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4th Call for WBAA Projects 2021 – These are the selected projects being implemented

The projects of the 4th Call for WBAA Projects in 2021 were approved in February and are still running for a little while longer. We would like to present you the 8 projects belonging to the fourth batch of the WBAA Projects 2021 

 

Project Connect 

Project Coordinator: Edlira Alku-Evans 

Mentoring in the Western Balkans is at very low levels. Most students graduating from EM courses often find themselves without much guidance available to them due to the lack of infrastructure that supports their development and integration into the workforce. Mentors can be a great source of support for prospective and existing students and for alumni. Project Connect wants to solve this problem by testing a pilot mentoring programme which brings together interested students and alumni. The two project coordinators have significant experience in mentoring of young people with a specific focus in European funded courses. The project will have a regional approach because the challenges and opportunities in the countries of the region are very similar. Equally, interregional mentoring will allow both mentors and mentees to learn more from each other and indeed exploring networking opportunities beyond their home countries. The project aims to: improve the self-confidence of mentees; increase knowledge transfer opportunities between mentors and mentees; provide meaningful volunteering opportunities for alumni; enable knowledge transfer to home countries from alumni based abroad and support brain gain initiatives; offer learning of new skills for mentors and mentees; improve networking for mentors and mentees and provide an opportunity for mentors to keep in touch and learn more about the region. This pilot project will last from April-October 2022 and it will assess the success of the mentoring relationships and the feasibility of the pilot to become a core part of the WBAA activities in the future. 

 

Digital Resources and IT Tools as a New Strategical Factor for Modernization and internationalization in Higher Education in Western Balkans 

Project Coordinator: Aleksandar Davkov 

Regarding conducted analyses from National Agency in Republic of N. Macedonia and conducted survey from Executive Agency in Brussels most of HEIs in western Balkans are not very much familiar with networking of alumni students and European strategy in the field of Higher Education 2021-2027 and with basic and specific priorities such as modernization, internationalization, inclusion, green agenda and most important digitalization in the field of Higher Education.  

One of several challenges is in line with discussing among students regarding challenges of Erasmus+ program, networking of alumni students and performing this training with physical presence from participants but at the same time main sessions from the training are going to be online through YouTube channel, zoom platform and trough social media (hybrid event/training). This is important for a reason that Erasmus coordinators from WB, Students, Staff that are not going to be able to attend the training with physical presence can participate online at sessions.  

At the same time with this training we are going to link European priorities in the field of Higher Education and the regional approach of WB countries regarding improvements in the field of Higher Education and improving collaboration between alumni students and Universities in WB. Additionally this tipis is related with the priority of this year because the youngsters are going to have benefit from the results form this project.  

Through networking of alumni students’ promotion of Erasmus+ program will be much more visible for students from each cycle of studies (bachelor, master and PhD) also Erasmus+ program will be promoted in each country in WB.  

In partnership with the National Agency for European Educational Programmes and Mobility we will strengthen the knowledge of Higher Education Institutions regarding modernization, internationalization and most important digitalization in western Balkans in Higher Education. 

 

WIN a Project | Apply – Win – Implement 

Project Coordinator: Lamija Balta 

The WBAA associates from BiH, Serbia, and Montenegro in communication with the Board and other active WBAA members have noticed that many volunteers in our association lack the skills for writing project proposals and therefore are not motivated to apply for project calls and implement their ideas. These statistics have further decreased due to the current pandemic situation worldwide. Many WBAA members are not skilled enough to write a successful project proposal, and in turn, are not able to impact society and motivate less active members as well as prospective Erasmus+ participants to do the same in the future.  

The overall aim of our project is the capacity building for WBAA members so that in the future they can write and submit the project proposals on their own. Moreover, an additional benefit of this training is the team building and networking with WBAA members since we all can learn from each other’s diverse backgrounds.  

