This WP aims at establishing University-Enterprise links and preparing the ground for other WPs to follow. The partner universities in Kosovo have to assimilate the notion of the entrepreneurial university. This is not an easy task as they have to change the way decisions are made and the way programmes are prepared. Instead of developing academic programmes in isolation from the outside world, they have to pay attention to the needs of enterprises employing their graduates and the requirements of the labour market in which their graduates have to compete. Of course, at a national level, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, as well as other studies, have already recognised the lack of connection between universities and enterprises as a main challenge facing higher education (see also section E.1.). A number of steps have been designed to deal with this challenge. To begin with university staff, especially senior staff, have to be introduced to the idea of the entrepreneurial university and the benefits of links with enterprises. This is achieved by organising a Seminar on University-Enterprise cooperation at the beginning of the project with participants from EU partners explaining their experience of this cooperation and encouraging Kosovar colleagues to explore the idea and take advantage of the opportunity offered by. Also, the senior staff (rectors, vice rectors, deans) of partner universities will embark on a visit to EU institutions to see how the university-enterprise links are managed and how they benefit both sides. In the meantime preparations will be made for the practical establishment of the links in Kosovo. On the one hand, enterprise managers would be invited to join appropriate university committees where they can voice the concerns of the private sector and employers in connection with the types of courses and curricula and also draw the attention of the University colleagues to issues of costs and benefits in their decision making process. On the other hand, universities have to establish a mechanism through which they can learn from enterprises by sending their staff and students to companies on placements or internships. For this purpose, a Placement Office will be set up in each partner university with a Placement Officer appointed to run this Office (placement of staff and students are discussed in other WPs). The placement offices will be equipped with appropriate equipment and specially designed software, and placement officers will receive training. The final preparatory activity of this WP is to identify the knowledge and skills gap between what the companies and the labour market needs and what the universities currently produce, a gap that has been recognised in studies by the World Bank and Riinvest Institute (referred to in Section E.1.). This will be achieved by commissioning a survey of 50 of the largest companies in Kosovo: the Enterprise Survey. The result of this Survey will be discussed in a major Seminar at the beginning of the second year (Activity 3.2). This WP will be monitored using a number of indicators: feedback from participants of the Workshop; Individual Monitoring Reports of senior staff and Placement Officers participating in visits to EU partners and of the EU staff participating in the Seminar, establishment of Placement Offices. Indicators of progress for this WP include: No. of MOUs signed; number of Placement Offices set up and running by the end of the first year, subcontracting of the software for the Placement Office and Enterprise Survey.
In order to provide examples of good practice for Kosovar institutions and colleagues, a Seminar on University-Industry Links will be organised in December 2015 (at the beginning of the project) in Prishtina. Participants of this seminar include: senior staff of partner institutions, staff from participating faculties of Kosovar universities, enterprise managers from partner companies of the project and also from other companies, staff from the higher education department of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, and the NGO partners of the project (Kosovo Chamber of Commerce and Women in Business). Representatives of EU partner universities will also participate in the Seminar, explaining their own experiences and the benefits for their institutions resulting from cooperation with enterprises. The media will be invited to this Seminar. A summary of the discussions will be prepared by the WP leaders and distributed to all stakeholders and put on the website of the project. Measures will be taken to ensure maximum publicity for the Seminar and its results.
After the seminar, senior staff of Kosovar partner universities will be invited to visit three of the EU partner institutions (MUAS, UNIZG and UNIVPM). These partners have rich experiences of working with enterprises over a long period of time and have benefited significantly from this relationship. The Kosovar colleagues will discuss university-enterprise cooperation with senior staff of the host universities. Arrangements will also be made for them to visit companies too and discuss the modalities of cooperation and their benefits with company managers. The senior staff will also be introduced to the importance of diversification of sources of income for universities and income generation activities during this period. This aspect is related to WP4 and will be explored in more detail in the description of that Work Package.
Upon the return of the senior staff of Kosovar institutions, the process of formalising the links with enterprises will begin. Memoranda of Understanding will be signed by each company and at least one of the universities in the consortium. Throughout the project, universities will also look for new companies with which to sign MoUs and extend their industry network. An example is attached below.
Once the MoUs are signed by universities, a senior representative of each partner company will be invited to join appropriate committee(s) of the university with whom they have signed the MoU. This would be a Milestone of the EUFORIA project, sealing the beginning of real links with companies.
