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Aiming to increase mobility among its students and staff members, promoting CIVIS values, and cultivating innovation in all addressed areas, the CIVIS Alliance CIVIS is launching its first call for Virtual  Mobility programmes to be designed, submitted, and implemented by all partner universities.

What are Virtual Mobilities (VMs)?

Virtual mobility (VM) and physical mobility are complementary; VM allows students who so far were not able to participate in exchange mobility for various reasons, to be part of the international community. Therefore, VM opens perspectives for all students, offering an inclusive mobility context.

The latest events caused by COVID – 19 have impacted the speed of adopting virtual mobility, which is under transformation and adaptation to current contexts and needs to reshape its main features in order to endorse the design of innovative learning programmes and activities. From the analysis of existing definitions and based on CIVIS institutional experiences with physical and virtual mobility, we can state that virtual mobility can cover a wide range of international learning and teaching research, collaborative activities, in an online environment, empowering students with learning experiences, promoting the development of the key competences for a knowledge-based society.

The above-mentioned interpretation of VM represents the concept’s common understanding within the CIVIS partnership and a starting point for designing the pillars of higher education virtual mobility in CIVIS.

 

 

Description and objectives

Description

VMs may be organized independently by any Faculty / School / Department of the CIVIS Alliance Universities, at Faculty/School/Department level, collaboration is encouraged. 

Topics can be selected by the universities from all research/study domains, wherever possible, approaching also the 5 major challenges identified by CIVIS: Climate, Environment, Energy; Health; Society, Culture, Heritage; Digital and Technological Transformations; Cities, Territories, Mobilities (as for the hubs, please see related calls). The VM initiatives can have a specific sub-theme that can vary from edition to edition. If possible, the proposals can include topics cultivating bridges between Europe and the Mediterranean Region and Africa.

Regarding the length of VMs, the number of hours/weeks allocated for delivering the activities can vary from short, intensive learning experiences (in the case of open courses) to one or two semesters.  The VMs can be offered in the Winter/Spring Semester or during the semester breaks.

The VM courses/modules can be delivered in any of the CIVIS Universities languages. According to the CIVIS objectives, multilingualism is encouraged.

Objectives

The purpose of the CIVIS Virtual Mobility Call is to enhance collaboration among the partner Universities of the CIVIS alliance, bringing together their scholars and students. Accordingly, the main objectives of the CIVIS VM are:

  •  to increase student mobility,
  •  to offer mobility opportunities for all students, including those unable to participate in traditional (physical) mobilities, increasing inclusiveness,
  • to increase the recognition of our partner institutions among our students and academic staff,
  • to offer a concentrated educational experience over a short period of time, including some practical work, or in the case of micro-programmes, over a longer period of time which may be flexible, but must be ended before the regular course of studies,
  • to promote the exchange of knowledge, ideas, and discussions on specific topics, instigate new thoughts and animate debates,
  • to expose students to the academic and cultural experience of other universities and to combine theory and practice,
  • to cultivate an international mentality among students,
  • to create bonds among partner institutions, academics, and students, offer networking opportunities,
  • to support structuring learning/research collaboration or strategies, and
  • to promote the CIVIS brand among the academic community of the alliance.

Types of VMs eligible for submission

Based on the general understanding of the essential components of VM programmes, accompanied by the desire to offer simple and accessible frameworks for developing and delivering VM programmes at the CIVIS level, we have developed a Virtual Mobility Matrix, resulting in the VMs that can be included in the CIVIS educational agenda. Below you can find an additional very short description for each category included in the VM matrix / VM diagram (see below).

CIVIS Open Course

(1-10 ECTS)

This category covers any learning experience (regardless of the duration, topic, language) organized within the CIVIS universities’ curricula for different educational levels (BA/MA/PhD). The courses are open to CIVIS students, in an online format, allowing their attendance and completion based on specific criteria established by the course responsible.  

CIVIS Modules

(5-15 ECTS)

Modularization is CIVIS’s answer to the EC’s priority of micro-credentials. Such modules can be offered as collaborative monodisciplinary modules (in one subject), extra-curricular topics (e.g. transferable skills), or as transdisciplinary coursework on a challenge-oriented theme (i.e. in the hubs, see related calls). They can be in the form of regular semester coursework or intensive winter or summer schools. Wherever possible, at least another CIVIS partner university or – ideally recommended – at least three CIVIS partner universities should be involved, considering geographical balance.

