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Erasmus+ SEA ASIA programme

The purpose of the Erasmus+ SEA ASIA programme is to strengthen cooperation between the universities in the EU (Denmark, Portugal and Sweden) and Southeast Asia (Bangladesh, Laos and Vietnam) and strengthen the capacity of universities to carry out high-quality higher education in strategic environmental assessment (SEA).

In the longer term, the increased SEA capacity of the universities and stronger collaboration between universities are expected to contribute to improved integration of environmental issues in planning and decision-making processes, both nationally and internationally. Gothenburg University is the leading university for the SEA-ASIA program. Nine universities are included in the consortium.

The overall objective of this programme is to strengthen the national systems for integration of environmental considerations into strategic planning and decision-making processes at the national and international/regional level through high quality higher-level education on Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA).

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Programme Country Universities

Partner Country Universities

Capacity Building in Higher Education Programme (CBHE)

Capacity-building projects in the field of higher education support the modernisation, accessibility and internationalisation of higher education in Partner countries. These projects build on the success of the Alfa, Edu-link and Tempus programmes.

The projects aim to encourage cooperation between the EU and Partner Countries and support eligible Partner Countries in addressing challenges in the management and governance of their higher education institutions. This includes improving the quality of higher education, developing new and innovative education programmes, modernising higher education systems through reform policies as well as fostering cooperation across different regions of the world through joint initiatives.

Learn more on CBHE Erasmus+ scheme

Project information

Contact

Emelie César
+46 31 786 92 06
emelie.cesar@gu.se

Anders Ekbom
+46 766-22 92 02
anders.ekbom@gu.se
 

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Background

Governments are increasingly using policies, plans and programs to guide and manage countries' development. These tools for strategic action have profound effects on the environment, positively or negatively depending on the design and quality of implementation. At the project level Environmental Impact Assessment is typically used to assess and mitigate negative environmental effects. At the strategic (policy, plan and program) levels the current systems, procedures and practices for environmental assessment and management are typically weaker and inadequate to ensure environmental sustainability. This is the case in the partner countries in this programme.

During the last decades Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) has developed into a useful tool and approach to assess policies, plans and programs from an environmental point of view, and to suggest appropriate environmental management measures. However, low income countries presently lack the capacity and national system (functions, actors, legal frameworks, education, research) to apply SEA adequately. The result is thus often that policies, plans and programs lack necessary and appropriate environmental considerations and actions. SEA is being developed as a legal requirement; something that should be done according to national and regional environmental legislations (e g in most OECD countries, in the European Union through its SEA Directive, and in many low income countries). Arguably this is a good development, but it places high demands on countries’ capacity to practice SEA appropriately. A key actor to build the necessary capacity for adequate SEA practice is the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).

This programme builds on an advanced international training program (ITP) on SEA, which focused on building SEA capacity in government agencies. The ITP SEA program, developed by NIRAS International together with University of Gothenburg, was implemented during 2013-2019 in the Asia region, including Vietnam, Lao PDR, Cambodia, Myanmar and Bangladesh. University of Gothenburg was co-organizer together with NIRAS International in the implementation of the ITP SEA program. The Erasmus + program SEA-ASIA is based on the academic network created during the ITP SEA programme. The purpose of SEA-ASIA is to strengthen cooperation between the universities in the EU (Denmark, Portugal and Sweden) and Southeast Asia (Bangladesh, Laos and Vietnam) and strengthen the capacity of universities to carry out high-quality higher education in strategic environmental assessment (SEA).

In the longer term, the increased SEA capacity of the universities and stronger collaboration between universities are expected to contribute to improved integration of environmental issues in planning and decision-making processes, both nationally and internationally. Gothenburg University is the leading university for the SEA-ASIA program. Nine universities are included in the consortium.

Overall objective and theory of change

Aims and specific objectives: The overall objective of this programme is to strengthen the national systems for integration of environmental considerations into strategic planning and decision-making processes at the national and international/regional level through high quality higher-level education on Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA).

The specific objectives of this programme are to:
I. Enhance the quality of academic education for strategic environmental assessment through development of courses, modules, methods and tools
II. Improve regional professional academic exchange on SEA
III. Improve research-policy interaction through strengthened environmental assessment practices to theories of decision-making and governance, with a strong focus on engaging governments, business and civil society at regional, national and international level.

The SEA ASIA programme’s chain of logic is thus that if the HEI’s strengthen their capacity to deliver high-quality SEA education, then governments’ capacity to deliver good SEA practice would increase, and - as an effect - the quality of policies, plans and programs from an environmental point of view, would improve. This development has been seen in several high income countries with more mature national systems for SEA practice.

The proposed programme meets needs expressed by government agencies and senior environmental managers of strategic development actions to strengthen the national systems for environmental integration in key decision-making processes at national and regional levels. The programme also meets needs expressed by the participating HEIs to enhance their capacity to offer and successfully deliver high quality education on strategic environmental assessment. Specifically it meets expressed needs for development of SEA learning objectives, courses, modules, methods and tools, as well opportunities to improve their professional academic exchange on SEA in the region; a lot can be learnt across the participating HEIs in the region by promoting their possibilities to exchange information and lessons learned on courses, modules, methods and tools pertaining to SEA.