Each Kosovar university will appoint a Placement Officer to run its Placement Office. The Officer may be one of the younger academics or an appropriately qualified administrator. The University will also provide a Placement Office which will be equipped by the project appropriately. The Placement Officers of the Kosovar partners will take part in a one-week training visit to the German partner MUAS where they will visit the Placement Office and familiarise themselves with the role and activities of this Office. Upon return to Kosovo, they can start preparations to engage in similar activities in Kosovo.
In order to facilitate the work of the Placement Office and help it develop, software will be specially designed and installed on the computers of the Placement Offices of all partner universities. This would be a platform which will enable companies to inform universities and those with access to the software of potential internships in the company for students with certain qualifications and skills. It will also enable students to leave a resume of their attributes on the system. The software will match students’ attributes against what the companies are looking for. The software will be ordered from a specialist company experienced in designing and maintaining specialist platforms for educational establishments on a sub-contracting basis.
The final step in the Preparation Work Package will be to arrange an Enterprise Survey. The Survey will cover 50 of the largest Kosovar companies. The companies will be mainly medium sized companies (with 50-249 employees), as there are very few large companies (over 250 employees) in Kosovo. The Survey will aim to identify the knowledge and skills gap in Kosovo, something that has been highlighted by the MEST and other studies in this area. The Survey is an essential part of the EUFORIA project as it will constitute the basis for curricular reforms (WP3) and also for identifying and responding to the training needs of enterprises (WP4). The Survey will be sub-contracted to a professional research organisation in Kosovo as its execution will be beyond the ability of Kosovar partner universities. A research organisation with experiences of large surveys and experienced staff will be in a better position to conduct a statistically robust random survey. The Report on the Survey results will be widely distributed to stakeholders and all educational institutions, and discussed in a Workshop at the beginning of the second year of the project (in WP3).
The first element of curricular reform is to try to inject into the curricula the experience of Kosovar companies and the conditions under which they operate – rather than using examples from the USA or European environment and the companies which dominate the standard textbooks. At the same time, as part of the modernisation of the curricula, the use of case studies is to be strongly encouraged. In order to prepare case studies, the staff need (i) first-hand knowledge of the challenges facing companies in Kosovo, and (ii) the necessary skills to transform this knowledge into a case study. This WP ensures that both conditions are present in Kosovar universities. The Placement Offices will arrange the placement of 6 members of staff, nominated by their department or faculty, in partner companies in the first two years of the project (36 in total). The nominated staff will take part in two Workshops on ‘The Role of Case Studies in Effective Teaching and Learning’ which will be organised in Prishtina (in the first two years of the project). These Workshops will be facilitated by experienced staff from EU partner institutions (NTU, SU, MUAS and UNIZG). The nominated staff will spend a period of one to two weeks in a company, observing its operations and discussing with company employers and managers the specific challenges they face- marketing, information, communication, product range, production issues, IT problems, personnel problems, institutional problems (legal issues, corporate governance, ethics, corporate social responsibility, corruption, etc.), relations with government, business environment and so on. On the basis of their observations, discussions and information gathered during their placement, each of the nominated members of staff will prepare the outline of a case study of that company. The staff who participated in the placement in each year, will then participate in a follow up Workshop on ‘Writing Case Studies’ in one of the EU partners involved in this WP (NTU, SU and UNIZG). The aim of these Workshops is to build on the earlier Workshop in Prishtina, and to train the participants in writing case studies, using the outlines they have prepared based on their placement periods. Each person’s outline will be the subject of discussion at the Workshop. So, effectively, the participants will collectively discuss 12 cases in each Workshop and with the support of the facilitators, covert the initial outlines to proper case studies which are ready for use by students. The final step of this WP is to include these case studies in the curricula of different modules and use them in the classroom – another Milestone of the project. The use of case studies requires a different type of teaching and learning strategy, one based on active participation by students. They will be required to do group work, prepare individual as well as group presentations, learn presentation skills, peer reviews, etc. Classrooms will be equipped with appropriate equipment to facilitate new teaching methods (smart boards, beamers, camcorders to record presentations, etc.) which would enhance the effectiveness of the teaching, learning and assessment process. By the end of the project, we expect to have up to 36 cases based on the experience of Kosovar companies. These cases can be revised every few years and be used by generations of students. Their completion will be a major achievement which will contribute significantly to the sustainability of the project, exploitation of its results and the dissemination of its outputs.
