THE Erasmus+ Programme, funded by the European Union, promotes modernisation, accessibility, and internalisation of higher education in partner countries. Under this banner is the Erasmus+ Programme (Key Action 2) Capacity Building for Higher Education (CBHE) project called - Furthering International Relations Capacities and Inter-cultural Engagement to Nurture Campus Diversity and to Support Internationalisation at Home, also known as FRIENDS.
In brief, through structured cooperation, exchange of experience, good practices and individual mobility, the FRIENDS project aims to: improve partner country universities’ international relations capacities; foster the process of internalisation across partner countries’ universities; nurture diversity of people, cultures and ideas to increase inter-cultural awareness across partner country universities; and build partner country university students’ global skills and improve mechanisms for student engagement and leadership. However, it was said that it will take some three years before the project can be implemented as thorough planning and development is required.
FRIENDS members, comprising 16 institutions of higher learning from nine countries, include BERJAYA University College (BERJAYA UC).
A first-meeting was held from Mar 5 to 8. It was held at BERJAYA UC and welcomed FRIENDS members/delegates to a conference to discuss the action plan that will see the project’s objectives and aims met and materialised to completion.
Though thorough, the conference here was not all work as the FRIENDS’ entourage were treated to Malaysian hospitality, involving dinners, ethnic performances and a city tour. A BERJAYA UC representative shared that guests were enthralled by the idea of a university campus, shopping centre and hotel in one place - a concept one was particularly impressed with and noted - “where students can learn in a real environment”.
For more information on this undertaking, visit http://www.berjaya.edu.my