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Erasmus Policy Statement

ERASMUS+

KAZIMIERZ WIELKI UNIVERSITY (PL BYDGOSZ01)

ERASMUS CHARTER 2014-2020/21

78840-EPP-1-2014-1-PL-EPPKA3-ECHE
 


GENERAL ORGANISATION
Please describe the structure at your institution for the implementation and organisation of European and international mobility (division of tasks, operational and communication methods.
At Kazimierz Wielki University organisation and implementation of European and international mobility  is managed by the International Relations Office. In the field of international mobility, the IRO cooperates with Erasmus Institutional Coordinator, Erasmus Departmental Coordinators, deans for the science and research and student’s offices in the relevant faculties. Erasmus Institutional Coordinator supervises work of departmental coordinators,  updates state of their knowledge by holding information sessions and disseminating latest information. Departmental Coordinators are responsible, together with the International Relations Office, for keeping students’ and staff informed of mobility opportunities and application procedures. Departmental coordinators’ main task is to lead student through procedures related to preparing  Learning Agreement and receiving recognition afterwards. IRO organises selection of candidates and awarding beneficiaries with grants in a transparent and documented way.  With regard to communication and promotion measures, IRO offers counselling every day except weekends. IRO holds, on a regular basis, information sessions, information stands (among others during Bydgoszcz Science Festival, called European Corner), updates its official website www.bwm.ukw.edu.pl, produces and distributes promotional materials (international student guide), publishes monthly Newsletter, offers individual and group consultations, communicates with the teachers and students via email, organises mobility stays for staff from partner universities, offers support related to partner search,  establishing contacts with partners, organisational support.
Contact details: http://www.bwm.ukw.edu.pl/index.php?_m=2&_id=26
http://www.bwm.ukw.edu.pl/index.php?_m=8&_id=35
http://www.bwm.ukw.edu.pl/index.php?_m=8&_id=41

Explain the academic credit system and the methodology you use to allocate credits to the different course units followed by your students abroad.
University applies The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS). Credit transfer and accumulation are facilitated at the University by the use of the ECTS key documents (Course Catalogue, Student Application Form, Learning Agreement, Recognition Sheet, Transcript of Records and Proof of Recognition) as well as the Diploma  Supplement, accompanying every degree completed by a student of the University and recording  the period of mobility under the Programme. The number of credits awarded for a course unit is a measure of the student workload required for that module, based on the number of contact hours, the number and length of assessment exercises, class preparation and private study time, laboratory classes, examinations, etc. Credits are allocated to study programmes as well as to their educational components. 60 ECTS credits are attached to the workload of a fulltime year of formal learning (academic year) and the associated learning outcomes. Student workload ranges from 1,500 to 1,800 hours for an academic year, and one credit corresponds to 25 to 30 hours of work. Credits awarded in the study programme offered by the receiving institution (e.g. under Erasmus Programme) are transferred into the study programme offered by the University. Before student’s departure, while preparing Learning Agreement the compatibility  of learning outcomes is verified by the academic coordinator. Upon student’s return all compatible courses are fully recognised, additional courses are described in the Diploma Supplement. All above mentioned principles applied by the University and many others are mentioned in the University regulation introduced by Rector of the University and published on the university website. The document’s title is “Credit accumulation and transfer system at Kazimierz Wielki University”.
http://www.bwm.ukw.edu.pl/index.php?_m=2&_id=711

Explain if all courses taught at your institution are described in the course catalogue and in which languages they are taught.
With increasing number of international students it has become necessary to create English-taught courses dedicated to the international students. The English course catalogue is presented on the university Erasmus website www.erasmus.ukw.edu.pl and university ECTS course catalogue website www.ects.ukw.edu.pl. In addition, Kazimierz Wielki University can conduct full-time studies in English in the fields mentioned at: www.studyinbydgoszcz.pl  Since Polish is a language of instruction at the University majority of courses in the areas other than foreign philologies, offered to students are taught in Polish.  They are available at the university study oriented system called USOS easily accessible from the home page of the university official website:  http://www.usosweb.ukw.edu.pl. With entering EU it became necessary for Polish Universities, Kazimierz Wielki University included, to make the USOS system compliant with the Bologna Declaration. As a result USOS was adjusted to support ECTS and Diploma Supplement. Currently ECTS course catalogue is available at: http://www.ects.ukw.edu.pl. The catalogue is available in both Polish and English.
Erasmus course catalogue: http://www.bwm.ukw.edu.pl/index.php?_m=2&_id=117 

