Central Asia & Russia: what NEOs can do for you
The aim: why this e-Booth?
Central Asia & Russia: what NEOs can do for you.
First of all, congratulations on your project, as it has passed a very tough selection and now you are here among the WINNERS! You are the best of the best!!! Welcome to the Erasmus+ family!
This e-Booth is here to help you join the Erasmus+ family smoothly, without pain and sufferings. After attending our e-Booth, you will feel that you are not alone and get many useful tools and information on smooth project implementation for better impact and sustainability.
The aim of our e-Booth is to provide you with the following information:
- What or who is a NEO
- How NEOs can be useful for you during the project lifetime
- How to make your project more effective and sustainable
- Best practices from CBHE projects
- Possible challenges you may face in your project implementation
- Information about existing initiatives on the modernization of higher education in Central Asia and Russia
- Background information about the involvement of Central Asia and Russia in Erasmus+
Erasmus+ 2014-2020: Central Asia and Russia
Did you know that Central Asia (2019) has a population of about 72 million, consisting of five republics: Kazakhstan (pop. 18 million), Kyrgyzstan (6 million), Tajikistan (9 million), Turkmenistan (6 million), and Uzbekistan (33 million)? We are sure that you know that Russia has a population of 146 million people and is the biggest country in the world.
Education is a binding force in Central Asia and Russia. The participation of these countries in the Erasmus+ program is dynamic, and the interest of higher education institutions from the above-mentioned countries is always growing, and it is confirmed by our statistics - 100 projects have been funded in Central Asia and 69 projects in Russia, in the period between 2015 and 2020. It accounts for 169 projects in total! The total number of HEIs involved in Central Asia in the six CBHE calls is 169, and 126 for the Russian Federation.
In the period between 2015 and2020, Central Asian countries had a budget of € 59,463 million, representing 7,25% of the annual global budget for CBHE projects, whereas the Russian Federation had a total budget of € 33.674.759,32 million, representing around 5% of the annual global budget for CBHE projects.
These projects are making changes in the higher education sector and we are proud that such projects have strengthened cooperation between EU and HEIs in Central Asia and Russian. These non-EU partners have gained valuable experience in handling international projects, in establishing or consolidating the relevant procedures and structures, as well as in developing new teaching and research methods, curricula, and joint activities through academic staff exchanges.
Wow! Are you impressed? And the good news is that you are now joining these statistics and you are now part of our Erasmus+ family!
You can find more information in the following links:
CBHE projects in our region:
Curriculum development is the most popular type of project in our regions, and structural projects represent 15% of all CBHE projects in the region. The variety of CBHE projects in these regions is wide and focuses on different aspects that are relevant to each country.
Mostly, curriculum development projects in Central Asia and Russia are dedicated to curriculum modernisation and development in the following sectors: education (pedagogy), medicine, agricultural sector, IT technologies and transfer, engineering, energy, green economy, business administration and management, environment protection and social sciences.
Besides curriculum development projects, there are projects on other aspects of higher education modernisation:
- University autonomy and management
- Introduction of innovations
- Quality assurance
- E-learning and b-learning
- Alignment to the Bologna process (ECTS, qualification frameworks, models from EHEA, student-centered learning, etc.)
- Digitalization and introduction of ICT technologies
- Employability and entrepreneurship
- National qualification frameworks and educational / occupational standards
- Strengthening the relations between higher education and the wider economic and social environment
More inspiration from the Erasmus+ Exhibition in Kazakhstan: “The role and impact of CBHE projects in modernization of higher education: impact and sustainability”:
More inspiration from Erasmus+ Fair dedicated to the results of CBHE projects in Kyrgyzstan:
Structural projects in Kazakhstan:
Impact of Erasmus+ in Russia (Brochure):
The Impact of CBHE Projects on the Reformation of Higher Education System in Turkmenistan:
How to make your project more effective and sustainable?
Even though you are just starting your project, don't forget about impact and sustainability!!!
For bigger impact and sustainability, and in addition to the activities you proposed in your project application, please focus on networking with stakeholders, proper dissemination and visibility of the project, coherence with local higher education agendas and, of course, human resources at different levels.
Here are some tips for you on dissemination!!! Please make sure that there is/are dissemination and sustainability/exploitation strategy/ies based on the application text that have been fine-tuned to the actual project implementation context. In terms of the project website, ensure that the website is effective in achieving its aim of promoting the project and attracting prospective users of its deliverables.
Please remember that Erasmus+ in Central Asia and Russia has a history and is rich in experience; therefore, ask for advice or support from other projects or NEOs in your country!