Two Workshops on ‘the role of case studies in effective teaching and learning’ will be organised in Prishtina in June 2016 and in Peja June 2017. The facilitators will be from EU partners with experience of writing and using case studies, NTU, SU, MUAS and UNIZG. Kosovar participants will be the members of staff nominated for preparing case studies by their department or faculty. Each Workshop will have 18 participants (3 from each Kosovar faculty/university), 36 in total. Workshop material will be prepared by EU partners.
The Placement Office in each Kosovar university will communicate with partner companies (and also other companies outside the Consortium) to place 6 members of staff in various companies (over a two year period). Placements will be for 1 or 2 weeks, depending on the nature and size of the company and the availability of the nominated members of staff and their host company. After the placement, the university lecturers will prepare the outlines of a case on the basis of their observations, discussions with company employees and managers, and the information they have collected during their placement. These will be further discussed, improved and eventually converted to case studies (Activity 2.3).
A follow up Workshop on writing case studies will be organised at three EU partner universities (NTU, SU and UNIZG) with expertise in training young academics to write case studies. Kosovar lecturers who have completed their placement and prepared the outlines of a case study will participate in case study writing workshops. There will be one Workshop in December 2016 at NTU, one in December 2017 at UNIZG and one at SU in February 2018, each accommodating 12 participants. The Workshops will also discuss the use of case studies in the class room and the changes in teaching, learning and assessment strategy which would be required to make case studies effective. Each Workshop will discuss 12 case studies in detail and convert them into proper full case studies ready for use in classrooms. Appropriate equipment needed to enhance teaching, learning and assessment strategy will be purchased and installed to facilitate the new teaching and learning methodology (camcorders, smartboards, projectors, laptops, multi-function printer/copiers). This WP will be monitored using a number of indicators: feedback from staff participating in the two Workshops on case studies; feedback from staff on the quality of the placement period; Individual Mobility Reports of EU staff participating in the Workshops and Kosovar lecturers visiting EU universities; feedback from students on new teaching, learning and assessment methodology. Indicators of progress for this WP include: Number of staff placed in companies; number of participants in the Seminar; number of case studies prepared; number of case studies introduced in teaching.
The aim of this WP is to identify the knowledge and skills needed by enterprises and embed them in the curricula. The main vehicle for the identification of these skills is the results of the Enterprise Survey undertaken in 1.7. These will be supplemented by feedback from enterprises which have taken students on placements and have therefore direct information on the knowledge gap of their interns. This feedback may not be available initially but it will be taken into account as the project proceeds. Therefore, placing students in companies is an early activity of this WP. The Placement Offices will communicate with partner companies, and also other companies, to find placements for initially a small number of students (the number will gradually increase as new enterprises are invited to work with universities). The placements, or internships, will be of 1-3 months duration, mostly out of academic terms, especially in the summer. The Placement Office will monitor the progress of students during their placement and will take appropriate action if any problem arises. The results of the Enterprise Survey will be discussed in a seminar at the beginning of the second year of the project. This seminar is an important point in the project as it provides guidelines for the skills and knowledge that need to be built into the curricula of various modules. All Kosovar partners, particularly the senior staff of universities, the Department for Higher Education at MEST, deans of other faculties of partner universities, other non-partner universities in Kosovo and the media will be invited to this Seminar. Finally, the conclusions of the Survey and the Seminar need to be embedded in the curricula. For this reason, each Kosovar university will nominate 4 lecturers to undertake this task. In order to provide these nominated lecturers with examples of good practice and help them in their task of building the skill gaps into the curricula, 2 Workshops will be organised in (one in SU in in January 2017 and one in NTU in January 2018). These Workshops will provide examples of good practice in EU institutions and help the participants to enhance the curricula of several modules by building the skills and knowledge needed by industry into the curricula. The Workshop at SU will, in particular, draw on the University’s good example of the ‘Staffordshire Graduate’ programme which has resulted in all study programmes in the University containing employability attributes and entrepreneurship characteristics – summarised in the so-called ‘3 Es’ (be employable, be Enterprising, be Entrepreneurial). The new knowledge and skill elements introduced into the curricula may also require changes in the teaching, learning and assessment strategies of those modules (new skills have to be assessed, requiring different assessment methods from traditional examinations). The equipment purchased in WP2 will also be used by lecturers participating in this WP teaching the new and revised modules. In the third year of the Project, another group of lecturers will participate in the Workshop (January 2018) and go through the same training for the revision of their modules. This WP will be monitored using a number of indicators: feedback from students and enterprises on the placement period, feedback on the Seminar, Individual Monitoring Reports of Kosovar staff participating in Workshops and the EU staff participating in the Seminar on Enterprise Survey Results. Indicators of progress for this WP include: No. of students placed in companies; number of participants in the Seminar; number of modules that have gone through the revision process.
