Programme: Erasmus+ (https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/erasmus-plus/node_en)

Project Name: Forestry Higher Education Advancement in Laos – FORHEAL

Acronym: FORHEAL

Submission Number:  585884-EPP-1-2017-1-FI-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP

Total Budget:  998 752,00 €

Call for Proposals:  EAC-A03-2016

Website: https://forheal.fld.czu.cz/en

Lead Partner: UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI (https://www.helsinki.fi/en)

Project Partners

Aims and objectives

The overall aim of the project is to strengthen the forest-related higher education system in Laos to improve domestic capacity to sustainably manage forests for the benefit of the people and the environment, while at the same time enabling Laos to effectively respond to the demands and opportunities of international processes such as the Agenda 2030 (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

The specific objectives are:

  1. Support three Lao HEIs to develop and improve their respective MSc forestry programs as follow:
    • Curricular review and upgrade of the existing MSc forestry program at National University of Laos (NUoL);
    • Curricular development and support for the accreditation of a new MSc forestry program at Savannakhet University (SKU) in cooperation with Hue University in Vietnam;
    • Support the Souphanouvong University (SU) in the development of a new MSc forestry program; build on the experiences of NUoL and SKU, and to prepare a roadmap for implementation.
  2. Improve the employability of graduates by matching the curriculum with national and regional needs, promoting internships and work experience opportunities with relevant employers, and enhancing the training capacities of academic staff.
  3. Support South-South cooperation and exchange to improve the quality and availability of teaching and training capacity in Laos.
  4. Strengthen links and cooperation between Lao and EU HEIs, including academic and staff visits.

Key academic focal areas & cross-cutting issues:

This logic includes the following aspects:

  • Shared ownership of academic focal areas and work packages (WPs): matching partners will ensure ownership and effective management of project activities. This will also support the sharing of experiences between matching partners in terms of project administration, accounting and reporting.
  • Multi-level cooperation approach that mobilizes and links organizations at various geographical and institutional levels: North-South (EU-Laos), South-South regional (SE Asia), and South-South domestic (within Laos, expanding and decentralizing the higher education system).
  • Multi-disciplinary, holistic educational approach: going far beyond traditional production forestry and building the integrative competence and diverse capacity needed for Laos’s forest and environmental development, and allows an effective participation of the country in current and future key global forest-related processes, such as the sustainable development goals (SDGs), the Paris climate agreement etc.
  • A national academic approach on the basis of credit transfer and curricular exchange: Lao Higher Education Institutions (Lao HEIs) will be supported to increase academic complementarity and effectively manage academic overlapping according to their existing regional and thematic strengths and needs. Teacher’s and student’s mobility will be encouraged particularly for the benefit of the rural regions. Parallel, the Lao HEIs will work towards facilitating the mutual recognition of credits.
  • Orientation to job markets: In contrast to other initiatives, this project is oriented to satisfy existing societal needs for well-qualified academics while also investing in guaranteeing future employment of graduates. This will be done by establishing relationships with a range of public and private sector stakeholders, bringing in expert trainers, creating and fostering opportunities for traineeships, and facilitating links to employers.

National University of Laos (NUoL)

The Faculty of Forest Science of the National University of Laos worked closely with the Helsinki University of Finland to Develop and implement the “sustainable Forest Management” academic focal area as well as supporting the implementation of WP1, WP3 and WP5. They will coordinate and host 2 capacity building activities at the National University of Laos. They will be responsible for selecting their staff* to join relevant capacity building activities that organized by project partners. NUoL have one representative sits on the Executive Management Committee (EMC) and Academic Advisory Board Meeting  (AAB). NUoL is responsible for its own MSC accreditation process, which is managed by the AAB in liaison with the Ministry of Education and Sports.

*) Participants were selected based on their previous studies, working experiences and proficiency of English. During selection of participants, NUoL gender equality. Moreover, the participants are young staff members, who will be involved in future teaching, research or capacity building-related activities at NUoL.

NUOL TEAM MEMBERS

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Houngphet Chanthavong

Member of Executive Management Committee

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Latsamy Boupha

Project Leader

Dr. Kaisone Phengsopha

Member of Academic Advisory Board

Assoc. Dr. Sithong Thongmanivong

Project member

Dr. Thoumthone Vongvisouk

Project Coordinator