  • CIVIS Micro-Programme

One can combine smaller units: courses and modules into 'micro-programmes' with a certification possibility.

In particular, with transdisciplinary course programmes, one can design a possibility for our students to follow their own interests, to deepen their knowledge in certain of the five CIVIS areas or broader and choose individually, if they want to do so, and into which fields they would like to gain a deeper insight. Thereby we are offering our CIVIS students flexible learning pathways.

  • CIVIS Summer / Winter School

CIVIS virtual summer/winter schools are one of the short-term types of activities for virtual mobility. The virtual school can either be an existing event extended/ implemented as virtual mobility within the CIVIS alliance or a newly designed one by several partner universities, covering usually one or two weeks of intensive activities. Topics/disciplines/subjects: topics can be selected by the CIVIS universities from all domains of study and R&D, but they can also approach hub thematic areas.

  • CIVIS “BOOTCAMPS” (Practical / Research intensive stages)

Research Activity / Practice / Internship requirements are compulsory in many programmes of study, starting from bachelor up to PhD level and a number of ECTS are usually assigned. Moreover, students at all levels are interested to extend their experience in additional /optional research practice or internships.

Other

Other types of virtual learning experiences can be added.

 

Evaluation and award criteria

The submission will go through an evaluation and selection process, as follows:

  • verification of formal criteria;
  • review of the relevant project towards above-described objectives and framework by CIVIS Task Force on Virtual mobility.

Applicants are encouraged to try to cover also the additional recommendations::

  • use of innovative pedagogies;
  • employment of  digital learning tools in course design;
  • focus on topical subjects;
  • encourage collaboration and multilingualism;
  • the number of contributing universities (minimum 3 for funding eligibility)

For further information, contact us at VM-CIVIS@unibuc.ro.

 

Eligible costs

Incentives might be available depending on the time spent outside of regular “service hours” and it will always have to be validated by the home university of the academics.


Preliminary warning: funding from CIVIS will only be granted to projects which involve 3 or more universities in their development. Any amount will have to be duly justified through the use of timesheets.

Submission

Applications can be submitted using the electronic form and filling in carefully all existing fields. Please pay attention to the correct completion of all information, including contact details, as indicated. Applications can be submitted by the leading Faculty / School member of the CIVIS University organising the VM programme. 

If necessary, you will be contacted to provide any missing information. An official notification will be sent to the project coordinator. 

The call will be permanently open, new proposals can be submitted at all times and will be reviewed on a monthly basis.

For further information, kindly please contact us at VM-CIVIS@unibuc.ro.

 

Online application guidelines

Step 1: CIVIS online application platform

Step 2: Account creation

  • Click on “register” at the top right-hand corner and create an account.

*Please note that the e-mail address associated with your account will be used for any future communication about this call.

N.B. If you have already used a SMApply application system, your email address may be recognized and you will then just need to enter your password (instead of creating an account). You can use the reset password function if necessary.

  • Upon creating your account, you will receive an email confirmation to finalise the registration process. Click on the green button to validate your account.

Step 3: Project submission

Once you have registered and logged in, you will now be able to apply and submit your project proposal.

  • Click “apply” and complete the application form with the required information. You can upload additional documents if you wish to do so.

*Please note, once you have submitted your application you can no longer edit it. You can however view it by clicking on “preview”.

  • You will receive an automatically generated email receipt from the application system when the application is submitted correctly. Please check your inbox and SPAM folder to ensure you have successfully submitted your project.
  • You may follow the progress of your application by logging onto the platform.

If you encounter any technical problems, please contact our Operations team at civis@univ-amu.fr Step 4: Let us know your feedback!

We are working on improving the operational processes of current and new calls for proposals through a variety of new technological tools to ensure a smooth, reliable and enjoyable user-experience process.

Don’t hesitate to give your feedback to our CIVIS IT Officer, Mr David Touzot: david.touzot@univ-amu.f