By the decision of the European Commission, our university was awarded with the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (EACEA 03/2018). We are honored and will try to take full advantage of the opportunity that gives us participation in the Erasmus + Programme. The Coordinator of the Erasmus + Programme is Ms. Monika Popielewicz (Ph.D) Director of International Cooperation at the University of International Relations and Social Communication.
Please be aware that your Erasmus Policy Statement should reflect your intended involvement in Erasmus+. Should you wish to add additional activities in the future you will have to amend your Erasmus Policy Statement and inform your respective National Agency accordingly. The Institution agrees to publish this overall strategy (all three parts of the Part B) on its website within one month after reception of the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education from the EACEA. 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:
University of International Relations and Social Communication perceives the participation in the Erasmus+ Programme as a privilege and commitment to meet the required criteria. The university conducts its activities in compliance with the principles of the Bologna Declaration. The participation in the Erasmus+ is crucial and very important for UIRSC, and moreover, it is in line with international cooperation it has been taking up so far. Joining Erasmus+ constitutes a bottom-up decision of the students and academic staff. UIRSC has been educating students since 2004, and has recently been intensifying its activities aimed at opening of the university for cooperation outside Poland. The university is currently working on the introduction of its internationalization strategy in which the fundamental goals are as follows:
- developing international exchange programme - "know-how" of knowledge transfer, ventures, innovations, and carrying out research projects;
- supporting capacity building;
- promoting international activity and achievements of researchers;
- supporting and promoting the mobility of researchers and students, with the support of the organization, its facilities and financial program;
- preparing of the development of foreign language studies with the participation of foreign partners;
- strengthening of existing cooperation with foreign entities;
- development of partnership with new regions and countries;
- participation in actions aimed at cultivating tradition, culture, science and European heritage;
- obtaining external financing through active participation in national projects (NCRD, POWER, KFS, projects of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education ) and international ones (ESF);
- taking actions aimed at granting students double diploma together with foreign universities;
UIRSC educates students on the first- and second-cycle degree courses, offering the following majors: political sciences, economics, pedagogy, national security, as well as 20 postgraduate courses. Currently, the scientific staff of UIRSC cooperates in meetings, workshops and seminars with researchers and experts from countries such as Slovenia, Bulgaria, Russia, Italy, Germany and Great Britain. Since the first days of the university's existance, we have been involved in communication with universities in the eastern region: Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania. The cooperation strategy that the university has already been implementing will form the base for choosing partners in the mobility and projects of the Erasmus+ Program. We will rely on contacts with universities with which we already collaborated and with which we have worked out common actions, methods and common goals. As part of mobility with the countries of the program, we will also seek to establish cooperation with universities (HEIs) in those parts of Europe where universities have curricula and educational profile that are similar to. We mainly focus on the Central European region. We are open to the mobility of researchers in non-European areas, trusting that the cooperation will also enable the implementation of interesting scientific projects, and will contribute to the increase in the intercultural competence of participants of scientific projects. When selecting partners, we will be guided mainly by the scientific and educational needs and interests of students and researchers. The decision to sign and implement a contract will be based on a thorough analysis of the scientific and cultural benefits for each party of the contract. The target group of activities are first- and second-cycle students, scholars, and administrative employees. One of the most important goals we set for ourselves in the Program is to support mutual mobility of researchers, which we believe will foster the dissemination and exchange of knowledge and experience, as well as development of intercultural and language competences. Mobility of academic staff will facilitate preparing educational programs in English languages at UIRSC. The most important goal related to students’ mobility is to offer them further opportunities to exchange academic, practical and cultural experiences. We are also planning to encourage part-time students to participate in the Programme. As the university expands, we are also planning course with subjects taught in English. The last of the discussed objectives is to increase mobility of administrative staff, which will facilitate the adjustment of the administrative and financial structure of the university to new challenges related to the participation in Erasmus+ . UIRSC will pay special attention to the development of dual / multiple / shared diplomas, as the most valuable benefit for students, employees and institutions. We will make every effort to implement the mechanisms and procedures needed to implement these joint cooperation initiatives.