Placement Offices in each partner institution will communicate with companies in the Consortium and arrange placements for a number of students in the companies for periods ranging from 1 to 3 months. The Placement Office will monitor their progress during the placement and deal with any unexpected development. They will also arrange to obtain feedback from the company and the student (e.g., student evaluation questionnaires) to ensure that the expectation of both parties are met and any shortcoming identified.
The report on the results of the Enterprise Survey (1.7) will be presented at a Seminar to be organised at the beginning of the second year of the project. All Kosovar stakeholders (within the project and outside) will be invited to participate in the Seminar (particularly the representatives of MEST who have an interest in the subject and representatives of other Kosovar universities). The Seminar will be held in October 2016, the day after the Annual Planning Meeting of the project so that EU institutions can be represented at the Seminar and also contribute to the discussions – at the same time reducing the need for additional journeys specifically for the Seminar. The Report of the Survey and conclusions of the seminar will be disseminated widely through the project’s dissemination mechanisms as well as through the media so that this important document is brought to the attention of all potential stakeholders and increase the impact of the project’s achievements.
Following the Seminar in 3.2, each of the Kosovar universities will nominate 4 lecturers (2 in the second year and 2 in the third year) to work on the review of the curricula by identifying the modules which should be enhanced with the knowledge and skills highlighted by the Enterprise Survey results, and later on also by feedback from companies on student placements. In order to help these colleagues in the review of the curricula and the embedding of necessary skills, EU partners will provide support and examples of curriculum development aimed at making students and graduates more responsive to the needs of enterprises and the labour market. Two workshops will be organised (one in SU in January 2017 and one in NTU in January 2018) to provide this support and introduce the lecturers to the tasks involved. During these workshops, changes in the curricula of the modules prepared by each lecturer will be collectively discussed. The end result would be improved curricula for at least 12 modules in each workshop (possibly more as some lecturers teach more than one module and will work on improvements on all the modules that they teach). Following these workshops and throughout the rest of the project period, the lecturers will be engaged in improving their modules and teaching the new improved modules to students.
The aim of this WP is to enable universities to give back something to enterprise partners. The Enterprise Survey and feedback from staff on placement will identify the areas in which universities can provide a service to enterprises, in particular the areas in which employees of companies need specific training. Given that universities have staff with a wide range of expertise, they should be able to meet the needs of enterprises in most areas. The EU partners will support the Kosovar universities during the life time of the project. Providing services for enterprises will enable universities to generate new income which would help their financial sustainability and enable them to embark on specific developmental projects which are not possible at current levels of funding. This is an area where EU universities have a great deal of experience which can be shared with Kosovar partners. For this purpose, a Seminar on Financial Sustainability of Universities will be organised in Gjilan (UKZ) for senior staff of universities both inside and outside the Consortium. After identifying the areas in which training courses can be arranged, universities will nominate lecturers to prepare themselves for delivering the training. These lecturers will be offered the opportunity to visit EU partner universities for one-week to prepare training material for their course and discuss it with EU colleagues with expertise in those areas. The EU colleagues will participate in the training course and run it jointly with the Kosovar lecturers. The running of the first Training Course will be a major Milestone of the project. This WP will be monitored using a number of indicators: feedback from the participants of the Seminar, Individual Monitoring Reports of Kosovar staff visiting EU universities and EU staff participating in the Seminar and in running the training courses. Indicators of progress for this WP include: Number of staff participating in the Seminar; number of staff participating in the visit to EU universities to prepare training material; number of training courses offered, amount of money generated for participating universities.
In March 2017 a Workshop on Financial Sustainability of Universities will be organised in Gjilan (UKZ). The target audience of this Workshop will be senior staff of partner universities in Kosovo as well as other universities and the Department of Higher Education in the MEST and partner enterprises. The aim of this workshop is to highlight the importance of universities being able to develop new income generating activities and diversify their sources of income with a view to reducing their reliance on grants from the national budget. They will also reflect on the experience of EU universities which have a long experience of income diversification and income generation.
