ERASMUS University Charter for Higher Education 2014-2020
Part1 – UBI´s International (EU and Non-EU) strategy
The overall international strategy of UBI, to which mobility is central, is stated in the Strategic Development Plan 2012-2020, hereafter “2020 Plan”, being the 2nd of its four axes: “A University that earns international recognition”. UBI’s international strategy includes three objectives (O) and corresponding action lines (AL), as follows:
O 1) To promote a programme of internationalisation based on research, teaching and culture to be systematically pursued by a permanent organisational structure of management and development;
AL 1.1) To draw a comprehensive and pragmatic programme of internationalisation actions and to create a structure to supervise, monitor and evaluate the internationalisation programme;
AL 1.2) To enhance the GPRI as a permanent professionalised structure for managing and promoting internationalization activities, providing it with the appropriate technical and professional skills, preparing it for operating in an environment of
growing international competition and for increasing the uptake of external funds;
AL 1.3) To encourage the international mobility of teaching and research staff and students, as a significant lever to enhance the quality and universality of UBI as well as an accelerator of the adoption of international benchmarks; and
AL 1.4) To increase the international visibility of UBI through a set of diversified initiatives and events enhanced by the participation in international networks of teaching and research.
O 2) To use internationalisation as a differentiating profile factor and as a means to improve research and teaching competences;
AL 2.1) To build a permanent articulation of the internationalisation process with the development of excellence-enhancing fields of knowledge;
AL 2.2) To increase the participation of UBI in strategic international partnerships and networks; and
AL 2.3) To improve the educational offer, particularly at postgraduate level, through the active search of partnerships with foreign HEIs and the use of resources and results associated with international research programmes.
O 3) To organise internationalisation in a paradigm of coherent diversification, in particular articulating the European,
Spanish border, Ibero-American and Lusophone areas, improving the competitiveness of international cooperation programmes;
AL 3.1) To increase and strengthen UBI’s position in the European research and education areas;
AL 3.2) To develop internationalisation programmes aimed at neighbouring Spanish areas, in particular Extremadura and Castilla y León, exploring regional transnational cooperation and considering opportunities in the Ibero-American area; and
AL 3.3) To develop cooperation programmes that allow exploiting the opportunities offered by the Portuguese-speaking countries, either within the area structured by the Portuguese language, or as a platform for wider cooperation, in particular
with emerging countries.
These objectives and corresponding action lines are operationalized in four-year action plans, which coincide with rectoral team mandates, drawing on relevant EU and international policies, programmes, guidelines and benchmarks, as well as on
specific recommendations from the institutional evaluation carried out by the European University Association.
Achieving the appropriate bilateral and /or multilateral partnerships is key to the successful implementation of the strategy above. Therefore, the choice of partners will either build upon existing partnerships or in the establishment of new partnerships with HEIs, enterprises, R&D centres / units, and other relevant organisations. Such choice shall abide by the principles of compatibility (e.g. for mobility activities), complementarity (e.g. for project development), and trust, while ensuring the chosen partner(s) are those better prepared to meet the requirements and the aims of the activities concerned.
In light of the above strategy and of the GPRI’s experience in the implementation of European and international programmes, and building upon the existing double degree agreements, UBI shall apply for the following types of higher education individual learning mobility under the Programme:
- Student credit mobility at 1st, Integrated, 2nd and 3rd cycle to and from participating and non-participating countries, for studies and/or traineeships (work placements) in enterprises;
- Staff (academic and non-academic) mobility between UBI and partner HEIs or to other relevant organisations in participating and non-participating countries, to teach and/or to be trained, as well as staff from enterprises to deliver training courses or workshops oriented towards real case approach; and
- Joint Masters degrees for double/multiple/joint master programmes of outstanding quality, delivered by a consortium between UBI and HEIs from participating and non-participating countries to foster student degree mobility at Master level, and attract the best students to Europe.
Part 2 – Strategy for organisation and implementation of international (EU-non-EU) cooperation projects in teaching and training in relation to projects implemented under the Programme.
UBI is currently well prepared to make the most of the opportunities provided by international cooperation projects in teaching and training due to the significant progresses it has recently achieved in key areas.
First, UBI has adopted an overall institutional strategy, the 2020 Plan, which clearly articulates internationalisation with the remaining three strategic axes. Secondly, it has reinforced its leading role in society, which is also an axis of the 2020 Plan, making it the preferred partner for enterprises, in particular SMEs, local / regional authorities, other education and research institutions, social partners, and other relevant actors to develop projects with. Thirdly, it has widened both the geographical scope of partner institutions and the range of international programmes in which it participates. Fourthly, it has reached excellence in the use of ECTS and the DS, having been awarded the corresponding Labels. Finally, but equally important, UBI now holds a relevant international experience on which to base future activities.
Therefore and in accordance with its needs and capabilities, UBI is committed to either promote or take part in the following types of cooperation projects under the Programme:
- Strategic partnerships to foster intense, structured and long term cooperation among HEIs and with key stakeholders to contribute to achieving the objectives of the EU Modernisation Agenda for Higher Education and to promote as well cross
sector cooperation with the other educational sectors;
- Knowledge alliances with other HEIs and enterprises promoting creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship by offering relevant learning opportunities; and
- International cooperation and capacity building projects with the objective to support the modernisation and internationalisation of higher education in the partner countries.
Part 3 – Expected impact of UBI´s participation in the programme on its modernization
As already stated, UBI will work towards achieving the 5 priorities of the EU modernisation and internationalisation agenda in higher education by participating in the following key actions:
1 - student and staff mobility (within Europe and / or to / from third countries); joint master's degrees;
2 - strategic partnerships, knowledge alliances, capacity building with neighbouring countries and with third countries.
Participation in these activities will result in:
- further developing cooperation with partners in EU or non-EU countries in the framework of UBI’s internationalization strategy;
- further promoting and supporting student and staff mobility, including from underrepresented groups, and further developing non-discrimination policies;
- outlining a clear policy towards the development of integrated, transnational teaching activities (joint courses / modules /curricula, double / multiple / joint degrees);
- recognising the importance of, and providing visibility to, the results achieved by UBI’s staff members engaged in individual mobility or in cooperation projects with strategic partners;
- taking into account the results of internal monitoring of European and international mobility and cooperation activities, thus further developing UBI’s international performance.
Participation in the Programme is expected to contribute to UBI's modernisation, for each of the 5 priorities of the Modernisation Agenda, as follows:
1 - Increasing attainment levels to provide the graduates and researchers Europe needs by raising the induction of international students and researchers as well as by successfully incorporating the experiences of mobile students and researchers into learning, teaching and research activities.
2 - Improving the quality and relevance of higher education by involving employers and labour market institutions in the design and delivery of programmes and by supporting staff exchanges.
3 - Strengthening quality through mobility and cross-border cooperation by building learning mobility into curricula, and eliminating barriers to switching HEIs between 1st and 2nd cycle and to cross-border co-operation and exchanges; by ensuring the efficient recognition of credits gained abroad through effective quality assurance, comparable and consistent use of ECTS and the DS; by improving access, employment conditions and progression opportunities for students, researchers and teachers from other countries.
4 - Linking higher education, research and business for excellence and regional development by stimulating the development of entrepreneurial, creative and innovation skills in all three cycles; by strengthening knowledge-transfer activities, and by promoting UBI’s systematic involvement in integrated local and regional development plans.
5 - Improving governance and funding, by facilitating access to alternative sources of funding; and by providing mobile staff with new competences, which can be disseminated upon return.