More advices and recommendations on how to make your project effective from NEO Kazakhstan:
More motivation from Best practices from NEO Russia:
More useful tips from NEO Uzbekistan:
How can NEO help you to support your project?
Please study what a NEO does and what is its role:
A National Erasmus+ office (NEO) is, first of all, a legal entity and a non-commercial organization, which receives funding from the EU, and has grant agreement with EACEA (the same as you).
The overall mission of a NEO is to improve visibility, relevance, effectiveness and impact of the Erasmus+ programme and contribute to its promotion and dissemination in relevant countries. The NEO works for the benefit of all actors: potential applicants, beneficiaries, and other stakeholders, as regards the internationalization of higher education in line with the aims and objectives of the Erasmus+ programme. To this end, the NEO supports, promotes, monitors, and disseminates activities related to the international dimension of the Erasmus+ Programme.
NEO can provide support for you in the following activities:
- Information and promotional activities
- Advisory support to projects
- Monitoring of projects
- Support to the team of Higher Education Reform Experts (HEREs)
- Cooperation with stakeholders in the education sector (Ministries of education, EU delegations, international organizations, etc.).
What is a NEO?
The National Erasmus+ Offices have been established in Partner Countries to assist the Commission, the EACEA, the EU Delegations and the authorities in the Partner Countries in the implementation of the international higher education dimension of the Erasmus+ programme.
The NEOs provide advisory support and consultation to project representatives on issues related to the rules of the E+ Programme, project /financial management, visa issues, TAX exemption, etc. Another NEO's opportunity is to help find and establish contacts for future projects, support networking between the projects, and liaise with national authorities and international organizations working in higher education.
The NEO contributes to the dissemination of information about results of on-going projects selected under the Erasmus+ Programme during Roundtables, international/local events, and cluster meetings, as well as sharing information on project results and best practises using our dissemination channels, such as: websites, social networks, and the IRO network. Besides, NEOs provide the EU Delegations and Ministry of Education and Science with information on the performance of Erasmus+ projects in higher education involving organisations from partner countries, and provide updated information about the higher education sector.
Field monitoring is a major task of the NEOs. According to the annual plan, NEOs carry out project monitoring visits on behalf of EACEA. Some of these visits will be implemented jointly with the Agency. During monitoring visits, NEOs follow three objectives:
- to assess the level and quality of project implementation.
- to help increase the relevance, impact and sustainability of the project results in their country. After monitoring visits, NEOs send reports to EACEA and project coordinators.
- to find the best practices and help disseminate project results.
NEOs support the activity of HEREs. Higher Education Reform Experts (HEREs) are nominated by Ministries of education in each partner country, and are representatives of higher education institutions, independent experts, etc. You can request help or advice from HEREs on the promotion of structural reforms or regulations at national level, or system levels, or get advice on some aspects of higher education modernization.
At the national level, HEREs participate in the development of policy and reforms deriving from the Lisbon and Bologna agenda in their countries. They are also invited to devise Lisbon or Bologna development strategies with non-academic bodies such as industrial, cultural or social organizations, as long as they are in line with national strategies.
At the institutional level, Higher Education Reform Experts work on counseling and advising higher education institutions with regard to the introduction and implementation of the national and institutional Lisbon and Bologna strategy.
You are welcome to get help from HEREs, as well!!!
How can a NEO help you?
Remember that NEOs can be useful for your project not only during the project application, but also during the implementation phase!
Promotion and dissemination activities
You can increase and improve the coverage of your dissemination and visibility activity, if you provide the NEO with updates on your project events and products.
The objectives of dissemination are to increase the visibility of your project outputs/impact, and to increase synergies between EU projects/programmes and projects on development from partners working in higher education. NEOs have constant communications with different stakeholders, and it can be helpful for you to deliver your information to the relevant recipients.
To improve the visibility of your project results, we recommend these ways of dissemination:
- Share information about your project at international events
- Share information about project at local events
- Share your activities on NEOs’ social networks
- Disseminate through exhibitions organized by NEO
We recommend three types of dissemination tools:
- A project website
- Information on partner university websites
- Social media
- EACEA platform for project results
- Leaflets and brochures
- Presentations on EU Days
- Networking, meetings, and events
- Project meetings
- Information days
Don’t forget to invite NEOs to your events!!!
Field monitoring activity
As you know, NEOs are responsible for the field monitoring of your project and they will monitor your project at least once a year.
The general objective of this monitoring activity is to maximize the impact of the programme and, equally importantly, to maximize the return on investment of EU funds through the achievement of public policy objectives. The benefits of monitoring extend beyond a given project, since lessons can be learnt, and best practice principles disseminated.
