In the framework of the USIA project – Erasmus+ Capacity Building in Higher Education, SCiDEV is leading Work Package 1 Preparation on mapping and assessing the current university to society collaborations in Albania. The aim of this assessment is to customize project activities by assessing the current context and mapping current initiatives, identifying gaps, and provide recommendations on how to strengthen such collaborations.
The concrete tasks of the SCiDEV Team are
- 1 Definition of research design, methodology, methods, and instruments for data collection.
- 2 Carrying out the assessment exercise/study in Albania.
- 3 Drafting and Finalisation of the report.
- 4 Organisation of seminars to disseminate the results of the assessment at each partner university internally.
- 5 Publication of assessment report online in project website / online platform and all partners project website sections.
To do so, SCiDEV has set up a team led by Dr. Blerjana Bino with Abi Dodbiba and Dr. Erida Curraj as key researchers. SCiDEV is using a combined methodology for data collection:
- online surveys targeting individual researchers in 5 partner universities to understand their experience, achievements, and challenges in cooperating with other sectors in society: policy, business, media, and civil society.
- online surveys targeting the 5 partner universities as institutions to understand their strategies, policies, and practices of the university to society collaborations.
- Focus groups at each of the 5 partner universities bringing together academics with representatives from business, policy, civil society, and media to discuss achievements and challenges of such collaborations.
- In-depth interviews with Rectors, Deans, policymakers, representatives from the business sector, media, and think tanks in Albania.
- Business focus group to understand the business perspectives on how to best cooperate with universities.
- Desk research and secondary data analysis.
The full report will be published in Albania and English by July 2021 and promotion events will follow in September.
“University to Society Innomediaries in Albania: Co-Production of knowledge and research that matters” or USIA is a Capacity Building Project in Higher Education financed by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union, managed by the Mediterranean University of Tirana in cooperation with 11 partners in Albania, Serbia, Italy, and Germany.
USIA brings together universities, civil society organizations, public institutions, and business organizations to enhance an enabling higher education environment that supports university to society collaborations in order to co-produce knowledge and research with an impact that is not only academically insightful but also applicable to the development of Albania in light of European integration and current multiple challenges.
The project strengthens institutional and human resources capacities in universities in Albania through the establishment of a Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Brokerage unit that links in an institutionalized and sustainable way university to business, government, civil society, and media. Also, the project will establish and expand a Quadruple Helix network and online platform which will offer networking, matchmaking, brokerage, dissemination, capacity development, support, and valorization for academic and non-academic actors. The project prioritizes women in academia, research, and innovation.
The project is funded by the Erasmus+ Capacity Building in Higher Education Program of the European Union.