University of Nicosia: Inaugural meeting for the “VHEalthLab”

The main objective of the project is the creation of virtual biology laboratories.

The inaugural meeting of the “Virtual Health Lab in Higher Education – VHEalthLab” project, took place on 1-2 February. The meeting was attended by representatives of organisations and educational institutions from Cyprus, Greece, Spain, Greece and Romania.

During the opening session, the coordinator of the project, from the University of Nicosia, Dr. Stella Nicolaou, Associate Professor of Immunology at the School of Life and Health Sciences, spoke about the need to create open access laboratories that can be used in Health Sciences as a way to replace or support face-to-face laboratory work.

During the meetings that followed, the partners discussed in detail the design of the workshops by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the creation of pedagogical guidelines and promotion of the virtual workshops by the University of Santiago de Compostela and the Cyprus Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth and the integration of the material into the educational platform by Ascendia SA. Particular emphasis was placed on the open accessibility of the material as well as on accessibility for people with learning difficulties.

About the project

The “VHEalthLab” project was officially launched in December 2023 and is funded for two years by the European Union (Erasmus+ Cooperation partnerships in Higher Education). The University of Nicosia is the scientific lead institution of the project, while the Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth from Cyprus also participates.

Its main objective is the creation of Virtual Labs (VL) in Biology. Laboratory experiments are a vital educational tool. They help students develop 21st century skills such as complex problem solving, creativity, critical thinking and collaboration. The closure of schools during the pandemic brought to light numerous problems in the teaching of STEM laboratory courses, both in tertiary and secondary education. Face-to-face labs have, until recently, been the norm, but the use of VL is gaining momentum, both in STEM fields and at all educational levels.

Most of the high quality VLs available are either not freely accessible or not suitable for the curricula being implemented. During the pandemic, the education world faced the challenge of how students could complete their lab work and gain the aforementioned skills and competencies without the need for physical presence.

For more information about the programme, please contact the project Coordinator at the University of Nicosia at or by phone, 22841783.

Source: University of Nicosia | Latest News (