Forestry Higher Education Advancement in Laos (ForHeal)

Erasmus+ Key Action 2: Capacity Building in the field of Higher Education

Project Reference: 585884-EPP-1-2017-1-FI-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP

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Project Period: 15/11/2017– 31/08/2021

Total Budget: 998 752,00 €

University of Helsinki’s Role – Coordinating Institution

University of Helsinki Team: Dr. Markku Kanninen, Dr. Nicholas HogarthMr. Dipjoy Chakma and Mr. Adrian Monge


To strengthen the forest-related higher education system in Laos to improve domestic capacity to sustainably manage forests for the benefit of the people and the environment, while at the same time enabling Laos to effectively respond to the demands and opportunities of international processes (e.g. Sustainable Development Goals, Paris Agreement on Climate Change).


  • Support three Lao HEIs to develop and improve their MSc forestry programs as follows
    • Curricular review & upgrade of existing MSc forestry program at NUoL
    • Curricular development & support for accreditation of a new MSc forestry program at SKU
    • Support SU in the development of a new MSc program; a roadmap for implementation
  • Improve employability of graduates by matching the curriculum with national & regional needs, promoting internships, & work experience opportunities
  • Support South-South cooperation & exchange to improve the quality and availability of teaching & training capacity in Laos
  • Strengthen cooperation between Lao & EU HEIs

Partner Institutions

Programme Countries

  • University of Helsinki (UH): VITRI
  • Czech University of Life Sciences (CULS): Faculty of Forestry and Wood Science
  • University of Freiburg (UF): Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources

Partner Country: Laos

  • National University of Laos (NUoL): Faculty of Forest Science
  • Savannakhet University (SKU): Faculty of Agriculture and Environment
  • Souphanouvong University (SU), Luang Prabang: Faculty of Agriculture and Forest Resources

Figure 1. Key academic focal areas & cross-cutting issues (Click the graph for details)


  • Six capacity-building activities in Laos (training, courses)
  • 12 visiting Lao academic staff exchange visits to EU HEIs
  • Preparation of new, or upgraded, curriculum
  • Connecting local HEIs to the Eduroam network
  • Establishment of traineeship program
  • Development of online/e-learning courses
  • Equipment upgrades

 Key Outcomes

  • Upgraded & further internationalized MSc program at NUoL
  • Accredited new MSc program at SKU up & running
  • Roadmap for developing a new MSc program at SU
  • Upgrade of teaching & academic tools in Lao HEIs
  • Institutionalized traineeship programs in at least two Lao HEIs
  • Enhanced South-South & North-South-South cooperation among HEIs