On 20 October, 2021, rectors and vice-rectors from the universities of the Network of Universities of Small Countries and Territories came together in the Republic of San Marino to celebrate the NUSCT 3rd Annual Meeting, the network’s first face-to-face meeting since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The meeting, which followed participation in the 2021-2022 UNIRSM Academic Year Inaugural Ceremony and a visit to the “Dante” exhibition at the Embassy of Italy in San Marino, was hosted by member Università degli Studi della Repubblica di San Marino , in hybrid format to facilitate participation by members who could not travel to the meeting site.
Meeting participants congratulated President Miquel Nicolau as they reviewed with satisfaction the consolidation and evolution of the network during the pandemic, which grew by 4 members to now represent almost all European small countries and territories.
Members also very positively assessed the activities that were launched during the COVID-19 months – the NUSCT Quality Assurance Working Group with 23 QA experts, the NUSCT Discussion Group on Education and Technology During COVID-19, the NUSCT Coursera for Campus platform, the successful drive to have all member universities underwrite the Magna Charta Universitatum Declaration, as well as to be included in U-Multirank, among others – and the support received from the Network and from one another to overcome the challenges that each had to face during the pandemic to various aspects of university operations.
Finally, rectors unanimously agreed to set up an external NUSCT Quality Assurance Unit, to organize an International Conference on the History of Small Countries – to be held at the University of the Faroe Islands – to launch joint summer bootcamps on various topics – the first one being on Applications of Distributive Ledger Technologies, to be organized the University of Nicosia, in Cyprus – and to explore the possibility of designing NUSCT joint and double degrees. Inter-NUSCT mobility and exchanges are expected to increase as COVID-19 travel restrictions are eased.
The Università della Repubblica di San Marino, and specifically rector Corrado Petrocelli and his team were thanked for the impeccable organization of the meeting; rectors were also thanked for their very productive contributions.
In closing, NUSCT President Miquel Nicolau announced that the host of the 4th NUSCT Rectors’ Annual Meeting will be held at the University of Greenland in 2022.
NUSCT is a network led by the University of Andorra to enable universities in small countries that share similar characteristics and contexts establish collaborations, share strategies and best practices, and have a unified voice in international fora.