On the basis of the results of the Enterprise Survey and feedback from staff on placement, the training needs of companies and other services which can be performed by universities will be identified. Once the training needs are identified, the universities will appoint lecturers who will prepare themselves to run the required training courses. The appointed lecturers will spend a week in one of the EU partner universities UNIVPM, MUAS, UNIZG or SU to prepare the material for teaching. They will be supported by professors from EU universities who will also travel to Kosovo to help with the teaching of these training courses. It is envisaged that at least eight courses will be offered to companies during the life-time of the project. Using the same sources mentioned earlier, and in consultation with partner companies, other needs of enterprises which may be met and accommodated by universities (such as advice and consultancy in marketing strategy, financial strategy, team building and strategic management) will be identified and steps taken to offer these services to them.
The aim of this WP is to further develop cooperation with enterprises, this time in the SME sector. It will enable partner universities to establish Advice Centres for SMEs by setting up an infrastructure (a physical centre) and also trained staff to coordinate the Centre’s work. This is an area where the postgraduate students of partner university are involved too. These are students on the Masters programmes of Kosovar institutions who wish to gain practical experience of working with SMEs. The Work Package begins with a Workshop on Running Advice Centres to train the coordinators, interested staff and postgraduate students associated with the Centres. The universities will nominate a member of staff to be the Coordinator and also several postgraduate students to work in the Advice Centres. Colleagues from NTU and UNIZG with extensive experience of working with SMEs will run this Workshop. The Kosovar universities will set up Advice Centres which will be managed by the Coordinator and lecturers participating in the Workshop. The Centres will then begin their work, trying to reach as many SMEs as possible to inform them of the presence of the Centre and the advice available. This is where the two NGO partners have a particular role to play. The Kosovo Chamber of Commerce and Women in Business will be the conduit through which Advice Centres will reach the SMEs and inform them of their existence and available services. The start of the Advice Centres will be another important Milestone of the project. This WP will be monitored using a number of indicators: feedback from staff and students participating in the initial training Workshop on Advice Centres; Individual Mobility Reports of EU staff participating in the Workshop; feedback from SMEs using the Advice Centres. Indicators of progress for this WP include: Number of staff and postgraduate students wishing to participate in the training Workshop; number of SMEs contacted through the Chamber of Commerce and Women in Business; number of SMEs contacting the Advice Centres.
A Workshop on Running Advice Centres for SMEs will be organised for Kosovar staff and postgraduate students nominated by their universities in the first year of the project (April 2016). Experienced colleagues from NTU and UNIZG who have long experience of working with SMEs will coordinate this Workshop.
Partner universities in Kosovo will provide space for an Advice Centre and nominate one of their lecturers to coordinate the Centres’ work. They will be able to draw on their knowledge of the expertise of their colleagues and, depending on the nature of the advice sought, bring in an expert in that area.
The coordinators of Advice Centres will contact the Chamber of Commerce and Women in Business with a view to reaching the wider population of SMEs in Kosovo to inform them of the establishment of the Centres, inviting them to occasional presentations offered by the Centre and also of the timetable for provision of advice.
The aim of this WP is to ensure that all WPs are progressing satisfactorily according to the Work Plan and that a high quality is maintained for all activities. The Coordinator and Project Manager are responsible for the project as a whole and will monitor the progress continually, making two visits to Kosovo to meet all project partners. The two institutions leading this WP (UNIZG and UGJFA) will draw up a Quality Plan for the project, using various means of collecting information on the progress of the project (e.g., questionnaires to obtain feedback from partners and participants in the activities on project management, project progress, internal communication and cooperation within the consortium). They will put procedures into place to ensure that the quality of project results is high and that the needs and expectations of the different target groups are met. These tools will include questionnaires, interviews, expert opinion and focus groups and will be performed among students, staff, companies and other stakeholders. The leaders of this WP will prepare an Internal Evaluation Report in the second project year for the Steering Committee. The Report will be discussed at the meeting of the Committee in October 2017 and appropriate action will be taken if necessary. In addition to its internal monitoring procedures, the project will also have a monitoring report from an External Evaluator. We have already obtained the agreement of an experienced colleague, Dr. Bassem Kaissi, the Vice President of the Modern University of Business and Sciences in Lebanon. He has been involved in many national and regional Tempus projects and Erasmus Mundus projects and is familiar with the principles underlying EU programmes. He has also been specifically responsible for the Quality Assurance of the Tempus project IDEAL (530721-TEMPUS-1-2012-1-LB-TEMPUS-SMHES) This WP will be monitored using a number of indicators: feedback obtained from project participants using the mechanisms mentioned above; Individual Mobility Reports of the Project Coordinator and Project Manager engaged in monitoring visits; the Reports of internal and external evaluators. Indicators of progress for this WP include: Number of monitoring visits made; number of progress indicators of the project in the LFM which have been met.