 

DIGIWB – Digitalization as a tool for sustainable Western Balkan regional development 

Project Coordinator: Tihomir Latinovic 

Establish an attractive student, professors , NGOs etc,. training for preparing the post-qualifying education courses with a special focus on developing digitalization writing skills. These courses are dedicated to enhancing the present knowledge within the Digitalization in Western Balkan. Design and development of a strategic and administrative system for the establishment of a continuous support program for digitalization. The project will consist of a training program for groups of 40 students and professors in the basics of WB digitalization. Workshop with representatives of high education, industry, NGO and freelancing peoples (minimum of 5 representatives from each WB country). The DIGIWB project will in a first step, be focused on the establishment of routines /administration, education program, exchange program and digitalization project facilities between the partners. The training aims to acquaint the training participants with the basics of relational database development, and with the basics of SQL language on the example of MySQL database management system. This cycle is designed to work with people who have no previous experience with relational databases. As a final outcome of the two-day training, each training participant will be able to understand the importance of logical database design. Each participant in the training will be able to independently or in a team approach the development of a relational database model, to recognize the need to decompose and approach the decomposition of relations without losing information. We will also work on training participants to approach the physical implementation of a database individually or in a team using a MySQL relational database management system. DIGIWB is a project, designed for those who have been vaccinated, have had COVID 19, or have a PCR Test, not older than 48 hours. We expect that the project will go according to plan in September 2021. We will be ready for any scenario, but we rightly believe that these are WESTERN BALKAN countries that still have no obstacles in the transition of people. In any case, the workshop will offer a mixed approach both live and online. 

 

United Youth for Green Western Balkan 

Project Coordinator: Milan Babić 

Necessity of young people education in the field of project planning and proposal writing raising from day-to-day due opening of many opportunities. WBAA members and University of Novi Sad’s students, aged 19–29, will have chance to get that knowledge from our lecturers (representatives of the Ministry for Environmental Protection, University professor, WBAA, and NGO) will participate in panel discussions on environmental protection; workshops, National Park Fruska Gora visit, and competition. The expected results are encouraged and prepared individuals ready to take initiatives when it comes to project proposal writing in fields of environmental protection, sustainability, and ecology. Additionally, the purpose is also to utilize the knowledge obtained during this project for scopes beyond application processes; mainly for facilitating future project realizations.
We merge three deferent topics into one project idea of four-day conference:

  1. Promotion of Erasmus+ programs, WBAA and Higher Education;
  2. Environmental Protection; and
  3. Project planning & proposal writing

Year 2022 is announced as the European year of youth, and this project follows several Youth Goals: Connecting EU with Youth; Equality of All Genders; Information & Constructive Dialogue; Mental Health & Wellbeing ect. Long term sustainability is guaranteed because there will be interested participants who will apply on future public calls on this subject. Furthermore, with project promotion during and after realization, we will inform all interested parties about WBAA, Erasmus+, writing projects etc. Main topic covers WBAA’s aims and mission:

  1. Strong Union establishing of WBAA members;
  2. Promoting mobility and Higher Education in Europe;
  3. Knowledge exchange, experiences, contacts among WBAA and local students;
  4. Strengthen the links between Higher Education (HE) & the labor market to ease school-to-work transition and increase employability. 

 

Get Ready for Career  

Project Coordinator: Sonja Sovljanski 

The main objective is to strengthen the capacity of youth for future job/scholarship/internship positions through knowledge about: self-assessment (awareness of their abilities, interests, values, strengths and weaknesses), about the professional information (monitoring needs and trends in the labour or education market), skills for setting appropriate objectives, planning, decision making, problem solving and preparation for job interview). -Implementation of the online trainings, 30 workshops, divided in 4 modules: Interview Preparation, Professional Orientation, Business Life Cycle and Career Soft Skills – Development of the Manual Ready for Career in which will be all the information from the trainings. Each topic would be on at least 4 pages, more than 70 pages overall, and done by lecturer who held that topic. Design will be done by a professional designer and also from specialist done proofreading. – During all modules/workshops and in Manual there will be shared experiences from Erasmus+ offering testimonies of their own mobility experiences and providing information about their experience with exploring options, interviews, process of applications and studies or internships abroad, and how that affected their career later.
MODULE 1. Interview Preparation (3 hours, per 10 days)
MODULE 2. Professional Orientation (3 hours, per 9 days)
MODULE 3. Soft Career Skills

