Academy of Silesia is the first, private university in Silesia which offers technical, artistic and since 2018 medical fields of study. The mission of the institution is not only to provide high-quality education but also to enable our students to get necessary experience and professional qualifications to function properly in the constantly changing and developing European world labour market. Internationalisation and modernisation are two extremely important aspects of the development strategy of the Academy of Silesia. Thus, the active participation in the Erasmus Programme greatly fits into our internationalisation and modernisation strategy. Thanks to the mobility opportunities offered by the Erasmus Programme our institution will be able to pursue the following objectives:
Within the scope of the new Erasmus Program Academy of Silesia would like to participate in KA1 projects which focus on mobility of higher education and staff. We are already experienced in this kind of activities (mobility of students and staff) and we are going to keep up the standard which the institution has achieved over the past years.
Academy of Silesia carefully selects partner universities, focusing on the ones which offer a modern standard of education as well as their innovativeness and subject area balance. The language of instruction and the institution’s internationalization are also taken into consideration. The mission of our institution is to have partners from different countries. The evaluation of the cooperation with partner universities is also an essential aspect.
Our students are prepared to take part in the Erasmus mobility thanks to the obligatory language training offered by our institution.
Our institution’s participation in KA1 projects will contribute to achieving the following objectives:
The main institutional purpose of our participation in the Erasmus Programme is maintaining the high quality of education and continuous modernisation of the Academy of Silesia. Thanks to the learning mobility offered by the program we can add international dimension to our educational offer. Our staff will have the possibility to get to know different methods of teaching and to observe examples of good practices which can be later implemented in our institution. Such an activity will have a long-term impact on the quality of services provided by our institution. Thanks to the participation in the Erasmus Programme our students will improve their language skills, gain multicultural consciousness and skills, develop their ability to adapt to new situations, increase their social skills and also emotional intelligence. Another important benefit is that they will be able to create their sense of European identity which is extremely important nowadays.
As for the participants we hope that our students, teachers and administrative staff will continue taking part in the Erasmus mobility. We would like to keep the number of outgoing students and staff at least at the same level, however the institution is going to do our best to increase this number. We plan to focus our activities on gaining new partners, especially for the medicine and nursing as these are new fields of study offered by our institution. Another activity we are going to engage in is the active promotion of our institution among our partners so there are more incoming students and staff. We are also planning to increase our educational offer in English which will definitely help to achieve it.
The quality of implementation is also a crucial aspect. The main department responsible for the implementation of activities connected with the Erasmus Programme is the International Office, however it cooperates with other institutional departments. To provide the high quality of implementation the institution regularly evaluates the actions undertaken by different departments and their results. The following evaluation tools are used: meetings, discussions, and reports. The objective of all these actions is the analysis of the whole process.
The participants on mobility and prospective participants are supported by the International Office and the Erasmus coordinators. International office staff is responsible for recruitment and they help to prepare learning agreements and mobility agreements. While on mobility the students and staff are supported by the International Office and they are obliged to inform International Office in case of any problems or difficulties. After the mobility, the coordinators monitor whether all documents (e.g. transcript of records, confirmation of stay or EU survey) are timely provided by participants. Those who have taken part in mobility later cooperate with the International Office as they become the mobility ambassadors.
The Academy of Silesia is aware of the plethora of possibilities offered by the Erasmus Programme and we are going to take every opportunity to benefit from them.
The International Office is responsible for Academy of Silesia's cooperation with other schools and universities. The most important activities of the International
Office include: mobility of students and staff and preparing our school for foreign students and staff.
When looking for foreign partners, Academy of Silesia pays a lot of attention to the similarity of the educational offer of the prospective partner. The quality of education, as well as school's facilities are also taken into consideration. The offer of the after classes activities (e.g. the possibility of studying foreign languages) is also crucial. Once all these criteria are met, Erasmus coordinators get in touch with the chosen university and present our offer. If both parties are interested in further cooperation, the bilateral agreement is signed. The final decision about establishing a partnership is made by the Rector of Academy of Silesia. Academy of Silesia provides education in technical faculties e.g. Architecture and Town Planning, Civil Construction. Therefore, it is crucial to look for partners in areas which have to tackle similar problems e.g. revitalization of the post-industrial areas and construction in mining areas. When looking for partners among non-EU universities, if there are two universities which have similar faculties and they have met all our criteria, Academy of Silesia will probably choose the one which is located nearer Katowice as it enables to cut costs and makes travelling faster. The mobility target groups of Academy of Silesia are students and staff (both teachers and administrative staff).
The opportunity to take part in the Erasmus programme will make our school's offer more attractive. Thanks to participation in the programme, the students have the possibility to study abroad in different schools and universities. The students and teachers participating in the programme will improve their knowledge of foreign languages and their general knowledge. Moreover, they have the possibility to get to know different methods of teaching, which is very valuable as some of the good practices can be later implemented in our school. It is particularly necessary for technical faculties, which our school specializes in, because the new technologies have a huge impact on the development of science. Students who have studied abroad are more competitive in the job market which increases the prestige of our school. The experience, that students and teachers gain, will affect the development of the Science and Technology Park which is being created as part of our school. The idea of the park is that students and Polish and foreign companies will cooperate in the realization of different business ideas. Thanks to the participation in the programme our school will get experience in obtaining and accounting for EU funds.