COVID-19 has pushed the world into digitalization. Universities were urged to speed up the transfer of their work to online and blended learning and teaching. According to the European University Association, the use of digital learning and teaching was already growing gradually in European higher education- then COVID-19 made it mandatory almost overnight. The process of digitalization is imposed as an essential need for the implementation of teaching in higher education. For proper and constant education of students, it is necessary to find all appropriate ways of digital transfer of information and knowledge. It is necessary to work and reason on digital tools that will be useful and accepted by students based on their needs. The digital approaches also require overall coordination in terms of policies (for example, on data protection, ethics, and assessment) and a significant investment. (https://bit.ly/3wMcZcS ).
Additionally, the project will work on new methods and tools that can be used in higher education. Institutional coordinators from the Western Balkan Universities will be invited to speak and discuss the Erasmus+ dashboard and integration of the Erasmus+ program in the strategy for digitalization.
In the process of education, professors and students are accustomed to one type of communication and find it difficult to get out of their comfort zone and change their habits. Habits often close the door to new, more innovative and effective ways and methods. All these challenges raise many questions and motivate us to think a step ahead. What is the future of education? What tools should we use to interest the participants to try and think of new ways of digitalization of the educational processes?
Based on the facts shared above the project will establish a platform for sharing and obtaining new knowledge, experience, and best practices for the digitalization of higher education. The sharing platform will be between the European University Association, seven Western Balkan Universities, Erasmus+ institutional coordinators from the Balkans Universities and representatives of the National Agency for European Educational Programmes and Mobility. This project will provide an opportunity for testing new digital tools presented by the expert trainer. The project will finish with a guideline that will serve as a motivation and practical guidance for the Universities to think and implement digitalization as a long-term strategic approach and to seize the most out of it. The proposed examples and practices will additionally contribute to the modernization of the Higher Educational process in Western Balkans putting digitalization as the centre of the new educational experience.