PWSW ERASMUS POLICY STATEMENT 2021 – 2027
The East European State University in Przemyśl (PWSW) is applying for the Erasmus Charter for the 2021-2027 period so as to – while acting on the foundations provided by the Erasmus+ Declaration and through actions constituting its essence – develop competences and attitudes underlying the European Education Area, promote European values and sustain the progressive spirit of internationalisation in academic circles. The Programme is a unique opportunity not only to stimulate the development of the school itself but also to transmit development impulses to entities in its social and economic environment.
Thanks to student and teacher mobilities (KA1), bilateral and multilateral European projects promoting innovation and exchange of practical experience as well as partnerships for innovation (KA2), PWSW strives to pursue ambitious goals which reflect the universal academic values and aims. Hence the goals which underlie the formation of a modern school that instructs its students on how to live in modern civilisation and how to enter the labour market operating according to the new trends of the fourth industrial revolution.
The envisaged mild increase in the number of mobility participants (over the whole period roughly 40 students and 10 teachers yearly) is intended to strengthen the participation of the PWSW staff in supranational communities and academic projects. Mobility is akin to positive attitudes towards multiculturalism and strengthened sense of European identity.
Therefore, PWSW promotes actions which encourage guests to become involved in the life of the school. PWSW guaranties equal treatment offered to both outgoing students and teachers and to the incoming guests; PWSW assures adequate recognition of their achieved goals and fulfilled learning effects.
The school also provides transparent and honest recruitment procedures which ensure equal access to all potential Programme participants, especially to the less privileged ones.
1. Erasmus Policy Statement (EPS)
PWSW in Przemyśl, as an entity of Polish higher education, implements a new model of higher vocational education at a teaching university, introduced by the provisions of the Act on Higher Education and Science, effective from October 1, 2018.
The most important goals of PWSW’s activity as a state vocational university that reflect the values and aspirations of the academic community are defined in the institutional development strategy and they focus on:
a) elaborating a modern and open educational system with a practical profile that responds to the changing needs of the socio-cultural and economic environment on the regional and local scale, as well as adequately reacts to challenges arising in the international and global context;
b) development of qualifications of the teaching staff of the university, improvement of quality of the educational process by increasingly coherent connection between the university’s curriculum and the level of economic development, the acceleration of scientific and technological progress as well as employers’ expectations in this respect;
c) implementation of IT system solutions in managing the university;
d) internationalisation of the process of studies and cooperation with foreign partner institutions in the fields of teaching and optimal preparation of university graduates to enter modern labour market which corresponds to the growing trends of the industrial revolution 4,0.
As PWSW’s priority is to present an educational offer of the best quality, the university aims to increase cooperation in the field of education and scientific research through establishing new foreign contacts, promoting mobility and exchange of students, academic and administrative staff, as well as participation in bilateral and multilateral European and international projects for innovation and exchange of good practices.
Thanks to participation in the Erasmus+ programme, PWSW in Przemyśl consistently fits into the process of creating the European Education Area by:
a) strengthening education and training systems at various levels;
b) raising professional qualifications;
c) increasing mobility and facilitating cross-border cooperation;
d) ensuring equal opportunities;
e) creating comprehensive curricula;
f) increasing teachers’ competence;
g) promoting lifelong learning.
Being awarded the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education for the years 2021-2027 creates a unique opportunity for The East European State University (PWSW) in Przemyśl not only to stimulate the multidimensional development of the university itself and to effectively pursue the strategic goals indicated above, but also to send development impulses to both social and economic environments in which it operates.
PWSW considers the contribution of mobile employees and students as well as their participation in European and international cooperation projects to be crucial for the high quality of higher education programs as well as favourable experience to future professional career of students.
The university also confirms that participation in the Erasmus+ Programme is part of its own strategy for the sake of modernisation and internationalisation by – among others –applying the following priorities or principles of the Programme to all projects and activities:
a) Taking the necessary steps to implement digital mobility management in accordance with the technical standards of the European Student Card Initiative;
b) Promoting environmentally friendly practices in all activities related to the Programme;
c) Encouraging people with fewer opportunities to participate in the Programme;
d) Promoting civic engagement and encouraging students and staff to become active citizens before, during and after their participation in a mobility or project.
