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The Universitat d’Andorra (UdA), in collaboration with the Quality Agency of Higher Education of Andorra (AQUA), has initiated the establishment of the Andorra National Chapter of the Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment (CoARA), which was approved by the organization on Aril 18, 2024.

This National Chapter, which will be housed at the UdA, aims to improve research evaluation practices within the Principality by uniting various stakeholders, including universities, public bodies, private research institutions, funding bodies, and evaluation agencies. Together, they will seek to set a standard for evaluation systems and procedures inline with UdA existing practices, and adhering to the CoARA principles.

Emphasizing the integration of global principles into local contexts, the Andorra National Chapter will address specific challenges faced by small countries and territories. Through collaborative efforts and knowledge exchange, members will work towards improving research assessment practices drawing insights from similar contexts worldwide.

UdA's involvement as a signatory of the Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment underscores its commitment to driving positive change in research assessment practices, positioning Andorra at the forefront of research quality and impact enhancement initiatives.

8 Rectors from the 12 university members of the Network of Universities of Small Countries and Territories gathered, onsite and online, on 22. April 2024, at the University of Gibraltar, to celebrate the network’s 6th rectors’ annual meeting.

The participants were welcomed by Dr Catherine Bachleda, Vice- Chancellor of the University of Gibraltar and by the President of NUSCT- Dr Eyjólfur Guðmundsson from the University of Akureyri.

Amongst the most important decisions unanimously taken at the meeting, the following deserve special mention:

1.     NUSCT president Eyjólfur Guðmundsson proposed that NUSCT should prioritize the support on having all members join the Erasmus+ program which would enable better flow of staff and students between all members. This would also help with connecting members on a research level and applying for joint funding.

2.     The University of the Faroe Island will be hosting a seminar for NUSCT members in June/August of 2025 with the proposal of also hosting the 7th Annual rectors meeting along site the seminar. The next annual meeting in 2025 should be hosted by the University of Montenegro but a decision on this will be announced soon. The topic of the seminar is “the Role of Universities in Small Scale Societies in an historical context” and deadline for proposing a member representative for the seminar should be sent to no later than Monday 12th of May 2024.

3.     Student representatives from member universities will be appointed by each member where the new aim is to have a representative that would be focusing on student interest. The aim is that the secretariat would host online meetings to discuss topics like online vs onsite teaching and why students are working so much alongside their studies. Results will be reported on the next annual meeting.

4.     University of Liechtenstein will be drafting a new policy proposal for the network on Generative Artificial Intelligence that will be shared among members and confirmed on the next annual meeting.

5.     NUSCT secretariat has the members permission to draft an MoU with the UN- University for Peace which has sown interest in working together with NUSCT and its members as an associate institution.

6.     Majority of NUSCT have already declared that they will be applying for membership of CoARA and will share their experience on the process of advancing their research assessment. 

7.     Members asked to report to about student and staff exchange within NUSCT for the 2023-2024 academic year.

The complete list of the decision taken at the meeting will be available soon on the NUSCT website 

The Åland University of Applied Sciences (AUAS), which joined the Network of Universities of Small Countries and Territories on 10 May, 2023, subscribed to the NUSCT Multilateral Student, Faculty and Staff Exchange Agreements on 1 June, 2023thus expanding and enriching the exchange opportunities for NUSCT members’ students, faculty and staff, and promoting  their understanding  and appreciation of the uniqueness of small countries and territories.

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