The NATOUR project is implemented in the framework of the Erasmus+ Programme, Action – Capacity Building in Higher Education. The duration of the project is 45 months, starting in January 2021 and ending in October 2024.
The project partnership involves 4 EU partners (3 of which are universities) from Spain (coordinator), Germany, Portugal and Bulgaria and 6 Partner Country universities: 2 from Colombia, 2 from Chile, 2 from Brazil.
The overall objective of NATOUR project is to develop, validate and implement a joint PC-EU HEIs’ post-graduate study programme in the field of ecotourism and interpretive nature guiding in line with national and sectoral priorities of the Partner Countries and in accordance with EU higher education quality standards. The development of such a programme corresponds with the priority of the three PCs to exploit ecotourism sector as a means of economic growth, at the same time ensuring sustainable use of natural resources and well-being of local communities.
The project has the following specific objectives:
- Improve understanding of the sectoral requirements for knowledge, skills and attitudes of a graduate in the field of ecotourism and nature guiding in the Partner Countries;
- Support Partner Countries’ HEIs in the development of new post-graduate curriculum and learning content in ecotourism and interpretive nature guiding and build capacity of their staff to apply innovative methodologies for teaching in the field;
- Develop and implement a quality assurance system which guarantees delivery of an EU-compliant joint post-graduate study programme in the Partner Countries’ HEIs;
- Create physical and virtual environment conductive to the joint PC-EU implementation of the post-graduate programme in ecotourism and interpretive nature guiding and lay foundation for PC-EU HEIs’ collaboration in joint delivery of the programme;
- Enhance access of the professional community to high quality open educational resources in the field of ecotourism and nature guiding.Capacity building intervention
The working methodology that NATOUR uses reconciles project implementation methodology with curriculum development methodology. The work programme has 6 major activities, as follows:
Activity 1: Development of a joint post-graduate study programme in ecotourism and interpretive nature guiding and its institutionalization in each partner HEI;
Activity 2: Building institutional and human resource capacity for quality assurance and joint PC-EU delivery of the new programme;
Activity 3: Launching, delivering and ensuring sustainability of the new programme in each partner HEI;
Activity 4: Project quality assurance and control – transversal activity implemented throughout the project’s lifetime and imbedded in the development activities through iterative internal peer review & evaluation sessions and assessment of project results by stakeholders;
Activity 5: Dissemination, exploitation and sustainability of the project results;
Activity 6: Project management and monitoring.
The result from the implementation of the abovementioned activies is as follows:
- Clear definition of sectoral requirements to competences and skills of an ecotourism professional in the three Partner Countries;
- Collaborative development of a joint curriculum, learning content and teaching methodology in transnational teams and incremental improvements to the new programme, relying on the results of its validation by key stakeholders;
- Building institutional and human resource capacity for joint PC-EU delivery of the new programme in diverse modes allowing for onsite, blended or online learning;
- Building institutional and human resource capacity for quality assurance of the joint PC-EU programme;
- Joint delivery of the programme in PC and EU HEIs, including students’ training, student mobility (internships in Europe), mutual recognition of credits and award of qualifications.
For more information, visit https://natour-project.eu/