Apr 09, 2021 From November 2020 to March 2021, OPEN consortium has been successful in commanding swift purchase of the IT EQUIPMENT FOR IROs for 5 Lao PDR Higher Education Institutions, being instrumental to ensure partners’ involvement on virtual execution of the project. At project design stage, T1.4. PURCHASING IT EQUIPMENT FOR IROs was purposefully included within the framework of the WP1- PREPARATION in order to assert immediate action towards the completion of this task. According to the preliminary needs analysis conducted during the drafting process, OPEN consortium was aware of the compulsory obligation to equip IROs with much-needed IT infrastructure that enabled them to properly execute project activity. This urgency become more prominent when the COVID-19 pandemic forced OPEN consortium to conduct all actions exclusively online, which heavily depend on Internet connectivity and appropriate hardware. As such, all Lao PDR partners issued public tenders to purchase the following items : NUOL& UHS issued a joint tender to purchase the following items 6 laptops, 5 desktop computers, 4 notebooks, 1 printer, 2 projectors, 1 digital camera, 2 set of local network videoconference room and IR books. SU issued a tender to acquire 1 set of local network videoconference room, 3 laptops, 4 desktop computers, 1 videoconference software licence, 1 projector and IR books . CU issued its tenders to purchase 1 file hosting service, 1 external hard disk memory, 4 laptops, 3 desktop computers, 1 printer, 1 projector, 1 videoconference software licence, 1 videoconference hardware set-up, 1 camera and IR books. SU carried out a tender process to buy 1 set of local network videoconference room, 1 videoconference software, 1 projector, 3 laptops, 4 desktop computers, 1 file hosting service licence and IR books. The prompt and successful purchase of IT equipment for the IROs has been instrumental in enabling full involvement of Lao PDR partners in project activities such as the T.7.2. VIRTUAL PROJECT MANAGEMENT MEETINGS, participation in WP3 CAPACITY BUILDING actions (i.e.: 1st Online Training in November 2020 and 2nd Online Training in June-July 2021) as well as cooperative drafting of institutional policy documents such as inputs to the T.2.2. IRO MANAGEMENT GUIDELINES and collegiate elaboration T2.3 INTERN. STRATEGIC PLANNING. The OPEN / “Opening Laos Higher Education System to internationalization strategies” project is a Key Action 2 of Erasmus +: Cooperation for innovation and exchange of good practices: Strengthening of capacities in education superior, co-financed by the European Commission. The general objective of the OPEN project aims at increasing the academic quality and research activities of universities in the PDR of Laos through the development of internationalisation in Lao PDR, working specifically with the International Relationships Office of the 5 public universities of the South-East Asian country. OPEN will be implemented over the next 2 years and it is expected to return to face-to-face actions as soon as the COVID-19 pandemic allows for international travel.