Sicily opens its doors to students from the countries of the southern shore of the Mediterranean: Algeria, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia. I’m 12 in fact, transnational cooperation projects or research projects presented in the context of “Higher Education” call, the call for proposals addressed to Tertiary training institutes of the Sicilian Region – or the Universities, the Afam: the institutions of high artistic, musical and dance training and the ITS, the Higher Technical Institutes – and promoted by the ministerial agency Indire under the agreement signed by the latter with Sicilian region.
The initiative, financed by Axis III “Education and training” of the 2014-2020 programming of the OP ESF Sicily, aims to encourage and support the collaboration of Sicilian students and researchers with those of the southern shore of the Mediterranean, favoring the exchange of good practices, the definition of joint projects, the development of networking between the Institutes and to enhance the promotion of the educational offer of the Island.
Twelve projects presented by the tertiary training institutes of the Sicilian Region that have made proposals for cooperation with Algeria, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia. In particular: one project was presented by the Academy of Fine Arts of Palermo, one by the Conservatory of Music in Palermo and one by that of Trapani, two by ITS (Steve Jobs of Palermo and Emporium del Golfo di Alcamo), three the projects presented by the University of Palermo, two by the Catania University and the same number by the Messina University. The resources made available to the call, equal to 1 million euros, will finance the winning projects.
“Thanks to this announcement, Universities, Conservatories, Academies of Fine Arts and Higher Technical Institutes – he underlined Roberto Lagalla, regional councilor for education and professional training – will have the opportunity to build and propose collaborative projects with similar institutions on the southern shore of the Mediterranean to encourage research activities, didactic collaboration, integration between young people and international comparison. We are very satisfied with this step – concludes Lagalla – which marks an important step change and contributes to the international dissemination of the training proposal of our higher education system. Furthermore, thanks to this initiative, ITS will have the opportunity for the first time to participate in an international project ”.
The projects presented – according to the call, which expired last February – must have educational or cultural purposes, enrich human capital and increase employability, raise the quality of teaching and professional skills also through the enhancement of the use of new technologies and increase the development of linguistic and intercultural skills.
“The evaluation phase of the projects has already begun – he explained Flaminio Galli, Director General of the Indire Erasmus + National Agency – which had to be remodeled, also providing for their remote implementation, through multimedia and online activities, due to current Covid restrictions. At the end of the evaluation phase, the agreements will be signed so that the projects can start between May and June and end at the end of 2022 ″. Already in the planning phase, the AFAMs and the Sicilian ITS have started relations with the Italian Embassies and the Italian Cultural Institutes in the reference countries to identify qualified partnership subjects, strengthening their internationalization process. The integration between the ESF funds and the Erasmus ones has allowed the launch of these actions to improve the Sicilian higher education system, proving in fact a good practice recognized by the European Commission.