A new three year project titled “Climate University for Virtual Exchanges (CLUVEX)” has got a funding decision from the Erasmus+ Programme (ERASMUS+), The project aim is to bridge students from European and the Neighbourhood East universities and to engage them with climate competences e.g. ideas of adaptation and mitigation to climate change and the green agenda together with interdisciplinary, green and soft skills. The project’s main activity is the interactive on-line courses including traditional education materials in a way that students, professors and teaching assistants will work together in small groups. The Virtual Exchange (VE) will take place in small groups discussing specific topics of climate change. CLUVEX builds on atmospheric sciences research and “Climate University” MOOCs. The project is carried out by University of Helsinki (coordinator) together with Odessa State Environmental University (OSENU), Taras Shevchenko NationalUniversity of Kyiv (TShNUK), Yerevan state University (YSU) and the University of Copenhagen (UCPH). Virtual Exhange activities will be integrated into Climate University higher education e-courses and it will involve 2500 univeristy students from Europe. The project start in autumn 2023 and its budget is 470.000 euros. Project collaborates with the networks like Una Europa, an alliance of 9 European universities, World Meteorological Organization’s Global Campus initiative to attract other participants on a diversity basis.
The first 12 months we use for designing the VE and the first version of the VE interactive art-based exercises collection. Staff training starts from the very beginning of the project, first using the Climate University learning resources availe. Implementation of VE starts with the Call-for-VE following procedure and criteria outlined in the CLUVEX VE Guide. The timing of VE Calls will be adjusted to the Climate University annual schedule. All the current Climate University courses are continuously carried out at UH during the following teaching periods. During the project lifetime, we open, in total, 5 VE Calls will be announced (in particular, for Spring and Autumn semesters, and starting from Autumn 2024). Each VE Call will invite 500 students from the Partners’ Universities as well as other Universities in European and Neighborhood East countries. After each VE Call, the Virtual Exchange Week (from Monday until Friday) program will be arranged for students. We organize a plenary session in Zoom followed by working in sub-groups (25 smaller groups/teams with 10 students in each) with facilitators/ moderators supervision on joint exercises. Facilitators will supervise the VE groups and give help with the exercise and communication if needed and makes sure that no one is left behind. After plenary session, each sub-group will have 3 days to work with exercises on e-platform, followed by final plenary sessions for overviewing results obtained working with exercises on e-platform. After such Virtual Exchange Week, all results will be collected for further public dissemination and outreach, and students will be granted participation in the Climate University MOOC courses.
Hanna Lappalainen, Laura Riuttanen, Alexander Mahura