Erasmus+ Policy Statement
Erasmus Charter for Higher Education 2021-2027
ERASMUS POLICY STATEMENT
VTDK believes that global trends, such as the rapid pace of industrial digitalization and the creation of new jobs, EU's aim to shift to a circular economy, require study and training programs that respond to constantly changing labour market needs and challenges. VTDK strategy is oriented to contribute to creating a sustainable society by preparing strong professionals and developing efficient partnerships. VTDK's Strategic Plan foresees the reorganization of the study process, implying digitalization of studies and implementation of study programs based on the educational model and didactic methods developing competencies for sustainability. Within the next few years, it is foreseen to embed into study process methodology helping to develop transformative competencies (such as creating new value, reconciling tensions & dilemmas, taking responsibility, ability to holistic approach, ability to manage changes and overcome barriers) and social competencies (such as local and global responsibility, identification of the interests of various stakeholders, ability to engage stakeholder, cooperation, participatory approach in decision-making, subsidiarity). VTDK believes that it is very important to teach today's students — tomorrow's professionals — to be proactive, to make them aware that decisions are found in the context of the present collaborating with other stakeholders.
In response to the institutional strategic goals, internationalization at VTDK aims:
- to promote knowledge transfer on innovations for sustainable development in the fields of engineering and design,
- to encourage students to act proactively and socially responsibly.
VTDK Internationalization Strategy 2020 – 2025 foresees activities according to the 3 main priorities:
- Internationlization of the studies– byexpanding the opportunities for VTDK students to gain international experience in both Programme and Partner countries, inviting foreign guest-lecturers, attracting full-time students, embedding good practices into study programmes, optimizing partners’ network.
- Strengthening international cooperation in R&D – by promoting mobility of researchers and lecturers, organizing international events, participating in international projects.
- Developing systems and environment that support internationalization – by digitalizing administrative procedures, engaging academic and administrative staff in the implementation of the internationalization strategy, creating a friendly environment for international students, encouraging students/staff with fewer opportunities to participate in international activities, raising VTDK visibility.
Erasmus+ programme will be a powerful and extremely significant tool seeking to implement the above-mentioned internationalization activities. International student and staff mobility, international projects and events will help to develop in the College the culture of openness to innovation, continuous and inclusive learning, collaboration and respect to persity; uptaking the results of R&D and the best practices of foreign partners will improve the quality of studies, which will lead to modernisation of whole institution. This will also contribute on the goal of building the European Education Area in terms of increased student mobility, enhanced trust among partner institutions, equal opportunities to access high-quality education to inpiduals, irrespective of their socio-economic background.
How VTDK’s participation in Erasmus actions will contribute to achieving the objectives of the institutional strategy:
VTDK would like to take part in Key Action 1 "Learning Mobility“ and Key Action 2 "Cooperation among organisations and institutions":
In the last few years VTDK has successfully implemented student and staff mobility – the quality of partnerships agreements and organization of mobility has improved, the geography of incoming students has expanded, the academic staff have established fruitful collaboration resulting in joint publications and interdisciplinary educational initiatives.
In the next programme cycle VTDK will seek to increase the numbers of student mobility, offering students to gain international experience through a study semester abroad at partner HEI, a traineeship abroad (both at workplace or digitally), and a blended mobility/virtual exchange.
In order to develop and deepen partnerships at the study programmes level the College will also promote the mobility of academic staff by organizing teaching and training visits to foreign HEIs and relevant business institutions.
Staff mobility, internationalization of research and knowledge transfer will help to introduce an international dimension to the curriculum, will ensure the relevance of the content in a global context. Sustainable partnerships will strengthen trust and open the way for common more ambitious research/artistic/mobility projects.
Student mobility will result in increased sense of initiative, self-empowerment and self-esteem, better awareness of EU values and enhanced intercultural awareness, stronger collaboration and foreign language competences. This will come out in improved learning performance, and career prospects, more active participation in society.
VDTK will seek to seize the opportunity of Key Action 2 "Cooperation among organisations and institutions":
In the former programme period VTDK together with the partners from higher education and vocational sectors, as well as representatives of employers, successfully implemented various projects aiming at enhancing capacities and developing strategic partnerships in terms of creating new learning approaches and materials, increasing inclusiveness for students with special needs, enhancing social responsibility of students, delivering research support to the local communities.
With a view to emerging professional needs for green skills and sustainable development in the engineering sector for both HEI’s and vocational students in the upcoming programme period VTDK will mainly focus on Partnerships for Cooperation and exchanges of practices projects in the following areas: sustainable development, social innovations, digitalization of industry/studies, interaction of engineering and design, development of students' transformative competencies, increasing inclusiveness of studies.
In order to intensify the knowledge transfer and contribute to sustainable innovations in the field of engineering and design, VTDK will also seek to participate in Partnerships for Innovation projects. In terms of sharing experience and help building capacity of EU neighboring countries VTKD also plans to join projects with HEI’s from Partner countries, in which it could share the institutional knowledge on delivering research support to the local communities (community needs based research implemented throught Science Shop).
Erasmus+ projects already proved to be one of key drivers for modernization, helping to progress in strategic priorities. Implementation of projects according to above-mentioned priorities will help the College to increase capacity of human resources, transform studies responding to the challenges of sustainable development and industry digitalization and contribute to the development of innovations.
What is the envisaged impact of VTDK participation in the Erasmus+ Programme on our institution:
It is envisaged that Erasmus+ student and staff mobility as well as participation in KA2 Erasmus projects will:
- improve the quality of studies through uptaking the results of R&D and the best practices of foreign partners and broadening students’ horizons with more intensive international mobility; thus it will increase the competitiveness of VTDK graduates and improve their career prospects
- encourage students to act proactively and socially responsibly
- foster knowledge transfer on sustainable innovation and green technology
- develop in the College the culture of openness to innovations, continuous learning, persity and collaboration
VTDK aims to double the number of outgoing and incoming mobile students by 2025. A very important role for achieving this target will play the blended and virtual mobility. I In 2021-2023 a special emphasis will be placed on creating the opportunities of such mobility by creating the relevant courses and making the necessary arrangements with the partners. It is foreseen that after the blended mobility opportunities will be introduced to curricula, the student mobility will increase 40% per year, and by the end of 2025 VTDK will double the number of mobile students comparing to the current number, namely it will reach 8% of all VTDK students.
In terms of staff mobility it is important how relevant the applied practices and created intellectual outputs are for institutional strategic goals, and how participation in Erasmus+ programme impacted their engagement and professional development. It is expected that by 2025 the staff involvement in international project will increase 30%, the number of papers written in collaboration with international partners will double, however, the qualitative indicators, reflecting the impact are considered to be more important.
The progress of the achievements will be monitored with the help of the following indicators:
- Proportion of VTDK students who have gained study or work experience in an international environment (%)
- Number of blended/virtual mobility projects (at least 15 ECTS credits)
- Number of incoming students
- Number of incoming lecturers
- Number of papers written in collaboration with international partners
- Increase of staff involvement in international project (%)
- The impact of mobility on the professional and personal development of the participants (students and staff)
- Satisfaction of incoming foreign students with the study environment and the quality of studies
- The impact of the best practices embedded into curriculum
- The impact of intellectual outputs and practices developed in international projects
- In the new phase of Erasmus+ programme VTDK intends to implement the following internationalization strategy: