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Bridging the Gap – UOW connects with Spanish university to share best practice

Bridging the Gap – UOW connects with Spanish university to share best practice

In May 2023, staff from the faculties of Business and Law and Science, Medicine and who had been awarded Erasmus+ grants, travelled to the University of Almeria (UAL) in Spain. UAL is a UOW Partner Institution and Erasmus+ is a European Union initiative that promotes mobility and collaboration opportunities within higher education.

Tina Prodromou, a Lecturer in Finance, Erin Snape, the Senior Manager of International Strategy and Engagement for BAL, and Theresa Larkin, an Associate Professor in Medical Sciences, attended UAL’s International Staff Mobility week This was a fantastic opportunity to travel to sunny Spain to connect with staff at UAL as well as other international institutions.

 More than 50 other academic and professional staff from 43 different institutions around the world attended the International Staff Mobility week at UAL. This event provided opportunities for sharing best practices, co-teaching, cross-cultural dialogue, and fostering new relationships. UOW staff participated in workshops and panel discussions, and met with staff and students who provided fresh insights, new perspectives, and collaborations that are valuable to support activities across UOW. One particularly notable project focused on The Green European University, which strives to become the premier institution in Sustainable Agriculture, Green Biotechnology, and Environmental and Life Sciences across Europe.

During a networking event, Tina,  Erin and Theresa had the privilege of presenting about UOW and establishing connections with numerous universities from around the world.  Erin was able to share knowledge and insights about international activities both within BAL and UOW more broadly, while strengthen connections with UAL and exploring the possibilities of additional collaborations. Tina was hosted by Dr. Federico Galan-Valdivieso and Dr. Ma del Pilar Casado Belmonte, who provided her with invaluable opportunities to teach two finance-related subjects within their Bachelor's program. One of the most cherished moments of her experience was sharing a personal message from UOW students to UAL students, creating a profound connection. This experience was undeniably remarkable.  Theresa was hosted by Gabriel Aguilera Manrique, the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences.  She delivered a lecture to nursing students, on research methods and some of her own research output and taught in a class on lung anatomy and examination for the medical students.  She also met with medical and nursing academics, the former was particularly relevant because this is the first year that UAL has had medicine as a degree.

Earlier in the yearDr. Pariz Lythgo-Gordon also visited  Almeriá during the Easter holidays, accompanied by her husband and their two-year-old. Prior to this trip, they had enjoyed a road trip along the coastal regions of Spain. As a lecturer in the School of Law, Pariz had the opportunity to spend her time in Almeriá hosting bilingual seminars that delved into a cross-comparative analysis of the responses to domestic and family violence in Australia and Spain. Prof. María José Cazorla and Prof. Fatima Perez warmly welcomed Pariz into their academic family, facilitating her placement. Throughout her stay, Pariz formed meaningful connections with both the faculty members and the students. She eagerly looks forward to the day when she can return to Almeriá.

All UOW staff who visited UAL thoroughly enjoyed spending time in Almeria, with stunning coastlines, picturesque landscapes, and a rich history—not to mention the delicious tapas they were able to sample!

We are eagerly enthusiastic about the potential for future collaborations with UAL academics and participants of the program from other universities across many continents and countries.