A Unicorn Crossed the Sky or How DX. SEA Project Partners Met in Portugal

21st of March

Let’s go back in time a bit. It’s the middle of February. The gloomy Baltic air was still freezing our cheeks. Meanwhile, the capital city of Portugal, Lisbon, was filled with warm sunlight. Receiving an invitation to join a meeting within the framework of the European Union’s “Erasmus+” co-financed project DX. SEA: Accelerating Digital Transformation for Higher Education Institutions in Southeast Asia undoubtedly prompted the participation of three representatives from Riga Technical University (RTU) to warm up, roll up their sleeves, and initiate the first steps of the great work ahead.

The Latvian side of the project is led by the team of the International Project Unit (IPU) under the supervision of project manager Elma Eižēnija Pētersone. As leaders of Quality Assurance, the IPU team is implementing a project-based methodology using various tools to ensure that by next year’s December, the 8 partners have taken significant steps towards strengthening the digital capacity of universities based specifically in Malaysia, Laos, and Cambodia.

As an old project saying goes: there are no free riders in projects. For this meeting and workshop session, the IPU team was accompanied by Associate Professor Katrina Boločko from the Faculty of Computer Science, Information Technology, and Energy, as well as lecturer and PhD candidate Evija Cibuļska. Working hand in hand with our foreign partners, they created a framework for one of the three upcoming modules for the training session, which will first be held in Cambodia in the autumn of this year and later implemented in the lifelong learning activities of Southeast Asian partner higher education institutions (HEI). Taking into account the different needs and levels of readiness of each partner country, this task was not an easy one, but our researchers handled it exceptionally well.

The breaks were filled with city exploration activities, basking in the warm sun, and enjoying conversations with partners from different parts of our beloved world while sipping coffee at the Beato Creative Hub coffee roastery. As mentioned by partners from Lisbon, this is the place where the greatest innovative ideas are born, and clustered, leading towards the rise of new unicorns. Some minds were left pondering how digital solutions, paired with a healthy dose of ethics and human-driven approaches, could bring about meaningful changes in the HEI.

The sun shining upon the blue Lisbon sky made us all believe a little bit more that our project's goal can also become a small unicorn within a couple of months in the microcosm of universities joined under the DX. SEA project umbrella.


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21st of March at 14:56

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