Aims and objectives
The overall objective of NATOUR project is to develop, validate and implement a joint PC-EU HEIs’ post-graduate study programme in the field of ecotourism and interpretive nature guiding in line with national and sectoral priorities of the Partner Countries and in accordance with EU higher education quality standards. The development of such a programme corresponds with the priority of the three PCs to exploit ecotourism sector as a means of economic growth, at the same time ensuring sustainable use of natural resources and well-being of local communities.
The specific objectives include:
1. Improve understanding of the sectoral requirements for knowledge, skills and attitudes of a graduate in the field of ecotourism and nature guiding in the Partner Countries;
2. Support Partner Countries’ HEIs in the development of new post-graduate curriculum and learning content in ecotourism and interpretive nature guiding and build capacity of their staff to apply innovative methodologies for teaching in the field;
3. Develop and implement a quality assurance system which guarantees delivery of an EU-compliant joint post-graduate study programme in the Partner Countries’ HEIs;
4. Create physical and virtual environment conductive to the joint PC-EU implementation of the post-graduate programme in ecotourism and interpretive nature guiding and lay foundation for PC-EU HEIs’ collaboration in joint delivery of the programme;
5. Enhance access of the professional community to high quality open educational resources in the field of ecotourism and nature guiding.
The project objectives address the needs of the target group in each Partner Country, as their achievement will allow:
– partner universities to close the gap between the sectoral demand for training of ecotourism professionals and the lack relevant education offers, particularly at tertiary, postgraduate level;
– academic staff to build capacity to design, deliver and assure quality of education and training in the field of ecotourism and nature guiding, in cooperation with partners from Europe;
– learners to acquire new professional qualification and potentially start or further develop a career in the ecotourism sector;
– ecotourism organisations (employers) to get access to knowledgeable labour force committed to sustainability and able to improve quality in the provision of tourism services;
– public organisations whose mandate involves ecotourism development and environmental protection to mainstream the development of relevant competences and skills through higher education system.