ORGANIZATION OF THE BLACK SEA ECONOMIC COOPERATION

 

PLAN OF ACTION
OF THE BSEC WORKING GROUP ON EDUCATION

 

1 January 2020 - 31 December 2021

Country-Coordinator 2020-2021: The Hellenic Republic

 

  1. GENERAL OBJECTIVES

Guided by the goals in the field of education contained in “The BSEC Economic Agenda Towards an Enhanced Partnership”, adopted by the Council of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of BSEC (Belgrade, 11 June 2012), the following general objectives of the Working Group on Education are set:

  1. Encourage modernization of the educational systems in the BSEC Member States aimed at increasing sustainable growth and the establishment of knowledge-based societies, inter alia, through the exchange of information and experiences.
  2. Enhance cooperation in the field of vocational training among the BSEC Member States.
  3. Share best practices in the development of policies for recognizing the results of previous formal, informal or self-education.
  4. Promote lifelong learning opportunities through joint programmes among the relevant institutions of the BSEC Member States.
  5. Promote scientific research for Sustainable Development of the BSEC Region.
  6. Intensify cooperation between the relevant authorities of the BSEC Member States and their business and academic communities.
  7. Enhance the exchange of information in the field of higher education through a BSEC Educational Portal.
  8. Share experiences in quality assurance and develop a qualifications framework in higher education.
  9. Support joint university research projects and post-graduate programmes.
  10. Encourage mobility of academic staff and students among the BSEC Member States, including through bilateral and multilateral agreements and scholarships among higher education institutions.
  11. Promote legal and institutional framework for issuing dual diplomas on Black Sea studies.
  12. Develop partnerships under initiatives of the United Nations and other international organizations aiming at university cooperation on sustainability.
  13. Enhance the BSEC Member States cooperation with technologically advanced countries, inter alia, through organizing exchange programmes between national academies of sciences and universities.
  14. Promote and support the development of joint academic programmes between the Academies of Sciences and Universities of the BSEC Region.

 

  1. PRIORITIES OF THE WORKING GROUP

Based on the BSEC Economic Agenda (Goal 1 "Supporting the exchange of information and experiences with regard to the modernization of the educational systems in the BSEC Member States aimed at increasing sustainable growth and the establishment of knowledge-based societies",and

Goal 12 "Developing the partnership with initiatives by the United Nations and other international organizations devoted to university cooperation on sustainability"),

the Working Group intends to focus on the following priorities for the period of 2020-2021:

- Encourage and support the implementation of projects and initiatives with the use of the ICTs, aimed at promoting the exchange of information and sharing of best practices and experience, to promote access to inclusive, quality education for all, in response to current global challenges (e.g. the Covid-19 pandemic), within the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Facilitate the adaptation of the BSEC countries’ education systems, teachers, and students to the digital era, to better respond to current global needs and eventual future challenges, with a special focus on strengthening and exchanging good practices on digital skills at all levels of education.

- Enhance cooperation with International Organizations (the Council of Europe, the E.U., the UNESCO, etc.) to upgrade standards in Education and Training of the BSEC Member States.

 - Foster academic exchange and mobility of teachers, students, researchers, and young scientists of the BSEC Member States, especially for training in the use of modern technologies.

Promote joint programmes for postgraduate studies and University research.

 

  1. JOINT PROJECTS AND ACTIVITIES

The implementation of the Joint Programmes listed below is expected to promote the above-mentioned priorities of the Working Group on Education.

Thus, concerted efforts will focus on:

I. A Digital Platform

  • Assure, through the PERMIS and the BSUN (or others) a Digital Platform, called “The BSEC education platform” which shall be accessible by all types and levels of education of the BSEC Member States, to :

- Facilitate mutual approach between teachers and students, educational exchanges, training, networking of schools of the BSEC countries, etc.

- Promote digital competencies for the sustainable development of all its users and contribute to the development of teaching material adapted to digital education.

- Exchange information, developments in education, views, experiences, best practices in primary, secondary, and higher education.

