The representatives of the six Regional Master’s programmes of the Global Campus came together for a two-day meeting on 22-23 September 2014 at EIUC. The GC Council, normally scheduled for September of each year is a key meeting both for its timing, between the end and the beginning of a new project cycle, and for the participation of the European Commission-DG DEVCO and the External Action Service supporting the project.
The focus of the discussion was to take stock of the activities of the GC project 2013-2014 ended in July 2014 and to advance the achievement of long-terms goals through the planning of the activities new project cycle.
The Global Campus project has come a long way since its official birth in 2012 in terms of its objectives of educating the new generation of human rights professionals and achieving high-level of integration of the various Master’s programmes through the exchange of lecturers, tutors, students, sharing curricula and ideas as well as other joint activities.
When measuring progress, it is always worthwhile recalling the founding objectives and principles to understand the how much has been done and the way forward. In this vein, the EIUC President drew attention to the goals stated in the Memorandum of Understanding of the GC to identify ways to improve the quality of the activities and of the overall project.
The exchange during the meeting shed light on the need to step up the coordination in order to realize further stages of integration and to invest more efforts to promote and make the GC project widely known.
Apart from the successful running of the different Regional Master’s programmes, the most tangible steps of the GC cooperation is the implementation of a wide array of joint activities including the Global Classroom, the Research programme and the Exchange of Professors. New activities are also being developed with a view to increase its outreach, research potential, visibility to the outside world and collaboration on human rights with governments, Institutions and NGOs.
New initiatives in the pipeline as part of the GC project 2014-2015 are for instance the organisation of a Master on Democratic Governance in the Mena Region and the development of online courses. The decision of launching the Mena Master was taken three years ago after a partnership was established with the University of Birzeit in Palestine, Cadi Ayyad in Morocco, St Joseph in Lebanon, the University of Carthage in Tunisia and the Ca’Foscari University in Venice. The project of the Mena Master will see the light in January 2015, when it will be launched thanks to the support of the European Union. The program is a multidisciplinary programme in the sense that its teaching modules will cover study areas such as law, political science, sociology and other human rights-related disciplines. Its aim is to mix a theoretical approach with practice-oriented experience (as field trips and internships, if feasible). For this first trial year of the Master, the first semester is going to take place in Venice and the second semester in one of the partner Universities.
The Global Campus will during this year invest resources into the preparation of online courses tapping into the Human Rights specialization of each Regional masters. E-learning of courses pose a series of questions and challenges such as identifying the exact target group, goals, the technologies to use. On the other hand the advantages are multiple considering that e-learning has become important skills in the 21st century, that it is time effective and that it could expand the outreach of the education offer provided by the GC.
Enhancing the quality and impact of the Global campus will go hand in hand with the strengthening of the Global Campus Alumni network. The network is composed of HR professionals, previous GC graduates, who volunteer and put a tremendous amount of work into keeping the network alive. Lydia Malmedie, new President of the E.MAlumni in charge also of coordinating the GC Alumni network, underlined that lot of their efforts go to help the other Regional Masters Alumni Associations to structure themselves. This continuous progress will strengthen the work already done by the network to enhance their career prospects (Mentoring programme) and increase the potential for new projects.
Decisions taken at the GC Council marked another step forward towards the long-term vision on a truly global cooperation on human rights and democracy education.