ERASMUS POLICY STATEMENT
One of the most crucial strategic goals of the Opole University of Technology (OUTech) is to further enhance and adapt the education offer to the needs of dynamically changing reality. As a result of these activities students would be prepared to undertake the challenges of the modern world. The university mission is to provide the students with the opportunity to acquire competences that will address the expectations of the changing labour market. The university also strives for continuous progress of the education level, thus the most important aims will consist in internationalization of studies, development of international cooperation in the field of scientific research in leading OUTech disciplines (automation, electronics and electrical engineering, civil engineering and transport, mechanical engineering, environmental engineering, mining and power engineering) and staff and student mobility, possibly owing to continues participation in the Erasmus programme. These activities are consistent with the assumptions of the European Commission, aiming to create the European Education Area and they take into consideration three key elements, which are:
- English as the language of instruction in a more broader scope,
- creating study programmes in cooperation with universities from other countries as part of European programmes based on agreements signed by the Opole University of Technology with partner universities,
- promotion of the university in the European academic environments.
In accordance with the strategy of the Opole University of Technology, international cooperation is the essential element of the university's development, contributing to the improvement of staff skills and professional qualifications. The intensification of cooperation in the scientific, research and didactic areas in Europe and worldwide, the exchange of knowledge and experience as well as the adaptation of good practices, through participation in internships and trainings abroad will be a consequence of activities carried out during the implementation of mobility programmes under the Erasmus programme. This will determine the academic progress of the Opole University of Technology and contribute to the search and assessment of new solutions to the difficulties of the dynamically changing world, and thus the unambiguous modernization of the university as a higher education institution.
The priority of activities undertaken by the Opole University of Technology in the Erasmus programme will be the mobility of students and university employees as well as the admission of students and academic staff from foreign universities worldwide. The International Relations Office (DWM) - the unit managing the Erasmus programme at the university level will coordinate these activities. On the basis of inter-institutional agreements, the academic community will continue to participate in mobility to foreign universities (students - study and/or placement mobility, teaching staff – teaching or training, administrative staff –training) and foreign students and partner universities staff will be able to visit the Opole University of Technology (the type of mobility accordingly). All mobilities will be carried out in accordance with the regulations available on the websites of the sending universities (refers also to partner institutions). Recruitment process for SMS mobility will be conducted twice per academic year, as well as accepting nominations and application documents from foreign students. The above mentioned process will be completely digitized thanks to the tools created as part of the Erasmus Without Paper project. Recruitment process for student internships will be held continuously throughout the academic year. Correspondingly, the recruitment process for staff and teaching mobility and the implementation of visits by the staff of foreign partner universities will be conducted. The broadly understood promotion of the programme and the benefits of intercultural exchange of knowledge and experience will complement the mobility process implementation.
Participation in activities will allow achieving the key objectives of the university’s internationalization strategy. Additionally, students and employees participating in the international mobility will become the ambassadors of the Opole University of Technology, which will positively influence its position and recognition world-wide. The arrivals of foreign students will have a significant impact on improving education quality, increasing the quality assurance processes, as well as on developing the English education offer in following fields of study. The consequence of visits of employees and students from foreign partner universities will be the "internationalization at home", allowing polish students to acquire competences at home institution related to those they would acquire while studying abroad (intercultural communication, knowledge of foreign languages, ability to cooperate in international teams, etc.). The incoming and outgoing mobility of employees will support the exchange of experiences in the field of implementation of the didactic process in terms of content and organization, they will also be the "driving force" for establishing cooperation in international, interdisciplinary research teams.
In accordance with the concept of internationalization of higher education in Poland, project activities will contribute to fostering the university’s international academic environment. The project will support the process of implementing the international and intercultural dimension in the functioning of the university and its partner institutions. The employment of exchange programs for students and university staff is undoubtedly one of the most important factors that significantly affects the internationalization process of the entire institution. The experience and skills that the academic community has gained over the past years of implementing the Erasmus programme are genuinely resulting in the current educational offer. Study programs fully taught in English have been successfully adapted, recruiting students from the farthest corners of the world. The academic staff conducts research in cooperation with international scientific institutes, and publishes articles in world class journals. It is expected that the continuation of the Erasmus programme will have intensified the activities and processes initiated so far, allowing the university to discover new areas of cooperation and development corresponding to the changes occurring in the contemporary world.
As part of the quality objectives, the mobility project will contribute to improving the competences of employees and students of all participating universities. It will supplement planned activities in the field of education quality assurance, considering opinions, conclusions and suggestions resulting from the employees’ experience. Employees who will participate in the project will provide advisory and opinion-forming value during the implementation of the mission and strategic goals as well as the implementation of the learning outcomes of the new study programs. Participation in mobility project will have a significant impact on the assessment of employees scientific activity. It will increase the exchange of experiences and provide the opportunity to identify current trends in areas such as fields of study and scientific research. The combination of the scientific and economic potential in addition to research base of the partners will facilitate research, significantly raising its standard. The collaboration will be based on knowledge transfer, thanks to which it will translate into expanding the competence of the academic community. Additionally, the university plans to attract the educational offer by implementing so-called 'Blended mobility' and to modificate the study programs by introducing the so-called 'Mobility windows' in three leading fields (IT, mechanics and machine construction, civil engineering, power engineering and environmental engineering) by 2027.
As part of quantitative targets, it is estimated that in the years 2021-27 over 400 study and training mobilities will be completed, as well as 500 mobilities of staff. The Opole University of Technology intends to host over 700 students and 200 employees from foreign partner institutions. Quantitative indicators will be achieved with fair access for all participants, paying particular attention to people from disadvantaged backgrounds.