Organization of the Mobility
Roles and responsibilities of the partners; specific description of the role played by the co-coordinator and activities promoted as joint-coordination, communication and decision making processes
The Partnership of the Effort project includes following partners: Alexander Technological Institute οf Thessaloniki (the Coordinating Institution, Greece), Armenian National Agrarian University (the Co-coordinating institution, Armenia), EU-Partners: Swansea Metropolitan University of Wales Trinity Saint David (United Kingdom), Central School of Marseille (France), Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo (Portugal), Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences (Latvia), Estonian University of Life Sciences (Estonia), Tomas Bata University in Zlín (Czech Republic), Uniwersytet Lodzki (Poland); ENPI-Partners: Baku Business University (Azerbaijan), Western University (Azerbaijan), Crimean University for the Humanities (Ukraine), Odessa National Academy of Food Technologies (Ukraine), The University of Georgia (Georgia), Shota Meskhia State Teaching University of Zugdidi (Georgia), Yerevan State Linguistic University after V. Brusov (Armenia), State Agrarian University of Moldova (Moldova), Alecu Russo Balti State University (Moldova), Baranovichi State University (Belarus), Belarusian Trade and Economics University of Consumer Cooperatives (Belarus).
The kick off of the EFFORT programme was taken placed 16-20 October 2013 in Thessaloniki, Greece. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the roles and responsibilities of the partners, issues related to implementation of mobility and financial management were discussed during the kick-off meeting. The MoU (based on the Grant Agreement N 2012-2649 /001-001 EM A2) was agreed between partners and entered into force upon signing by all Partners. By the MoU the Partners define their roles and responsibilities, the rules of procedure for the work to be carried out and the relations that will govern them within partnership set up in order to implement EFFORT Project.
The following paragraphs describe the roles and responsibilities of the EFFORT partners and as unanimously agreed among them:
Role of the coordinating institution (ATEI of Thessaloniki)
- Have full responsibility for ensuring that the action is implemented in accordance with the Grant Agreement;
- Be the intermediary for all communication between the partners and the Agency. Any claims that the Agency might have in respect to the Grant Agreement shall be addressed to and answered by the Beneficiary, except where specifically stated otherwise in the Agreement;
- Be responsible for supplying all documents and information to the Agency, which may be required under the Agreement, in particular in relation to the requests for payment. The Beneficiary shall not delegate any part of this task to the partners or to any other party. Where information from partners is required, the Beneficiary shall be responsible for obtaining and verifying this information and for passing it on to the Agency;
- Inform the partners of any event of which the Beneficiary is aware that is liable to substantially affect the implementation of the action;
- Request and receive, on behalf of the partners, all payments made by the Agency to the bank account as referred in the Grant Agreement (Annex IV) and distribute the EU grant between partners in accordance with this Agreement - MoU.
- Be responsible, in the event of audits, checks or evaluations, as described in the Grant Agreement, for providing all the necessary documents, including the accounts of the partners, the original accounting documents and signed copies of subcontracts, if any have been concluded by the Beneficiary institutions in accordance with in the Grant Agreement.
- Be solely responsible for the relations between Partners, in particular including the dividing up of the grant between the Beneficiary and the other Partners institutions.
Role of co-coordinating institution (Armenian National Agrarian University)
- The Joint coordination is considered to help capacity building in the EFFORT partner institutions and to enable better efficiency, feasibility and sustainability of the partnership. Joint coordination activities are proposed by the Coordinator and validated by the Evaluation Committee (EC).
- The EFFORT co-coordinating institution must be actively involved in co-ordination and management tasks of the partnership, and - together with the European Project coordinator - is responsible for the day-to-day coordination and management of the partnership. However, the financial management and primary legal responsibility for the proper execution of the agreement remains the responsibility of the project coordinator (Alexander Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki).
- The Co-Coordinator is a facilitator, a cultural and academic referent, the local expert securing the efficiency of the process, the advisor on and for TG2 & TG3 students. The Co-Coordinator may be consulted by the Lot 5 & European partners via their Project Offices (PO) or their Local Coordinators (LC) on the functioning of the local academic systems.
