The SmartAL Project –Sustainable management of Albanian Territories, rural areas and agriculture: Instrument, policies, strategies– was selected by the European Commission in August 2017. It is undertaken under the framework of the Erasmus+ programme “Cooperation for Innovation and the exchange of good practices – Capacity building in the field of Higher Education”, which purpose is to modernize higher education systems. SmartAL aims at promoting sustainable development of rural territories in Albania –the partner Western Balkan country– and contributing more broadly to its process of integration into the European Union.
SmartAL’s main objective is to strengthen the capacities of three Albanian universities by creating a Master 2 which complies with the European specifications. Focusing on the sustainable development of Albanian rural and agricultural areas, by the use of instruments, policies and strategies, the final objective is to complete the accreditation process of this Master, in line with the Albanian legal framework and the European standards (Bologna Process).
The Master will be composed of 9 modules: a common basis of 5 modules led by the Agricultural University of Tirana (UBT), completed by 4 specialization modules with 2 alternative options, respectively supported by the European University of Tirana (UET) and the University Fan S. Noli Korçë (UNKO). Such inter-university cooperation has the benefit of a strong territorial anchorage ensuring the coherence between the teaching content and territorial needs.
The pedagogical content, intended for Albanian junior executives and decision makers, will enable them to develop the necessary skills to participate to the European negotiation dialogue, but also to implement public policies in a national context of structural reforms with regard to decentralization.
After a first survey conducted among institutional partners, professional organizations and private partners, which lead to the identification of employment needs (Job Market Review), the training contents to be developed and the European universities likely to provide them will be identified.
Albanian teachers will then beneficiate from a training and coaching by European universities in a view to co-build the pedagogical content of the future Master.
The European universities (teachers and students), and the partners implied in the consortium as a whole, will be mobilized for training seminars (in and ex-situ), field studies, PhD internships and public feedback conferences. The development of the project, as well as the designing of teaching modules, will be committed to a quality approach in order to ensure a continuous improvement process.
CIHEAM-IAM Montpellier - France