Being approached by Acting Secretary General, Morten Flate Paulsen, to be ICDE’s nominee for one of the 3 seats on the EPICA External Advisory Board, was in itself an honour, but to be eventually voted in by the project partnership – along with Prof. Jude Lubega, Deputy Vice Chancellor of Uganda Technology and Management University and Albert Nsengiyumva, Executive Secretary of ADEA, the Association for Development of Education in Africa – was a great privilege and credit of trust and recognition.
EPICA, co-funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, is a project of great promises that is being delivered by a European-African strategic partnership. The initiative aims to bring together businesses, organisations and universities in both Europe and Africa to design an innovative, scalable ePortfolio, which will improve the quality, visibility and availability of young people’s new skills. KIC already has substantial experience with using innovative technologies to improve the quality and visibility of skills, competencies and qualifications, and this can certainly strengthen the know-how of the EPICA partners. Furthermore, we are involved with two topically relevant EU projects at present, namely OEPass and MicroHE, so I expect valuable synergies between them and EPICA, ultimately benefiting a larger number of stakeholders than the projects could reach on their own.
In addition to these assuring formal circumstances, I’m also excited about supporting EPICA as an individual who acquired most of her professional skills and competences outside of formal education. These days we so often develop these by a variety of means, including non-formal and informal learning, so the forms of recognition should mirror this reality. Along my non-conventional career path I became an enthusiastic advocate of smartly designing and using ePortfolios and open badges to effectively communicate skills and competences and I hope that my experience can have a positive impact on EPICA.
On the 11th of December, 30% into the project work, we had the first EAB meeting, that was very successful. Until the next time we meet, dutifully as an EAB member, but also wholeheartedly as a private person, I wish the best of luck to the EPICA partners and promise to do my best to aid their work by helpful insight, professional opinion and advice.