OPEN Consortium organised the 2nd OPEN Online Training throughout the months of June and July. Representatives from the 5 Laotian Higher Education institutions of the OPEN consortium and the Ministry of Education gather together to take part in these meetings. They worked on successive theoretical and practical sessions of training, scheduled during the whole month on to instruct and guide them through the process of formulating their Internationalisation Strategic Plans.
Training sessions started with a master-class from the University of Alicante on Strategic Planning, outlining the foundational principles of how to draft your organizational mission, vision and values. Subsequently, partners in Lao PDR were tasked with the elaboration of their plans for their International Relationships Offices.
The University of Alicante continued with training on how to conduct a SWOT analysis in order to gauge Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats at institutional level and better understand the context in which the Strategic Planning exercise will be executed. Then, partners in Lao PDR carried out their own SWOT analysis, working with a representative group within their institutions which contributed to precisely depict current situation of internationalization in their universities.
The next theoretical was also led by the University of Alicante looking into the core of Strategic Planning by introducing partners on strategic actions, indicators and timeframes to develop their own planning. As before, partners in Lao PDR incorporated this last step into their own strategic planning.
Finally, the University of Bologna delivered a theoretical session on International Relationships Offices models and their governance mechanisms in order to respond to the evolving and heterogeneous necessities of their own institutions. All the capacity building actions of this training, including the development of the practical exercises were implemented online due to the recent aggravation of the COVID-19 pandemic incidence in the South-East Asia region. The outputs of these trainings, a complete Internationalisaiton Strategic Plan per institution, suppose the first milestone in terms of articulating a favorable policy framework for Internationalisation at Higher Education level in Lao PDR. These plans will be reviewed by EU experts on the field and continuously enhanced throughout the OPEN project.
The OPEN / “Opening Laos Higher Education System to internationalization strategies” project is a Key Action 2 of Erasmus +: Cooperation for innovation and exchange of good practices: Strengthening of capacities in education superior, co-financed by the European Commission. The general objective of the OPEN project aims at increasing the academic quality and research activities of universities in the PDR of Laos through the development of internationalisation in Lao PDR, working specifically with the International Relationships Office of the 5 public universities of the South-East Asian country. OPEN will be implemented over the next 2 years and it is expected to return to face-to-face actions as soon as the COVID-19 pandemic allows for international travel.