Asterousia Hybrid University

Applications period has ended.


If you are a post graduate student, young scientist, member of a MAB Youth Group, educator or manager working on Biosphere Reserves and other designated areas, then, this online course is for you!

The course is actually the virtual part of the Asterousia Hybrid University on Management of Biosphere Reserves and other designated areas, and will run from 30 November to 20 December 2020. 

Following the successful Summer Universities organised jointly by MIO-ECSDE and the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe (Venice Office) the 2020 Summer University is taking place in a hybrid format, due to the COVID19 pandemic.

The first part of the University was held through a few face-to-face sessions (5-7/10/2020) in the newly established Asterousia Biosphere Reserve in Crete (Greece), with a restricted number of trainnees (Greek only) so as to prepare several parts of this online course. 


The online course in a nutshell : 

  • Duration: Three weeks, starting from 30 November to 20 December 2020. 
  • Format: It combines asynchronous (self-paced) and synchronous sessions (weekly live meetings).
  • Commitment: The total training time for learners is approx.15 hours (~5 hours/week).
  • Participants: MAB Youth Group members, post graduate students, young scientists, educators and managers of Biosphere Reserves and other designated areas, with a priority to be given to applicants from European and Mediterranean countries.
  • Class size: The expected number of the learners will be approx.120.
  • Language: English.
  • Certification: Learners who succesfully complete 80% of the course assignments will get the course's certificate co-signed by the UNESCO Regional Office for Science and Culture in Europe and the UNESCO Chair & Network on Sustainable Development Management and Education in the Mediterranean.
  • Cost: Thanks to the kind contribution of the organizers this course will be free of charge for all participants!


Learning goals - What will learners gain from this online course?

  • A better understanding of Biosphere Reserves as beacons of sustainability, and ideal places to apply the SDGs and the Agenda 2030, amid a pandemic.
  • Access to examples of successful preparation and nomination to become a BR.
  • A range of strategies and methods for effective management, branding, and communication of BRs, other designated areas.
  • Access to examples and initiatives for a greater role of youth in management.
  • A better understanding of why and how Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) with today’s challenges, needs to be further strengthened.
  • Access to a wealth of online resources.
  • Networking with people with similar interests and concerns.


Learning content 

  • Video lectures from invited international experts (UNESCO/MAB, UNESCO Venice Office, EU, etc.)
  • Online resources (toolkits, ppts, videos, etc.) that examine cases of effective BR management, Youth role, ESD case-studies, etc. 
  • Video interviews & consultations with people from the newly established Asterousia BR.
  • Three live 1.5 hr-long zoom meetings with the experts and the entire learner group (offered once a week). 


Course outline

The timetable of the course is presented below. Every week we focus on a “cluster of topics” with a team of experts. Learners follow the course on their own pace (asynchronously) and have the chance to interact with the experts in a live (synchronous) session. 





Secretariat contacts:

Tel. 0030 2103247490   Email:    W. 



Monday, November 30, 2020 1:00 AM
Sunday, December 20, 2020