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Students and staff visit European Commission and National Statistics Office in Malta

University of Gloucestershire students and staff visited Malta for a workshop with collaborators from Spain, Malta and Turkey as part of a research programme funded by the European Union.

The Development Counts project – funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the EU– has focused on supporting the next generation of global development professionals to harness the power of data for global and social good.

The project has been led by the University’s School of Natural and Social Sciences in collaboration with Gazi Universitesi (Turkey), L-Università ta’ Malta (Malta) and Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED, Spain).

It aimed to developed new data skills instructor and student learning resources informed by insights from global development professionals.

The programme was piloted with students from the four partner universities and included an online self-study programme, live online tutorials, and support to complete ‘real life’ global development data projects in cross-country teams.

The meeting in Malta was an opportunity for pilot programme participants to meet in person and reflect on the experience. The visit included a workshop with the European Commission in Malta to discuss international collaborative work, and the National Statistics Office of Malta to discuss the challenges and opportunities using data to work on social issues with the Director General Etienne Caruana.

Natalie Morris, Careers Consultant for the School of Natural and Social Sciences, joined the trip and ran a session on Harnessing Data Skills and Experience of International Collaboration for Career Planning for all participating students.

Molly Gregory, final-year Geography student and project participant, said: “I found participating in the project really helpful for my confidence working with data. Collaborating with international partners was a fulfilling experience and then meeting them in person was an extra bonus.”

The final version of the training programme resources is available for use by the wider higher education community. The website also has more information about the training programme design and the research that underpinned it. In addition, a recording of a dissemination webinar, including speakers from data and development professionals and attended by participants from over 20 countries, will be posted on the website

If you have any questions about the project or how to use the resources, please contact project lead Dr Rachel Bennett on: rbennett3@glos.ac.uk.