Erasmus+, a chance for personal growth and inspiration

In the beginning of December, and almost a year later than planned, Svein Are and I – the UiT improvement team – traveled to London to visit our colleagues at Middlesex University. The trip was part of the Erasmus+ mobility programme and we were about to join the business enhancement team for a whole week. In addition, I had never been in London, so I was quite excited.


At Middlesex we were warmly welcomed, and with Nichole Dunne-Watts as our manager for the week, we were in good hands. In addition to working with the business enhancement team we also met their CI (Continuous Improvement) practitioners, had a guided tour around campus, visited the student helpdesk center UniHelp, had a lunch meeting with the Chief People Officer, presented the UiT Service Design project and participated in a Lean HE UK South steering group meeting. During the week we had many opportunities to share experiences and current best practice on continuous improvement and business enhancement methodologies. Amongst all the new ideas, low code automation is one to be tested back home at UiT.


I’m so grateful for the opportunity to visit and become part of another team. I know both Svein Are and I have acquired new knowledge and gained new skills relevant for our job at UiT. We have also strengthened our relationships with the team at Middlesex and I have no doubt we will continue to collaborate in the future.

Being away from home almost made me feel I was on a holiday, not at work of course, but in the evenings. When I’m home I usually drive my kids to different activities in the afternoons, but now I could be a tourist in London. We even managed to see the lighting of the famous Norwegian Christmas tree at Trafalgar Square.


The Christmas holiday is getting closer and with a new year we get new opportunities. For the next year I would like to encourage all my colleagues at UiT to explore how others work with similar job tasks that you do. Perhaps you could shadow a colleague at another department or faculty, or maybe visit colleagues from another university in or outside of Norway. I will be more than willing to share my experience in writing Erasmus+ applications, so feel free to get in touch if you have any questions.

-Karin Eilertsen

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A taste of a successful online conference

Online-600x600-Lean-HE-Conference-This October we had planned to travel to Glasgow to present at the international Lean in Higher Education Conference. As it came closer, it was obvious that the conference could not be held as a traditional face-to-face event. For our part it was both disappointing not being able to visit Glasgow, and at the same time invigorating to experience a novel way to take part in a conference. Many questions presented themselves as we planned for the event. Would it feel like a conference, how could we deliver an interactive workshop online and would we be able to network and meet colleagues in informal ways?

Over the last two years, we have learned how to deliver workshops online, knowing full well that we have to take a different approach compared to a face-to-face environment. To some extent, online facilitation and workshops can be just as fruitful as “the real deal”. It is for instance far easier to use digital tools, creating live output.

Our main concern was how the online conference could deliver value when it came to networking and connectivity. After the full three days, we were amazed. On my part, I was clearly entering the “conference bubble” when it came to learning and inspiration – and for large parts also for the networking (both the formal and informal parts). The brilliant people participating aside: The main reasons for this were:

  • the thorough professional preparation from the conference team at Strathclyde University, with John Hogg at the wheel, and
  • The use of a professional online conference platform.

Conference and learning sessions aside, my reflections quickly turns to our own organization. Would we be able to deliver an online conference experience as good as this one? I believe we couldn’t as of now. I do believe we have the capability to do so when it comes to having dedicated and innovative people, but I also believe we are in dire need of a professional online conference platform to cover the needs for the next few years. It is simply not enough to use MS Teams or Zoom solemnly, to deliver high quality online conferences.

-Svein Are Tjeldnes

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