Describe the institutional procedure for the approval and monitoring of inter-institutional agreements for study and teaching  mobility.
Signing agreement requires comprehensive insight into the partner institution, comparing academic profiles and establishing whether the offered standards are adequate. As soon as the proposal is accepted by departmental representatives, the agreement is signed centrally by the  official university representative, Vice-Rector for Research and International Relations. Agreements are registered and stored centrally in the International Relations Office (certified copies are sent to the Erasmus departmental coordinators). Catalogue of agreements is also published on the university’s website, so as to be transparent to all parties and allow outgoing students to make well-informed choices about the receiving universities. Each agreement indicates the contact details of those responsible for implementing the agreement. It must be stressed that agreements are concluded not only  with institutions offering similar programmes, but also with those providing complementary programmes, thus making available further opportunities to the students. Once existing cooperation proves successful the measures are taken to prolong and extend cooperation. Before deciding to prolong the agreement the University  asks returning students and staff to complete the evaluation of the receiving institution. Also, University  sends its representatives to the receiving institutions to monitor  whether the agreement is realised according to prior arrangements. In case the existing agreement proves inadequate University decides not to continue the collaboration. Currently, the University can boast  80 Erasmus bilateral agreements with European institutions of higher education. 

Describe your institution’s language policy for preparing participants for mobility, e.g.: course providers within or outside the HEI.
Linguistic preparation should be a part of preparation for mobility period. Therefore, University’s activities to prepare students for mobility include: obligatory foreign language course as part of each study programme, extensive offer of study programmes in the area of foreign languages, meetings with former mobility participants, on-line students’ reports and intercultural communication workshops. Moreover, linguistic competency is one of the key selection criteria for students applying to the exchange programme.  Candidates are required to present confirmation of their language skills. Those unable to submit any certificate are obliged to attend language verification exam as part of recruitment process. Additionally, beneficiaries are encouraged to participate in EILC and other courses offered by the receiving universities. Also, IRO promotes (via websites, newsletters, mailing list) summer language schools offered by the partner universities. The university cooperates with a local language school which offers discounted courses for the students and staff. As regards staff mobility, to build lecturers self-confidence and improve their linguistic competence, the university organises specially designed English course on academic presentation and academic writing.        

Please describe mentoring and support arrangements for incoming mobile participants and outgoing students for study and traineeships.
Incoming students receive equal academic treatment (the same rights and responsibilities, exams, marking and grading) and services (accommodation, internet, library, etc.) as outgoing students. Both incoming and outgoing students receive relevant support related to the academic issues from the departmental Erasmus coordinators. Moreover, Institutional Erasmus Coordinator plays a role of a mediator between university teachers and incoming students, check the level of courses and helps with organizing additional courses if required by students. Also, International Relations Office advises outgoing and incoming students, before and during the exchange, on practical and organisational arrangements as well as on academic issues such as programmes of study at their host university, and credit and course requirements.  Furthermore,  incoming students are supported by buddies assisting them by meeting them at the station/airport, explaining everyday cultural challenges and offering entertainment. The IRO offers to the new international students extensive orientation programme and interesting events during their stay. The outgoing students are invited to participate in the intercultural workshops helping them to overcome culture shock. All international exchange students are offered accommodation in the university dormitories, at a  regular price offered to full time students.

Describe your institution’s language support for incoming students and staff with a minimum of 2-month mobility period.
Polish Teaching Centre to Foreigners, the University’s unit, offers to the incoming students and staff Polish language courses on different levels and of different length: semester, annual, short introductory and extensive courses. The courses are conducted by the staff qualified and experienced in teaching Polish to foreigners. The language courses for all exchange students are free of charge. Students declare their will to participate before arrival, filling in the application form. Polish course is included into Learning Agreement and covers up to 30 hours (4 ECTS credits). The programme of the course includes: elements of Polish culture, pronunciation, spelling, vocabulary and phraseology, developing communications skills, writing and translating texts of everyday use. Additionally, students acquire Polish by being integrated into the university everyday life. All incoming students are also offered English courses on advanced level as extra language preparation. For staff incoming for mobility periods university can offer a regular language course or a short introductory language course, in case of shorter mobility periods. Also, to quicken adaption process, incoming staff is assisted during his/her stay by a Polish colleague and offered a cultural programme.

