HEI ICI projects start with an inception phase, the importance of which is greater than ever due to the on-going pandemic. The purpose of this phase of the project is to ensure that there is a clear, mutual understanding of the expected results set for the project among the project partners and core project group, and of the means for their achievement.
Equally important is to identify and define the means of assessing the success of the project. For this, a careful baseline analysis is needed. In the TEPATE project, the baseline study was co-created with experts from the University of Lapland. The study is currently in progress at the Southern Partner HEIs. In addition, the project plan is being scrutinised by the project’s Key Experts to create new, innovative ways to move ahead even though no international travels can take place.
That also means that getting to know each other takes different forms now. In the TEPATE project, different platforms and working methods have been tested to assess their capacity in building personal working relationships across institutions, as much as for their ability to “get the job done”. Much of the work is done online now, and it is true that some problems have occurred with the ICT infrastructure in the South. This, however, was expected. Based on our experiences so far we remain firmly confident regarding the prospects of this new collaboration.