  1. Resilience and How to Develop It (3 hours)
  2. Effective Communication and Emotional Intelligence (3 hours)
  3. Emotional Intelligence in Leadership (3 hours)
  4. Managing Stress trough Public Speech (3 hours)
  5. Nonviolent communication techniques (3 hours)
  6. Empowerment of Self-esteem (3 hours)
    MODULE 4 Business Life Cycle and Your Career (3 hours per 5 days) 

 

How to become a Digital Marketer 

Project Coordinator: Dejan Galovski 

The main idea of the project is to inform young people from Western Balkans about the opportunities of digital marketing and provide education in digital marketing through training sessions about this topic that is very popular globally but on the other hand, is not properly discovered in Western Balkans. The Western Balkan countries must follow the global trends and educate young people about this topic. While participating in training sessions will work in groups and they will have tasks to implement their knowledge and ideas into practical examples. This will give them the possibility to participate actively in the sessions. 

 

Mentorship by WBAA activists & Problem solving (Decision-making training) 

Project Coordinator: Vesna Travica 

On behalf of the Western Balkans Alumni Association, in collaboration with Erasmus Student Network (ESN) Serbia and Foundation Tempus, we will organize a project “Mentorship by WBAA activists & Problem-solving training” in April 2022. in Pancevo and Belgrade. Young people in the Western Balkans are passive and depressed and do not see opportunities for their future. Due to the covid pandemic situation, they are not willing to apply for Erasmus + mobility programs. They also do not have access to accurate information about mobility programs. Another problem we are trying to solve with this project is inactivity of WBAA members. By organizing training in developing skills in problem solving and decision making and by gathering WBAA members from all over the region, we will try to motivate WBAA members to be more active, optimistic, determined and effective, and to become mentors for new students ready to experience academic mobility programs. By providing correct and accurate information on programs within Erasmus+ framework 2021-2027. and other mobility programs prospective students will gain a clear picture of possibilities for studying abroad. Mentorship by WBAA members and the exchange of Alumni’s mobility experiences with prospective students aims to encourage them to apply for some of the exchange programs that could be precious for their future professional and personal lives. By organizing psychological workshops, social activities and tours of Belgrade and Pancevo, we would like to create a strong network of WBAA mentors and prospective Erasmus students. 

 

SkillUp 

Project Coordinator: Nebojsa Ratkovic 

SkillUp is an online mentorship program that connects potential Erasmus+ candidates and current students with experienced alumni members and members of the WBAA community. The coronavirus pandemic has primarily impacted the youthful people, who have been denied access to some types of education, such as offline education, mobility programs, peer networking, and knowledge exchange through a variety of programs that were previously available. With this project, we aim to make a difference by highlighting the necessary skills that young people may learn and/or develop. Writing and directing projects, taking the initiative, cultivating a proactive mindset, and having an entrepreneurial spirit are just a few examples. Even when young people participate in a variety of projects, one of the issues they face is how to portray themselves and their work to others. We expect that by completing this project, we will demonstrate how to show themselves with dedication, as well as the key factors to which they must pay attention. This proactive attitude to their work and development will allow students to create an entrepreneurial spirit. The Balkan region, in which the initiative will be implemented, is particularly sensitive to young people’s free choice during and after graduation. Young people are not adequately aware of the value of social involvement and professional development, partly owing to sociocultural factors. Because of the fact that most young people are in bad financial situations, they often do not strive to invest in themselves and instead take the first job that comes along. These employment may drive them in other ways, away from their education and original desires in certain situations. With this initiative, we strive to teach young people how to avoid this by encouraging them to participate in numerous programs throughout their schooling and, subsequently, to start setting their own course. 

 

Beyond Knowledge  – Our Future is YOUth 

Project Coordinator: Sabahudin Mujkić 

The project will consist of several types of activities that all aim to promote and enforce knowledge transfer, regional collaborations, open debate, development of professional and personal skills, and networking. The activities include: Symposium of postgraduate research in electrical engineering and a practical workshop in AI and robotics for students of electrical engineering; TED talks aimed at helping student better navigate the job market; practical workshop on how to bring innovation to the market; round table with an international expert discussing the issues of sustainability; and a social networking event. Public awareness campaign will also be launched, with videos and photos, where the young people will have a chance to raise their voices and be heard. 

 

Dr. Bachir Bibouche

on behalf of the service provider

Cologne, 30th September 2022

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