1.2. Activities planned to achieve the objectives
PWSW in Przemyśl is an entity of the system of higher vocational education providing education at its 6th and 7th level. Applying once more for Erasmus Charter for Higher Education, PWSW has a clearly defined position regarding the scope and focus of activities that are, to the highest degree, consistent with the institution’s strategic goals.
Among activities addressed to higher education entities that are available in the years 2021-2027, PWSW focuses its participation in the Erasmus+ Programme on the following:
1) Erasmus Key Action 1 (KA1) – Learning mobility:
a) The mobility of higher education students and Staff
2) Erasmus Key Action 2 (KA2) – Cooperation among organisations and institutions:
a) Partnerships for Cooperation and exchanges of practices
b) Partnerships for Innovation
Contunuation of the educational mobility of students and staff in the period of 2021-2027 as Action 1 (KA1) will be considered as a form of the internationalisation of studies in PWSW. Envisaged slight increase in the number of educational mobility participants during the whole period under consideration will positively impact the internationalisation of the educational process and will foster the involvement of PWSW’s academic staff in international projects and programs.
Undertaking partial studies abroad by students and the mobility of the university’s academic staff may take the forms of traditional long- and short-term stays at a partner university as well as of mixed mobility. The latter combines short-term stationary mobility with a virtual component that facilitates joint online educational exchange and teamwork.
As far as Action 2 (KA2) is concerned, the cooperation with foreign institutions and organisations will be narrowed down to activities which involve establishing partnerships for cooperation and the exchange of practices in the area of education and research as well as partnerships for the development and implementation of innovations.
The results of implementing KA1 will be among others:
– increase in the number of contracts with partner universities accompanied by the rise of academic criteria of cooperation within the educational mobility of students and university employees;
– improved quality of the offer of subjects available to students who undertake partial studies in PWSW (mobility packages) and the raising of standards of support to foreign mobility participants by the university’s administrative staff and the institutional coordinator of the E+ Programme;
– curricula modernisation aimed at providing as many subjects as possible taught in English (or other congressional language) for foreign students visiting PWSW;
– higher attractiveness of didactic process achieved by inviting outstanding lecturers and practitioners representing leading sectors of Poland’s economy;
– implementation of solutions enabling the recognition and approval of all academic achievements accomplished by the student at a foreign university;
– raising the standards of academic, scholarly and research competence in academic teachers participating in learning mobilities; it will be measured by the increase in the number of joint transnational projects, foreign publications and conferences.
KA2, in turn, will enable establishing and developing contacts with economic institutions and public sector entities as well as with social organisations that play the most important role in the exchange of experience, in the flow of information and in the improvement of procedures, and which are also a source of new solutions and innovations within joint projects.
1.3. Impact and effects of activities on the institution
Participation of PWSW in the Erasmus+ Programme is associated with specific expectations to initiate or accelerate positive changes in the functioning of the university that are in line with the objectives of PWSW’s development strategy:
1. Better preparation of PWSW’s graduates to enter the labour market and meet its requirements by:
– development of language, self-organisation and communication skills which results from a mobility to a new environment that is different from the social and cultural environment of the sending university;
– shaping such attitudes as flexibility and readiness for change, as well as the readiness to move around and to cooperate in international teams;
– dissemination of European values among the Programme participants from outside the EU (borderlands, e.g. students from Ukraine). Thanks to educational mobility, PWSW enables students from non-participating countries to participate in the Erasmus+ Programme, which contributes to the promotion of European values, history, culture and the knowledge of the European Union and its education system.
2. Development of the academic staff through:
– enabling the participation in educational mobility and research projects, which will contribute to the modernisation of study programs, increase the quality of the educational process and help implement innovative teaching methods;
– improved attractiveness of the didactic process achieved by inviting outstanding lecturers and practitioners representing leading sectors of Poland’s economy;
– establishing cooperation and co-participation in grants, projects and programs realised by international research teams;
3. Building high-quality procedures aimed at supporting people participating in the Programme, i.e.:
– Motivating the Student Government to help create an atmosphere of kindness and support towards students continuing partial studies at PWSW as a part of educational mobility;
– Engaging Erasmus Ambassadors (people who have participated in the Erasmus+ Programme) in tasks related to the promotion of the programme among university students as well among secondary school students, during events like open days at schools, annual Erasmus Days or ethnic events, during which our foreign guests may present some aspects of their culture and life to audiences;
4. Dissemination of good practices related to the organisation and implementation of educational mobility of students and university staff in order to create good standards of administrative service, as well as to shape elements of institutional culture of the university.
