MACE Partners visit USN

Group work. Photo.
Participants discussing various topics during workshop. Photo

Last week the partners from an Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership project visited USN campus Porsgrunn. Marginalization and Co-created Education (MACE) is a joint cooperation project between three universities: the University of Cumbria (UK), VIA University College (DK) and University College of Southeast Norway (NO).

The three partners met for a “Learning-/Teaching-/Training” activity, and some of the activities were: Teaching all staff about the “Indirect approach”, which uses a different approach to interviewing Early-School Leavers. The approach focuses on allowing the young people telling their own stories with their own words, rather than the usual approach of set questions. This approach is one of the pillars of the methodology in the project. The participants spent some time practicing the interview techniques and receiving feedback.

The other theoretical pillars in the project, “deprivation literacy” and “co-created education” were also presented and discussed in depth during the visit. Participants were also trained in the e-learning part of the project by E-learning consultant at USN Rita Li.

Rethinking education

The MaCE-project is funded by the EU’s Erasmus+ programme and promotes ‘Rethinking Education’ by prioritizing the social aspects of higher education and ensuring that support to succeed in further education is provided to all students, regardless of social and economic background.

MaCE will train undergraduate and post-graduate students as co-researchers in the project. They will investigate factors creating a favorable environment for the success of all students. Participating in this project will equip them with advanced skills in communication and research that are particularly valuable for knowledge-intensive jobs.

Innovative training program

The main objectives in this project will be to develop an innovative training program for higher educational institutions that will ensure that students are equipped to support young people in practice. They also want/wish to disseminate the findings to public institutions and youth institutions to better equip them to meet the needs of these user groups.

During the successful visit the project group worked long hours to pack as much work as they could by exploring new ways of engaging students in research to strengthen their work with their thesis. The goal is that this should be applicable and useful practice for other Universities’ programs as well. The partners also managed to get to know each other better through social activities. They are excited to carry out this project with the “indirect approach” methodology and are looking forward to find knew solutions to this challenging problem. The project has its own website, where materials from the project are published.