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Development Cooperation

Working Group

Chair: Julien Bobineau

Assistant Professor in French and Francophone Literature at the Institute for Modern Languages of the University of Würzburg. In 2017, Julien Bobineau finished his PhD thesis on Postcolonial Theory and colonial discourses in Belgium and in the Democratic Republic of Congo. His research interests include the history, literature, politics and arts of Francophone Africa as well as colonial memory, racism and anti-colonial movements in Europa while his habilitation explores hunting ethics and aesthetics in the field of French and Spanish literature (18th and 19th century).

Vice-Chair: Sanja Boskovic

Associate Professor in language and civilization at the University of Poitiers, specialist in Serbo-Croatian, member of the MIMMOC EA3812 Research Group (Mémoire, Identité, Marginalité dans le Monde Contemporain) and coordinator of the European Center for Slavic Studies (CEES). She is the author of numerous papers and books on identity and cultural memory of the Southern Slavs.


Focus of Working Group

The global social responsibility of universities requires their active engagement with development issues and challenges. The Coimbra Group aims at increasing such engagements through the pooling of expertise and through the coordination of actions targeted towards a most effective response to major cooperation challenges and a fruitful relation with the main development agencies, in primis the EU. The academic world mat play an important role as promoter of a broad and solid approach to development cooperation, based on the issues of capacity building, the promotion of a global citizenship education and the implementation of a participative approach to research on and for development. Three main levels of intervention are identified:

1) Development of joint training courses and education programs to contribute to the improvements of institutional capacities

2) Sharing knowledge and experience on research for development, cooperation models and evaluation, including a critical review of the actions of the main international donors

3) Investigation on the role of universities as agents of development at the country or regional level, including the co-designing of experiences of higher education fostering ownership and human and institutional capacity building


Recent highlights

  • Organization of an internal workshop in Brussels in November 2018 with the participation of officers of the European Commission and members of the Development Cooperation Committee of the European Parliament. The scope was to raise understanding on the recent developments on EU development cooperation policies and actions, with a special focus on higher education. In addition, it was an opportunity to present the state of the work of CG Development Cooperation working group.


  • Coimbra Group Summer School on European Multilingualism with the support of the programme Erasmus+ KA107. In July 2018 teachers from Coimbra Group universities have organised at University of Novi Sad an intensive short programme on European Multilingualism and Cultural Mediation Studies with the aim of sharing innovative approaches to teaching and learning languages.


  • Joint intensive training event in Myanmar in March 2018. The aim was to support universities of Myanmar in strengthening Curriculum Development and Internationalisation practices. The training has been possible thanks to the financial support of Erasmus plus KA107 funding for staff mobility. Staff of the universities of Granada, Bologna and Vilnius worked together to carry out the training.


  • Joint organization with the University of Sarajevo (Bosnia Herzegovina) of the Second International Summer School on European Multilingualism that will take place at Sarajevo in the first half of July 2019. The initiative involves staff of at least 6 CG universities.


  • Organization of a workshop on models of university cooperation with Africa from the 2nd to the 4th of June 2019. The workshop will be held in Würzburg during the 2019 African festival


  • Online meeting on the effects of COVID-19 on development cooperation actions of universities in Europe


Ongoing/forthcoming activities

  • Joint organization with the University of St Petersburg the Third International Summer School on European Multilingualism from 27th June to 4th July 2020 has been suspended.  The project is postponed till next summer.


  • Development of Joint Master collaboration in the field of peace and conflict studies, including strengthening mobility opportunities for students and staff within Master programs of CG partner universities.
    Web-meeting on 26th November 2019; 6th March 2020 face to face meeting in Poitiers has been suspended; the project is in the concluding phase (programme defining for each partner, defining of mobility flow, short intensive course and conference planned for the spring 2022). The new meeting is scheduled for the start of the new school year.


  • Discussion and draft of a common declaration for the role of universities in development cooperation. Organization of a debate at the EU Parliament on the role of universities as development cooperation actors with relevant representatives of the Development Cooperation Committee of EU Parliament


  • Joint organization of initiatives on topics related to Colonial stereotypes /postcolonial Identity.


  • Joint organization of a CG Intensive International Staff Week with a focus on networking in the field of research as well as in the field of teaching for colleagues of universities from partner countries (to be discussed yet).


Contact person at the CG Office: Anna Quici (quici@coimbra-group.eu)