2. Implementation of the Fundamental Principles
2.1 Implementation of the new principles
2.1.1 Non-discrimination, transparency and inclusion of students and staff
PWSW in Przemyśl operates within the multicultural borderland. A significant number of students are foreigners, especially from nearby Ukraine. From the beginning, the university has been attaching great importance to respecting and observing the principles of equality regardless of ethnicity, race, skin colour, religion, worldview, political views, economic and social status, language, age or gender.
PWSW in Przemyśl guarantees equal treatment to all students and university employees going abroad, as well as students or employees coming over to our university. All students and PWSW employees can participate in mobilities under the Erasmus + program. Incoming students have the same rights and obligations as PWSW students. The policy of the university authorities, including the scholarship system, strongly supports the integration of disabled students and people at risk of exclusion due to difficult financial situation. In the area of the Erasmus + Program scholarship mobilities co-financed from the POWER program are particularly popular.
The university ensures equal access to the educational and mobility offer. Within its individual activities, at every stage of their implementation, PWSW ensures full and fair access to the Erasmus+ Program for people from all walks of life. Therefore, it promotes mobility opportunities abroad among people with fewer opportunities, for economic, social, cultural, geographical, or medical reasons, including disability. The university creates fair, transparent, consistent and well-documented recruitment and selection procedures that ensure equal access for all potential participants, especially for those with fewer opportunities.
It provides additional support for participants of inbound and outbound mobility, for groups with special needs and for lower socio-economic backgrounds.
There are no fees to be paid by the incoming students and no charges for tuition, registration, exams or access to laboratories and the library.
2.1.2 European Student Card Initiative
Over the period of 2021-2027, PWSW in Przemyśl is planning to implement a European Student Card Initiative by using available tools for managing digital mobility and linking them to the university’s student service system. For this purpose, the university is taking active steps to timely implement minimum requirements for the management of digital mobility. The staff responsible for the university’s IT infrastructure has been involved in these steps.
The implementation of the European Student Card Initiative will not only give students quick access to information but will also provide them with comprehensive support during the mobility period. It will also entail beneficial organizational changes in the functioning of the university by significant simplification in managing the mobility process, streamlining of administrative procedures and increasing the security of students’ data exchange.
Therefore, the university will actively encourage the incoming and outgoing students to use the Erasmus+ mobile application, whenever possible, and update it with useful information about the university and the academic community.
2.1.3 Implementation and promotion of environmentally friendly practices in the context of the Erasmus+ programme
Since the beginning of its functioning in the Erasmus+ programme, PWSW in Przemyśl has been supporting environmentally friendly practices leading to the reduction in the amount of paper documentation in favour of electronic documentation, and to the reduction of energy and natural resource consumption, through favouring electronic media.
Over the period 2021-2027, PWSW will be integrating its IT systems with the systems supporting interinstitutional agreements, running the mobility of students and staff as well as controlling applications being sent to the National Agency.
There are also plans to launch an electronic document circulation system operating within the current university service system, to further develop the educational platform designed to carry out online teaching tasks, and to extend and develop the existing web service.
The university will take advantage of the opportunities offered by the programme to support sustainable travel and reduce a negative impact of mobility on the environment. It will also promote joint students mobility for studies at a partner university and joint didactic and/or training trips for employees in order to reduce both travel costs and the use of separate means of transport to the place of mobility.
2.1.4. Civic engagement and active citizenship
Internationalisation of studies leads to positive attitudes towards multiculturalism and to stregthening the sense of European identity among students and employees. Therefore, the university is planning to take actions to integrate incoming mobility participants with the wider student community and to involve them in everyday life of the university so that they may feel they are a part of the student and academic community. It will create conditions for incoming students to join social organizations including student associations, university sports clubs, and activities undertaken by the Student Government. It will also encourage them to initiate and organize social events for wider interaction with local students.
