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Erasmus Policy Statement

58 - 623 09 22

erasmusplus2017 1

Please describe your institution's international (EU and non-EU) strategy. In your description please explain a) how you choose your partners, b) in which geographical area(s) and c) the most important objectives and target groups of your mobility activities (with regard to staff and students in first, second and third cycles, including study and training, and short cycles). If applicable, also explain how your institution participates in the development of double/multiple/joint degrees.
The University’s main objective is preparing young people for the challenges of the contemporary job market. The designed curricula lead students to achieving the recognized qualifications. The University combines them with traineeships, genuine contact with employers and assistance in job searching. The diverse traineeships programmes are introduced to support students in their endeavor to gain the skills needed to access employment, including apprenticeships. The emphasis is laid on training that is skill-specific, contrary to the outmoded approach wherein mostly theoretical knowledge is assumed to merit academic value. In view of the above it has to be noticed that the Erasmus Programme endows the University’s teaching strategy with the practical dimension so desirable in view of the University’s primary goals.
PWSNS is a vocational higher school and, as such, schedules overall 2000 didactic hours in the plans of studies and the minimum of 6 weeks of vocational practice. The number of hours at the extramural studies is assured at the level of 60% of the classes of the full-time studies. The studies are run under the following faculty frames: Modern Languages (English and Spanish), Culture Studies and Pedagogy. All activities undertaken within the Erasmus framework are regarded as an integral part of the curriculum. An equal distribution of exchanges among the faculties is currently aimed at, in particular: a rise in a number of traineeships at the Culture Study department and a greater interest in mobility at the Pedagogical Department.
The partnership universities have to have the Erasmus University Charter and have to have experience in arranging mobility studies so as to meet the requirements of the Bologna system. It is of primary importance that the outgoing students’ achievements are recognized in terms of the European credit transfer system and that Bologna principles are adhered to in every respect, thus guaranteeing the recognition of the study time spent abroad in the framework of the University’s curricula. Partners are expected to provide the requisite services (on-site accommodation, basic amenities, well-equipped library, access to the Internet, season tickets, etc), deal appropriately with students’ matters (concluding learning agreements, drawing timetables, facilitating integration, recognizing students’ achievements) and offer assistance in obtaining insurance, arranging accommodation, fostering ‘buddy system’, engaging students in the entertaining programme and providing for unforeseen contingencies. With regard to the incoming students, the University acts accordingly, satisfying the above criteria. The University also relies on the provision of information concerning the curricula and syllabuses from partner universities so as to meet the requirement that the selected courses, their objectives and the teaching effects are comparable with its own. Thus the learning agreements that are drawn with partnership universities guarantee the equivalence between the curricula and transparency as well as accessibility to information.
As far as traineeships are concerned, partner institutions are expected to provide all the requisite services mentioned above. Moreover, the traineeships have to be on a par with the activities students would be normally involved in their students’ practice and relevant to students’ future professional careers. Partner institutions are expected to certify to the achievement of traineeship objectives, and to issue a final evaluation of trainees’ accomplishments.
The University has partnership agreements with the following universities: Castilla-la Mancha, Vigo and León in Spain, Narva College of the University of Tartu, Canakkale Onsekiz Mart University, Technicka Univerzita v Liberci, Latvian Academy of Culture in Riga. The University’s traineeship placements are: H-Top Hotels in Barcelona, Academia Cordoba and AC Traductores in Spain, and Tartufi Morra in Italy. The University opts for expanding a number of partnerships to reach UK for the sake of English-speaking students of all faculties as well as English philology students. Regarding traineeships, the University plans to establish contacts with the Scandinavian and the Baltic countries. At the moment the University is on the point of signing partnership agreements with the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona.
The University’s main objectives are: the increase in the number of participants in mobility programmes, the exchange of knowledge and experience as well as fruitful teachers’ collaborations resulting in the development and application of novel methodological approaches, the promotion of distance and blended learning as supplementary to traditional teaching and learning, multilateral collaboration in developing measures of quality evaluation, work for the sake of the local environment to return to the community the expertise developed by academic staff.

