Three NEOLAiA universities – Jaén, Ostrava, and Örebro – have joined their capacities with Palacky University (CZ), Hradec Kralove University (CZ), The Hague University of Applied Sciences (NL), and University of Minnessota (US) to develop a novel format of professional development in academia – Professional Learning Communities.
High quality international education is one of the objectives pursued by the NEOLAiA alliance and the pandemic experience has shown how essential it is to focus on the comprehensive internationalisation of the curriculum going beyond mobility by infusing international and intercultural competences into all curricular aspects of NEOLAiA universities. To be able to equip all students with global skills and to harness effectively the diversity of their classrooms, academics need to be provided with opportunities to upskill and innovate their pedagogies.
The strategic partnership project, funded by Erasmus+ programme as a KA2 (Key Action 2: Cooperation for Innovation and Exchange of Good Practices) activity and coordinated by the Centre for Excellence in Internationalisation at Palacky University in Olomouc (CZ), aims to train the project team in the methodology of Professional Learning Communities as transdisciplinary groups of diverse stakeholders (academics, non-academics, and students) applying a collaborative and intercultural approach for continuous professional development of international teaching skills. The project team’s learning community will also get involved in action research and reflective practices to make sure they’ll be able then to introduce PLCs in their universities in a meaningful way and help them develop evidence-based internationalisation activities.
New strategic partnership project for excellence in international education: NEOLAiA universities build innovative professional development schemes for their academics
The results of the project, including Action Research Tool Kit, a Guide to PLCs complemented with a Case Study Patchwork, and Recommendations for Building Institutional Cultures for Diversity-Excellence-Inclusion, will address the needs of the academic community as well as their leadership, and focus on how the PLC methodology can be adapted for different institutional cultures.
The international project team of academics, international officers, and members of university leadership with diverse European and transatlantic perspectives will learn from each other and also benefit from the expertise of the associated partners – EAIE (European Association for International Education), Učitel naživo (Teach live, CZ), Teiresias (a university support centre for students with special needs, CZ), and Asociación Enseñanza Bilingüe (an association for bilingual education, Spain).