- Armenian National Agrarian University, as the Co-coordinating institution is eager to promote the project in Lot 5 Countries and to inform and advise nonEU applicants and Project Offices (PO) in Lot 5 Countries. The Co-Coordinator supports the Joint Coordination Project Office (JC.P.O.), calling for local meetings in order to provide and gather information and evaluate the successive actions. The Co-Coordinator is an implementer and a cross-cultural agent supporting communication and marketing actions. He helps to activate Lot 5 networks (HEIs, governmental and non-governmental institutions, companies and corporations) in order to enable the EFFORT project actions to be heard, understood and implemented.
- The joint coordination include visits to the Lot 5 partners for orientation and preparation of applicants (plus promotion, dissemination and recognition of credits support) and visits to the European partners in order to meet the follows and secure the success of the motilities and disseminate the good practices among the partnership.
- The joint coordinator does not have any act or contact with the Azerbaijani partners. The Azerbaijani partners recognize the coordinator as the only leader of the ERASMUS MUNDUS EFFORT.
Role of the partner institutions
- Forward to the Coordinator the data needed to draw up the reports, financial statements and other documents provided for in the Agreement, including its Annexes. Each Partner will be responsible for the financial reporting of the amounts received from the Partnership Coordinator, according to the reporting rules set in the Grant Agreement.
- Ensure that all information to be provided to the Agency is sent via the Coordinator, except where the Agreement specifically stipulates otherwise;
- Inform the Coordinator immediately of any event affecting of delaying substantially the implementation of the action;
- Provide the Coordinator with all the necessary documents in the event of audits, checks of evaluations, as described in the Grant Agreement. The documents which have to be sent to the coordinator by the partners should ensure:
I. Traceability of payments (payment orders, bank statements, acknowledgements of receipt signed by the students etc.
II. The possibility to check the implementation of mobility (Learning Agreement between the home and host institutions, student agreement signed by the scholarship holder and the host institution, arrival certificate, boarding passes of both arrival and departure dates ; in case of loss, the entry stamp in passport will be acceptable instead, etc.).
III. The clear and adequate accounting system that must be kept by each Local Coordinator (LC).
Obligations of all partner institutions
- Respect the common general objectives that formed the basis for establishing the partnership;
- Fulfill the actions set out in the application, together with the work programme jointly agreed between the parties;
- Make every effort to achieve in practice the common general objectives of Action 2 Strand 1 for which the EU grant is awarded;
- Refrain from any action that could contribute to favoring brain drain from Lot 5 Countries;
- Encourage Lot 5 Countries participants in mobility activities to use the knowledge and skills acquired in benefit of the social, human, economical and political development of their countries;
- Encourage all participants in the mobility activities to become ambassadors for the better understanding between the peoples;
- Maintain relations of mutual co-operation and regular exchanges of information with the Agency on matters of common interest;
- Display a transparent attitude with regard to managing and reporting on the actions for which the EU grant is awarded and co-operate fully with annual or occasional checks on the implementation of the Agreement.
- Clearly acknowledge the European Union's contribution in all publications or in conjunction with activities for which the grant is used.
Role of the partnership management committee (MC)
- Management Committee (MC) is in charge of the supervision of the project. It is composed of one representative of each Partner and chaired by Alexander Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki (see Annex I).
- Decisions of the MC are taken by consensus. If a consensus cannot be reached, the Parties will agree on a way to resolve the problem based on an proposal by the Coordinator and Co - coordinator.
- The MC is chaired by the coordinator and co-chaired by the representative from the co-coordinating institution.
- Associate members are not member of the MC but may attend, under invitation, any assembly without the right to vote.
- All Parties commit to plan and organize their respective activities within the programme and specifically the individual mobility at their HEIs according to the general principles decided by the MC.
- The coordinating institution of the consortium is Alexander Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki. It mainly hosts the Organization Bureau (OB), which is responsible for the current management and administration of the Project. The Joint Coordination Project Office (JC.P.O.) is hosted in Armenian National Agrarian University.
