Fostering Outreach within European Regions, Transnational Higher Education and Mobility

FORTHEM Partner universities:

Within FORTHEM the seven universities, having previous extensive global and European partnerships and pooled experience on academic projects, are joining forces and sharing networks with the aim of creating a permanent multilateral and European cooperation environment. FORTHEM will proceed from subject-specific bilateral Erasmus mobility agreements and trilateral educational projects to university-wide mobility agreements and deeper multilateral cooperation in education and outreach activities.

FORTHEM consists of multidisciplinary public research universities that are situated (all but one) outside the capital regions and are not among the largest nor highest-ranking universities in their countries. Although based on both university-wide and field-specific bilateral and trilateral cooperation, it is a new network of institutions that have the dynamism and flexibility to experiment new innovative forms of collaboration. Thereby, FORTHEM presents a reproducible model for both European and non-European universities that wish to develop similar new alliances

FORTHEM milestones within the project (2019–2022):

  1. Transnational Higher Educational Strategy and the three missions made alive 
  2. reaching the numeric goal of 50 % of innovative student mobility
  3. 4more joint degree programs
  4. Inclusive FORTHEM Digital Academy with online courses, and new, tandem learning and student tutoring facilities
  5. FORTHEM Labs in 7 research areas
  6. larger numbers of degree-seeking applicants from outside the EU increased outreach activities and volunteer work of students
  7. joint career guidance
  1. Online courses for students.
  2. Teacher training "Digital competences". It will consist of an introductory online meeting, a physical meeting (2 working days + 2 travel days) and finally a virtual meeting during which participants will present their completed course plans.
  3. A common platform based on Moodle is being created, where all offered courses will be available. The platform is intended to be linked to existing university study environments.
  4. Authorization with existing usernames and passwords.
  5. The possibility of translating course materials with a machine translator is studied.
  6. A survey of students on the topics of interest and the desired course format has been conducted.
  1. Short-term collective and individual student mobility:
    The first call for proposals was launched in November 2019. Of the 21 proposed projects, 14 were selected by the Mobility Mission Board on the basis of their quality, geographical and thematic diversity. The call for applications was opened to students in mid-January. (1100 applications (of which 980 were eligible) for 455 available places in 13 activities. For individual mobility, we received 44 applications (of which 29 were eligible)
  2. Course offer in English:
    The aim of this activity is to provide a sufficient number of courses taught in English at all levels of study and in the relevant disciplines at all universities.
  3. Report on barriers to organizing mobility
  4. Work on joint/double degrees
  5. Erasmus+ agreements: new agreements are being negotiated between universities that have not previously signed them.
  6. FORTHEM Campus: opportunity to study for one semester at a partner university;
    In autumn 2021, the first FORTHEM Campus will be organized at the University of Burgundy
  7. Staff training/experience exchange events (Staff weeks): UL will organize a staff training week «Erasmus Without Papers» in autumn 2020.
  8. Virtual mobility

The alliance has set up 7 living FORTHEM Labs for education, research and innovation on topics which reflect our areas of special expertise and are of crucial societal relevance. The outputs of the Labs will include new online teaching material for FORTHEM Digital Academy, new intensive courses, joint scientific publications and final reports of civic engagement projects.

Labs work in the following topics:

  1. Experiencing Europe (Prof. Inna Šteinbuka and Mārcis Dzelme)
  2. Diversity and Migration (Prof. Raivis Bičevskis, Māris Kūlis and Reinis Vilciņš)
  3. Multilingualism in School and Higher Education  (Prof. Ina Druviete, Prof. Indra Karapetjana and Olga Pašinska)
  4. Food Science (Assoc.prof. Līga Ozoliņa-Molla and Zane Lukstiņa)
  5. Digital Transformation (Prof. Signe Bāliņa)
  6. Climate and Resources ( Prof. Agrita Briede and Prof. Māris Kļaviņš)
  7. Resilience, Life Quality and Demographic Change (Asoc.prof.Liliāna Civjāne, Prof. Juris Krūmiņš and Prof. Aija Zobena)
  1. European Summer School for Teacher Education: The working group has compiled an internal document with the information needed to prepare the forthcoming call for a summer school for teachers. [Target: 3 summer schools, 3 teachers from LV each]
  2. Internship network for student teachers: In the first phase, the working group has introduced data collection to compare school structures at partner universities. [5 internships for pedagogy students in each city]
  3. FORTHEM internship network: the aim is to network with companies and organizations from partner university regions and increase (international) internship opportunities for FORTHEM students. [10 internships in each city]
  4. Civic Involvement: The aim is to set up a training course for students who want to volunteer and to provide financial support for volunteering to student associations and groups.
  1. Teacher training (Assoc. prof. Ieva Margeviča-Grīnberga, Sanita Baranova, Agnese Slišāne)
  2. Quality assessment (Santa Bondare)
  3. Joint and double degrees (Ieva Stūrmane)
  4. European Language Degree (Assoc. prof. Alla Placinska)
  5. Career centers (Agnese Rusakova)
  6. Personnel Management (Liene Leimane)
  7. Language centers (Margarita Spirida)

Prof. Ina Druviete
Head of the project UL Steering Committee

ina.druviete@lu.lv +371 67034595
Alīne Gržibovska
Project leader
aline.grzibovska@lu.lv +371 67033997

Sintija Maculeviča
Project manager

sintija.maculevica@lu.lv +371 67033968

Nora Batraga
Project manager

nora.batraga@lu.lv  

Agnese Rusakova
Project manager

agnese.rusakova@lu.lv  

Sintija Ķestere
Project labs administrator

sintija.kestere@lu.lv +371 67034401

Information about the FORTHEM project is available on the FORTHEM website.