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Historical Cooperation

Expert Group on Youth Affairs 1997 – 2014

The EGYA, former Working Group on Youth Affairs, consisted of representatives from CBSS Member States’ ministries responsible for youth policy. The Baltic Youth Forum and the Regional Youth Council of Schleswig-Holstein also participated in the EGYA. The objective of the EGYA was to promote the active participation by young people in the development of democratic and pluralistic civil societies in the States of the Baltic Sea Region. These aims were pursued by strengthening Baltic Sea cooperation in the field of youth; increasing youth mobility and youth exchange in the region; participation of young people in policy structures in the Baltic Sea Area, (e.g. BSSSC, UBC, BSPC); promoting youth issues as a cross-sectoral topic; including disadvantaged young people in the activities of youth organisations and structures; cooperating with other regional youth structures in e.g. the Barents and Nordic regions.

The decision to set up a Baltic Sea Secretariat for Youth Affairs at the Regional Youth Council of Schleswig-Holstein in Kiel, Germany, was taken at the 1st Ministerial Conference on Baltic Sea cooperation in the field of Youth Affairs in Visby, Sweden in 1998. This move was based on a Finnish initiative from 1997. At the 2nd Conference of CBSS Youth Ministers in Vilnius, Lithuania in 2002, the decision was taken to establish a Working Group on Youth Affairs (WGYA).

EuroFaculty 1993 – 2015

The concept of the EuroFaculty was initiated to support the development of university curricula and teaching methods of selected universities within the Baltic Sea Region. Over the years the programme has supported the curricula upgrading of selected BSR universities up to Bologna standards, assisted in the training of local academic staff in the subjects of Economics, Business Administration, Political Science and Law, and enhanced the universities’ internationalisation, namely Master’s and Bachelor’s programmes.

In 2014, a report on the future of the EuroFaculty was prepared as a CBSS PSF project led by the University of Turku, Finland.

As a result of the first CBSS Committee of Senior Officials (CSO) meeting under the Icelandic CBSS Presidency 2016-2017, the CSO adopted the Terms of Reference for an Informal EuroFaculty Working Group consisting of volunteer CSO Members from Germany, Finland, Norway, Poland, Latvia and Lithuania – having had its first meeting back-to-back with the second CSO meeting under the Icelandic Presidency.   

The EuroFaculty programme is sought to be continued, however under a new approach. It will support the mandate of the CBSS with innovative ideas in the field of Baltic Sea Studies, promote networking between universities and academic institutes in the Baltic Sea Region in cooperation with the CBSS and shall also increase practical cooperation among CBSS Member States in various fields of Baltic Sea Studies - including economics and business, law, environment, culture, history, politics and multilateral cooperation. 

EuroFaculty Pskov was an educational development project launched in 2009 in the region of Pskov in Western Russia, close to the border of Estonia and Latvia.

The aim of the project was to upgrade university education in Business Economics / Business Administration at the recently created Pskov State University (PskovSU) which is a result of a merger of five education institutions in Pskov. Before the merger the recipient institutions were Pskov State Polytechnic Institute and Pskov Volny Institute (latter until June 2010).

Background

Basing a EuroFaculty (EF) project in the Russian city of Pskov was initially suggested by the Governor of Pskov in October 2003 and first discussed by the CBSS governing body, the Committee of Senior Officials (CSO), at its meeting in Tartu and Pskov (March 2004).

Drawing on previous positive experiences of similar EuroFaculty projects at universities in Tartu (Estonia), Riga (Latvia) and Vilnius (Lithuania) during the years 1993–2005, and in the Russian Region of Kaliningrad during 2000–2007, the CSO commissioned a fact-finding mission, whose report became the basic document underlying a potential EF-Pskov.

The report concluded that establishing an EF-Pskov with three years duration would be worthwhile. It further recommended a joint project involving a state and a non-state institution, naming the Pskov State Polytechnic Institute (PPI) and the Pskov Volny Institute (PVI) as the two most promising targets for a EuroFaculty Project.

In April 2007, the then Swedish Presidency of the CBSS financed a feasibility study, which positively assessed the opportunities for the project. The scope of the feasibility study was limited to the two institutions that were chosen by the fact-finding report (i.e. PPI and PVI). The study defined and limited the project’s subject area to “Business Economics” in the broad sense. On the basis of the recommendation of the feasibility report, all CBSS Member States and three external partners decided to pledge contributions to the project.

EuroFaculty 2009-2012

The EuroFaculty project in the Region of Pskov was then launched in December 2007. The aim was to upgrade university education in Business Economics at two institutions of higher education, the Pskov State Polytechnic Institute and the Pskov Volny Institute, by curriculum development and through new teaching and examination methods, all aiming at bringing the economics studies at these two institutions in line with recognised international standards.

Within the subject area Business Economics/Business Administration, the following set of objectives were defined for the first phase:

Curriculum development in order to bring relevant degree courses at bachelor and master levels in line with the requirements of the Bologna process.

