Educational Synergies. SMARTI Project Partner Meeting in Riga

16th of May

Educational synergy between five universities from Armenia, three from European Union, including, Riga Technical University (RTU), have joined the knowledge under the umbrella of the SMARTI project consortium. The project started back in 2021 and, due to several force majeures, has been extended and is now reaching its final phase – the last couple of months to reflect on what has been achieved and to pave a stable way towards the future. The project has been co-funded by the Erasmus+ Program of the European Union, with the main aim of supporting Armenian universities in the development of English Medium Instruction (EMI) methodologies.

The focus of the week was to understand how RTU uses English in the study process, exploring the story behind it and what the future might look like. We also delved deep into the internationalization strategy in an era when competition occurs not only on the local scene but also globally in terms of attracting students. 

Spotlighting the European Degree Methodology through the experience and daily tasks of Gundars Alksnis, partners gained insights into the main challenges in transitioning from the local credit point system to the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System. Mr. Kārlis Valtiņš, the Head of the International Project Unit and Deputy Secretary-General of the European University of Technology (EUT+) shared a new methodological approach towards a common EU degree among the alliance partner universities. 

Wednesday was dedicated to the hands-on approach of lecturer Inese Kočote from the Institute of Digital Humanities. Her main focus was on different types of evaluation, based on student requests, as well as how to teach professional terminology to students with varying levels of English language readiness. Mr. Igors Tipāns, Vice-Dean of Internationalization, shared experiences of RTU working on international scenes, striving to shine as brightly as other European and even global higher education institutions, and how RTU plan to continue refining the skills. 

For the closing days, partners met Associate Professor Marina Čerpinska, Vice-Dean in the field of studies at the Faculty of Civil and Mechanical Engineering. She shared her experience with English-based studies within the framework of EUT+, RTU BMF's experience at her faculty, and CLIL method implementation in a mechanics course. To get a perception of how the prototyping process and hands-on approach work at RTU, a short-guided tour around the Design Labs was organized. 

The final day symbolically marked a circular conclusion as partners started and ended the working week finalizing the tasks of the project's work packages as well as making conclusions and planning the upcoming final events to be held in both Germany and Armenia. 

When asked about the highlight, partners admitted that having glimpses into the daily life of RTU’s administrative and teaching staff gave them better hands-on experience on how they can more easily implement the deliverables of the project – EMI modules for teachers and students. Riga has allowed them to view the already familiar from a very different angle, giving a chance to make some small but in the long-term successful changes within their home institutions. 


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16th of May at 11:37

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