UAS7 Virtual Academy officially kicked-off
On December 2nd 2020, the UAS7 Virtual Academy held its inaugural kick-off event. Project stakeholders from both the US and Germany came together virtually to learn more about the plans for the UAS7 Virtual Academy and get to know one another. Almost 50 faculty, project coordinators, e-learning and digitalization specialists as well as senior university members joined the event.
What is the UAS7 Virtual Academy?
The UAS7 Virtual Academy brings together students from Germany and the US in virtual and blended mobility formats. In its pilot phase, nine transatlantic projects in six disciplines will lay the foundations for a future digital collaboration format to be expanded over the coming months and years.
The "UAS7 Virtual Academy" will be rolled out in cooperation with the long-standing US consortium partner SUNY (State University of New York). It will redesign international university cooperation across all disciplines and establish new innovative teaching and learning formats.
Representatives of the participating universities stress the importance of the project
For the UAS7 Virtual Academy, the global Covid-19-pandemic can also be seen as an opportunity: To break new ground, to make full use of the digital possibilities and to intensify the cooperation between the partners. This was also the opinion of the representatives of the participating universities. In their welcoming speeches, they emphasized the importance of international cooperation and the opportunity to learn from the pandemic.
Prof. Andreas Zaby, President of UAS7 and the Berlin School of Economics and Law, emphasized “the strong belief in international collaboration, which ties together the universities in Germany and the US”. He also pointed out that “this cooperation is gaining in importance and can be seen as an opportunity despite -or perhaps because of- the Covid-19-pandemic”.
The SUNY Provost Carol Kim also sees the project as “a great opportunity to intensify the cooperation between the universities and to break new ground in digitization for the shared goal of enabling transnational virtual learning”.
“It's really exciting to bring the SUNY systems together with UAS7 for this opportunity”, added the Associate Vice Chancellor for Global Affairs at SUNY, Sally Crimmins Villela. Her statement was supported by Frank Dellmann, Vice President of FH Münster University of Applied Sciences, who stressed the importance of intercultural projects between the UAS7 universities and the SUNY network.
Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL)
In order to get to know each other better and take the first steps towards their collaboration - or enhance existing projects which are now integrated into the Virtual Academy - all faculty involved in the project were able to participate in their first COIL coaching session led by Jan McCauley, the Assistant Director of the SUNY Center for Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL). Over the next months the participating academics and e-learning specialists will receive dedicated COIL coaching from SUNY’s renowned COIL Center to prepare them for their current collaborative teaching projects and equip them with the tools to embark on future collaborations.
Many thanks to everyone who participated in the Virtual Academy kickoff event.
Special thanks go to the speakers Andreas Zaby, Carol Kim, Sally Crimmins Villela and Frank Dellmann as well as our COIL coordinator Jan McCauley. We are looking forward to this new form of cooperation between the UAS7 and SUNY.
The UAS7 Virtual Academy is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the DAAD-administered IVAC program.