In the framework of European project MATE past December, 21 local students of the University of Alicante were trained in the Human Universals or Commonalities concept to further become MATE facilitators.

Donald E. Brown, American professor of anthropology, in his book “Human Universals” (1991), explains that human universals or commonalities "comprise those features of culture, society, language, behaviour, and psyche for which there are no known exception". In other words, they are attributes that characterise us all or which we have adopted collectively during human evolution and progress.

The China Intellectual Property Management Network (CIPnet) Launch Event was virtually hosted on December 11, 2020 by Southwest University in Chongqing, China. The Launch Event included a presentation of the China Intellectual Property Management Network and its activities, and was followed by the conference “Managing IP at Universities. From IP Awareness Building to Commercialization of Research Results”. Presentations were delivered both by the CIPnet project partners and invited guests and structured into the following panel sessions: IP awareness building at universities; IP management at medical sector; Specifics of commercialization of research results. The event was attended by more than 80 managers, directors, leaders of TTOs, persons involved in commercialization and management of IP at Chinese universities.

On December 17th, 2020, took place the 1st On-line Conference of the ANTENA project entitled Internationalization of Research, coordinated by the University of Alicante. This activity is the beginning of a series of conferences whose objective is to present topics of interest to the partners within the framework of the project, as well as to open a space to share good practices and enriching experiences of the consortium. This initiative arises to keep learning active and temporarily replace the project's training plan until global mobility is activated and ANTENA's face-to-face workshops and activities are resumed.

This on-line conference was in the hands of Dr. Roberto Escarré, Research Management Service Director of the University of Alicante, where he shared the theory, motivations, measurement as well as institutional and individual practices in the matter.

On account of the disruption caused by the COVID-19 crisis, ACCESS project is scaling up its virtual presence across a wide array of conferences, seminars and events, directed towards raising-awareness on inclusion, accessibility and disability at Higher Education level in the Caribbean region. In consequence, ACCESS partners have recently participated in III INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF INCLUSIVE TECHNOLOGY AND EDUCATION – CONTIE 2020 with representatives from TEC Costa Rica, the INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION WEEK organized by the INTEC and the “Dialogue: Interaction and dignified treatment of people with disabilities from a rights perspective" celebrated by UNAPEC.

This strategy obeys to the necessity to bypass international travel restrictions and face-to-face gathering limitations stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.  As such, ACCESS ensures maxim outreach of dissemination actions directed towards key stakeholders at University level, which work towards building up a Higher Education system for all and leaving no one behind. Connecting with students with disabilities, general student population, administrative and academic staff from the Universities, political actors and disability NGOs is key to ensure exploitation and sustainability of ACCESS project results. Virtual events are now and considering circumstances an optimal platform to maximise engagement in Costa Rica, Dominican Republic and Cuba.

The University the Alicante participated in the Erasmus+ INNOVA project virtual pre-Kick Off Meeting on 11th December 2020. Led by the Coordinator, the University San Francisco Xavier de Chuquisaca from Sucre (Bolivia), all INNOVA consortium members partaked with representatives from Bolivia, Paraguay. Ireland and Spain. This was a first-time reunion organized through an online platform and with the goal to introduce partners to the main objectives of the project.

Partners also had the opportunity to discuss next steps, preliminary strategies  and tentative schedules to implement project activities. INNOVA partners agreed to celebrate the face-to-face Kick Off Meeting in Sucre (Bolivia) from 21st  to 26th February 2021. It will become a crucial opportunity to devote hands-on work on project issues and get to know each better for future cooperation.

DEFINE partners met on 1st December for a project coordination meeting bringing together representatives from the seven partner institutions from Austria, Denmark, Spain, Italy and France. The objective of the meeting was presenting the training materials, virtual games and videos on digital financial literacy specially tailored for seniors developed by project partners and discuss the next steps for a successful project implementation.

Víctor F. Climent, UA Employment Center Technician and Associated Professor of the University of Alicante -Department of Sociology, together with representatives from OGPI-UA, participated on 26th November 2020, in the INSPIRE Online Final Conference, which was hosted online by Parahyangan Catholic University from Bandung (Indonesia). Víctor F. Climent delivered a summary presentation on the Best Practices examples from EU partners on social entrepreneurship support within the context of Higher Education, which has contributed to enrich Indonesian exposure to this topic and study adaptation to their own context.

The virtual event was attended by all INSPIRE consortium members from Austria, Poland and  Indonesia with an outstanding turnout of more 250 participants from all relevant stakeholders groups: students, higher education management, private sector and international agencies, including  Vincent Piket, EU Ambassador to Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam. During the conference, partners dialogued on the concepts on social entrepreneurship and its applications to Indonesia as well as reviewing the main outputs of the INSPIRE project. The conference was adorned with inspiring audio-visual material from students involved in project activities and traditional performances from Indonesia which helped to reinforce project ownership and appropriation of the results. This final conference represent a crucial milestone for the INSPIRE project, pushing towards sustainable promotion of the interplay of business-university policy within the field of social entrepreneurship in Indonesia.

The OPEN project held its 1st training of trainers module which due to the COVID-19 emergency was organised on-line from November 9th to 12th, 2020 for the staff from 5 Universities International Relations Offices and Ministry of Education and Sports in Lao PDR. The training was jointly delivered by the University of Alicante and the University of Bologna.

This workshop was centered on the following topics:

  • Globalisation vs. Internationalisation
  • Introduction to Fundraising and Project Management
  • Information and communications technologies for IROs.

Amidst the COVID-19 crisis, ACCESS continues moving forward with project actions. While the impact of Universities closures and lockdowns in Costa Rica, Cuba and Dominican Republic has been felt on projects activities, ACCESS partners renewed their commitment on tackling inclusion, accessibility and disability through project actions. In September and November 2020, ACCESS consortium organized 2 on-line coordination meetings to outline priorities for intervention and shift project activities to an exclusive virtual modality until the COVID-19 pandemic recedes globally.

Through intense exchange ACCESS partners agreed upon conducting project activities online focusing on the following areas of intervention: resume data collection for the Needs Analysis, progressing with the establishment of the Support Centers in each partner country  and intensifying online dissemination actions. The consensus reach between all members of the Consortium is been confirmed via bilateral meetings conducted to provide personalized support to partners in order to overcome the struggles that they are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

ACCESS partners met on 17th November 2020 for the third project coordination meeting, bringing together representatives of higher education institutions from Costa Rica, Cuba and Dominican Republic, the Ministries of Higher Education of these Latin American countries, the University of Macedonia and the University of Alicante, the project coordinator. The objective of the meeting was to present the current status of the project and a specific action plan for the next 12-months including mitigation actions in light of the current pandemic. Project partners approved the updated workplan that transformed some of the project activities into remote activities, without losing their expected impact and guaranteeing a successful transition to online actions in the short term.