Reflecting on the ‘’InternACTional’’ project
The beginning of June saw the second transnational ‘’InternACTional’’ project meeting in Lyon, France, gathering project partners from all the collaborating countries to look back at the work already done and brainstorm ideas for future project maintenance.
Reflecting amongst themselves the partners brought to light the rights and wrongs of the practicality of the project. Starting strong, with the help of motivated and enthusiastic student coordinators and a well-managed administrative side led to a diverse composition of internship and teamwork, which proved useful when organizing events such as the European Innovation Race 2022.
Susan Johansen, from Bergen University, highlighted that ”The student coordinators were a huge help – they were highly motivated and practice-oriented and their contribution was a huge part of the success of the ‘’InternACTional’’ project.” Giving thought to this as the project came to an end it made clear that in the future such coordinators ought to be financially compensated, given their important input on the project and its initial success.
The flexibility of the framework structure was another reason behind the success of the project. With so many practical differences, i.e., timetables, internal regulations and resources, having the framework structure be flexible allowed the project to provide more opportunities for each university to find the best solutions for how it can be integrated into their internal system, and it helped to make an easier transfer of best practices from other institutions.
Despite the overall success of the project, the COVID pandemic interfered with the project activities, weakening the very vital sense of community needed for this project and leaving participants more hesitant to join in on the variety of activities offered for fear of contracting the virus.
Possible future improvements include encouraging more meetings to be face to face, with communications to be handled over a big European student-led forum focused on solving different problems, etc. What is more, since the project is rather student-centred, student-led, and student-driven, student coordinators ought to bear the responsibility to pass on their accumulated knowledge and experience to future coordinators.
As the ‘’InternACTional’’ project comes to an end after nearly 3 years of activities, the partners are to continue striving to encourage international collaboration between students and higher education institutions to find solutions for real-life problems.