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Cooperation with the State School of Higher Education in Chelm: Envisioning new networking prospects

The idea to establish cooperation between the Institute of Sustainable Education (ISE) and State School of Higher Education in Chelm (SSHEC) was born in May 2012 when representatives of the two institutions met during the 10th JTEFS/BBCC conference in Savonlinna, Finland.

ISE was formally approached by the Department of Pedagogy at SSHEC Institute of Mathematics and Information Science with an invitation to co-host an international conference ‘Primary education: Lessons from practice’. Professor Ilga Salīte was invited to join the scientific committee of the conference and share her expertise with conference attendants in a keynote presentation.

ISE joined a team of conference hosts that featured universities from the Czech Republic (Uniwersytet Palackeho w Olomoucu), Slovakia (Uniwersytet Preszowski w Preszowie and Katolicki Uniwersytet w Rużomberku) and Poland (Wyższa Szkoła Ekonomii, Turystyki i Nauk Społecznych w Kielcach and Uniwersytet Przyrodniczo-Humanistyczny w Siedlcach).

The conference was held on 28–30 April 2013. ISE was represented by Professor Salīte and doctoral student (degree candidate) Mr Eugeniusz Switala who reported on the conclusions of his thesis about the values for sustainability and their interpretations in Polish, Latvian and Mexican schools. Professor Salīte delivered a keynote on BBCC experience in pursuing the aims of UNO DESD 2005–2014.

The multiple conference sections afforded an excellent opportunity to discuss possible expansion of BBCC network in Central and Eastern Europe to include the universities whose delegates attended the conference and represented countries such as Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Slovakia, Belarus and Russia, and to envision potential forms of cooperation in the future. The discussion boiled down to the following key points

  • to perform a joint comparative study on the interplay of tradition and innovation in sustainable educationto disseminate the findings from this study in the third volume of the collection ‘Education & Sustainable Development: First Steps toward Change’
  • to use the thematic focus of the joint comparative study as a springboard for continued cooperation in the long term (scientific discussions at Daugavpils University and in partner institutions abroad)
  • to conclude a formal cooperation agreement between Daugavpils University and SSHEC (input into doctoral programmes, Erasmus staff and student mobility)
  • to consider Chelm as a venue for the 12th JTEFS/BBCC conference ‘Sustainable Development. Culture. Education’ in 2014