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Media Release

Date: 3rd December 2019
Circulation: For immediate release to Print & Online Media in Malta
TITLE: Advenio eAcademy and the five collaborating universities hold Graduation event for the first Graduates of the MHEI-ME, Masters in Entrepreneurship programme.

At a Graduation ceremony held on the 29th November 2019 at Castello Dei Baroni in Wardija, Mr. Stephen P. D’Alessandro, Executive Director on behalf of Advenio eAcademy as lead partner in the Erasmus+ co funded project, MHEI-ME, Multiple Higher Educational Institutions – Masters in Entrepreneurship Programme stated that he felt honoured and proud to host the graduation of the first students. This intensive online programme is awarded by Advenio eAcademy in collaboration with five European partner HEIs – Szent Istvan University, Hungary; University of Zilina, Slovakia; University of Bari Aldo Moro, Italy; Poltava University of Economics & Trade, Ukraine and University of Ioannina, Greece. This online certified Level 7 programme is co-funded by Erasmus+ and is accredited by the Malta Further and Higher Education Authority, MFHEA. Mr. D’Alessandro expressed his thanks to the partner HEIs and the members of Faculty who made this programme such a uniquely international experience. In closing his address, he congratulated the graduates for their dedication and commitment to successfully complete the programme wishing them success in their entrepreneurial careers.

Prof Gyorgy Neszmelyi, as Academic Director of Advenio eAcademy spoke about the commitment of the students to follow and successfully complete the programme. The Intake 2018-19 cohort commenced in April 2018 with students coming from seven countries including Azerbaijan, Ghana, Kenya, Malta, Slovakia, Ukraine and Zambia. These students were required to complete nine subject course modules, an internship and to research and compile an investor ready business plan. Throughout the programme, weekly on-line tutorial sessions were held for students to interact with Faculty and get direction to their studies. Students had to contend with online course work, forum contributions, assignments, evaluation tests, completion of work packages during their internship and the challenges of developing a business plan ready for a potential investor’s evaluation. He commented on the international perspective provided not only through the course content design, but most importantly through the interaction and communications between the international Faculty and student group.

Prof Jenny Pange, Director of Lab of New Technologies and Distance Learning and Former Dean of the School of Education at University of Ioannina, Greece addressed the audience on behalf of the Partner HEIs. Dr. Pange spoke about the unique experiences gained by the Page 2 of 5 participating higher educational institutions in developing and implementing such a state-of the-art programme. She spoke of the collaboration, the review and discussions involved to reach agreement on the development of suitable online course content that provided the required academic rigour at Level 7 as well as the pragmatic approaches required by entrepreneurs in launching and managing SMEs.

Mr. Oleksandr Ustian as the first placed student on the programme then addressed the audience. He spoke about the impact the MHEI-ME programme had on him and his colleagues. The intensive course work and the international perspectives provided throughout the programme encouraged him and his colleagues to prepare their business plan with the intention of actually investing and implementing it. This provided the academic background and framework to entrepreneurship, but it also served as the foundation for the development of their business ideas which they have already launched or plan to launch in the near future.

Mr. Kurt Tabone, Courses Co-ordinator at Advenio eAcademy then called for the students to approach the podium to receive their awards or degrees, namely the Award in Entrepreneurship, the Post-Graduate Certificate in Entrepreneurship and the Masters in Entrepreneurship.

Certificates of appreciation were also presented by Advenio eAcademy to the representatives of the partner higher educational institutes in recognition of their contribution to the success of the programme:- Prof. Radovan Madlenak – Vice dean for science and research of the Faculty of Operation and Economics of Transport and Communications at University of Zilina in Slovakia; Prof. Agostino Marengo – Assistant Professor at University of Bari in Italy; Prof. Oleksii Nestulya – Rector at Poltava University of Economics and Trade in Ukraine; Prof. Jenny Pange – Director of Lab of New Technologies and Distance Learning and Former Dean of the School of Education at University of Ioannina in Greece; Prof. Tamas Toth – Vice-Rector for Educational Affairs at Szent Istvan University in Hungary.

Ing. David Dingli, Director of Advenio eAcademy gave the closing address. He spoke about the need to understand the evolving international market opportunities and to use the contacts and networks developed in the course of the programme as a foundation for their continued development. Ing Dingli announced the setting up of the Alumni Association and the importance of the new graduates maintaining contact between themselves and with AeA and the partner HEIs in the years ahead.

The graduation presentations were followed by a reception to celebrate the success of the first MHEI-ME graduates.

Figure 1: Faculty Members, Graduates and Guests during the Graduation Ceremony

Figure 2: Mr. Oleksandr Ustian receiving his degree certificate from the Board of Directors at Advenio eAcademy as the first placed student (Left to Right: Ing. David Dingli, Prof. Gyorgy Neszmelyi, Mr. Stephen D’Alessandro and Mr. Oleksandr Ustian)

Figure 3: Faculty Members and Graduates (From Left to Right – Prof. Oleksii Nestulya, Ms. Oksana Fenich, Mr. Robert Micallef, Mr. Vladyslav Borysenko, Mr. Edmund Mallinguh, Prof. Jenny Pange, Prof. Gyorgy Neszmelyi, Mr. Stephen D’Alessando, Ing. David Dingli, Prof. Radovan Madlenak, Ms. Ivette Szabo Szeles, Ms. Yuliia Perehuda, Prof. Agostino Marengo, Mr. Oleksandr Ustian and Mr. Mario Zammit