Lisbon, Portugal was the venue of the 3rd EDULINK Stakeholders Conference in 2009, after Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in July 2008 and Georgetown, Guyana, in February 2009. The 2-day event took place on 01-02 October 2009 in the Instituto Superior de Estatística e Gestão de Informação. The ISEGI was also instrumental in assisting the EDULINK Programme Management Unit with the organisational arrangements.
This 3rd conference - placed under the leitmotif "Knowledge sharing through the ACP-EU Platform for Cooperation in Higher Education" - had a wider scope than the 2 previous meetings in that all 66 ongoing EDULINK projects, as well as interested external parties were invited to participate. More than 100 representatives of Higher Education Institutions from the African, Caribbean and Pacific regions as well as from the EU attended. Given that more than 50 of the 66 ongoing projects were present, the focus of the conference could not be on the presentation and discussion around the individual projects, but on issues common to all of them. In particular, the conference explored 2 aspects:
Linking the specific objectives of individual projects more closely to the overall objective of the EDULINK Programme - the promotion of higher education as a means of reducing poverty in ACP countries and regions;
Establishing EDULINK as the ACP-EU Platform for Cooperation in Higher Education to better integrate ACP Higher Education Institutions into the global knowledge-sharing network and promote the exchange of experiences and good practices.
In addition, the conference:
• was the opportunity for projects to network and exchange ideas and views;
• contributed to the emergence of a 'EDULINK Community';
• increased the Programme's visibility.
The conference opened with welcome addresses by Mr. Andrew Bradley, Assistant Secretary-General, ACP Secretariat, Mr. José Antonio Valente, Centralised Operations for the ACP Countries, EuropeAid Cooperation Office and Prof. Dr. Antonio Rendas, Rector of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa, who went on to discuss some aspects of the international dimension of higher education.
Keynote speeches were delivered by Prof. Matti Tedre , Tumaini University , Tanzania on "ICTs and Higher Education: Challenges and Opportunities" andProf. Melanie Walker , University of Nottingham , UK on "The contribution of Higher Education to Poverty Reduction", followed by a brief discussion.
For the afternoon session of the 1 st conference day, participants split up into 2 working groups , each given the task to explore 2 topics of relevance to the future development of the EDULINK Programme and to formulate recommendations in relation to them. These were then presented and discussed in a plenary session on the 2 nd conference day.
On both days of the conference, some time was devoted to very brief project presentations, with emphasis on their contribution to the overall objective of the EDULINK Programme - poverty alleviation.
Mrs. Renata Russell of the EuropeAid Cooperation Office gave a presentation of the current status and expected future development ofintra-ACP EDF Programmes .
Closing statements were delivered by Mr. Andrew Bradley, Assistant Secretary-General, ACP Secretariat, Mr. José Antonio Valente, Centralised Operations for the ACP Countries, EuropeAid Cooperation Office and Mrs. Maria do Rosario Oliveira Martins, Vice-Director of ISEGI.
After the official closing of the conference an additional session was organised in order to explain and discuss contractual, procedural and budgetary issues , which, as experience shows, are often not fully understood and respected by the project administrators.
Please find here the report of the conference.
… financed by the European Union and Implemented by the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States Secretariat, the programme supports cooperative projects between Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the ACP Group of States, the EU Member States and other eligible countries. more about EDULINK...
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