VALS: Virtual Alliances for a Learning Society

The motivation behind the VALS project has its origin in a need, shared by all partners, to forge greatly improved links between higher education students and their teachers, and on the other hand the businesses where those students will find employment. In this the consortium is representative of a much wider challenge facing European industry in the education of tomorrow’s knowledge workers, and their integration in the workplace. The partners also share an understanding of how this need can be addressed. Large sector of the European economy are now mediated by online communications and collaboration, both within a single company, and in the collaboration between organisations. Nevertheless, mobility of students in placements and internships in companies relies on the local connections, which higher education institutions have developed, and the location of placements is restricted by the high costs of relocation and living expenses at any significant distance from the home institution. The solution is to create virtual placements. These will make use of the technology which drives the professional environment to organise and carry out placements.


Francisco José García-Peñalvo, David Griffiths , Juan Cruz-Benito, Edwin Veenendaal, Achilleas Achilleos, Scott Wilson, Georgia Kapitsaki, "Understanding the barriers to virtual student placements in the Semester of Code", Education in the Knowledge Society, EKS Journal, vol. 17, n. 1, 2016.

Francisco José García-Peñalvo, J. Cruz-Benito, D. Griffiths and A. Achilleos, "Virtual Placements Management Process Supported by Technology: Proposal and First Results of the Semester of Code", in IEEE RITA Journal, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 47-54, Feb. 2016, (IEEE-RITA 2016).


Achilleas Achilleos, BSc, MSc, PhD - Lead Researcher