The European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) approved the request for the extension of the DEMUSIS project eligibility period by twelve months, until 14 January 2023. The extension of the project eligibility period will allow smooth implementation of project activities, modified or postponed in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in Serbia and EU.
The decision to submit the request for the extension of project eligibility period was made unanimously by the Project Management Board on the annual meeting in December 2021.
The most important reasons for the project eligibility extension include the following:
- Accreditation, preparation and realization of LLL courses (WP5) after previous decision from October 2020 by National Institute for the Promotion of Education to postpone the national accreditation of LLL courses for one year, to October 2021. Having in mind that the accreditation process at the National Institute for the Promotion of Education lasts one year, the postponement of LLL accreditation means that implementation of LLL courses (WP 5.3) could start in October 2022 at the earliest. The preparation of LLL courses is underway.
The accreditation of LLL (life-long learning) courses in the areas of music entrepreneurship, music in digital environment and social engagement of musicians by the National Institute for the Promotion of Education is one of key project milestones, pertaining to the project’s specific objective B: continuing professional development for music professionals, aiming at improvement and enhancement of their digital and entrepreneurial skills. The realization of LLL courses would therefore have a huge impact on project results, as it covers to the greatest extent one of the three main project objectives. At least 10 LLL courses in areas of music entrepreneurship and music in digital environment were planned, to be developed within WPs 1, 3 and 4, and adapted for LLL usage.
- Live dissemination events, the culminating one being Public debate in Novi Sad EU Capital of Culture in the fall 2022, after the decision of the European Parliament and the Council to move the title year of Novi Sad (Serbia) as EU Capital of Culture from 2021 to 2022. The Public debate in the framework of EU Capital of Culture program will include public presentation of student projects and participation of all national academic, non-academic partner institutions and stakeholders, significantly contributing in that way, to the project impact and visibility, along with promotion of more engaged and culturally responsible musicians committed to the civil society.
Moreover, according to the Project Dissemination and Exploitation Plan, in the last phase of the project dissemination, the focus lies at live dissemination events, with relevant stakeholders. Live dissemination events aiming at enhancement of dialogue between academic and civil sector, with communication of project outcomes to the representatives from academia, culture, media, governmental and non-governmental organizations and general public, would ensure better visibility of project outcomes, along with further exploitation of project ideas and results. In 2020 and first half of 2021, almost all dissemination activities were realized completely or mostly online, given the significant limitations in audience presence due to COVID19 imposed restrictions on social gathering and live events.
- Live practical student placements in non-academic partner institutions (WP 4.5), in media (P7) and IT/gaming industry (P10), in academic year 2021/22. Previously in 2020 and first half of 2021, they were cancelled due to complete or partial lockdown in Serbia, with severe restrictions of the number of people allowed at the premises, along with changes of type of activities and work conditions in the state of pandemic. Owing to the specific nature of work at P10 – Mad Head Games offered online student placements, which will take place in September 2021 for the first group of students of new and modernized study programs at P1-P3. However, in the partnership meetings with the national broadcasting service Radio-Television of Serbia (P7) it was concluded that better results could be achieved with student placements live and dispersed over one year, namely, both in the fall and spring semester of academic year 2021/22.
- Live teaching visits from EU academic partners (P4-P6) to national ones (P1-P3) within the WP4.3, offering intensive teaching within the modernized and new study programs. The unanimous conclusion of the Project Management Board is that, having in mind specific requirements and importance of individual contact between teacher and student in music education, live teaching visits would have a substantially higher impact on project results and sustainability. Furthermore, live visits of EU teaching staff to Serbian academic partner institutions will include a particular follow-up to teacher training (WP 3.1), realized in academic year 2020/21 in an online format due to the coronavirus outbreak, at Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre (P6), New Bulgarian University (P5) and Royal Conservatoire The Hague (P4). The members of the project consortium are of the opinion that live teaching, training and learning, namely live contact between Serbian and EU teachers and students, would yield better results in opposition to online ones, having stronger relevance for national HMEIs teaching staff and students as the main project target groups.
- In the bilateral meetings between EU academic partner institution and project coordinator in Spring 2021, it was agreed to realize two teaching visits to Serbia by teachers of each EU academic partner institutions (P4-P6) to each of Serbian HMEIs (P1-P3) in academic years 2021/22 and fall semester of 2022/23.
In addition, following the first entrepreneurial bootcamp for music students in Serbia Music – Here and Now, successfully realized in hybrid form on 10-24 May 2021 by P1-P4, it was concluded by partner institutions involved that even greater visibility and impact both in activities 4.3 (implementation of modernized and new study programs), as an innovative approach to teaching and learning in the field of music entrepreneurship and social engagement of academic musicians, and 7.5 (student project presented publicly), would be produced by live entrepreneurial bootcamp for music students in Novi Sad in the fall of 2022, as part of the activities within WP7 and program Novi Sad as EU Capital of Culture.
- All partners have agreed that having one more Project Management Board (PMB) live meeting in Serbia during the project lifetime would provide better networking, stronger analysis of project implementation in COVID-19 and post-Covid environment, active exchange of insights on lessons learnt and higher quality discussion on the sustainability of the project and its outcomes in the (post-)Covid times. It was established therefore, that 3rd annual PMB meeting will be held in Kragujevac, hosted by the University of Kragujevac (P3) in December 2021 and the final one in November 2022 in Belgrade, hosted by the project coordinator University of Arts in Belgrade (P1).