From October 23 to 25, 2018, a thematic seminar was held in Split on Connecting Higher Education Institutions and Business Community: Increasing the Quality of Erasmus + Traineeship, attended by Jasenka Gojšić, project manager of the EDU-LAB project.

The seminar was jointly organized by Croatian, Austrian, Romanian and Slovenian National Mobility Agencies. Eighteen participants from all over Europe, from Iceland to Malta, gathered. Participants were mostly representatives of institutions of higher education and national agencies, so the Foundation’s perspective in the work has added a different perspective to the discussion. It is particularly important that the representative of the Foundation was selected as one of only ten Croatian participants of the seminar, although there were more than four registered participants.

National co-operation activities are aimed at linking potential ERASMUS + project partners, exchanging examples of good practice and encouraging the initiation of new projects.

At the beginning of the seminar, three lectures presented the European, Croatian, national and organizational context of international practice. Elena Tegovska from the Directorate-General Education, Youth, Sport and Culture of the European Commission spoke (Tegovska_European_Commission), Marina Crnčić Sokol from the Ministry of Science and Education of Croatia, and VERN’s Dean Vlatko Cvrtila. Also, the lecture by Gabriel Abermann, EHEA Expert from Austria, on factors influencing the quality of international practice, having in mind the needs of all interested parties, has enabled orientation of the aliens and the creation of a common quality concept (Abermann_Quality_Traineeships).

This was followed by examples of good practices from the Romanian University Alexandru Ioan Cuza and the Career Center of the University of Maribor, Slovenia. Both examples presented were very specific and guiding.

Interactive workshops organized on four topics generated time for the participants to have conversation. Participants were given an opportunity through their discussion and conclusions to articulate a message to the organisers of ERASMUS + policies and rules, for the next programming period.

“Most interesting for the Foundation was the presentation of an organizational concept, which unites the higher education institutions and allows international practice for students and diplomats. The mission of the Foundation is to connect the world of education and the business world. Initiating consortia and organizing international practice with fresh diplomats is one of the possible directions of action. It was very useful to meet, talk and open space for cooperation with the LEO-NET consortium network.

The whole event was exceptionally well organised and moderated. I am grateful to the Croatian National Mobility Agency for recognizing the Foundation as a civil society organisation and as a stakeholder in the process of bringing higher education and the world of work closer to each other, “says Jasenka, still with a strong positive impression of having taken part in the seminar in Split.