Participation by Marta Disegna, Senior Lecturer AFE Department
From the 15th to the 19th of January 2018 I had the opportunity to participate to the ERASMUS+ staff mobility exchange project, hosted by La Sapienza University in Rome (Italy). This is the second year I had the chance to work for a week in an International University and I always come back full of energy and ideas to share with my colleagues. La Sapienza University is one of the oldest and largest Universities in Europe.
I spent 5 days on the same campus and I got lost thousands of times! The daily life in La Sapienza is complicated. Every problem takes ages to be solved (I got the internet connection on the last day!), to introduce or modify a regulation you need to go through a very long process, and to know the results of an internal bid you need to wait a couple of years (this happened to me and my colleagues). Everyone seems always very stressed but then when lunchtime arrives, as if by miracle, time stops.
You meet with your small group of colleagues in a close “trattoria” (there is no canteen for staff members) and you share research ideas, problems, bids, teaching and supervision experiences, etc. Hard to believe, but the lunchtime in Roma is actually the most productive time during the day!
The first day I met the Head of Department of social and economic sciences and a full professor of the Department of Statistics, representative of the ERASMUS exchange project, to explore the opportunity to establish an agreement between the two Universities. Despite the fact La Sapienza doesn’t currently offer any Bachelor degrees in the Economic, Finance, Accounting, and Management fields, we believe there is room to establish a double Master degree or activate an ERASMUS Mundus project.
The second day I had the opportunity to share some teaching and academic practices with a group of colleagues. I had the opportunity to learn dedicated R library to teach Time series at Master level and since Prof. D’Urso has recently published a book on Business statistics I had the opportunity to discuss with him different ways of teaching statistics at first year students. This meeting helped me to improve my skills and learn different practices to teach quantitative units to hopefully increase students’ satisfaction.
The third and fourth days have been dedicated to write the draft paper of a recent conference presentation co-authored by Prof. D’Urso while during the last day I had the final “research lunch” to discuss ideas of possible future researches.
The Erasmus project gave me the opportunity to share and discuss academic problems and practices with staff members of another University, helping each other to find appropriate and realistic solutions. This project has been a real boost both for my research and (I hope) for my teaching. It gave me the opportunity to acquire new teaching instruments, to think about new research projects, and to encourage the establishment of new joint degrees. Thanks to this experience, I hope to develop new joint research supervision and partnerships in the future.