Vita Global White Paper

Modularization, flexibilization, and internationalization in higher education

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Vita Global has focused on three levels: 1) internationalizing the curricula in a strategic subsector for all of the partner regions involved: vitiviniculture and enology, 2) contributing to the modularization and flexibilization of curricula, and 3) sharpening the university contribution to local development, university-industry cooperation, and training and skilling.

The Vita Global partners share the belief that in order to deliver higher quality, locally relevant study programs and research, global engagement is needed. In this sense, it has created a distinct global network of universities committed to local development challenges through the internationalization of study programs across diverse and mostly nonurban areas in South America, the Caucasus, Europe, and Africa.

Vita Global has had high aspirations: cocreating study modules in strategic fields of viticulture and enology with universities from different countries and with diverse capacities, and piloting those modules and inserting them into existing study programs or aspiring to build new ones. The project has responded to European policy priorities for higher education internationalization and regional development as well as to educational strategies across South Africa, Georgia, Argentina, Chile, and other countries. Connecting university and industry actors from these very diverse regions with shared common interests has been a feat in itself.

In addition to the benefits related to study programs and industry cooperation, the project has explored, both theoretically and in practice, current trends in flexibilization and modularization of study programs and their importance for ensuring the future of responsive and relevant higher education. This has been done despite, and in the context of, different national regulations that in many cases limit the flexibilization of study programs. Linking modularization to the topics of global cooperation and internationalization has been a distinctive feature of this project, and Vita Global demonstrates how international academic cooperation can be a motor and incentive for experimenting with modularization and flexibilization.

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