As part of their role, the Project Coordinator and Project Manager would make monitoring visits to all partners to ensure that the project is progressing according to the Work Plan and that the quality of activities is at the desired level. During these visits they will discuss the project’s progress with all the stakeholders including students, when applicable, partner companies and MEST officials.
UNIZG and UGJFA will prepare a Quality Plan and embark on the collection of information from a variety of sources during the first two years of the project. In the second year, they also visit all partners in Kosovo and discuss the progress of the project with them. They will produce an Internal Quality Control and Monitoring Report which would be submitted to the Steering Committee for discussion and action if any action is necessary.
In the third year of the project, an external evaluator will be engaged on a subcontracting basis to undertake quality control and monitoring of project activities. He will travel to Kosovo and visit all 5 partner universities (six faculties), four companies and two NGOs. The Report of the External Evaluator will be submitted to the Steering Committee as well as the EACEA. Any action necessary will be discussed with the Management Committee and appropriate action will be taken.
The aim of this WP is to ensure that the project results are disseminated as widely as possible, that they impact as large a target group as possible and that the project is on a sustainable footing. These goals can be achieved if the publicity strategy of the project covers traditional as well as modern means of communication (including social media) and information sharing events are publicised in advance and are well attended. In the Dissemination Workshops, attempts will be made to invite representatives from other Capacity Building projects in Kosovo in order to explore the synergies between the projects and draw overall lessons for future projects in Kosovo. This WP will be monitored using the following indicators: Individual Mobility Reports of EU partners participating in Dissemination Workshops; feedback from student and other stakeholders about the level of awareness raising undertaken by the project management; feedback from participants in Dissemination Workshops. Indicators of progress for this WP include: Number of people attending Dissemination Workshops; number of hits to the website of the project and the number of visits to social media sites.
This activity involves the setting up of a project website in the first few months of the project. The website will be designed by a professional organisation on a subcontracting basis. Other means of publicity such as newsletters, leaflets, posters, CDs and a project brochure on the one hand, and the wide use of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc.) on the other will be used to propagate the messages of the project to its potential stakeholders.
Two dissemination meetings will be organised in March 2017 and June 2018 in Prishtina. A wide range of stakeholders (all partners of this project, students of partner universities, staff from non-partner universities, representatives from non-partner enterprises, MEST, representatives of other Key Action 2 Capacity Building in Higher Education projects in Kosovo) will be invited to the meetings which will discuss the achievements of the project.
This WP aims at effective and transparent coordination and management of the project with a management structure and methodology that will ensure the timely implementation of activities and achievement of objectives. A Steering Committee composed of all contact persons of the project and the senior staff of Kosovar universities will be responsible for the overall management and oversight of the project. A smaller and more proactive Management Committee, made up of the Project Coordinator, Project Manager, Project Administrator in Kosovo, a representative of Kosovar partners and a representative of EU partners (five members altogether) will look after the day to day affairs of the project. The Project’s Local Administrator in Kosovo will work with all partners and ensure that all the documentation needed for the financial management for the project are collected and transferred to the Coordinating Institution safely. The administrator will also be responsible for arranging the foreign travel of Kosovar partners and making arrangements for receiving EU visitors in Kosovo. The kick-off meeting will be arranged in December 2015 to review the project aims, objectives and activities and ensure that all partners are familiar with all aspects of the project. A Local Administrator will be appointed during this meeting, and training will be given to all contact persons in order to ensure that they are all fully informed about the financial and other rules and regulations governing the Key Action 2 Capacity Building in HE programme, as well as the project’s financial and administrative procedures. Two faculties of UP (in Prishtina and Ferizaj) participate in this project; thus UP has been allocated twice the resources of other institutions for most activities. Furthermore, the Contact Person at UP is given special responsibility as the national coordinator of the project in Kosovo, with extra time allowed. This explains the larger share of resources going to this institution. Similarly, it is assumed that the Administrator of the project is located at Riinvest, thus explaining the share of this institution being higher than UGJFA, UKZ and UHZ. While the responsibility of individual partners are clearly defined in the application, the Management Committee and the Project Coordinator will ensure that the project activities progress on target and the project maintains a high profile in their universities and beyond. They will also be in regular contact with non-university partners to maintain their involvement in the project. There will be two annual planning meetings at the start of the 2nd and 3rd years of the project with all members of the Steering Committee present. These meetings will enable the progress of the project to be reviewed and plans to be made taking into account the activities of the previous year. Between the annual meetings, members of the Management Committee will be in contact by Skype or video conferences on a monthly basis to ensure tight and continuous coordination and management. The Coordinating Institution will appoint an independent qualified Auditor to undertake an audit of the project towards the end of the third year of the project. All documents and project reports will be submitted to the auditor and any extra documentation needed will be provided by the Coordinating Institution.
