Fostering Outreach within European Regions, Transnational Higher Education and Mobility

ERASMUS+ European Universities Project Reference 612489-EPP-1-2019-1-DE-EPPKA2-EUR-UNIV
DAAD EUN-Nationale Initiative Projekt-ID 57533594

Within the FORTHEM Alliance, the Center for Lifelong Learning (ZWW) is planning projects on the topic of university lifelong learning with the nine partner universities from France, Poland, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Finland, Romania and Norway. Under the leadership of Johannes Gutenberg University, the goal of the European university alliance FORTHEM is to significantly increase the exchange, cooperation and mobility of all university members. At the European level, the university network is funded by the European Commission as part of the "European Universities" initiative. In addition to this, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) supports JGU in the national support program for European universities and enables the networking of centers for lifelong learning. The eventual goal of this endeavor is to initiate increased cooperation between European partner universities in the area of lifelong learning in the future. Beside the transfer of knowledge, the development of ideas and concepts for future cooperation projects will strengthen the FORTHEM Outreach Mission and thus contribute to establishing a closer bond between the FORTHEM alliance and society at large.

The FORTHEM University Lifelong Learning (FULL) Network established within the framework of the FORTHEM alliance aims to offer opportunities for lifelong learning involving staff, organizations, and citizens of all ages in FORTHEM regions and beyond. In order to achieve its goal, regular meetings and discussions are held since November 2022 with partners involved in the FORTHEM project. These meetings aimed to foster cooperation and exchange knowledge on lifelong learning. A platform is provided for sharing experiences, comparing ULLL systems, discussing long-term international mobility, and establishing a common understanding of lifelong learning degrees. A comprehensive overview of the (ULLL) degrees across partner universities has been created as a basis for further discussions and collaborations on relevant topics such as micro-credentials. Additionally, a template for continuing education platforms was developed to facilitate the exchange of information and best practices. Tandem courses between the JGU and the University of Valencia, Spain, were organized and implemented as part of the FULL Network. These courses focused on language exchange and intercultural aspects, bringing together participants from different cultures. The courses aimed to improve participants' oral language skills and promote a European understanding. Due to the positive feedback, the tandem courses are to be expanded in the near future. New tandem courses are currently being planned in cooperation with the University of Bourgogne, France.

Network Conference online in November 2020

On November 4 and 5, 2020, representatives from the individual universities of the FORTHEM Alliance met to discuss matters concerning University Lifelong Learning (ULLL) and possible future projects. As host of the conference, ZWW organized the digital meet-up with the goal of fostering a closer connection between the international participants, of which there were several: Poland, Latvia, Italy, Spain, France, and Finland all participated and worked together to develop a plan for future collaborations and projects. The Kick Off Conference for this Network Conference took place on 21st September 2020. A follow-up meeting is planned on 11th December 2020.