Monitoring is critical to all projects. Each project should have embedded internal project monitoring arrangements to check its progress or the achievement of milestones, identify problems, recognize the need for changes, amendments or developments, and ensure quality. Therefore, monitoring should be perceived as a positive and constructive activity, which supports the project and help it realize its objectives.
Project monitoring has the following three functions during the project's lifetime and beyond, depending on the timing and purpose of the monitoring activity:
- Preventive: getting information on the rules & procedures established within a project; review objectives, priorities, methodology, and planned activities
- Advisory: recommendations on both content and financial aspects of the project
- Impact: checking and assessing project results
Given the importance of this type of monitoring visits for partner countries, local stakeholders, the Ministry of Education, and the EU Delegation should be informed and invited to attend.
You can find many recommendations on how to get prepared for a field monitoring, but also remember that you can use monitoring activities to get advice or consultation on project issues. Please use this opportunity to your advantage, as well!
Communication with Higher Education Reform Experts team
There is a team of higher education reform experts in each country, and they can be useful for your project, as they can provide expertise or consultation on policies or system level. In addition, the HERE team can provide best practice sharing or advice on some professional, educational issues of your interest. Communications with the HERE team can be organised through the NEOs.
Advisory support on local or country content
You can also get advisory support from your NEO on issues such as project management and coordination, obtaining visa, equipment purchase, customs clearance, national legislation, and requirements specific to a country. NEOs can also play a role as mediators if you have some misunderstandings with the project team.
Materials prepared by NEO Kazakhstan
Webinar “Welcome to Erasmus+ family” (consulting meeting for representatives of new CBHE projects) – video of meeting
Materials prepared by NEO Russia
Recommendations for projects implementation (kick-off meetings):
• Presentation for CBHE projects implementation
• Reminders to consortium members implementing CBHE projects
Materials prepared by NEO Tajikistan
Materials prepared by NEO Uzbekistan
Your project will last two or three years, and you may face some challenges during the project lifetime. Always remember that you are not alone! NEOs can support you in finding solutions. And bear in mind that every challenge is a starting point for development, and an opportunity!!!
Challenge N 1 - Covid related pandemic:
The Covid-19 pandemic remains a main challenge in all countries and, most probably, the pandemic will not disappear in 2021. Therefore, first of all, you are advised to review your Action Plan with the consortium and develop a plan “B” for 2021, if mobility and some other activities cannot be implemented.
For more information please refer to the Covid-19 survey implemented by the Erasmus+ CBHE Talent project:
Challenges and coping strategies in project management and implementation during the COVID-19 pandemic confinement period – input from Kazakhstan:
The Status of Erasmus+ Projects in Uzbekistan amid the Covid-19 Pandemic:
University and higher education system responses to Covid-19 in the Russian Federation:
Challenge N 2: VAT exemption
VAT exemption is different in all countries in Central Asia, and in the Russian Federation. NEOs can give advice on VAT related issues and provide the necessary support to project partners. If you have questions, please ask your NEO.
Challenge N 3: Delivery of equipment and brokerage services
There are differences between customs clearance and tendering procedures among countries, and between the private sector and public higher education institutions.
Here are the updated guidelines (2020) on customs clearance procedures adopted by Erasmus+ CBHE projects in Uzbekistan: http://www.erasmusplus.uz/images/shared/file/guidelines_on_customs_clearance_Erasmus+_CBHE_May_2020_EN.pdf
Challenge N 4: Obtaining of visa
If citizens of Programme countries are coming to Kazakhstan or Kyrgyzstan, most of the countries are exempted from visa for stays of up to 3 months in the above-mentioned countries. If you have questions regarding the visa application process in Russia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, or Turkmenistan, you can consult the websites of the relevant NEOs, where you can find all the necessary information. Otherwise, you can contact the NEO in the country you need to go to, and get advice on how to get a visa. There are some difficulties in getting a visa in Turkmenistan, for example, so please consult the NEO in Turkmenistan, in case you face visa issue.
Other challenges may appear in your project implementation, such as project dissemination and visibility, impact and sustainability, partnership agreements, legislation in different countries, etc. If you have doubts, please contact the NEO in your country.
More information is available here:
NEOs in Central Asia and Russia are very active in their countries, and you can join or make your contribution to events conducted by NEOs. If you organize events related to your project, you are welcome to invite the relevant NEOs, which can disseminate further your information through their social media tools and means.
Therefore, you are welcome to use the NEOs websites as resources for information on your projects!!!
