Consortium Agreement 010407



The Virtual Classroom for Social Work in Europe


1          Background

1.1 Definitions

VIRCLASS:        name of the project: Virtual Classroom for Social Work in Europe

CMG                    Consortium management group

HiB                       Høgskolen i Bergen: Bergen University College, administrative centre of the project

DG                       Development group

RG                       Research Group

TG                        Teacher Group

PO                        Project Owner: Bergen University College

PL                        Project leader

PI                         Partner Institutions

VSC                      Virclass Steering Committee


1.2         Partners

The following partners agree upon
·        Developing the project Virtual Classroom for Social Work in Europe (VIRCLASS)
·        contributing and partici­pating in the project
·        The implementation of the VIRCLASS courses as optional courses into the regular study programmes of each partner
·        a shared financial solution for partners involved in the project:
P0        Bergen University College, Norway
                        project leader: Anne Karin Larsen
P1        School of Health Sciences, Jønkøping University, Sweden
                        contact: Klas-Göran Olsson
P2        Complutense University Madrid, Spain
                        contact: Andres Arias Astray
P3        University of Applied Science Vorarlberg, Dornbirn, Austria
           contact: Anwin Weissenborn
P4        INHOLLAND University, Haarlem, The Netherlands
                        contact: Remmelt Veenkamp
P5        Miquel Torga University College, Coimbra, Portugal
           contact: Eduardo de Marques
P6        University of Parma, Italy
                        contact: Alessandro Bernazzoli
P7        University of Applied Science Mannheim
           Contact: Ulla Törnig

1.3         Consortium agreement

This agreement covers the administration and organisation of the VIRCLASS project.

It also covers cooperation in research projects and the development of new courses.


2.         Organisation

2.1         Consortium management group

1. The Consortium management group (CMG) is the General Assembly of the                VIRCLASS project.

2. The CMG consists of one representative of every partner. The partner will also                appoint a substitute.

3. The CMG elects the Chairman among the representatives. The CMG elects also    the members of the VSC according to par 2.3.2.

4. The CMG decides on the policy of the organisation, and is entitled to make decision concerning changes to the agreement.

5. The CMG meets at least once a year. In addition to this, online conferences can be arranged during the year.


2.2   Chairman CMG

The Chairman of the CMG is in charge of leading the assemblies and represents the CMG between meetings.


2.3 VIRCLASS Steering Committee

1. The VIRCLASS Steering Committee (VSC) is the executive committee.

2. The VSC consists of five members: the project leader (from HiB), one representative from the HiB administration, and one member from each of the three working groups: the Teacher group, the Research group and the Development group.

3. The VSC monitors the project and follows up financial aspects concerning the consortium.  

4. The VSC will draw up regulations for the organisation. This will be done within three months after establishing the consortium. The CMG will decide on the regulations.

5. The Project leader chairs the Steering Group meeting.

6. HiB (Department of Health and Social Science) is the secretariat of the Steering Group.

7. The VSC will be invited to attend the CMG-meetings. VSC members have a right to speak, not a right to vote in these meetings.

8. The VSC meets twice a year. In addition to this online meetings may be arranged, as needed. Where possible, meetings with all teachers can be arranged in combination with other meetings and Teacher Exchange agreements.


2.4   Project leader

1. The Project leader coordinates the project. S/He acts as the daily representative of the project, and is responsible for contacting the partners, for initiating partner meetings, for negotiations, accounting and project funding.

2. The Project leader will be nominated by the director of HiB.


2.5   Secretary CMG

The Chairperson of the VSC is also the secretary of the CMG. S/He will prepare the CMG-meetings in accordance with the Chairman of the CMG.


2.6   Personal union

A personal union between those who represents their organisation in the CMG and those elected in the VSC is not allowed, unless otherwise stated in this Agreement.


2.7   Teacher group (TG), Research group (RG) and Development group (DG)

1. Those, working for one of the partners, involved in teaching in the courses belong to the Teacher Group (TG). The TG group has responsibility for setting up courses for e-learning pedagogy and will meet twice a year.


The TG can be open for new non partner participants in the project (see 4.3).  