The first step in starting the project will be to form the Steering Committee and Management Committee of the Project. These committees will be formed at the start of the project through correspondence and skype conversations between contact persons and the Project Coordinator. Members of the Steering Committee will be contacted by the Project Coordinator with a view to agreeing on the timing of the Kick off meeting.
The kick off meeting will take place in December 2015 and will be the first opportunity for project partners to plan their collective approach to implementation within the project framework. The meeting will ensure that all partners’ understanding of the project is aligned in terms of objectives, procedures and plans. To reinforce this, key milestones will be put in place during the meeting. Project governance will also be agreed and set in place. The kick off meeting will also provide an opportunity for networking and team building; for members to get to know each other, to discuss their vision of the project and collectively review the objectives, outcomes and activities of the project. Any amendment to the activities or to the allocation of activities between partners should be discussed and justified in this meeting. The meeting will also agree on the detailed plan of activities for the first year of the project, particularly the timing of mobilities so that preparations can start immediately. The EU partners will visit all partner institutions in Kosovo and learn about their specific situations first hand.
During the kick off meeting, a Project Administrator for Kosovo will be appointed and her/his role in Kosovo will be discussed with all project partners. The Local Administrator will manage the budget in XK according to the financial rules of the KA2 CBHE programme, collect project documents, facilitate staff mobilities to and from XK, make arrangements for hosting EU staff on teaching, monitoring and management visits, arrange payments related to project activities and organise the purchase of equipment.
The Project Manager, Mrs Jenny Herbert, will conduct a training session at the kick off meeting for the Local Administrator and all contact persons to ensure that they all have a clear understanding of the funding rules and regulations of the Erasmus+ Programme which govern the project, particularly with regard to eligible expenditure and the required documentation. More extensive training will be given to the Local Administrator on the need to maintain accurate and up to date records of expenditure. This is an essential training for all project contact persons as they need to be familiar with rules and regulations of the programme and following consistent policies.
The key to success for good project management is the quality of the financial and administrative management and reporting. SU Business School has the experience of successfully managing many EU funded projects (see the list in Section J) and has established processes and procedures based on this experience as well as a dedicated office. In addition, the Project Coordinator and Manager are supported by the Finance Department of SU which is experienced in managing externally funded projects to the highest standards. The Finance Department will maintain the records of income and expenditure for the project, and produce monthly reports of the account, according to the rules of the Erasmus+ programme and the University’s own financial procedures and regulations. They will ensure that all partners receive the funds due to them as speedily as possible.
The Project Coordinator and the Contact person at one of the partner institutions in Kosovo will participate in the meeting organised by EACEA about the operation of the Erasmus+ programme.
Two planning meetings aimed at reviewing activities and identifying potential problems and any deviations from the Work Plan and taking corrective action in a timely manner will take place at the beginning of the 2nd and 3rd years of the project. The meetings will take stock of what has been done, analyse “where we are” and plan for “where we should be”. The key benefit delivered by these meetings is that project performance, and its quality, will be monitored and measured regularly to identify any variance from the Work Plan. Partners in charge of WP6 (Quality Control and Monitoring) will report at these annual meetings.
In the final year of the project, an independent auditor will be selected (through a competitive process) to carry out the financial audit of the project in accordance with the rules of the Erasmus+ programme. The Project Manager will provide all the financial and other documents of the project for the auditor and facilitate their access to documents kept by the University Finance Office. The report of the auditor will be submitted with the project report to EACEA.
The Coordinating Institution is responsible for regular reporting to EACEA. It will prepare the Intermediate and Final reports of the project and submit them to EACEA on time. All other partners will participate in the preparation of these reports and support the Coordinating Institution in this task.