Please describe your institution's strategy for the organisation and implementation of international (EU and non-EU) cooperation projects within the framework of the Erasmus+ Programme. If not applicable, please explain:
With respect to the KA2 action implementation strategy, the university plans to implement the Strategic Partnerships and Knowledge Alliances programs, as well as the Jean Monnet project. We already have the appropriate experience and are participating in the Jean Monnet project which is coordinated by one of Moscow’s research institutes. The project is being carried out in 2017/2018 and the UIRSC academic staff are taking part in it as experts. This participation constitutes a very interesting perspective for us as well as provides an opportunity to exchange views and scientific achievements. As we do have the relevant experience, we plan to acquire partners (universities, institutions) for the Jean Monnet projects which we will be the programme coordinator. However, as we have no experience in Strategic Partnerships and Knowledge Alliances , both of which seem to be very interesting, we are considering being a partner at first, and then adapting to the requirements which have been set for the said projects. Our partners could include universities and institutes with whom we are cooperating as part of our mobility activities or entities we shall meet in the process of the financial implementation. We are open to such suggestions. We hope that strategic partnerships will help popularize innovative solutions at the
university, modernize our educational offer, better adapt it to the needs of both the society and the economy, and improve the quality of education at the university. Knowledge Alliances, implemented by the university in cooperation with enterprises, will allow for the promotion of innovation, development of entrepreneurship and creativity. They will also improve the opportunities of the students on the labor market, and in the future – provide students with better employment. We are looking forward to exchanging knowledge and supporting multidisciplinary teaching and learning. Participating in projects will increase the knowledge flow between the university and entrepreneurs and will also allow us to adjust the educational programs to the changing economic environment to a greater extent. We trust that the programs will suport active and long-term cooperation between our university and other universities (HEIs), as well as the local public and selfgovernment authorities, research institutes, and other social partners.
Please explain the expected impact of your participation in the Erasmus+ Programme on the modernisation of your institution. Please refer to each of the priorities of the renewed EU Agenda for higher education as well as the golas towards a European Education Area* and explain the policy objectives you intend to pursue:
Participation in the Erasmus+ Programme is one of the most important activities aimed at opening of a university to internationalization. The Modernisation Agenda for Higher Education will certainly, as in previous years, will have a huge impact on the modernisation of European higher education systems. We believe that UIRSC will contribute to the renewed modernization agenda. The main areas of reforms of the modernization program are consistent with the development and internationalization strategies established by UIRSC. The University intends to achieve 4 priority objectives of the modernization agenda by active participation in the tasks and projects offered by the Program: within KA1 – educational mobility, KA2 - partner programs and knowledge alliances as well as Jean Monnet projects. One of the university's priorities is to support and promote the mobility of students and researchers, with the assistance of the organization, its facilities and financial program, approaching the implementation of the main objective of the “Europe 2020" strategy, assuming that by 2020 at least 40% of people aged 30-40 should receive higher or equivalent education. As far as the EU Agenda for Higher Education priorities are concerned, UIRSC in its own elaborated strategy of development puts great emphasis on improvement of the quality of education. Participation in the Erasmus+ Program will improve education programs thanks to the use of the research results and to the exchange of scholarly experiences with foreign partners. Improvement of education will be based on continuous monitoring of suggestions, changes and trends in higher education in the EU. The program may direct changes, leading to a more innovative approach to educating and learning as well as to acquiring of skills related to multimedia education. The possibility of improving talent management is another positive aspect of joining the program. Mobility of students and academic staff will translate into increased motivation, higher aspirations and better scholarly achievements. The program will help develop the talents and potential of all those involved in it. All activities of the university are carried out with respect to cultural and social differences, and are free from discrimination. Mobility of students, academic staff and administrative staff will contribute to improving tolerance. In addition, in the social dimension, the Program will support the development of talented students from environments with poor financial standing, also. Participation in the program will result in an increase in the level of education of beneficiaries, including transversal skills and key competences. It will strengthen the development of entrepreneurship, innovative thinking, flexibility of students and it will better prepare them for work in innovative institutions and companies, providing them with competences that are of key importance for the labour market. The internationalization of research activities should result in a greater number of researchers and students engaging in projects involving cooperation and innovations carried out by the university together with the local and international communities. The program will help to build a network of cooperation with other universities, as well as develop external culture of innovation and entrepreneurship of the university. Activities in the area of KA2 will strengthen the triangle of cooperation networks built by the university: education – entrepreneurs – local government. Academics and students who have participated in the mobility programs will contribute to improving innovation and creativity in the area of the
cooperation network triangle. Thanks to mobility and KA 2, it will be possible to transfer knowledge from the university to the micro- and macro-region. Cooperation with the local self- government will be strengthened and already existing collaboration with the city of Lublin will be continued (currently involving the Mayor of Lublin, the Lublin Voivode and the Marshal of the Lublin Voivodship). The close cooperation will be developed in the field of seeking mutual support, including the implementation of scholarly research conducted by the university, as well as the promotion of the region. Activities within the Erasmus+ Programme will successfully contribute to the improvement of the grading system and monitoring of activities, and will enhance the administrative efficiency of the university. In accordance with the internationalization strategy, UIRSC strives for sustainable financing by acquiring of the following: subsidies, grants and other available sources of financing of higher education. The development of partnership and international cooperation is vital for the future of the university and its beneficiaries, and Erasmus+Programme is a tool and support in the internationalization process of the university.