- Each Party is also responsible for implementing the Project in his/her HEI, with the local structures and offices and for making decisions regarding the local procedures needed. The EFFORT Project Offices (PO) are located in each one of partners campuses and are defined by the respective HEI itself and supervised by Local Coordinator (LC) that acts as the key person of reference ad contact of each member of the consortium. The LC is by definition the same person as the one that each University has assigned as the contact person for EFFORT.
- By no means should the Parties request extra founding in order to support the POs since the contact persons that act as LCs are being assigned by their Institutions.
- Local Coordinators are responsible for consulting and helping the prospective EFFORT beneficiaries to complete and sent their applications.
- Local Coordinators are responsible for the in initial screening of the applications and they should provide a merit based list of priority applicants to the Evaluation Committee for the final selection.
- Local Coordinators must ensure the validity and the genuineness of all the submitted documents after the selection of the Beneficiaries.
- In collaboration with the JC.P.O., each LC, except from the Azerbaijani LCs who will directly contact the BO, must prepare the beneficiaries before the mobility starts by providing assistance with VISAs and all other related procedures.
- The Management Committee (MC) appoints and relies on the support of the Evaluation Committee (EC).
- The Evaluation (Selection) Committee (EC), is composed of the Project Coordinator and one representative of each Partner and chaired by Alexander Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki.
- The ECmeets during the action period as and when required to ensure smooth functioning of the EFFORT project. It organizes and readjusts, if needed; the individual mobility flows so as to fulfill the objectives of the call and the Minimum Requirements for the selection procedure.
- The Evaluation Committee will both act as a Selection Committee to guarantee an impartial and transparent selection process based on merit, providing equal opportunities, gender-balance and participation of disadvantaged people. The results of the selection will be presented to all the partners for approval.
- The Evaluation Committee manages under a common based dedicated to discussion between partners on several key mobility concepts, identified as the cornerstones of a successful, well-managed and sustainable Erasmus Mundus Action 2 project. Whenever necessary, the EC propose corrective actions. The main EC avocations are:
- Dissemination and attractiveness / Employability
- Credit transfer and orientation
- Sustainability & Community management
- Cohort Preparation
- Individual Mobility Flows
Implementation of Mobility
The institutional services of partners helps grantees submit their applications to registration/application tool where necessary (instruction, technical support). They provides assistance to incoming students and staff for housing, visa issues and residence permits, opening bank account etc, coaching and advising on living matters of hospitality and orientation. Especially for the grantees of target group 3, the institutional services facilitates recruitment and preparation of candidates in cooperation with associates and other bodies, as well as initiating any other possible measures to find proper candidates fulfilling formal criteria of target 3 beneficiaries. They plane and agree with Master, Doctorate and Postdoctoral students and Staff prior their departure, activities to be carried out on their return: transfer of knowledge, intern dissemination of skills. The institutional services support, if necessary, grantees’ application for visas (provided to grantees invitation letters, calling to embassies, provided any other required document). They have agreed and processed Learning Agreements of selected students and written institutional agreements concerning mobility assignments of staff members. The institutional services have enrolled and provide adequate mentoring arrangements (appointment of academic tutors/mentors to guide teachers/students academically, facilitate their integration in the host environment – academic and cultural), to monitor and assess their training progress (interim and final assessment by use of the form elaborated by the partnership and provided by the coordinator). Finally, they have issued transfer of marks/transcript of records, EFFORT certificates and diplomas, diploma supplements and other relevant documents confirming the mobility results (handling originals to students at the end of their mobility and sending copies to programme coordinator).
Measures to guarantee an appropriate match between students and academic staff profile and the thematic expertise of the hosting partner institutions
The partners of ERASMUS MUNDUS EFFORT agreed to distribute the scholarships considering the balance between students and academic staff and the thematic expertise of the hosting partner institutions. The distribution of the scholarships to partners institution considering the keeping of this balance. It was agreed that every effort to match the student’s profiles with the academic expertise of the hosting institutions will be made in order to ensure maximum impact of the mobility.