Within International Credit Mobility abroad periods in Austria of students, teachers and other staff members from partner countries and vice versa are supported. The prerequisite for the project is the cooperation between Carinthia University of Applied Sciences and the higher education in the partner country. CUAS has already successfully finished one ICM Project and is currently working on two other projects.
Since 2008, the Study Degree Program of Social Work at CUAS has been cooperating with the Algerian Ministry of Education, which has set up a functioning primary school system in the refugee camps near Tindouf. In addition to mutual visits and workshops, training needs for the teachers were identified. With the foundation of the University of Tifariti in 2013, it was possible to continue and intensify the exchange at the university level.
As part of the project, mobilities were conducted between CUAS Study Degree Program Social Work and University Tifariti (a college located in a refugee camp). The coordination of the project was mostly done by the International Coordinator of the School of Social Work Mag. Dr. Hubert Höllmüller.
The exchange enabled the Austrian students, with their experience abroad, to better understand certain cultural and political contexts and to use intercultural skills in the care of refugees. Thus, they have acquired additional skills for the European labor market.
Through their stay in Austria, the West African students got to know the global context, but above all the European culture. This has helped them identify and discuss commonalities and differences in the two cultures. This knowledge and newly acquired intercultural competences should help them to cooperate with European countries in the future.
Above all, the exchange made us aware that a university in a refugee camp, although it needs special forms of support, can be connected to a global world of science.
Through exchanges with colleagues abroad, the teachers received new input for teaching and research with regard to future applications. Two young female academics have already been identified in the camps in Algeria to build a research team with them. This research team should be able to research their own refugee society according to international standards.
The project cooperated intensively with institutions in Carinthia (Diakonie, Kinderfreunde etc.), but also other universities (University of Innsbruck, University of Ljubljana). Accompanied by the project, a book will be published in autumn 2018, which includes contributions from CUAS, but also from the University of Innsbruck, TH Cologne and the University of Ljubljana. The contact with guests from Algeria has sparked a kind of reflection on working with refugees at the regional level. Organizing refugee camps was discussed by the Carinthian Provincial Councilor for Integration at the Austrian State Council meeting.
Professors and students of Tifariti University will continue to share the experience of the project as part of their membership of the African Union.
CUAS has had a long term cooperation with National Technical University of Ukraine (NTU “KhPI”) already since 2005 and has worked together in several Tempus projects exchanging students and professors, based on several exchange programms.
The ICM project is a prolongation of the idea developed in the TEMPUS project ICo-op in which non traditional laboratories where introduced however at this point it is essential to further develop the non traditional laboratories.
Within this project the incoming students from Ukraine will be allowed to visit CUAS courses which should help them to get a deep understanding of the technology used and also experience the non traditional way of learning through pocket labs. The incoming teachers from Ukraine receive individual tutoring during their stay at CUAS and are allowed to assist CUAS teachers using pocket labs during their lectures. Working with non traditional labs is considered to bring additional quality in the teaching process within technical study programs. By introducing the new methodology other educational institutions but also the small and medium enterprises specialized on this technology, can benefit.
The CUAS ICM project 2018 is a complex one and involves institutions from Western European countries (University of Skhodra in Albania, University of Banja Luca in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Heimerer College in Kosovo) as well as Armenia (American University of Armenia), Russian Federation (Saint Petersburg State University of Economics) and Ukraine (National Technical University Kharkiv Polytechnical Institute). The main aim of the project is to strengthen the partnership between the above mentioned institutions and CUAS with the focus on digitalization of teaching, joint online teaching modules, and training of specific interest.