Basic Info

Funding ProgrammeErasmus+ Key Action 2: Capacity Building in the field of Higher Education
Project Reference618803-EPP-1-2020-1-FI-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP
Total Budget998 053,00 €
Project Period15/11/2020 – 14/11/2023

Aims and Objectives

The general aim of this project is to strengthen the forest-related higher education system in Laos and Thailand by modernizing, improving accessibility and internationalisation of partner HEIs curriculum by supporting the development of new learning and teaching tools (including MOOCs and open source ICT tools), specifically in relation to sustainable forest management and forest restoration & rural livelihoods. Thus, domestic capacity to sustainably manage forests will be improved, for the benefit of the local people and the environment, while at the same time enabling Laos and Thailand to effectively respond to the demands and opportunities of international processes (e.g. Sustainable Development Goals, Paris Agreement on Climate Change, Bonn challenge).

The specific objectives are:

  1. Introduce innovative new teaching and learning tool (including MOOCs and open source ICT tools) to improve the skills and capacities of partner HEIs teaching staff for improves educational outcomes
  2. Support two Lao HEIs to develop and improve their MSc forestry programs as follow
    – Curricular review & upgrade of existing MSc forestry program at SKU
    – Curricular development & support for accreditation of a new MSc forestry program at SU
  3. Support two Thai HEIs to develop and improve their existing forestry programs as follows:
    – Upgrade existing MSc sustainable forest management curriculum at KU
    – Upgrade existing MSc forest restoration courses at CMU
  4. Upgrade facilities necessary for the implementation of innovative practices based on individual Need Assessment Reports by each Partner HEI.
  5. Improve the employability of graduates by matching the curriculum with national and regional needs, promoting internships and work experience opportunities with relevant employers.
  6. Support North-South-South cooperation & exchange to improve the quality and availability of teaching & training capacity in EU, Laos and Thailand
  7. Improve the capacity of Partner HEIs to access national and international funding for research and academic cooperation

These seven objectives will address the key problems mentioned by Partner HEIs. Need for innovative teaching tools and methods in partner HEIs (including MOOCs and open source ICT tools), Support for two new MSc programme on “Forest Resource Management” and “Rural livelihoods and forest environments” at SKU and SU respectively;  Need for upgrading existing MSc courses on “sustainable forest management” in KU and “forest restoration” in CMU, Equipment upgrades in all partner HEIs; Need to improve soft skills and employability in all partner HEIs, Need to improve postgraduate opportunities in EU and regional HEIs, Need to improve internationalization –including short-term mobility; Need to improve funding application competence in all partner HEIs.

Innovative Character

The project offers important innovative elements to both Partner and EU HEIs, which includes:

  1. Multi-level cooperation approach that mobilizes and links organizations at various geographical and institutional levels: North-South (EU-Laos & Thailand), South-South regional (Laos-Thailand), and South-South domestic (each regional HEIs, expanding and decentralizing the higher education system)
  2. Multidisciplinary, holistic educational approach: going way beyond traditional production forestry and building the integrative competence and diverse capacity needed for the Laos and Thailand’s forest and environmental development. This allows an effective participation of Partner Countries in current and future key global forest-related processes, such as the SDGs, the Paris climate agreement, Bonn challenge etc.
  3. A bi-national academic approach on the basis of credit transfer and curricular exchange: 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 mobility will be encouraged particularly for the benefit of the rural regions. Parallel to this, the Partner HEIs will work towards facilitating the mutual recognition of credits at the national and regional level
  4. Orientation to job markets: In contrast to other initiatives, this project is oriented to satisfy actual 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    
  5. As Thailand HEIs are well developed compared to Lao HEIs, expertise of Thai HEIs will be used to develop Lao partner HEIs curriculum on forest restoration and sustainable forest management 

The project is planned for the period 15/11/2020 – 14/11/2023, the total budget is 998 053,00 €. Project is financed by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.

KU involvement

KUFF will work closely with CZU and SKU to deliver WP3 (Quality control) and with UH and SKU to deliver WP5 management. KUFF will also provide general support and inputs for the other WPs. KUFF in cooperation with SKU and CZU will work on the development and implementation of the academic focal area “Sustainable Forest Management”. KUFF will have one representative sit on the Executive Management Committee (EMC) and the Academic Advisory Board (AAB), it will also be in charge of 2 capacity building activities in Bangkok, Thailand and support curriculum development in SKU.