Building on the series of the previous Summer Universities organised since 2014, the  2022 Hybrid University focuses on “Biosphere Reserves as sites to develop Ocean Literacy.


The 2022 Hybrid University aims to to equip participants with the knowledge, skills, and methodology tools enabling to exploit how sites such as Biosphere Reserves, Natura 2000 sites and other marine and coastal Protected Areas can be living labs for cultivating ocean literacy schemes for their inhabitants, businesses and visitors.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, such Summer Universities have been taking place in a hybrid format, including two phases, a ‘face-to-face’ one for a restricted number of attendants, followed by an online one that is open to attendees from all over the world.

Phase A: face-to-face

CRETE, 12-14 September 2022: Around 15 Greek youth were invited to participate in the sessions in Crete. The sessions were held in Heraklion and in the wider area of ​​the Asterousia Biosphere Reserve. They included site visits, group work, hands-on workshops and lectures on ocean literacy. Sessions took place in the Creta-Aquarium and a Natural History Museum by researchers from the University of Crete and the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research. Read more on the events in Crete in English and in Greek language.

CYPRUS 5-7 October: The main sessions of Phase A took place in Cyprus, back to back and organically linked with the 9th Environment for Europe (EfE) Ministerial Conference (Nicosia, 5-7 October 2022). Part of the curriculum was the side events of the EfE Conference on topics such as Ocean Literacy, Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), Biosphere Reserves (BR) as models of Sustainable Development, Whole Institute Approach, and so on.

CYPRUS: 8-10 October: After the 9th EfE Conference, a selected number of participants were invited to engage in the rest of the sessions of the Hybrid University that included field visits, group-work, hands-on workshops and lectures on ocean literacy. The events in Cyprus engaged about 25 international and 15 local (Cypriot) participants, and were moderated by a skilful team of Cypriot and international experts. Registrations was done by invitation only. Read more on the agenda and the events in Cyprus.

Phase B: online

The four-week long online course  took place in January – February 2023 and more than 100 people took part (trainers and learners). Combining a self-paced (asynchronous) and live (synchronous) learning, it capitalised on the outcomes of Phase A and provided learning and networking opportunities to a wider audience.

The content of Phase B built on previous e-courses, as well as the new online resource prepared by UNESCO IOC on Ocean Literacy. The learning content included experts’ lectures; existing online videos, toolkits, and four (4) weekly live sessions . Read more about Phase B here.



The 2022 Hybrid University is co-organised and supported by:

  • UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe (Venice Office)
  • Cyprus Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports | Pedagogic Institute of Cyprus | The Unit for Education for the Environment and Sustainable Development (EESD)
  • Region of Crete | Heraclion Development Agency
  • UNESCO Chair and Network on Sustainable Development Management and Education at the University of Athens (UoA)
  • Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development (MIO-ECSDE) through the MEdIES initiative