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Erasmus Policy Statement

The envisaged impact of participation in the Erasmus+ Programme on UKSW

What would we like to achieve by participating in the Erasmus+ Programme

The Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw (UKSW) notices the potential of education and culture as factors supporting economic growth, creating jobs and social coherence, as much as a means to experience the European identity in all its diversity. For these reasons, the University desires to deepen the process of internationalization and take an active part in building the European Education Area, while continue to put in practice the assumptions of “The Mission and Strategy of the Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw for years 2014-2020”, accepted by a resolution of Senat (Lower Chamber) nr 32/2014. These endeavors will also become part of the strategy of development for the University for years 2021-2027.

An important element of the vision is cooperation between partners from other countries in order to educate students to be best oriented in the modern world as well as developing their key competences needed for personal development, healthy and balanced lifestyle, higher chances for employment, active civic attitude and social integration. UKSW makes it its priority to internationalize didactic and research, e.g. through exchanging students, scientific and administrative workers and teachers, as well as forming new strategic partnerships. The university is planning to continue the policy consistently realized for the last few years, which is confirmed by the growing number of bilateral contracts and foreign students realizing their student year fully or partially on UKSW. During the cooperation and mutual contacts, the sides act on the basis of common values while at the same time experiencing cultural and worldview diversity conditioned by history and specific problems of each nation, which is consistent with the postulate of intercultural dialogue from the “Mission and Strategy of the University” and the fundaments of the European Education Area. Aspiring to fulfill the key points of Missions and Strategy, UKSW is planning to further develop nets of international contacts in order to exchange knowledge and experience in priority areas of study and research.

The aim of UKSW as a center of raising and educating is forming people who are creative, resourceful and mature enough to start professional and public activity both in terms of occupation and exemplary moral attitude. People who, while holding on to their identity, would be open to the world and changes taking place in it. This way the UKSW participation in Erasmus+ programme, which has as its goal supporting aims for economic growth, jobs, social justice and social inclusion, matches the Mission and Strategy of UKSW, which in many points is convergent with the goals of the program. UKSW desires to get fully involved in initiatives which are supposed to support actions in this scope. UKSW will support in a special way creating faculties and including the appropriate content into the curricula, in order to realize the abovementioned points, as well as it will promote international cooperation in terms of educating academics, student exchange and didactics.

By appreciating the phenomena of globalization and internationalization of the process of educating, UKSW wants to intensify the internationalization while at the same time introducing modern internal management and actively promoting the university abroad, and also participating more in educational programs of EU and outside EU. Rational management is an essential condition to realize the strategy of UKSW. High quality of the administrative workers, together with aligning their competences with tasks they are given, is the fundament of success of our plans. We are planning to broaden the scope of cooperation with foreign centers, thus enabling our administrative workers to have access to the output of other countries in this respect, still raising the level of knowledge and qualifications as an essential element of professional career. The actions within the Erasmus+ programme, realized since 2000, are also part of the goals of Mission and Strategy of UKSW, and they will support the university in its endeavor to internationalize and create a European profile.

Taking all that into account, the university is still planning to use the innovational potential of the programme, its strive to reach the abovementioned goals of Mission and Strategy, and to realize the following priorities in years 2021-2027:

  1. Wider use of technology and development of digital competences in education and management of the university. The action plan points out three priorities which are supposed to help UKSW meet the challenges and use chances connected with education in the digital era:
  • Better use of technology in teaching, learning and managing;
  • Development of digital competences and abilities necessary for life and work in the times of digital transformation among students and workers;
  • Improving teaching level thanks to better analysis of data and forecasting.
  1. Promoting key competences through introducing education, training and learning in the scope of:
  • Developing language competences;
  • Developing digital and technical competences;
  • Nurturing competences connected with entrepreneurship, creativity and initiative-taking;
  • Supporting the acquisition of natural sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), with their connection to art, creativity and innovation, and encouraging bigger number of young people, especially young women, to choose a profession in the STEM area;
  • Encouraging the development of civic competences, in order to help in understanding common values.
  1. Protection from social exclusion, discrimination, care about the poor, the lonely and the disabled through inclusion policy and integration.
  2. Introducing and promoting environmentally-friendly practices in accordance with the university’s Sustainable Development Strategy.

Thus, the participation of UKSW in Erasmus+ programme will help realize the goals of Mission and Strategy of the university, which will result in modernization of the university both in the realm of didactics, research and managing the university, and will help to build European Education Area.