In addition, PWSW s planning to engage its students and employees to act as Programme ambassadors and share experiences related to mobility and its impact on their personal/ professional development with other students and employees potentially interested in exchanges. To increase integration, the university will endeavour to engage employees and students in volunteering to provide assistance to incoming students / employees both before and during the mobility period.
2.2 When participating in Mobility Activities – After mobility
2.2.1. Recognition of learning outcomes
An important factor in the internationalization of studies is the recognition of all students’ achievements and learning effects accomplished at a foreign university during a mobility. This means that all credits obtained during the study period at universities abroad – agreed upon in the Learning Agreement and confirmed in the Transcript of Records – will be automatically transferred and credited to the student’s record of studies on the basis of relevant documents, without additional evaluation of a student’s work. This also applies to mixed mobility.
The university will develop a transparent course catalogue, enabling students to make conscious choices about subjects they will pursue. The course catalogue for the academic year will be published on the university’s website far in advance of the mobility period (in the early spring of the preceding academic year) and updated at least once a year. Students will receive clear and transparent information on procedures for awarding and conversion of ECTS credits.
The implementation of education programs will be based on Mobility Agreements and Learning Agreements, signed before the start of the mobility by the sending university and the university/ enterprise/host organization and the student; it will also be based on the Transcript of Records with an indication of a number of points gained and marks for the credits received (in the case of internships – the appropriate document will be the Transcript of Work/Traineeship Certificate).
The university will immediately certify the mobility after its completion by issuing documents such as the Mobility Certificate, Transcript of Records and Learning Agreement After the Mobility.
The university will also issue a Diploma Supplement to any incoming student.
PWSW student’s participation in the Erasmus+ program will be recorded in the Diploma Supplement, and all credits will be automatically recognized by the home university.
The PWSW in Przemyśl has been using the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) for several years, based on the principle of transparency in learning, teaching and assessment processes. Studies in each field are conducted on the basis of study programs. The program description defines among others: the form of studies, the number of semesters, the catalogue of classes or groups of classes together with a description of learning effects and curriculum excerpts confirming the achievement of these effects, the method of verification and achievement of the assumed learning effects by the student and the schedule of programme implementation.
2.2.2 Staff mobility
Thanks to the participation in international programmes, the university not only strengthens the mechanisms of both its management and the quality control of the education it delivers: the institution also improves these mechanisms and adapts the educational process to meet the highest international standards. Hence, PWSW in Przemyśl considers the recognition of its staff’s international mobility as a significant contribution to the development of the institution and an integral part of professional development of its employees, and these goals constitute part of the university’s strategy of its modernisation.
The university will actively support the mobility of its employees in accordance with their needs as observed within their professional development and the degree of their preparedness for the participation in the programme. It will also promote the mobility by:
– recognising an activity in this area as an important component in the routine evaluation of academic teachers;
– creating schedules of the teaching staff in such a way as to enable them to meet the requirements related to their mobility.
A system of employee substitutions during their mobility will also be maintained.
Training and teaching mobility of the employees will become a part of the university’s policy of human resource management.
2.3 For the Purposes of Visibility
2.3.1. Link to the Erasmus Policy and Erasmus Charter
PWSW in Przemyśl will publish the ECHE Card together with its Erasmus Policy statement by placing these documents on the university’s bilingual website, in a place easily accessible from the home page: https://erasmus.pwsw.pl. The documents will also be available in the Erasmus+ Programme office at the university and will be sent out to the respective Institutes of the university.
Current activities and events realised within the Erasmus+ Programme will be promoted via regularly published posts on the university’s website, in social media such as: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, as well as in printed materials, traditional media (radio, television, press) and during the Erasmus Day.
2.3.2 Communication and application of principles of Erasmus Charter
In the formulation of the Erasmus Policy Declaration (EPS) as a strategic document of PWSW in Przemyśl, specifying how to implement the Erasmus Charter, employees from all levels of the university, i.e. managerial staff as well as didactic and administrative staff, including employees with international experience were involved. This guarantees a good knowledge of the principles of the Erasmus Charter and its practical application.
The relevant principles of the Charter will also be included in university legal acts related to student service and employee development.
The text of the Charter will be easily accessible for students and staff on the university’s main website, which will emphasize the fact that the entire university is obliged to comply with its rules.