Describe the mechanisms your institution has in place to recognise mobility achievements for study and traineeships in enterprises.
In addition , please provide the direct web link for this recognition procedure:
Learning Agreements are discussed, approved and signed by authorised members of academic staff. The proposed study programmes included in Learning Agreements are supposed to have similar, complementary or coherent learning outcomes in relation to the programme at the home institution, but it will not necessary have to have the same content. Taking into consideration diversity of programmes and higher education institutions, it is improbable that the credits and learning outcomes of a single educational component in different programmes will be identical. Therefore, a flexible approach to recognition of credits obtained in another context is applied. “Fair recognition” rather than perfect equivalence is to be sought. University ensures that each outgoing students has an approved Learning/Training Agreement by time of departure by International Relations Office (central check). The precise way of recognition that will be granted for the Erasmus study or placement period is firmly indicated prior to departure during information sessions and is available online. Granting of Erasmus recognition is provided by the dean of the relevant faculty on the basis  of submitted documents after check of Erasmus departmental coordinators and  central check of IRO. University guarantees  that all credits gained abroad in the approved programme of study will be fully recognised and transferred into the home programme (Recognition Sheet, Proof of Recognition, Diploma Supplement). The above mentioned information are mentioned in the regulation introduced by Rector of the University: Terms and conditions related to credit accumulation and transfer system at Kazimierz Wielki University.
The document  is available here: http://www.bwm.ukw.edu.pl/index.php?_m=2&_id=711

Describe your institution’s measures to support, to promote and to recognise staff mobility.
The University actively supports staff mobility and takes different measures to encourage mobility among staff. Among others, the University provides administrative (International Relations Office)  and academic (Erasmus departmental coordinators) guidance before and after the mobility. On the selection stage, University disseminates information on mobility opportunities (via email, newsletter, info sessions, distribution of leaflets, references to the website). Before the mobility, International office provides support related to organisational arrangements such as awarding of grant, obtaining insurance and visa.  Participation in mobility is seen as an important aspect of professional development of the staff and of the modernisation of the Institution. Therefore, the University offers flexible approach towards selection of mobility period. Also, mobility is taken into account in case of periodic employee performance assessment. Importantly, the staff members actively engaged in the internationalisation process can be granted Rector’s Annual Award for the most distinguished staff members. They can also  apply to a special fund created by the Vice-Rector for Research and International Relations aimed at supporting mobility project. Administrative staff is encouraged to raise qualifications by participating in training, workshops, job shadowing abroad.  Describe your institution’s measures to support, to promote and to recognise the participation of your institution’s staff and students in European and international cooperation projects under the Programme. The University undertakes to support fully  students and staff members participating in projects under the Programme, either as coordinator or partner. As part of the Institution’s internationalisation plan, support measures will be taken at both central and departmental levels allowing participating staff/students sufficient time to conduct their project work, providing extra funds to support the implementation of the project, offering administrative assistance related to financial management, recognition procedures, etc.  Dissemination and exploitation of project results is realised in various ways, starting from offering participants of mobility projects space on the university website, through offering them floor during information sessions held by the International Relations Office, and ending with presenting their achievements in the university publications.

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)
Kazimierz Wielki University in Bydgoszcz  is a public higher education institution with a tradition of teacher training. Nowadays following the example of the outstanding European universities Kazimierz Wielki University aims at developing into a modern, competitive and mobility-oriented institution. As a beneficiary of Extended Erasmus University Charter for the period of 2007-2013 the University increased its competitiveness supporting students and teaching staff mobility in line with the principles set out in Bologna Strategy.  Currently, University pursues to continue and expand existing collaborations with dozens of Institutions of higher education located in the Programme countries. Apart from maintaining existing partnerships within EU, University shows considerable interest in establishing new agreements with other institutions of higher education from EU. Interest in developing cooperation within Europe results from the similarities between institutions of higher education in Europe: compatible education systems, application of ECTS, English-taught study programmes, etc. Moreover, the University pursues to attract students, academics and researchers from non-participating countries such as Russia, Kazakhstan and The Near East, to name a few countries only. To attract potential partners and become visible internationally University staff actively participate in the conferences, trainings abroad, organise international conferences. 

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).
The most important objectives and target groups of University mobility activities are as follows: - to increase quantity and quality of student credit mobility at Bachelor, Master and Doctoral levels to and from the participating countries and to and from non-participating countries, for studies and traineeships  in enterprises;   Developing traineeship scheme  will be aimed at adapting existing curricula to the expectations of labour market. - to  boost University staff (academic and non-academic staff) mobility to other relevant institutions in the participating and non-participating countries, to teach and to be trained; - to encourage staff from enterprises to deliver training courses or workshops in the University; - to further promote, support and recognise student and staff mobility, underrepresented groups included - to develop integrated, international teaching activities (joint courses/modules/study programmes, double/multiple/joint degrees) - to further develop cooperation with partners in participating and non-participating countries in the framework of coherent and clear strategy for internationalisation - to expand ECTS course catalogue, to provide transparent application of ECTS, to increase flexibility and transparency of recognition procedures - to increase visibility of the University in Europe and outside of the Europe, to create a truly international community.

