International Collaboration for Erasmus’ EcoMind Initiative in Higher Education

Recent research highlights the alarming decline in mental health and well-being across diverse social groups, including university students, attributable to a growing disconnection from natural ecosystems. In response, there is a pressing call to integrate an “EcoMind” mindset into education.

In light of these findings, this project involves collaborative efforts from Slovenia, Latvia, Portugal, and Cyprus. The team including in FTHub Alex Gesse, Marta Ayats, Inga Dreimane, and Sonia Juarez; Rīga Stradiņš University, University of Maribor, and Cyprus University of Technology, aims with this project to cultivate digital and green capabilities within higher education systems.

With a funding of 250,000 EUR, the project focuses on developing the Smart GreenTouch Digital Toolkit. This innovative toolkit aims to connect users to mental health resources and mindfulness practices, fostering stress reduction, balance, and a sense of well-being. Additionally, the project will conduct a pilot study on integrating the EcoMind mindset in higher education settings and develop an E-Course aimed at managing mental health with the EcoMind mindset for sustainable educational outcomes.

This collaboration marks a significant step towards integrating EcoMind principles into higher education. By nurturing a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness between humans and the environment, the initiative aims to cultivate a new generation of leaders equipped to address pressing challenges while promoting mental well-being and sustainability.

Recognized as essential for future higher education and sustainable development, nature interventions have been shown to foster critical competencies such as problem-solving and critical thinking. GreenTouch: EcoMind serves as a bridge between conventional academic disciplines and the natural environment, enabling future leaders to make informed decisions about environmental stewardship.

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