strategies in Vilnius University and their updated outlines of international strategies and action plans for internationalization.

The last part of the morning revolved around the challenges in establishing efficient International Relation Offices. The audience assisted to the presentation of Miss Ulrica Ouline (Uppsala University) exposing the challenges encountered by Uppsala University in the establishment and implementation of its office for international relations. The presentation was followed by exposure MM Chinlone Partners presentations (Dagon University and University of Mandalay) on the opportunities and challenges in the implementation of IROs in Myanmar HEIs.

If you are interested in the presentations and materials used during the conference, have a look at the box below!