The first week of June was marked at the Institute of Sustainable Education by a visit from Dr Dasha Bargova representing the Faculty of Pedagogy (Civic Education Department) of Comenius University in Bratislava (Slovakia).
The Institute's connection with Comenius University dates back to the latter's inclusion in the Baltic and Black Sea Circle Consortium in Educational Research (BBCC) and both institutions joining the ENERCE Consortium (European Network for Excellence in Research on Citizenship Education). Previous forms of cooperation were hinged on conference work, the Slovaks and the Latvians meeting during the 7th, 8th and 9th JTEFS/BBCC conference "Sustainable Development. Culture. Education" held in 2009, 2010 and 2011 in Daugavpils, Paris and Siauliai, respectively, as well as during the ENERCE conference "Dimensions of Citizenship and Education" hosted by Comenius University in 2010.
Ms Bargova's current visit was aimed at seeking new forms and directions of collaboration between the two institutions. During an academic discussion with ISE staff, the differences and similarities in the course of the two institutions' historic development were traced, their respective areas of expertise compared and goalposts for future cooperation set. The Slovak guest acknowledged that ISE experience is internationally regarded as an example of good practice among global initiatives within UNESCO Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014) and is hence of great interest to Comenius University as a source of inspiration for their own endeavours in this direction.
The three days of Ms Bargova's sojourn in Daugavpils were also filled with calls to other structural units of the Faculty of Education and Management, a meeting with acting Dean Jeļena Davidova and Vice-dean Ilona Mičule high on the agenda.
Hopefully, the specific ideas for cross-institutional cooperation that emerged during the visit will eventually be put into practice by coordinated effort from both ISE and the Faculty of Pedagogy at Comenius University.