If applicable, 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. Spending time abroad broadens people’s horizons and helps them acquire skills that are valued by employers – from foreign languages to adaptability and greater intercultural awareness. Participating in courses in a foreign language students gain significant linguistic and intercultural competences indispensable in the modern world. In  this way, mobility boosts job prospects and encourages labour market mobility later in life. For academic staff mobility means, among others, professional development, improvement of research contacts and teaching skills. With regard to the above statements the most important objectives of University mobility activities and areas for the forthcoming years is to increase competitiveness home and abroad through supporting students and teaching staff mobility, applying the guidelines set out in Lisbon and Bologna Strategies.  In order to attract international students, the University will pursue to increase number of  subjects and complete study programmes in English as well develop double/multiple or joint degrees with partner universities in Europe and outside of Europe.  In the efforts to create more competitive and attractive degree programmes University will have in mind key priorities related to Bologna Process namely: mobility, employability and quality. To that end, The University will make efforts to constantly develop quality standards by consistent and transparent application of European Credit Transfer System. Kazimierz Wielki University cooperates with dozens of European institutions of higher education regarding student exchange scheme within the framework  of the Erasmus Programme. The numbers of outgoing and incoming students has tripled in the recent years and there are increasing number of international students deciding to continue their education at Kazimierz Wielki University after  the Erasmus mobility period. In order to attract and retain international students the University offers a support system including, academic (Erasmus coordinator) and student (mentor programme) support, free of charge Polish course, assistance with organizational arrangements, welcome week, intercultural training, etc. As  regards outgoing students the University will continue to support and promote student mobility for training and study periods. Students will be encouraged by different means to consider period of study and/or training abroad as natural part of their university education. as  In addition, measures should be taken to build mobility into curricula. Integrating mobility component into a study programme will help student develop intercultural, linguistic and social skills. The University will strive to develop scholarship schemes  for those in difficult financial situation. Taking into consideration fierce competition on the education market the University will take every possible measure to reach the potential students with the information of its education opportunities. In order to achieve this goal the University will extend the Course Catalogue, provide transparent information on the university website(s), offer informative printed materials dedicated to the international audience.

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). Aware of the demographic ageing and shrinking numbers of potential recruits Kazimierz Wielki University pursues to increase number of students by attracting the disadvantaged groups. In order to meet this challenge the University supports students with disabilities offering numerous practical solutions allowing for full participation in study process. To give an example, a disabled student is assisted during his day by his/her fellow student. The University strives to equip students with the knowledge indispensable to succeed in the modern labour market.  To achieve this goal, the University adjusts curricula to current market needs university by supporting  staff exchanges for training and teaching and including study and training periods in study programmes. Also, it is worth mentioning that the university graduates are offered placements abroad with the aim of increasing their chances on the labour market. Kazimierz WIelki University stresses the significance of individual mobility that constitutes a perfect tool for increasing professional, social and intercultural skills and employability. The University aims at increasing number of students completing a study or training period abroad. Therefore, efforts are made to build learning mobility into curricula and ensure the efficient recognition of credits gained abroad by means of consistent use of ECTS and the Diploma Supplement. Also, the University pursues to attract students, academics and researchers from outside the EU. In order to recruit students from non-participating countries the following issues must be addressed in the nearest future: continuous improvement of quality studies, expanding ECTS course catalogue, improving flexibility of recognition and transparency of recruitment procedures.
As centre of knowledge, expertise and learning, the University is responsible for fostering exchange of knowledge, staff and expertise. To meet his goal, currently University cooperates with the industry/business in the  numerous areas such as engineering, genetics, water protection, humanities, biology, biotechnology, etc. and offers wide scope of possible forms of cooperation: research projects, individual and group trainings, expertise, scientific conferences, traineeships, research and development works. With qualified teaching staff, study-oriented approach, modern infrastructure, and high-quality equipment, Kazimierz Wielki University strives  to be recognised internationally as a trustworthy and reliable partner in the business and academic world. 
Summarising, located in the centre of Poland, Kazimierz Wielki University  contributes to the development of the region and the improvement of the city’s life quality. The main mission of the University is to prove the society with well-educated and entrepreneurial citizens, create and disseminate knowledge and expertise, as well as to pursue scientific, technological, cultural, and artistic excellence within a framework of the international quality standards.            

List of the institutions awarded the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education under the Erasmus+ Programme:
List of the institutions awarded the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education under the Erasmus+ Programme - call 2013  
List of the institutions awarded the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education under the Erasmus+ Programme - call 2014  



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