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From 14 till 16 March ACA attended the first General Assembly (GA) of the Western Balkans Alumni Association (WBAA), which took place in Tirana, Albania. The occasion gathered more than 170 WBAA members from the Western Balkans – alumni of EU mobility and exchange programmes, some of whom also members of ESAA (Erasmus+ Students and Alumni Association, which brings together Erasmus Mundus Alumni Association, Erasmus Student Network, Oceans and garagErasmus).
As the first GA of the association, the event served to officially appoint the Regional Board, establish the statute, governance and membership principles, but also to introduce the community manager as an intermediary between the members, their representative bodies and European Commission. The GA was also an occasion to present the ongoing projects by WBAA members and to announce the upcoming WBAA Call for Projects, which will be launched in April with a total budget of EUR 80 000. A second Call for Projects will be published after the summer with a total budget of over EUR 40 000. Its aim is to fund a number of members-driven projects, ranging from conferences and info events to IT tools development and knowledge sharing activities.
In addition, the members subscribed to their preferred Working Groups, which will work together in the areas of projects, research, academic and career development, internal affairs and communications & IT. ACA will also be involved in one of the Working Groups, namely the one focused on research. The initial discussions and preparations have already taken place with the view of running a tracer study (graduate survey) in the region. The initial brainstorming was coordinated by WBAA and Martin Unger of the Institute of Advanced Studies from Austria (IHS), one of the partners already running the EUROGRADUATE pilot study in 8 European countries.
The next WBAA GA, announced for March 2020, will take place in Pristina, Kosovo.