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Multilingual Higher Education: Cooperation for Innovation and Exchange of Good Practices
Start date: Dec 31, 2016, End date: Aug 30, 2019 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Migration inside Europe as well as into Europe has changed population’s demography and impacted the structures in societies. The various forms of migration are rising and national diversity in all European societies is increasing further. This challenge of diversity is most prominently felt in the education systems: on one hand, it is important to build socially cohesive society through the universal education, at the same time, supporting the maintenance and the development of minority languages and minority cultures is one of the European values. The same challenge is facing the universities in the European border areas – to provide universal higher education that will give professional skills for students entering the national and European labour market, at the same time supporting the linguistic identity of the border area minority communities. This project is initiated by four universities from European border areas (University of Tartu Narva College (ET), Pädagogische Hochschule Freiburg (DE), Libera Universita di Bolzano (IT), Univerza na Primorskem (SLO)) to address the challenges in multilingual higher education.The main objective of the project is to develop innovative processes and methods in teaching in multilingual universities in European border areas. Specifically, the project aims to:1) Exchange best practice and support mutual learning in processes and methods of multilingual higher education. 2) Develop common approaches to multilingual higher education in Europe. 3) Disseminate the knowledge and know-how to the other relevant target groups about the multilingual higher education accommodating the diversity of European societies.The project aims at reaching out to more than 1300 people, namely the students and staff of the partner universities and key stakeholders, from university administrators to experts and policy-makers.To achieve the objectives and reach the target groups, the following activities are carried out in the course of the project:- Development of and piloting a freely accessible wholly web-based e-course (MOOC) "Multilingual Higher Education: approaches, processes and methods". The MOOC will be in the volume of 1 ECTS, an extended course of 3 ECTS additionally includes face-to-face seminar work with students/teachers. - Development of the study-book (pdf) that is based on the e-course. The study book is a methodological tool for academic staff and teachers. - Five learning and teaching workshops where a) training of the academic staff, b) teaching of the students and c) study visits to the border regions will take place. - Local and national results dissemination seminars where the issues discussed, partnership and intellectual outputs will be presented and disseminated to stakeholders (3 multiplier events).The results of the project and the longer term impact lie in:- the development of new and innovative know-how and teaching tools for multilingual universities in Europe. The innovative approaches focus on how to address pluralinguality in higher education, including teaching foreign languages will be disseminated to wider audience of stakeholders. - the establishment of the transnational strategic partnership between multilingual universities in European border areas. The network has potential to increase to large number of participating members and address common challenges through cooperation activities. We foresee the need for joint strategic cooperation to develop teaching as well as research in multilingual universities and about multilingual universities. - the improvement of the quality of teaching, the impact of multilingual higher education in European border areas and beyond. Innovative methods developed through mutual learning and cooperation will allow to improve the quality of the teaching in multilingual universities. - last but not least, the expected result is sensitising the European public and education stakeholders about the issues of the challenges of multilingual higher education, about the issues of multilingual universities in European border areas.

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