USN awarded two Erasmus+ strategic partnerships

Erasmus project team visiting England.
Participants in the Erasmus project "Marginalisation and Co-Created Education". In front from left Paul Cammack (UoC) Pete Boyd (UoC) Mette Bunting (USN) Sidsel Hølvig Mikkelsen (VIA) Mari Bastøe Bergåker (USN) .

USN has been awarded two applications in the Erasmus+ Strategic Partnerships. Both projects have a duration of three years and USN coordinates both projects.

Project 1: Marginalisation and Co-Created Education

One of the projects is within «higher education». The project «Marginalisation and Co-Created Education» was chosen as one of five projects to win support with a Norwegian coordinator. From USN the participants are: Mette Bunting and Mari Bastøe Bergåker from the Department of Educational Sciences and Geir Moshuus from the Department of Health- Social- and Welfare Sciences.

The other partners in the project are: University of Cumbria from the UK and VIA University College from Denmark.

The project builds on a longitudinal study by Moshuus and Bunting, and as such it has a link to an ongoing research project at USN. The project is inter-disciplinary and is aimed at persons with «ESL/NEET» (Early School Leavers/Not in Education, Employment or Training) background. The experiences of this group will be used in the project.

The project wants to develop a more research-based degree for bachelor- and master students at the respective universities by training students in teacher training and social studies to do research. For example, one goal is for the students to be able to publish articles during their study period.

The goal is to provide students with an education that gives them updated and relevant skills and competences, that enables them to provide solutions to important societal challenges related to dropout rates from schools and social exclusion in the job market. During the project period, online methodology courses will be developed for bachelor- and master students respectively. There will also be a training package for teachers to learn how to train students. An open-access journal will also be established.  

The project is supported by 283 985 euro.

Bunting and Moshuus also recently published a book related to this topic. The book is called: Skolesamfunnet, ungdomsfellesskap og kompetansekrav (in Norwegian). In this book researchers from different subject areas highlight societal changes and the situation for young people. They show how these factors must be part of a full picture of youth and its culture. The book looks at issues related to the world of employment. Where there used to be different pathways to employment, today formal competences are required for most jobs, and this can only be achieved through completed education. 

Project 2: Go Out and Learn

The other project is in the field of primary school education and the project is called: «Go Out and Learn-High Quality Practises for Developing Key Competences in Primary School Education». From USN the project managers are Kari-Anne Jørgensen and Ingunn Fjørtoft, both from the Department of Sports, Physical Education and Outdoor. The other partners are University of Plymouth from the UK, University College Leuven-Limburg from Belgium and University of Bologna from Italy. In addition, one schooI from each country is involved in the project: Ormåsen school from Norway, Beechwood Primary School from the UK, Instituto Comprensivo Salvo d’Acqisto from Italy and Buitenschool de Bergop from Belgium.

The project wants to use Outdoor Education as an arena to strengthen pupils’ basic skills in mathematics, science and languages. Outdoor Learning has a proven effect on inclusion and increased satisfaction. Children who learn outdoors also report higher levels of motivation and satisfaction.

The universities want to use their knowledge about Outdoor Learning to test out and implement good practises in the respective schools. The schools in the project all have some experience with Outdoor Learning. The experiences from the different schools and countries will be used to develop recommendations for good practises for Outdoor Learning in Europe.

Even if the project clearly has the most effect on primary education, the recommendations and experiences that come out of the project will also be used to strengthen the Teacher Training Educations in the respective countries. The project will try to send the recommendations to national governments, with a view to implement these recommendations in national guidelines and curricula.

The Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education (SIU) has selected the project as one of five projects to be presented at a conference in Finland in late November.

The project is supported with 245 648 euro.

About Strategic Partnerships

Strategic Partnerships are projects within EU’s programme for education, Erasmus+. Projects can be supported for two or three years, and the maximum support for three years is 450 000 euro (max 150 000 euro per year). Applications must either provide innovation in education or an exchange of good practises. The partnership must consist of minimum three organisations from three different European countries that participate in the Eramsus+ programme. It is not only open to Higher Education Institutions, but also to companies, the public sector or NGOs. There is an application deadline each year, usually at the end of March.