The Erasmus+ actions we would like to take part in

The accomplishments of UKSW in the EU programmes such as Erasmus+, e.g. 2018/2019 – more than 320 multi-institutional contracts, including contracts with partners within the scope of action of KA103 and KA107 and three contracts within the KA2 project “Strategic Partnerships”, more than 300 of mobile students and workers, prove that UKSW has a proper structure of management of projects and an administrative-organizational background specialized in preparing project requests, introducing projects, managing them and disseminating the results. The experiences we have gained so far with international cooperation and managing projects created proper conditions to further raise the level of internationalization of UKSW. That’s why we want to fully use the opportunity of the new perspective of Erasmus+ programme by taking part in all the offered key activities, such as:

  • Erasmus Key Action 1 (KA1) – Learning mobility: The mobility of higher education students and staff;
  • Erasmus Key Action 2 (KA2) – Cooperation among organisations and institutions: Partnerships for Cooperation and exchanges of practices; Partnerships for Excellence – European Universities; Partnerships for Excellence – Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees; Partnerships for Innovation;
  • Erasmus Key Action 3 (KA3) – Support to policy development and cooperation.

Taking part in Key Action 1 will allow the internationalization of the didactic process, by e.g. exchange of students, scientific and didactic workers, which is a priority in the strategy of the university’s development. Taking part in this action means practically also realizing another principle, which is digitalizing the university, to ensure more effective use of digital technology in teaching, learning and managing. We are planning to develop these actions especially in years 2020-2023, taking active participation in introducing European Student Card Initiative, which will go in line with realizing the postulate of Mission and Strategy of UKSW in terms of technology and digitalization. The next step in the strategy for years 2021-2027 will then be a consistent realization of a plan to modernize digital tools that have already been in use and implementing new technology for didactic, scientific and administrative purposes. The university, heading towards bigger scope of internationalization will realize KA1 through:

  • Mobility of students in order to realize traineeships and part of their studies in a traditional form as well as blended mobility, especially encouraging this form of mobility to people from environments with more limited possibilities. To do that, UKSW, in the following years, will consistently and continually realize the policy of equal chances and no-discrimination, complete and fair access to resources which the university offers and taking actions which are supposed to create conditions enabling the development of the whole academic community, including especially people with lower possibilities.
  • The mobility of academic teachers in order to enable having classes with students and having didactic teaching together with methodical training in the scope of didactics, especially when it comes to teaching digital competences used in the didactic process. The essential target of the mobility of the lecturers will then be improving the system of teaching students about the university cooperation, pursuing common education and research projects within the programme, and creating a system enabling the use of knowledge and experience of renowned scientists from abroad.
  • Mobility of administrative workers for training. Our goal is high quality of management and administrative service of research and didactics. Therefore, the essential purpose of mobility of administrative workers will be systematically adapting them to work in an international environment with focus on quality, so that the university can meet all educational/ research/ administrative activities taken up in EU and outside EU and be flexible enough in integrating with international demands that meet real needs of the day.

In years 2021-2027, the university is planning to expand the spectrum of actions which are supposed to engage all the academic community in the process of internationalization and modernizing through participating in international exchange programs in order to even the educational possibilities and raise key competences in the job market both among future graduates and our workers. We would wish that, as a result of these actions:

  • Going abroad for courses or studying became a norm;
  • University qualifications were automatically recognized;
  • The comprehension of foreign languages became a norm;
  • The access to high-quality education, regardless of social-economic status was equal for everyone;
  • Strong feeling of European identity and appreciating cultural heritage of Europe, together with respecting the national diversity became a norm among our students, graduates and workers.

University is planning to support the organizing and implementing of international (EU and outside EU) projects concerning cooperation in the realm of teaching and training within the programme. Thus, it will relate to the following actions within projects KA2 and KA3, encouraging: Cooperation between organizations and institutions for creating strategic partnerships and exchanging good practices; Creating partnerships for excellence, innovation; Supporting the policy development and cooperation. The priority here will be introducing innovative educational solutions with the use of new digital and information technologies, preparing the youth for a success in the job market. Within the projects, we want to create programmes of educating and training, including programmes in foreign languages, to adjust them to the requirements of the current job market and in the future create common MA studies. The university is going to encourage especially international cooperative projects concerned with teaching and training of science, natural sciences and technical sciences. The participation in the projects will allow diversity and practical verification of educational and training offer.

