The Annual Meeting for International Relations Coordinators 2020 was organised this year fully online, under the title Ready to Change? Digitisation, crisis management and green thinking for a sustainable future in the framework of the AEC – Strengthening Music in Society Project supported by the EU Creative Europe Programme. 

The IRCs Meeting 2020 triggered discussions about multifaceted and complex topics, such as the sustainability of internationalisation and student mobility, inclusiveness, as well as music education during the coronavirus epidemic and the impact of digitisation on the role of musicians in the society. During these two days of insightful discussions, international relations coordinators addressed the issue of sustainable international collaborations in the world of music education as well as its interconnectedness with the digital revolution and new methods of teaching in distance.

The new Erasmus Programme also was presented according to its sustainability focus. Today, conservatoires and universities are striving for making the education and international mobility more accessible and sustainable for both the planet and the society in general. The increasing speed of the digitisation of higher education leads us to the questions regarding the possibilities of blended mobility, simplified digital application systems and distance learning practices and technologies, such as LoLA.

While Jeanine Gregersen, gave a speech on sustainability in higher music education (followed by discussion groups on the topic where all participants gave their opinion and ideas on the topic), Satish Stromberg, representative from Umea University (Sweden) gave a presentation on the methodologies and technologies for learning, teaching, interaction, assessment & course design. In addition, Elena Tegovska, Policy coordinator of the European Commission, presented the New Erasmus 2021-27.

Discussions and seminars on the mental health of international students and crisis management were held as pre-conference sessions by Clara Barbera from Berklee College of Music in Valencia (Spain), member of the AEC SMS working group on Diversity and Inclusiveness, and Christofer Fredriksson from the Stockholm University of the Arts (Sweden), chair of the IRC working group.

A wide range of parallel sessions addressed various issues related to the internationalisation of higher education, the digital revolution and crisis management:

  1. Community projects: being international at home by integrating other cultures at local level
  2. LoLa, the SWING project, the digital shift: presentation and discussion
  3. Digital Didactics: Student experience during the pandemic
  4. MusiQuE – linking internationalisation and quality assurance
  5. The Future of Employability in Music
  6. Building a Shared Road Map for Sustainability and Green Strategies

The IRC Meeting 2020 gave coordinators an opportunity to exchange best practices and solutions for overcoming challenges faced today by the institutions, starting from the global pandemic to online teaching and digital communication. Discussions helped participants to discover new ways of making the experience of students and professors more enriching and “global” albeit the growing uncertainty in the context of the Covid-19.

Participants had the opportunity to propose their own topics with pre-recorded videos and live Q&A for the Information Gallery, where also updates on EASY and DEMUSIS were given.

All the documents and slides of the AEC Annual Meeting for International Relations Coordinator 2020 are available at the event page on the AEC website under the tab “Photos and documents”. Registered participants have received a full report of the event with recordings of all presentations.