Expanding academic horizons sustainably – a new project starting

The first Horizon project in Technology unit at LAB University of Applied Sciences is called “Sustainable Horizons” and it started in September 2022. The project is led by the University of Algarve from Portugal while LAB is participating as a partner in the consortium. The main idea of the project is to promote sustainable development in the education sector and among stakeholders of the participating universities of the consortium. Particularly, the project aims to contribute in exploring the situation of sustainable campus environments and opportunities to develop them in all partner universities as well as sustainable practices in education combining online and contact learning. Other main issues in the project will deal with the encouragement of entrepreneurship and the creation of sound links to the industry and private sector as well as widening relationship to other international and non-academic networks.

A new high concrete building which is the home of the faculty of technology in University of Huelva in Southern Spain, the region of Andalusia. The façade of the building is covered by metal strips which give shade to the windows in the hot climate.
Picture 1: Faculty of technology has a brand-new building in University of Huelva (Picture: Eeva Aarrevaara)

University of Algarve is also leading the programme part which offers online PhD studies for the chosen students in Asian, African and Latin American countries. The idea is to provide opportunity to work with post-graduate studies in their home country and in the future work as experts in the same location.

Partners in South, Central and North Europe

According to the project plan “Sustainable Horizons Alliance was initially constituted in 2019 and formally signed in January 20, 2020 by six young HEIs, open to research and innovation, located in small cities within EU periphery, including both widening countries (WidC) and high performing countries (HighPC)” (European Commission). The consortium includes partners from European countries as well as associated partners outside Europe: University of Huelva (Spain), Banat University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine of Timișoara (Romania), Ludwigshafen University of Business and Society LUBS (Germany), Tomas Bata University in Zlín (Czech Republic) as well as associate partners from Chile, Angola and Mozambique. Educational cooperation with University of Huelva has already been established through MUrCS project, Erasmus Mundus programme Master in Urban Climate and Sustainability, which started already 2018. (Emmanuel et al. 2022, 10.)

The photo presents four people standing in front of a high façade on which there is an art work presenting a big sea horse which is partly visible in the photo. The colours of the sea horse are yellow and blue, the wall is grey concrete façade.
Picture 2. Meeting with the project coordinators in University of Algarve. The art work on the wall is constructed by different fractions of waste discovered on the local seashore. The whole figure presents a sea horse which is a protected species in the area. (Image: Alexandra Maksheeva)

Senior lecturer Anne-Marie Tuomala from LAB has been involved with the project since the preparation phase and continues as the project manager. The team members Eeva Aarrevaara and Alexandra Maksheeva have paid visits to the international offices of University of Huelva and University of Algarve in the beginning of September and have met with the directors of the international offices and vice-rectors of both universities to discuss the start and future of the project (Picture 2). The meetings went very warmly and insightful, as exchange of the experience and knowledge is always very beneficial for everyone in the academic field.

LAB University of Applied Sciences will contribute to supporting sustainable campus development projects with student cooperation as well as to enhance more cooperation between education and businesses, regional councils and societies.


Eeva Aarrevaara is principal lecturer in LAB Technology unit and is responsible of MUrCS Master education in Lahti.  

Alexandra Maksheeva works in LAB Technology unit as RDI specialist and coordinator of MUrCS Master programme as well as in international relationships.


Emmanuel, R., Aarrevaara, E., Duenas, J., Thomson, C., Gallagher, C., Maksheeva, A. & Keya, S. (eds.). 2021. MUrCS Proceedings 2021. Lahti: LAB University of Applied Sciences. Cited 15 Oct 2022. Available at https://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-827-400-4

European Commission. European Research Executive Agency. Horizon Europe Widening – Who should apply. Cited 17 Oct 2022. Available at https://rea.ec.europa.eu/horizon-europe-widening-who-should-apply_en

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