               2. Those, working for one of the partners, with special interests in research on e-

learning will be part of the Research Group (RG). This group will promote research based on the data from the VIRCLASS courses and cooperation among partners. The RG will promote applications for research projects.


3. Those, working for one of the partners, who would like to promote new ideas and proposals for new courses related to e-learning will be part of the Development Group (DG). The development of new courses should be developed as new projects within the VIRCLASS Consortium.

3.         Aims

The aims of this agreement are to:

1) Secure the continuation of the VIRCLASS e-learning courses in comparative                social work.

2) Promote international cooperation and learning of social work in Europe

3) Implement the VIRCLASS courses as optional courses in the ordinary social work programme.

4) Give the opportunity for international educational exchange through e-learning courses

5) Promote digital competence among students through participation in the educational programme

6) Promote the digital competence of teachers through courses in e-learning pedagogy for teachers

7) Promote English language competence by students and teachers

8) Promote knowledge, skills and understanding of multicultural perspectives on social work in Europe

9) Promote anti-oppressive practice and critical reflection in social work education

10)  Promote professional competence in social work in international and European contexts.

11) Commence the development of the courses with worldwide participation in mind.

12) Promote research on e-learning and pedagogy in social work education

4.         New consortium participants

1. The Consortium management group (CMG) decides whether or not to accept new consortium participants; once accepted, new participants are entitled to be represented in the CMG. Such decisions require unanimous approval of the CMG.


2. New partners should be institutions that offer at least courses at a BA-level in the field of Social Work and that are able to take part in all aspects of the VIRCLASS project.


3. Teachers from institutions that are not partners to this Agreement may be engaged as e-learning teachers and assessors for the courses, if the partner institutions cannot contribute to the resources and qualifications needed for running the educational programme. Decisions about this are taken by the VSC.


5.         Partner roles in VIRCLASS

5.1         Responsibilities

Every partner is expected to contribute to the best of their ability to com­plete the outcomes and products indicated in this Agreement and Annexes .

5.2         Entitlements

1. The partners share the costs for running the VIRCLASS courses according to Annex 1.

2. The partners are obliged to support one another by sharing com­petence and ideas.

3. In cases of disagreements each partner has the right to bring their views and complaints to the project leadership. If one of the partners does not agree with the outcome, the complaint may be brought before the VSC. An appeal will be possible to the CMG.

5.3         Contact and communication

1. Contact and exchanges of experiences, research reports, mutual support, models and other re­sults are generally performed over electronic networks, via the use of “it’s learning” and online conferences, without the need for investment in expensive communication software. The VSC decides on standards and necessary development of such services to the benefit of all partners.

2. Information about the project will be presented in the website

3. Funding of meetings must be supported by the partner institutions or by use of Teacher Exchange grants when possible, or by specific project grants. All partners should establish bilateral agreements for teacher and student exchange.

5.4         New contracts

All or some of the VIRCLASS partners, jointly or individually,  are free to apply for further funding or extension for their total or parts of  the project activities beyond or parallel to the tasks specified in the VIRCLASS contract, Annex I. Such extension may be sought from other EU program­mes, as well as from other national or international Research & Development programmes. Each partner is free to exploit the results and findings from VIRCLASS, pro­vided such applications are not in conflict with other points in this agreement, in related or extended projects.

Information about such applications should be given all partners.


6.       Finances

6.1         Partner contribution

1. The administrative costs of the VIRCLASS educational programme will be financed by partner contributions (see Annex I). Partner contribution will be disbursed to HiB once a year, at the end of January

2. Modules start once a year under the coordination of HiB (see Annex II). Partners will deliver teaching and assessment tasks according to their workload and the calculation, specified in the Annex IV. This will be settled on mutual terms.


6.2           Accounting, reports
1. Reports of work performed, in accordance with Annexes, specified for each partner and the work plan, with total hours of work, costs, travel and other specified expenses, shall be submitted by each and every partner to the project leadership in time according to the appointments made.
2. The VSC will present the financial statement by 1.July each year to the CMG that will decide whether to approve.

7.         Products/Outcomes

7.1         Ownership

1. Ownership of pre-existing knowledge and material will be maintained by the partner that brought it into the project.


2. The independent use of pre-existing knowledge and material by another partner in a partner’s own activity requires a written agreement between the parties.