The proposed programme also meets needs expressed by government agencies and HEIs to increase their professional interaction, where HEIs (in their teaching) can benefit from more involvement of practitioners from the policy sphere, as well as businesses and NGOs. Conversely, the programme meets needs in government agencies to increase the capacity on SEA. At present, capacity is inadequate. Intensified government interaction with the HEIs on SEA, and their education and supply of a new cadre of SEA specialists increases government agencies capacity on SEA. Ultimately, this will enhance environmental governance pertaining to planning, decision making and implementation of policies, plans and programs.

Participants, roles and responsibilities

A total of nine universities are included in the SEA ASIA programme consortium:

Coordinating Institution
• University of Gothenburg (UGOT)

Programme partners
• Aalborg University, Denmark
• Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal

Partner Countries
• Hajee Mohammad Danesh Science and Technology University, Dinjapur, Bangladesh
• Jahangirnagar University, Dhaka, Bangladesh
• National University of Laos, Vientiane, Lao PDR
• Savannakhet University, Savannakhet, Lao PDR
• Thuyloi University, Hanoi, Vietnam
• Ho Chi Minh City University of Natural Resources, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Overall programme management will be lead by UGOT. The programme consortium forms a Steering Committee (SC). The SC will be the highest internal decision-making body and define the overall strategy of the programme. The SC includes one representative from each of the participating organisations in the consortium. In their respective organisations, the SC members will have the authority to take decisions and make commitments of staff and other resources as required by the programme. They will be responsible for their local programme teams and for carrying out of the programme activities in accordance with the strategies defined by the SC.

Associated partner(s):
• Netherlands Commission for Environmental Assessment (NCEA)

Programme activities and methodologies

The programme is divided into eight work packages (WPs); WP 1 concerns preparation, four work packages (WP 2- WP 5) are dedicated to development, WP 6 concerns Quality plan, WP 7 concerns Dissemination and exploitation and WP 8 concerns programmeprogramme management. The development work packages 2-5 are conducted through joint leadership:

WP 1: Preparation

Point international teams are established and general and detailed work plans will be formulated. Coordinator's meetings will take place (face to face and online) to ensure commitment and understanding of financial and managerial regulations. A start up workshop will be carried out with 3-4 participants from each university. The WP lead is UGOT.

WP2: Development and implementation of MSc programme modules on SEA

MSc programme modules on SEA and general curriculum outline will be developed, and reflect national but also regional needs to enable common agendas for SEA in the region, while recognizing specificities and innovation objectives in each country. The learning and educational tools include participatory trainings, case development to enhance learning from practice, as well as problem based learning (connecting to WP4). National and regional workshops will be held. The Asian university partners will work in the development of these training materials together with, but also coached by the European university partners. Training of trainers will be conducted. The WP lead is ULisboa and SKU.

WP3: Development of a regional professional academic network

We will develop an academic network of professionals for enhanced connections, learning and collaborations between universities in Asia and Europe. The network will consist of academic staff and focus on sharing knowledge, experiences and professional capacities on Strategic Environmental Assessment. The WP lead is ULisboa and HCMUNRE.

WP 4: Promoting research policy interaction

A stocktaking mapping study will be carried out and used as a point of departure for deepened work in this area of work. Promotion of stakeholder interaction between academia and the policy sphere will be implemented through trainings, workshops and seminars, and other activities e.g. linking students MSc theses to policy (planning and decision making). The WP lead is UGOT and HSTU.

WP5: Problem based learning tools: Building capacity at the universities on problem based learning and relevant tools

An inventory of the state-of-the-art teaching tools and methods will be introduced at the partner universities with a focus on problem-based learning (PBL). Training on PBL principles, tools and teaching techniques will be implemented as well as two study visits to Aalborg University for the entire consortium. These activities are supplemented with workshops as part of the training. The lead for WP4 is AU and ULisboa

WP6: Monitoring and quality assurance

Quality monitoring activities will ensure goal attainment, coordination and coherence of work at WP and sub-WP levels. A quality assurance plan and guidelines will be developed and an evaluation group will be created. Evaluation of workshops and trainings and continuous monitoring of activities and objectives will be carried out based on quality assurance in previous training programmes carried out by UGOT. At the end of the programme a survey will be conducted and the outcome harvesting method will be used to assess outcome results of the programme. The WP lead is UGOT.

WP7: Dissemination and exploitation

A dissemination plan will be created in the beginning of the programme which will be regularly updated. An online digital platform as well as a webpage will also be developed in the beginning of the programme. Dissemination activities include presenting the project in professional relevant fora (HEIs, professional associations, government agencies etc), presentation and participation in professional and academic conferences, workshops for HEIs within and outside the consortium, making prepared learning materials, teaching tools etc. available on an online platform for information sharing. The WP lead is AAU.

WP8: Management

The SEA ASIA programme is generally coordinated by University of Gothenburg (UGOT). Each of the partner institutions will have an assigned coordinator. For the development work packages leadership is shared, and three of the work packages will have dual leadership (one university from Europe and one university from Asia).

 

 


 

Page Manager: Webbredaktionen|Last update: 6/23/2020
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