Here are some existing initiatives:
Central Asia cluster meeting held in 19-20 November 2020
The on-line cluster meeting (about cluster meeting) was jointly organised by EACEA, EAC, and the NEO Uzbekistan in the framework of the CBHE action for the Erasmus + programme. It aimed at bringing together project coordinators and local CBHE project team members (national coordinators) from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkmenistan in order to determine the impact and sustainability of project results in the different CA countries, and on a regional level. The Regional Cluster Meeting also constituted an opportunity to stimulate analysis and debate on the current Erasmus+ programme, and used it to nurture the future EU education programme.
Fair of Erasmus+ CBHE Projects results in Kazakhstan
The National Erasmus+ Office organised the “The Role of Erasmus+ Projects in the modernisation of higher education in Kazakhstan: their impact and sustainability” Fair, together with the Department of Higher and Postgraduate Education of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Delegation of the European Union to Kazakhstan, and with the support of the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) of the European Union.
The purpose of the Fair was to familiarise a wide range of stakeholders with the achievements and results of Erasmus+ CBHE projects, enhance their influence, and disseminate best practices.
During the Fair, the teams shared their experiences in project implementation, and presented the results and impact of projects at the individual, institutional, and national level, as well as their potential for sustainability.
Projects posters can be viewed at this link.
Video is available here
National Online Seminar on Modern Educational Technologies EDU Tech 2020
The aim of the seminar was to improve the professional competences of teachers in the implementation of modern educational technologies, as well as the exchanges of experience in digitalization among the higher educational institutions of the Kyrgyz Republic. All materials from the seminars can be viewed here: https://erasmusplus.kg/en/seminars/
Online webinar "Online teaching and learning" in Russian Federation June 2020
On June 23, the NEO held a webinar for the National Higher Education Reform Experts team to discuss the organization of online teaching and learning in the context of the lockdown of universities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the webinar, the experts shared samples of successful practices and identified problems and ways to address the latter. You can get more inspiration here.
Fair of “Erasmus + Info Day
On October 4th 2019, the Erasmus+ Information Day event was held at the Tashkent State Technical University (TSTU). For the third time, on the occasion of the 25-year Anniversary of the Tempus and Erasmus programmes in Uzbekistan, “Tempus and Erasmus+ Projects Fair” was organised in the framework of the Erasmus+ Information Day. In total, 15 Erasmus+ CBHE projects presented their results, the project teams and publications produced within the project. By the end of the Information Day, the best presenters of Erasmus+ CBHE projects were nominated and awarded 3 prizes: the 1st place – E+ DSinGIS, the 2nd place – E+ ModeHED and the 3rd place – E+ CLASS. Information is available following link: http://www.dsingis.eu/dsingis-project-became-the-winner-in-the-fair-of-erasmus-info-day/
Wide dissemination and promotion opportunities are available for CBHE projects within Spring and Autumn Erasmus+ weeks and Annual Erasmus+ events in Uzbekistan in December, as well as three annual publications.
There are useful materials for new CBHE projects:
Autumn Erasmus Week in Uzbekistan
Best practices and success stories
You can get inspiration from other already implemented CBHE projects in the region:
Projects in the field of Public Administration:
Projects in the field of Quality Assurance:
“Promoting Internationalization of Research through Establishment and Operationalization of Cycle 3 Quality Assurance System in line with the European Integration” C3QA project.
European Dimension in Qualifications for the Tourist Sector (EurDiQ) project.
Projects in the field of the Tourism sector:
“Development of undergraduate and graduate programs on sustainable tourism in the open education in China, Vietnam and Kyrgyzstan.” (LMPT) project.
