In June 2018, Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree in Research and Innovation in Higher Education was selected for yet another round of funding that will allow 4 new cohorts of students to join the program and explore the intricacies of global higher education systems. Joining the program’s international consortium as an associated partner in the second round of its applications, UIIN is committed to offer educational and practical learning opportunities to MaRIHE student and graduates in collaboration with partner higher education institutions.
In our blog today we are hosting 2018 alumni Alina Meloyan, to share with us her reflections on her MaRIHE journey of over two years, expanding to 4 countries in 2 continents.
If you ever wondered how universities or colleges function, what are the levers to steer innovation in higher education and research, how higher education institutions interact with the surrounding environment, or how to improve teaching and learning practices, then an academic journey offered by the MaRIHE consortium might be of your interest.
The master program has been a collaborative initiative of four universities, Danube University Krems (Austria), University of Tampere (Finland), Beijing Normal University (China) and Osnabrueck University of Applied Sciences (Germany). These universities sequentially hosted MaRIHE students for 6 years already. The associated partners of the consortium (with UIIN as a newly introduced associated partner) have offered students generous internship opportunities alongside with their guidance and expertise. There is no doubt that with such a wide diversity of hosting parties all of us met truly inspiring higher education professionals. Though having a wide geographical coverage that ensures acquaintance with various European and Asian higher education systems, the program also welcomes invited professors from Africa, North and Latin America.
Studying equals Transformation
Studying MaRIHE program requires a great deal of flexibility and adaptability. Apart from attending traditional lectures, students get engaged into lots and lots of project work, role plays, debates, study visits, etc. that deepen their understanding of the explored concepts. Group work takes a special stance. At times, it feels there is way too much of it, and you want to cry chiming in Susan Cain’s call ‘Stop the madness of constant group work!’. But, in the long run, you realize that all those long hours spent working together, arguing, at times fighting and passing cookies and coffee cups were one of the worthiest and mind-changing activities.
If you are a MaRIHE student, concentrating on one task at one place will be just a wishful plan. Apart from an intensive mobility track that includes 3 – 4 countries visited for study purposes, students’ planners are usually packed with various conferences, forums, summer schools and internships. All these events and opportunities, which are well-circulated inside MaRIHE owing to the administrative staff and alumni, lure students to pack their bags more times than they could imagine to broaden their professional network. And, most times, the answer to the question “Where do you study?” won’t come short and easy.
For the next generations of students, MaRIHE consortium revamped the program by inviting new consortium members as well as modifying the curriculum. As of now, new cohorts will do study trips of their choice either to Beijing Normal University in China or Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology in India. The destinations for the final semester are diversified with one more option – Eötvös Loránd University in Hungary. The curriculum is enriched with new courses related to entrepreneurship, teaching & learning and institutional management, etc. All these changes show that the master program is a dynamic entity that recognizes new trends of cognate or semi-cognate scientific fields and forestalls the academic needs of its future students.
As our academic director, Attila Pausits, said many times ‘MaRIHE is a family’, one that provides you with an enormous support system. We truly value the bonds we created, the experiences we shared, and the precious moments we enjoyed together. The two years of working and living among classmates that come from different cultures and backgrounds have gotten us reconsider the value of our convictions and helped us grow both professionally and individually.
Being a MaRIHE student at the stage of finalizing my studies, I find myself exceptionally lucky and privileged to be a part of the experience described above. My hopes are high that MaRIHE will live long good years welcoming more talented and driven individuals.
The deadline for application for the MaRIHE programme is open until 5 December 2018
 Susan Cain – an American writer, lecturer, TED speaker and author of ‘Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop talking’.
Image Credit: Danube University Krems