For Europeans February is associated with strong frosts and a large amount of snow. In a country like Sri Lanka, the view of this month is slightly different. At the height of the Sri Lankan “summer”, from February 23 to 26, Anuradhapura hosted a working meeting of the participants of the project “Water Harmony” of the European program ERASMUS +. Representatives of 10 universities from 6 countries of the world traditionally took part in the meeting: Norwegian University of Life Sciences (As, Norway), Ukrainian State University of Chemical Technology (Dnipro, Ukraine), NTUU “I. Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute”(Kyiv, Ukraine), Cherkasy State Technological University (Cherkasy,Ukraine), University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn (Olsztyn, Poland), University of Applied Sciences (Höxter, Germany), University of Jaffna (Jaffna, Sri Lanka), University of Peradeniya (Peradeniya, Sri Lanka), Shandong Jianzhu University (Jinan, China), Technological University of Qingdao (Qingdao, China).
Participants of the meeting were greeted by vice-president of the University of Jaffna prof. R.Vigneswaran, dean of the Faculty of Engineering University of Jaffna prof. A.Atputharajah and project coordinator from the University Dr. V. Ketheesan. Also with welcoming words and presentations on the role of the project for the universities of Sri Lanka and all participants of the project gave a speech prof. S. B. Weerakoon (University of Peradeniya) and the rector of Ukrainian State University of Chemical Technology, prof. A. Pivovarov.
The main issues discussed at the meeting:
- reports of the project results: the state of procurement and use of laboratory equipment for educational purposes;
- mobility of students and teachers: results and plans;
- filling in of 6 studding courses with presentations and manuals for laboratory work and their placement on e-learning resources;
- joint research, collaborative work and publications;
- conclusion of agreements on cooperation in the field of science and education between universities and private companies in water industry.
In addition to the above, long-term plans for the development of the project “Water Harmony” ERASMUS + and the receipt of a new grant were presented.
Participants summed up on the mobility of students and teachers, discussed the results of the recently conducted mobility of teachers from Ukraine to the University of Applied Sciences (Höxter, Germany), the dates of students’ mobility to the Qingdao Technological University (China) – August 26 to September 15, 2018 and an educational seminar at the Cherkasy State Technological University (Ukraine). Also the results of the first semester of Ukrainian students annual mobility to Poland and Germany were announced.
The question of passing the scientific internship of students from Norway and Germany in Ukrainian universities remains unresolved. Representatives of German and Norwegian universities stated that finding students who want to go to semiannual training in Ukraine is not easy, so it was decided that these students can come for a period from 2 to 6 months.
Polish colleagues (Dr. S.Kalinovsky) provided information of possible joint applications for Polish grants for research.
Also, colleagues from the University of Jaffna organized a meeting with representatives of industrial enterprises, where were discussed issues of improving the training of specialists and modern requirements for the knowledge and skills of graduates.
A very interesting part of the meeting was a joint discussion with the participants of the “Water, Society and Climate Change. Africa and Asia” (WaSo Asia & Africa) project, where participants were able to exchange experiences and assess the goals, organization and achievements of the both projects. The total number of participants was about 50 from 18 universities and 12 countries: Ukraine, Norway, Sri Lanka, Germany, Poland, China, Uganda, South Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Cambodia!
The meeting was held in a constructive dialogue: presentations of both projects, after which the participants of the meeting evaluated the work of each project. In general, both projects received good grades, but weaknesses have also been underlined, what would improve the implementation of the project aims and dissemination of its results.
In between work-related discussions, the Sri Lankan colleagues organized an exploratory tour of the old city of Anuradhapura, whose numerous antiquities are listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, and the Minneriya National Park, where everyone could observe the life of elephants in the wild. And, of course, everyone remembered tasting in the fresh air in the shade of coconut trees with traditional drinks.
The project meeting was productive, informative and interesting. Colleagues from the University of Jaffna provided comfortable working and resting conditions, as well as organized the opportunity to plunge into the identity of Sri Lanka, get acquainted with its culture and traditions. All participants of the meeting are grateful for the warm welcome!
Also, the dates of the next meetings of the project team were confirmed: in Ukraine (Dnipro) – June 15.06-18.06.2018, and, final, in Norway (Oslo) – October 2.10-9.10.2018. See you in Ukraine, in the city Dnipro!