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Towards a Virtual University for the Adriatic – Ionian Basin Matteo Vittuari UniAdrion – Virtual University of the Adriatic – Ionian Basin University of.

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Presentation on theme: "Towards a Virtual University for the Adriatic – Ionian Basin Matteo Vittuari UniAdrion – Virtual University of the Adriatic – Ionian Basin University of."— Presentation transcript:

1 Towards a Virtual University for the Adriatic – Ionian Basin Matteo Vittuari UniAdrion – Virtual University of the Adriatic – Ionian Basin University of Bologna – Faculty of Agriculture 2° International Conference on Integrated Approaches Towards Sustainability Jurmala, Latvia May, 2005

2 UniAdrion UniAdrion, The Virtual University of the Adriatic – Ionian Basin, is a Network of Universities established with the purpose to create a permanent connection among Universities and Research Centres from the Adriatic-Ionian region through the promotion of training courses and research activities.

3 UniAdrion – THE BASIS The University Network was launched within the framework of the Adriatic-Ionian Initiative (AII). The Adriatic Ionian Basin’s seven countries, namely Albania, Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovenia, launched the Adriatic-Ionian Initiative by signing the Ancona Declaration on the occasion of the Ancona Conference focused on Development and Security in the Adriatic and the Ionian, 20 May, UniAdrion was established* by the Ravenna Declaration during the International Conference “Culture as a Bridge – The Interuniversity Cooperation in the Adriatic- Ionian Basin” (15th –16th December 2000, Ravenna). *First courses dates September 2002.

4 UniAdrion - MEMBERS 24 Full Member Universities 5 Associated Members (4 Research University Centers and the University of Skopje*) 29 Universities and Research Centers of the Adriatic-Ionian Basin are Members or Associate Members of the UniAdrion Network: The common working language is English.

5 UniAdrion FIELDS OF INTEREST UniAdrion Programme has been implemented by the creation of five Technical Working Groups (WGs): WG1 Protection, Cataloguing and Promotion of Cultural Heritage WG2 Environment and Sustainable Development WG3 Cultural Tourism and Development WG4 Economy, Communication, Ports and Economic Relations WG5 Technical Aspects and Standards of the UniAdrion Network

6 UniAdrion FOCAL POINTS Focal Points are one of the most important resources for the effectiveness of the Network. Also in consideration of the different ICT services that characterize the Member Countries. Focal Points are operative technical “interactive” centers that guarantee: The main link among Universities and Research Centers. The Operative Technical Structure for the implementation of e-learning modules (video production, management of video-conferences). An access point for participants.

7 UniAdrion FOCAL POINTS There is are 7 Focal Points, one for each member country, hosted by a local University: 1.University of Tirana for Albania 2.University of Sarajevo for Bosnia-Herzegovina 3.University of Rijeka for Croatia 4.University of Patras for Greece 5.University of Bologna for Italy 6.University of Belgrade for Serbia and Montenegro 7.University of Maribor for Slovenia

8 UniAdrion THE ACTORS More than 200 persons have been involved within Eight Post-University Training Courses: From the countries involved in the Network 139 professors/researchers/tutors (About 50% of the teaching staff belongs to Countries other than Italy.) 113 postgraduates students (80% from A+C+BH+SM) (Some Specialization Courses were opened for professionals from Ministries, Local Authorities and NGOs. Candidates from Ministries and Local Authorities were numerous especially from Albania.)

9 UniAdrion DIFFICULTIES Difficulties in the technical realization of the Focal Points; Different realities among the countries involved in the Project in the field of ICTs; Difficulties in promoting an effective “virtual environment” enabling all the participants to have access to this “virtual environment”.

10 UniAdrion OUTCAMES An important tool for the practical development of the "distance-learning" approach on a multi-lateral basis; An environment for the creation of an inter-disciplinary "International Teaching and Research Network" of the Adriatic-Ionian region; The Network itself; 113 postgraduates students involved; 139 professors/researchers/tutors involved.