We will put special attention into projects which concentrate on the quality of teaching, service and the knowledge triangle: education-research-innovations. Interaction between the university and business asserts transfer of knowledge to the society and economic growth inEurope.

The new system of making contracts and its digitalization will expedite and fasten the process of forming cooperation with partners and also will ensure the transparency of the roles of the sides of the projects and the rules of financing. In order to organize and implement international cooperation projects in the realm of education, the internal development fund will be used, which is supposed to, among others, support teams working on international projects of the programme. These enterprises will support the mobility of workers and students.

The envisaged impact of participation in the Erasmus+ Programme on our institution

The participation of UKSW in the new perspective of Erasmus+ programme in years 2021-2027 will undoubtedly have vast impact on realizing the strategic objectives of the university connected with internationalization, modernization and digitalization. The benefits of the programme will be felt by all groups to which specific actions will be directed: students of all degrees as well as all university staff and the whole institution.

Thanks to the participation in the actions of the Erasmus+ programme, the lecturers and administrative workers will improve their social and cultural competences, language competences in terms of foreign languages, digital competences and abilities enabling better use of digital technology in teaching, research and management. They will strengthen and create new professional contacts and will use good practices met abroad. The experience acquired will bring, in the individual aspect, personal satisfaction from work, and in the institutional aspect, higher level of internationalization of didactics, developing the network of international contacts for knowledge and experience exchange and larger engagement in European/non-European research-education projects.

We are expecting the didactic and international experience of lecturers gathered on European universities to help create a better didactic offer, which in consequence will mean doubling the number of university programmes in English offered to Polish and foreign students. In the future, it will create conditions to open, with cooperation of foreign partners, common studies ending with mutual/multiple diplomas and will enable reciprocal automatic recognition of degrees.

The results of our actions, such as higher academic teachers’ competences, modernizing the didactic offer and its better adjustment to the needs of the society and economy, and introducing new solutions as well as using digital technology in teaching and creating new didactic materials used e.g. in distance learning, will ensure high-quality education. The university will become more attractive for local and foreign students.

The university would not be able to work effectively without efficient management and well-organized, specialized administrative infrastructure. We are expecting that the participation of the administrative staff in foreign trainings will support quality, modernization and internationalization of administrative service in the university, which will become a friendly workplace and study place. Social, linguistic, multicultural and digital competences acquired during trainings will help administrative workers overcome interpersonal, linguistic and technical barriers and will prepare them to work with foreign students, and in consequence, they will give more support to the participants of mobility.

Training mobilities of the administrative staff will be a part of the career in UKSW and it will be included in work evaluation, just as in case of mobilities of academic teachers. They will allow raising of the level of knowledge and qualifications, and this will result in higher job satisfaction, engagement and openness to changes. The opportunity to introduce new efficient organizational solutions taken from foreign partners after trainings will raise motivation to work and identification with the university as a place where every worker, thanks to their engagement and creativity, has real impact on the development of the institution.

The participation in foreign student mobility, studies and traineeships, will help develop students’ key competences, including digital abilities and competences, language and multicultural competences, civic competences, competences connected with entrepreneurship, creativity and the sense of initiative. As graduates, thanks to acquired competences as well as openness to new ideas and challenges of life in a globalized world, they will be more competitive on Polish, European and international labour market.

The support for students with smaller economic, social and cultural opportunities, and for the disabled, will give access to foreign exchange to a larger number of people.

We wish that, thanks to the development of pro-ecological attitudes among students as well as implementing and promoting environment-friendly practices in the university situated in close proximity to trails and numerous open space reserves (forests, nature preserves and a national park), all students and graduates will consciously act for the good of the environment in all its aspects in the future.

Our target is to double the number of university programmes in foreign languages, the number of projects based on strategic partnerships, general number of mobility of students, scientific-didactic workers, administrative workers in categories incoming and outgoing and the number of mobilities of each particular category.

Implementing and organizing the international Erasmus+ projects will be monitored by the university authorities and subordinate entities in order to ensure that the interinstitutional cooperation and the activities lead to balanced and sustainable results. The quality of participation and experiences will be monitored and analyzed through appropriate evaluation tools.

Through raising the level of internationalization in all areas of functioning and participation in European Education Area, the university will increase the chances to use its educational and scientific-research potential. It will gain a European profile, and thanks to that, it will also gain a better position internationally.