Provision of a targeted and systematic teacher training in support of curriculum development and more interactive and demanding teaching methods, i.a. the introduction of problem and project-based learning with increased self-study

Improved examination methods to ensure the link between what is taught and how it is taught, and what is tested and how

Creation of a quality assurance system which would ensure lasting improvements in the quality of teaching and learning.

Provision of additional language training for PPI and PVI staff and students

Enhanced access to books, journals and other means of communicating research results, including training of librarians

Establishment of a mobility scheme, which gave MA and PhD students opportunities to study abroad at donor universities

 

One of the big achievements of the first phase (2009–2012) was to create three profiles for Bachelor level: Credit and Finance, Accounting and Auditing, as well as International Business. The consolidation work of the Bachelor level continued during the second phase, but new more ambitious objectives were also introduced: The project launched an international Master Degree Programme on Baltic Sea Business. It served as a model on how to build a modern, networked, resource leveraging programme of study, strongly supporting the ideas set out in the Bologna framework in terms of student mobility, international cooperation among universities and with stakeholders in the business environment. The programme was intended for graduate students on a scientific Master level, to equip them with knowledge, skills and competencies to improve quality of life and business activities in the Baltic Region and more widely in the Baltic Sea Region. The launch of the Management Development Programme for business managers was another major endeavour during the second phase of the project. The focus of the programme was on promoting trans-border activities and developing new business opportunities in and between Russia and other CBSS countries. A multi-partner approach was applied in producing the programme. The project also put great emphasis on enhancing regional development through university-led activities. PskovSU was seen as the engine for regional development of the area. Pskov’s ideal location as a border region was made use of in cross-border collaboration with various stakeholders. The development of the Pskov region was strengthened during the second phase through various activities, i.e. business support organisation, cross-border development, student-led entrepreneurship activities as well as through development of business, innovation and entrepreneurship modules. Throughout the second phase the above objectives were complemented with development work and support in the fields of language teaching, mobility of students and staff, library and infrastructure development as well as faculty development.

Management

Sweden was the Lead Country for the EuroFaculty Pskov project with a representative from its Ministry for Foreign Affairs heading the project’s steering body, the International Expert Group for the EuroFaculty project in Pskov. The Lead Country coordinated the EuroFaculty project together with the International Expert Group and ensured that the project was properly implemented.The International Expert Group consisted of representatives of most of the donors to the project. The EuroFaculty Pskov project was financed by voluntary contributions from all the CBSS Member States: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russian Federation and Sweden.

The University Consortium

The project implementation was carried out by a strong network of leading universities. The consortium, together with the receiving institution in Pskov, had the task of defining and describing in detail the specific actions that needed to be taken in order to start the implementation of the project.

As a result of a competitive selection process conducted in the spring of 2008, a consortium of six universities, headed by the Turku School of Economics (later the University of Turku), were selecetd to implement the project. For the second phase, the University of Turku continued as the project leader and other partners included Stockholm School of Economics (branch in Saint Petersburg), Trondheim Business School, Roskilde University, University of Tartu, University of Latvia and Saint Petersburg State University of Economics and Finance. Other universities as Wiadrina University of Germany also supported the EF Pskov project.

The CBSS EuroFaculty programme in Kaliningrad was launched in the year 2000 with the aim of supporting the development of curricula and modern teaching methods at the Immanuel Kant State University of Russia (before 2005: Kaliningrad State University), in the faculties of Economics and Law. The programme provided a series of lectures by visiting professors, language training of staff and students, and general re-training for local academic staff, as well as initiatives to increase student mobility. Additionally, EuroFaculty worked to enhance the university capacity in terms of strategic planning and management. The EuroFaculty programme in Kaliningrad was financed by contributions from Denmark, Germany, Lithuania, Norway, Poland and Sweden. Denmark was the Lead Country for the project and its Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation chaired an International Expert Group consisting of donor representatives, while implementation of the project was delegated to two consortia of universities, with competence in the field of either economics or law. Roskilde University (DK) headed the economics consortium, while Georg-August University of Göttingen (DE) headed the law consortium. Examples of the results of EuroFaculty in Kaliningrad:

  • The curricula of Economics and Law Studies was renewed
  • A new Bachelor/Master programme put in place at the Faculty of Economics
  • New teaching methodology for more active participation of students
  • Improved library & IT facilities
  • Approx. 100 teachers from Kaliningrad visited foreign partner universities
  • Approx. 35 foreign lecturers taught at the university in Kaliningrad
  • Approx. 120 students of Economics and Law studied at foreign partner universities
  • The University developed a strategic plan for further development

The aim of the EuroFaculty programme in the Baltic States established in 1993 was to assist in transforming curricula and the training of local academic staff in the subjects of Economics, Public Administration/Political Science and Law in the University of Tartu in Estonia, University of Latvia in Riga and the University of Vilnius in Lithuania.

EuroFaculty offered lectures by visiting professors from donor countries, which facilitated the re-training of local academic personnel.

After a successful 12 year period of operation, the EuroFaculty in the Baltic States was terminated in July 2005.