Project in the field of Medical Education:
“Promoting the Innovation Capacity of Higher Education in Nursing during Health Services Transition” ProInca project
Project in the field of ICT, Engineering, Robotics, Space:
“Bachelor's and Master's degrees for the protection of computer systems and networks in three Partner Countries: Vietnam, Moldova and Kazakhstan LMPI project
Projects in the field of agriculture, energy, environment:
International University Cooperation on Land Protection in European-Asiatic Countries (IUCLAND) project
Enhancing University Teaching in Thermal Power Systems for Cleaner Environment with Parallel Improvements in PhD Skills Development (ASIAXIS) project
Doctoral Studies in GeoInformation Sciences DSinGIS project
Project in the field of Management, Entrepreneurship and Cooperation with Enterprises:
Management - Innovation - Development (MIND) project
Library & Resources
Website of the National Erasmus+ Office in Kazakhstan: http://erasmusplus.kz
Profile of NEO KZ in Facebook https://www.facebook.com/erasmuspluskz/
Profile of HERE team on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/HEREteam.kz/
Chanel of NEO KZ on youtube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCierATLHeYSqdzdyTWIBayw/featured?view_as=subscriber
Video on Erasmus+ Exhibition in Kazakhstan: Role and impact of CBHE projects in the modernization of higher education: impact and sustainability: http://erasmusplus.kz/index.php/en/erasmus/fair-of-cbhe-projects-2020
Website of the Ministry of education and science in Kazakhstan https://www.gov.kz/memleket/entities/edu?lang=en
Website of the EU Delegation in Kazakhstan https://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/kazakhstan_en
Website of the National Erasmus+ Office in Kyrgyzstan www.erasmusplus.kg
Website of Central Asian cluster meeting www.erasmusplus.kg/ca_cluster_meeting
Profile of NEO Kyrgyzstan on Facebook www.facebook.com/erasmuspluskg
Profile of NEO Kyrgyzstan on Instagram www.instagram.com/erasmusplus.kg
Youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBY6ii4oIWyymx-tmgv8n0Q/videos
Ministry of Education and Science of the Kyrgyz Republic http://edu.gov.kg
Delegation of the European Union to the Kyrgyz Republic https://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/kyrgyz-republic_en
Website of National Erasmus+ Office in Russia http://erasmusplusinrussia.ru
European Solidarity Corps https://europa.eu/youth/solidarity_en
NEO Russia role and mission https://cloud.mail.ru/public/5aPJ/KymQSZRAK
Russian organizations and other useful information:
Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation: https://minobrnauki.gov.ru/
Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation: http://edu.gov.ru
Russian Education Federal Platform: http://edu.ru/
Engineering Education Association of Russia: http://www.ac-raee.ru/en/index.htm
Technical Universities Association: http://atuniversities.ru/en/
Classical Universities Association of Russia: http://www.acur.msu.ru/en/about.php
Website of EU Delegation in Russian Federation: https://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/russia_en
Poster “Erasmus+ in Russia: Facts and Figures”: http://www.erasmusplusinrussia.ru/PDF/Erasmus+_in_Russia_facts_and_figures.pdf
Website of the National Erasmus+ Office in Tajikistan http://erasmusplus.tj
Website of the Ministry of education and science in Tajikistan https://maorif.tj/
Website of the EU Delegation in Tajikistan https://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/tajikistan_en
Website of the EU Delegation in Tajikistan https://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/tajikistan_en
European Union in Tajikistan. Education Sector in the EU Delegation to Tajikistan invites to the event for the Education and Erasmus+ Day. https://www.facebook.com/140152156008791/posts/3933957263294909/
European Union in Tajikistan. The Erasmus + educational program and other perspectives of teaching Tajik youth in Europe. https://www.facebook.com/140152156008791/posts/3933597976664171/
Focus on students: Opportunities Erasmus + https://www.facebook.com/EUinTajikistan/videos/389203505663786/
Develop a Project Proposal http://erasmusplus.tj/?page_id=5697
Website of the National Erasmus+ Office in Turkmenistan https://www.erasmusplus.org.tm/en
Website of the Ministry of education http://www.education.gov.tm/
Website of the EU Delegation in Turkmenistan https://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/turkmenistan_en
Website of the National Erasmus+ Office in Uzbekistan www.erasmusplus.uz
NEO in Uzbekistan Facebook https://www.facebook.com/erasmusplusuz/
Higher Education Reform Experts (HEREs) in Uzbekistan Facebook https://www.facebook.com/uzheres
Erasmus+ in Uzbekistan t.me/erasmus_uzb
Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Uzbekistan http://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/uzbekistan/index_en.htm
Ministry of Higher and Secondary Specialised Education of the Republic of Uzbekistan www.edu.uz
Publication on higher education http://www.erasmusplus.uz/news/25-years-of-European-Union-Uzbekistan-higher-education-cooperation-and-future-perspectives.htm
General useful links and resources
Projects results platform: https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/erasmus-plus/projects/
CBHE projects list 2014-2019: https://eacea.ec.europa.eu/erasmus-plus/library/information-capacity-building-projects-in-field-higher-education_en
Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency: https://eacea.ec.europa.eu/homepage_en
Erasmus+ Programme Guide https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/erasmus-plus/resources/programme-guide
Erasmus+: Visual identity and logos https://eacea.ec.europa.eu/about-eacea/visual-identity-and-logos-eacea/erasmus-visual-identity-and-logos_en
Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/erasmus-esc/organisation-registration/screen/home
Funding & tender opportunities https://ec.europa.eu/info/funding-tenders/opportunities/portal/screen/home
European Higher Education Area http://www.ehea.info/
European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) https://enqa.eu/