Please describe your institution's strategy for the organisation and implementation of international (EU and non-EU) cooperation projects in teaching and training in relation to projects implemented under the Programme.
International projects the University is planning to commence, are concerned with the development of novel approaches towards distance and blended learning as supplementary to the traditional methods of teaching and learning. The university is planning to initiate a project which would function as a pathway to the exchange of educational materials and methodological approaches devised and exhibited with the help of the learning management computer system (Claroline). The system would contain recorded lectures, examples of exercises, students’ written samples, teaching materials, bibliographies, and tests, implemented at partner universities, and concern selected areas of interest. The materials may be used as a supplement to the courses taught at the university, as an inventory of didactic materials, or for comparison and analysis. The system of collecting the inventory would operate internationally, in cooperation with partner universities. The use of the system would function as encouragement for teachers of PWSNS and partner universities to introduce certain issues concerning a given topic in English, so as to devise lectures that would contain bilingual content. It would also encourage teachers to use the language of instruction and contextualize the study content by adjusting the presentation to the needs of international audiences. In this respect Erasmus experiences gained by the teachers at partner universities, in particular, their insight into foreign language speaking contexts, is particularly valuable. Throughout their experience they acquire the skills at improvising, answering questions, using metaphors, joke-telling and the vernacular so as to make the international students equally involved and motivated.

Please explain the expected impact of your participation in the Programme on the modernisation of your institution (for each of the 5 priorities of the Modernisation Agenda*) in terms of the policy objectives you intend to achieve.
●Overall, the opportunities the Erasmus Programme offers encourage young people to study humanities, as the period of study or traineeship spent abroad not only enhances the overall quality of their education and broadens their horizons, but, in fact, has become the most powerful incentive in the University’s recruitment package. Nowadays young people in their search for the best higher education institution consider such opportunities the sine qua non of a well-made educational choice. Accordingly, the application of such incentives increases youth’s interest in acquiring higher education and contributes to the growth of higher education graduates.
● In the field of humanities the exchange of thoughts and ideas concerning the application of novel methodological approaches is highly desirable, and the teachers’ participation in thematic endeavours as well as their attempts at lecturing in non-familiar environments contribute greatly to enriching the teaching contents with the up-to-date expertise and long-lasting appeal. As a result, the graduates’ competences acquire relevance and applicability not only in Poland, but all over Europe.
● The Erasmus Programme provides opportunities for students of humanities to explore the fields in which their knowledge can be practically applied and their competences transferred onto areas of professional dimension and market demand. Students of modern languages develop language skills desirable in the National Programme for the Development of Humanities (NPRH); trainees of Culture Studies faculty acquire hands-on skills in computer graphics, students of Pedagogy acquire knowledge of novel approaches in early education. Cross-border co-operation is exhibited in the form of the exchange of syllabuses and the approaches towards the objective measurement of the teaching effects, which are the priorities of the European Qualifications Framework (EQF).
● The University’s involvement in the Erasmus leads to the shift in approach towards designing courses’ contents in that they have been stripped off the theoretical load and enriched with issues which have the potential for practical application. Greater emphasis has been laid on helping students gain hands-on experience at workshops, or in the form of in-service training. Good practices are being introduced to the issues of career self-management. With respect to that PWSNS has come into contact with local companies and entrepreneurs in order to strengthen the bonds between education and business. These will be subject to further development, esp. in the field of students’ training.
● The governance mechanisms are evolving towards the reduction of decision-making bodies, which is advantageous for the sake of quick transfer of information. PWSNS advocates the application of the corporate model of management at universities. PWSNS attempts to maximize the effectiveness of fund distribution and enhance the opportunities for obtaining diversified funding base.