The project’s main pedagogical approach is the cross-border assignment (CBA) where students, faculty and SMEs work closely together across national borders. The CBAs directly link SMEs with faculty and students abroad; i.e. with their target markets. 

What is a cross-border assignment (CBA)?

A CBA provides a genuine learning environment, where students and SMEs work closely together across national borders. The CBAs directly link SMEs with faculty and students abroad; i.e. with their target markets. The CBAs can be e.g. to:

  • develop market entry plans
  • participate in business fairs
  • test products and services
  • gather information about financing and business support
  • other activities for successful internationalisation of SMEs

 There are 3 main players to a CBA:

1.  A team of teachers in each partner school. The teachers are the key persons that decide what cross-border assignments to accept into their courses. The assignments should be possible to accomplish in the time frame of the course (or other study module) and they should lead to learning outcomes in line with the overall aim of the course. The teachers also provide guidance to the students during the CBA.

2.  The students that conduct the CBA. They form teams where necessary competencies are available. They are also in close contact with their teacher and the SME abroad at least 3 times during the assignment:  before the start to make sure goals are clear to both parties, mid-term to report status and to agree on the next step, in the end to present their final result to the company and to get feed-back on their result.

3.  The SMEs that provide the CBAs. They assign a business tutor to closely guide the students and answer the company-related questions that will arise. The business tutors will be available either in the EDU-SMEs e-learning environment or on-campus.

Due to the geographical distance between the SMEs and the students, information- and communication technologies play a vital role throughout the CBAs.

Learn more about the pedagogical model for cross-border cooperation between education and business here.