3. Each partner will own all project results produced by the project, subject to the restrictions stated in 7.2


7.2         VIRTUAL BOOK

1. The VIRTUAL BOOK – A Guide to Social Work in Europe is produced as a Learning Resource specific and exclusively for the VIRCLASS Educational Courses.

2. The copyright to the Learning Resources in the VIRTUAL BOOK – A guide to Social Work in Europe belongs to HiB. Partners involved in the production of this specific Learning Resource may use their own work (lecture, photo, animations etc) without prior permission by HiB.

3. The Video Case in the Virtual Book cannot be presented or used in educational situations other than the VIRCLASS Educational Programme.

7.3         Joint outcomes

1. Data, research and evaluation reports specified as part of the project outcomes and produced collaboratively by the partners will be treated as commonly owned products of the VIRCLASS partners.


2. Each partner may use these products in their own research, teaching and development of e-learning activities, without asking permission from the other partners.

7.4         Partner products


1. Outcomes of VIRCLASS which are the product of one or more partners, not a general VIRCLASS outcome, e.g., a particular e-learning course, a printed book or an article, shall be owned by the partner/partners generating the result/s, always subject to national and international copyrights for scientific and technical products.


2. It is the right of the partner/partners concerned to allow others to apply or use such products, on conditions to be agreed on a case-by-case basis between the owning partner/partners and the licensee.



8.1         Validity and evaluation

1. This agreement is valid from 1st of April, 2007.

2. Before 1st of July, 2008 this agreement will be evaluated.  After this every two years an evaluation will take place.

3. Each partner may decide to leave the project. Leaving will be announced by the partner, after an evaluation, in writing to the secretary of the CMG.  The decision will be executed not sooner than one year after the decision has been announced.

4. If leaving the project, the intellectual rights on the work, done by this partner, stay with HiB. The leaving partner will comply with his financial obligations of the project within a month. The leaving partner will not be allowed to use the results of the project after leaving.

5. The CMG will decide on when and how to end the project.


8.2 Applicable law

This agreement will be ruled by Norwegian law.


9.         Annexes

9.1         Annex I

Organizing the future VIRCLASS Productions

9.2         Annex II

Curriculum Plan Social Work in Europe 2006/07
9.3         Annex III
Work plan


9.4              Annex IV
Teaching and assessor agreement in VIRCLASS




8     Consortium Agreement, signatures

            The undersigned partners agree to the conditions and specifications of VIRCLASS Consortium laid out in this docu­ment, discussed and agreed upon by partner representatives at the first partner meeting in Bergen, November 23 – 25, 2006. The agreement is based on the proposal text with its annexes 1, 2, 3 and 4. Sharing of responsibilities, efforts and economy is specified in Annexes to this agreement.

P0          Project leader institution, BERGEN UNIVERSITY COLLEGE



Signatures and stamp:                                   Bergen, Norway, ...../....., 2007



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 Director Nils Mæhle                                     Anne Karin Larsen

Legal representative name and title                           Project leader




Signatures and stamp:                                   Jønkøping, Sweden, ....../......, 2007



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                                                                Klas-Göran Olsson  

Legal representative, name and title             project contact



Signatures and stamp:                                   Madrid, Spain ....../......, 2007

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                                                                  Andres Arias

Legal representative, name and title               project contact




Signatures and stamp:                                   Dornbirn, Austria ....../......, 2007



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                                                                  Answin Weissenborn

     Legal representative, name and title             project contact


            P4       INHOLLAND UNIVERSITY, Haarlem


Signatures and stamp:                       Haarlem, The Netherlands ....../......, 2007



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                                                                  Remmelt Veenkamp

     Legal representative, name and title            project contact




Signatures and stamp:                                  Coimbra, Portugal ....../......, 2007


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                                                                  Eduardo Marques

     Legal representative, name and title            project contact


            P6       UNIVERSITY OF PARMA


Signatures and stamp:                                  Parma, Italy ....../......, 2007


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                                                                 Alessandro Bernazzoli

     Legal representative, name and title           project contact





Signatures and stamp:                                   Mannheim, Germany……../………, 2007


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                                                                          Ulla Törnig

Legal representative, name and title                project contact