5th Summer Academy

The Euracademy 5th Summer Academy of 2006

The 5th Euracademy Summer Academy, on the theme “The role of education and lifelong learning in Sustainable Rural Development” was organised jointly by the Euracademy Association and the the West-Hungarian Research Institute Centre for Regional, Studies of Hungarian Academy of Sciences and took place between 1st – 8th July 2006 in GYOR, Hungary. The Academy brought together about 50 people from 12 European countries, including many ex-participants to Summer Academies and other members of the Euracademy Association.

In this town, an international delegation of 50 participants, including academics, researchers, teachers and animators in the field of education and sustainable rural development met for 10 days. 25 participants were attracted coming from 9 European Countries and were assisted by a 15-member facilitation/moderation team.

The students came from a variety of professions – teachers, project coordinatos, managers, university staff, PhD students, farmers, rural animators and others. Their average age was around 35.

Before they arrived in Gyor, the students received:

  • A Participant’s handbook, which introduced them to the programme of the 5th Summer Academy and to the highly participative approach to the training. In it they were also asked to write their own case studies and bring them along and present them during the third day of the Academy to the other participants.
  • Thematic Guide on “The role of education and lifelong learning in Sustainable Rural Development”. A second edition of this, revised and enriched in the light of the Summer Academy will be prepared and printed in book.

The 10 days of the Academy included an open space for introduction, followed by lectures, small group discussions, presentations of participants’ case studies education and lifelong learning in rural economies from all over Europe and the conclusions panel, held in this order, to explore the theme from different points of view, bringing in the discussion the participants’ experience.

A major part of the Summer Academy and a chance for participants to compare their previous knowledge and experience with real life examples of education and lifelong learning in rural economies was the two-days study trips to local settings with interesting cases. The participants were divided into five travelling groups. Each group had the opportunity to visit entrepreneurs, farmers, producers, public services institutions and other actors in the towns of Szombathely, Vep, Oriszentpeter, Ravazd, Mezoors, Vertesacsa, Anossomorja, Mosonmagyarovar, Bezeny, Tet, Csorna, Vitnyed, Devecser, Keszthely, Balatonszepezd

The descriptions of the study visits included presentations of places visited, evaluation and recommendations for future development of the study cases. The Study Tour reports were printed and distributed to all participants. The groups prepared also creative presentation of their tour and presented in plenary.

The final two days of the Summer Academy included a conclusions panel discussion about the diversification of rural economies; networking sessions for the participants to take further the contacts they had made in the Academy to plan joint activities for the future; the 3nd General Assembly of the Association; and a formal evaluation session of the Summer Academy conducted through an electronic questionnaire.