Starting point for the “InowAsia” project
February 25th and 26th, WUSMED has participated to Erasmus+ INOWASIA project kick off meeting, together with people from European higher education institutions and universities in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.
The main objective of this project, with an expected duration of three years (2021-2023), is to create an International multilevel network of postgraduate students, professors and water professionals to reinforce postgraduate curricula in critical economic aspects related to water in South East of Asia, including innovative knowledge.
The other more specific objectives of the project are:
- Develop, implement and certify the basic and advanced water knowledge modules in the existing postgraduate programs in PC HEIs, and foster the training of academic teachers in the field of innovative and sustainable water resources management.
- Promote and implement the use of the problem-based learning methodology illustrated with local study cases, as well as innovative tools in postgraduate water courses, including specific formation for academics.
- Define Water Living Labs in each PC HEI, planning the implementation of real-life water demo sites and creating a multi-stakeholder virtual network.
- Foster entrepreneur and business culture among the students through field trips, short visits to success cases among local initiatives, and long stay internships in water companies and administrations.
- Create an international multilevel network of students, academics, professionals and stakeholders in the field of water resources to encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration.
During the implementation of this project, the students will improve their knowledge about water, including fundamentals about quality and treatment, and advanced knowledge about innovative technologies and modern concepts, that will let them to find a better job and have a better performance when working in the field. Also, the teachers will increase and improve their knowledge and curricula about water issues including innovative concepts about circular economy, nature-based solutions, low cost ICT, payment for ecosystems, etc… while they improve their teaching capacity once they are trained with problem-based learning methodology.
This project is offered as a great opportunity for Asiatic high education institutions to exchange experiences and knowledge with different European schools in the field of water, which can lead to the acquisition of new and creative solutions to water challenges facing all participating Asian countries and, in a possible opening of new doors for the establishment of future international projects and the consequent maximization of the mobility of future researchers.
As the mobility restrictions generated by the COVID-19 pandemic continue to be established, both sessions take place online.
During these two days, it has been explained the project and its objectives and has been given the opportunity to each of the partners involved in the project to present themselves, highlighting the relevant qualities to be provided by each of them during the development of the project to ensure the achievement of the established objectives. Also, it has been discussed more technical aspects, like making a revision to the budget and debating of quality and communication aspects and finally stablishing and organizing the specific tasks for the following months.
World University Service of the Mediterranean (WUSMED) will develop InowAsia website/platform and support quality assurance implementation with Laos National University (NULO) from Laos.
INOWASIA has 11 partners: 6 universities in Southeast Asia, distributed in 3 countries (Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam) and 5 different universities/foundations /non-profit organization/research institutes in southern Europe, distributed in 2 countries (France and Spain).
Apart from the conventional problems related to safe drinking water supply and sanitation, countries on the Southeast shore of Asia face severe challenges that affect population health and economic activities through drastic water supply scarcity and lack of sanitation, severe droughts and floods, deforestation and threats to biodiversity.
In this context, in the framework of INOWASIA, European Higher Education Institutions (UdG, UB Solidarity Foundation, University Paul Sabatier Tolouse III, IRD – Institut de Recherche pour le Developpement & WUSMED) will share their knowledge and experience in the implementation of innovative master programmes in water resources management. The main idea is to jointly design training modules on water resources to complement the masters and PhD programs in related fields already existing in Southeast Asia, as well as to co-design and implement water-oriented living labs.