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In the context of constraints appearing due to the COVID-19 crisis, it has been demonstrated that teachers as well as students are capable of accommodating to teaching and learning patterns different from the traditional ones. Once new methods, techniques and organizational measures are put in place and combined with the necessary mental adjustments, what would have been formerly considered limitations turns out to be completely new opportunities. One such COVID-19-related limitation-turned-out-to-be-opportunity may be the internationalization of undergraduate education.

The project's objectives thus include the identification and elimination of obstacles to teaching joint classes of students transnationally, establishment of viable process frameworks to facilitate complete preparation and implementation of such courses, and development of a set of courses including complete teaching materials to enable validation of the concept and meaningful initiation of such a program.

Participants will primarily comprise undergraduate students of economic and business programs at the partner universities, taught in both English and the national language, and in full-time as well as part-time form. Incoming exchange students from other universities will also be eligible for enrolment and it is expected that at least one joint study group will be taught in each of the courses every year. Teaching and technical staff from all three universities will also be trained in the development and application of open education resources to be used for development of course materials, and will be prepared to continue as trainers in their organisations.

The project will develop a total of nine undergraduate university courses, including syllabi and full sets of teaching and self-study materials taking the form of open education resources, suitable for the simultaneous teaching of diverse transnational student groups and sufficiently flexible to be integrated in the partner universities' different study programs, as well as potentially those of other partners. Outputs will also include methodologies, resolving joint implementation of the courses in different organizational and program environments, and facilitating the development of open education resources. Three of the courses will be taught as pilots during the project with student participants from all the partner universities, thus validating the concept, capability to deliver, and quality of execution.

Outputs from the project will have numerous short-term and longer-term benefits and impacts. First and foremost, they will allow students from the partner universities to enrol in courses taught in diverse international study groups by international faculty with no disruption to their regular schedules. This will make internationalization more accessible and inclusive to a much wider section of undergraduate students, as well as to faculty, paving the way to making internationalization a mandatory standard in program design and assessment. The methodologies designed under the project will also facilitate arrangements for other universities' students to join in the courses, motivate other universities to join with their teachers and courses, and establish a technical and didactic framework for more courses and course materials to be developed and taught using a similar format.

Reviewers' assessments

  • The project is highly relevant to the objectives of the specific call for digital education as well as the other two selected priorities for higher education.
  • The goals of the project are clear and realistic and are in line with the declared needs of the target groups (university students and teachers, universities).
  • The project proposal is well prepared, the topic up-to-date and the output sustainable. The activities are balanced between online and offline events.
  • The training activity contributes to the fulfilment of the objectives and serves as a means for product validation and verification.
  • The consortium is well composed regarding the set criteria (compatibility of study programs in the given field, access to teaching etc.) and the tasks are evenly divided.
  • The impact and dissemination are well formulated.
  • The outputs will be partly completely freely accessible (except outputs subject to personal data protection) partly on request for non-commercial purposes. Sustainability will be guaranteed by individual partners in their daily activities.
  • The project was assessed in very good quality and is highly recommended for funding.
Prof. Jan Vlachý PhD
Project Coordinator
Magda Matušková MA

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