- Encourage joint educational projects between schools of primary and secondary education of the BSEC countries and teachers’ cooperation and training, through the exchange of good teaching practices and material, especially focusing on the use of digital skills, etc.

- Enhance students’ cooperation at all education levels on various topics of mutual interest.

- Support the development of “digital” leaflets/brochures on Higher Education in the Black Sea region.  

  • Stress the importance of “The BSEC education platform”, as an open Forum available to the educational community of the region, especially in a period of transformation in education and digitalization.
  • Promote the useof the Platform by the BSEC Member States, to increase the visibility of the Organization and online activities of its educational community at all levels.
  • Encourage electronic networking of schools and HEIs of the BSEC region with the use of the Platform, for exchanges of mutual interest, aiming to enhance inclusiveness and quality education in BSEC countries, especially during periods of global challenges.

 

II. Promoting further cooperation with International Education Networks, namely the ENIC/NARIC

Encourage closer cooperation among the BSEC Member States participating in the above-mentioned networks, as well as between the BSEC Member States and the other ENIC/NARIC countries, on issues of recognition of academic titles, quality assurance in HEIs, the fight against fraudulent diplomas, etc.

Such cooperation may smoothen operational difficulties encountered by national agencies dealing with this kind of challenges.

 

III. Bringing the younger generations of the BSEC region closer

Drawing Competition is proposed for the year 2021, entitled “Monuments of the Black Sea countries: Our common cultural heritage”. 

The competition will be addressed to lower secondary education students, to bring to the fore important monuments of the area.  

It will focus on cultural monuments of the participating countries, emphasizing their cultural and touristic value for the country and the Black Sea region. 

 

  1. PRIORITIES WITHIN THE BSEC PROJECT DEVELOPMENT FUND
  • Academic mobility between the BSEC Member States;
  • Development of joint university programmes;
  • Scientific research for sustainable development of the BSEC Region

 

  1. MEETINGS OF THE WORKING GROUP
  • 1st WG Meeting (Spring 2021) - the adoption of the Plan of Action (2020-2021).
  • 2nd WG Meeting (Autumn 2021, TBC) - follow-up of the main priorities of the Working Group in conformity with the general objectives of cooperation.

 

  1. INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCES AND OTHER EVENTS

18 December 2020: Online webinar on “The impact of Covid-19 on Education and Science: Challenges and Prospects for Cooperation in the wider Black Sea region”.

Organisation: The International Centre for Black Sea Studies (ICBSS) and the Southern Federal University (SFedU).

 

30 March 2021: Online International Conference “The role of Higher Education in the development of the society, economy and culture in the Black Sea region in the context of the global pandemic”.

Organization: South Federal University of the Russian Federation (SFedU).

 

  1. COOPERATION WITH OTHER INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

Promote cooperation with International Organizations (The Council of Europe, the UNESCO,
the E.U.):

  • The European Center for Modern Languages(ECML/CELV) of the Council of Europe: Its mission is to encourage excellence and innovation in language teaching and help Europeans learn languages more efficiently.

Participation in the Centre shall reinforce quality learning of languages of the BSEC region.

  • The platform on Ethics, Transparency, Integrity in Education(ETINED) of the Council of Europe: It is a network of specialists offering strategic assistance to member states to fight corruption and education fraud at all levels of education.
  • The Enlarged Partial Agreement of the Observatory of History Teaching in Europe of the Council of Europe: It was established during the Hellenic Presidency to the Council of Europe
    (2nd semester of 2020). The Observatory’s main purpose will be to collect and make available, through a series of regular and thematic reports, factual information on how history is taught in all participating countries.
  • The UNESCO, through the participation of BSEC schools in the ASPnet school network, etc.

The UNESCO Associated Schools Network (ASPnet) links educational institutions across the world around a common goal: to support international understanding, peace, intercultural dialogue, sustainable development, and quality education in practice.

  • The European Union, especially in the framework of the Erasmus+ and Erasmus Mundus programmes, e-twinning, and others.