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This is a reference for Andrei Popescu

The EEA Scholarships Program – a plus in education

The training activity took place
in Bucharest, Romania
organised by Romanian Grant Operator for EEA University Grants
23-24.03.2017
Reference person

Ileana Racoviceanu

(Event coordinator, organizer)
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Aims & objectives

The event represented the closing of the EEA University Scholarships Program.

Main objectives:
1) taking stock of the experience gained during the implementation of the program from the 13 countries represented
2) identifying and presenting good practice projects
3) proposing solutions to improve the implementation of the next stage of funding.

Context:
The EEA Grants are jointly financed by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. The three countries contribute to the grant scheme according to their size and economic wealth.
In the period 2009-14, the EEA Grants support 86 programmes in 16 countries in Europe: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.

Target group & international/intercultural composition of the group & team

At the event there were present 120 representatives from 12 countries: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Iceland, Hungary, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia.
The participants represented country Program Operators (equivalent to the National Agencies in Erasmus+) and beneficiaries (universities, youth NGOs, schools, public institutions) .

The team or oganizers included representatives from the Romanian Program Operator from Romania and SIU (Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education)

Training methods used & main activities

Open caffee (a mixture of open space tehnology and world caffee) for colecting experiences and recomandations on topics.

Grapic facilitation and collage making made by students and young people representing how they see the next phase of the program.

A series of projects were presented in paralled workshops though facilitated discussions.

Last but not least, a European Mobility Gala awarding prizes on a essay contest reflecting the beneficiary experiences during the mobilities.

Outcomes of the activity

The most important outcome was represented by collecting experiences and proposing solutions in order to improve the following stage of the program.

The most relevant topics approached during the event were:
- Dos and Don’ts in finding partners in the Donor Countries for scholarship & related projects
- The „+“ of bilateral projects: dynamics, specificities, challenges
- Lessons learned about communication and promotion of the EEA educational projects
- Challenges in administrative and financial national frameworks of implementation
- Results in EEA projects: synergies, exploitation, transfer
- Disparities during the implementation
- Impact on beneficiary institutions and participants (students, staff)
- Motivation to implement EEA projects

Discussions were carried out in the frame of reducing economic and social disparities in the European Economic Area which represent a goal for the EEA and Norway Grants Programmes while education and training is considered to lay at the foundation of a sustainable economic and social development. In this regard international cooperation and investment in education and training for skills and lifelong learning are two important elements provided by the Scholarships Programme, within the EEA and Norway Grants.

Here there are some of the testimonials during and after the event:

Anita Antal, Hungary:
"I haven't been to such a conference before. I'm really surprised about the scale of this conference and about the number of people involved in this."

Reinis Tralmaks, Latvia:
"I have been on a lot of conferences before, but this one has a very innovative format. Someone asked before if we can feel the vibe of the people around. Definetely yes. I will bring a lot of good ideas back with me in Latvia."

Dorota Siemieniecka, Poland:
"I think it's a fantastic oportunity to meet different people, to find interdisciplinare prospects and to create new relations, partnerships and institutional cooperation. I found out here some people with who I'm thinking it is possible to create some grants, not only EEA grants."

Simona Tonţ, Romania:
"Every time it gives us different perspectives based on networking and grants opportunities".

Your tasks and responsibilities within the team

Over-all facilitation and animation of the group
Moderating the official opening and two project presentation session
Act as host for the open-caffee
Kicking off the project market process
Act as MC for the European Mobility Gala

I worked on this training for 2 days as a full time trainer.

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