11 UniAdrion Working Group 2 “Environment and Sustainable Development”

12 UniAdrion WG 2 - Rationale The WG2 takes into consideration sustainable development with an interdisciplinary approach but with a strong orientation towards agriculture and rural development. This is because of: The importance of agriculture and of the “rural areas” in the Adriatic – Ionian Region; Sustainability in agricultural, rural and coastal areas has at least four inter-related dimensions: ecological, social, economical and institutional; The need to promote a “sustainable development” culture and the role of Universities and Research Centers in promoting this culture; The need to preserve the ecosystem and the cultural heritage promoting agricultural development and providing new opportunities for rural areas.

13 UniAdrion WG 2 - Aims To offer a deep analysis of the theoretical, legal and operational aspects related to planning and management of agro-environmental systems. To provide participants with a specific set of competence in managing and planning agricultural, environmental and rural systems at various levels in local, national, and international governmental, as well as non-governmental, organizations. Establish an effective Network;

14 UniAdrion WG 2 - Activities Course of Specialization International Cooperation and Sustainable Development of Agricultural, Environmental and Rural Systems of the Adriatic – Ionian Basin; Course of Specialisation Sustainability in the Rural Areas of the Adriatic-Ionian Basin: Multi-Criteria Analysis of Agricultural and Coastal Systems; Research Project Sustainability in the Rural Areas of the Adriatic-Ionian Basin: Multi-Criteria Analysis of Agricultural and Coastal Systems (on-going)

15 UniAdrion WG 2 – Approach A multidisciplinary approach is needed to take into account the different interrelated dimensions of sustainability in agriculture: the ecological, the social, the economic and the institutional dimension: In WG2’s activities researchers and professors with different backgrounds and from different disciplines were involved: agricultural economists, agronomists, anthropologists, ecologists, economists, environmental scientists, political scientists, sociologists. Different learning tools were used: –case studies (transboundary protected areas); –different methodologies for different subject were presented (agrarian systems analysis diagnosis; simulation model for agro- ecosystem analysis - CSS – Cropping System Simulator; EMAS – Environmental Management Analysis System).

16 UniAdrion WG 2 – Approach/Didactic Structure A blended learning approach: Face to Face Activities: Summer Schools, Internships, Seminars and Workshops. On-line Activities: ATutor*, Discussion Forum, Mailing List, Chat, Video Lectures, Video Conferences (**), Video Documents, e-documents, and other materials hosted on the UniAdrion Webpage. Since UniAdrion is a Virtual University the “on-line” activities can be considered a core objective. *ATutor is an Open Source Web-based Learning Content Management System (LCMS) (**) From 2005

17 UniAdrion WG 2 – Course Structure The First and the Second “Face to Face” modules have been developed mainly by the University of Bologna in collaboration with the University of Udine and several academics and researchers from Albania, Croatia and Serbia and Montenegro, but without a real involvement of other institutions. Focal Points have been activated at the beginning of The Third Face to Face module was developed in cooperation with the Agricultural University of Tirana. Activities were organized involving also Farmer Organizations (Divjaka); NGOs (Teuleda – Skodra); the Italian Embassy in Tirana. Study areas: 1 Agriculture and International Relations 2 Tools for Sustainable Development 3 Sustainable Rural Development Approaches 4 Agrarian System Analyses Research Methods Course of Specialization in International Cooperation and Sustainable Development of Agricultural, Environmental and Rural Systems Course structure Module 1, “Summer School”, Cervia (Italy) Module 2, “Summer School”, Cervia (Italy) Module 3 - 4, Distance Learning Module 5, “Summer School”, Tirana (Albania)

18 UniAdrion WG 2 – Main results 2 Course of Specialization developed; 1 research project; 23 participants has finished the courses; 37 Professors / Researchers / Tutors involved; The Network

19 UniAdrion - WG 2 An evolving project “MISS” Interfaculty Master in Sustainable Development of Agricultural and Rural Systems PhD Programme “International Cooperation and Sustainable Development Policies” Summer School “International Cooperation and Sustainable Development Policies” Collaboration in several projects among participants / researchers / tutors / professors previously involved in WG2’s projects.

20 UniAdrion Thank you for your attention !


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