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Virtual Collaboration in European Teacher Education


The project ‘Virtual Collaboration in European Teacher Education’ will design, develop and implement virtual exchange (VE) formats in the initial teacher education programmes of the participating higher education institutions, namely the University of Education Freiburg, Germany and the Aix Marseille University, France. The aim is to enhance student teachers’ professional awareness as European teachers, by developing their digital and intercultural skills, as well as their transnational professional attitude.

The VE will be integrated in general teacher education courses, conducted jointly by the participating higher education institutions for two consecutive academic semesters, and will be continuously improved, based on the results of an online survey for participating student teachers and teacher educators. Lessons learned will culminate in the production of a course manual for teacher educators and will be disseminated through a professional development workshop, a scientific article, and a conference presentation. The creation of a VE alumni network will also be envisaged, so that students can share their VE experiences and stay invested in the process of integrating VEs throughout the continuum of teacher professional learning.

The project will essentially enable the participating higher education institutions to become active members of international VE networks, promoting their expertise in developing VE formats in European teacher education.

Project objectives

  1. Virtual Exchange formats are developed and integrated into courses and curricula of the participating higher education institutions.
  2. Student teachers‘ professional awareness as future European Teachers is enhanced.
  3. VE formats help student teachers and teacher educators to enhance their intercultural competence, their digital and language skills.
  4. The IT services at the University of Education Freiburg are utilised to enable the synchronous and asynchronous interaction of both German and French student teachers.
  5. An online alumni network of VE participants is created.
  6. The participating higher education institutions become members of international VE networks to promote the development of VE in European teacher education.

Project details

Project name: Virtual Collaboration in European Teacher Education

Project management: Prof. Dr. Vasileios Symeonidis

Team: Jens Alber / Lukas Kaiser

Contact person: Jens Alber: jens.alber@ph-freiburg.de 

Project partner: Aix Marseille University, France (link

Funding: German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

Project duration: 03/2023 - 12/2023


The Virtual Exchange is part of the course 'International and comparative perspectives on education, teaching and diversity' by Prof. Dr. Vasileios Symeonidis. Students can register here.


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You can also find the Initial Newsletter published in July 2023 here.

Guest Lecture Maria Impedovo 19.04.2023

Maria Impedovo, professor at Aix-Marseille university, is giving a lecture on "Challenges facing teacher education in France and European openings":

According to the OECD, only 25% of French teachers consider themselves well or very well prepared following their initial teacher education (TALIS, 2018). Moreover, the research in France highlights a degradation of working conditions in secondary schools  (Fotinos & Horenstein, 2011). These challenges regarding teacher professionalism in France are discussed in light of the European and global models and perspectives.

Date and time: Wednesday, 19th April 2023, 18.00-19.30 in room KG 4 222


Jens Alber


Vasileios Symeonidis


Project team

Prof. Dr. Vasileios Symeonidis

Project manager

Jens Alber

Project assistant

Lukas Kaiser

Student assistant

Project partner

INSPE Aix-Marseille, France