Internationalization Strategy

Internationalization Strategy of Stanisław Staszic State School of Higher Vocational Education for 2013 – 2020.

The 7th Directional Goal set by the Development Strategy for 2007-2015 of Stanisław Staszic State School of Higher Vocational Education in Piła (PWSZ in Piła Senate Resolution No XXIV/208/07;Piła, February 22nd 2007): Harmonization within European Area of High Education determines the overall goals and mission of our Institutions internationalization processes, situating membership in the Erasmus Program as a foremost priority.
Until today Stanisław Staszic State School of Higher Vocational Education in Piła has not participated in European Union Programs within adjusting the mobility of students and academic staff via the Socrates and Erasmus Programs. This state of affairs should be changed as soon as possible, because maintaining and further development of exchange is a condition for increasing the mobility of students and quality of education.
The starting point for expanding activity within this field, should be a resolution of the Senate that issues and adopts an Institutional Policy Statement related to realization of the Erasmus Program and submitting an application for the Extended Erasmus University Charter.
  1. Applying for Erasmus University Charter, which will allow us to apply for founds in the Erasmus Program in 2007-2013
  2. Undertake efforts towards establishing contacts with foreign universities to organize exchange of students, teaching and administrative staff
  3. Accession and refining of the implementation of the ECTS system, which will allow full recognition of education
  4. Selecting partner universities and preparation of long term agreements allowing joint development of study programs
  5. Increasing outgoing teaching staff mobility for teaching assignments
  6. Increasing outgoing student mobility for studies and placements in companies
  7. Development of bilateral agreements, recruitment procedures, etc. and applying to the National Agency for founds for mobility grants and exchange

Establishing contact with the Marshals Office of the Wilekopolska Region and Piła City Council to institute partnership with Higher Education Institutions from partner regions and cities (Wielkopolksa is currently cooperating with 11 European regions, City of Piła with 4 cities) Initiating forms for language perfection for students, didactic and other staff Internationalization policy – hiring foreign academic teachers Foreign contacts of academic staff – start towards establishing institutional cooperation Publication of information materials in English (fliers, folders, information sheets) with the intention to establish international contact (for example during education fairs) Promotion of the Erasmus Program Establishing cooperation within the Comenius Program (teacher education) and Leonardo da Vinci (placements for students and academic staff)

In 2007 Stanisław Staszic State School of Higher Vocational Education in Piła (further also PWSZ in Piła) has changed its course towards a new level of quality by attaining the Extended Erasmus University Charter. Parallel to applying for EUCX the PWSZ in Piła Management with the aid of the academic community have initialized cooperation with higher education institutions from Russia (2008).

Within the past 6 years PWSZ in Piła has signed bilateral agreements with 23 foreign institutions, both within and outside of the Lifelong Learning Program (LLP). In this time our Institution has also participated in an international research project and is currently applying to be part of the LLP Transversal Program.

1. Diagnosis of the current internationalization level:

1.1. Lifelong Learning Programme

1.1.1. Bilateral agreements

PWSZ in Piła has engaged into first bilateral agreements within the Erasmus Program in February 2010, and has since signed following agreements:

Economic Institute

Economics
Haute Ecole de la Province de Liege Belgium
Šiaures Lietuvos Kolegija Lithuania
"1 Decembrie 1918" University of Alba Iulia Romania
Universitatea Romano Americana Romania
Izmir University Turkey
Mehmet Akif Ersoy University Bucak Zeliha Tolunay Applied Technology and Business Administration School Turkey
Yalova University Turkey

Humanities Institute

Philology
Universitat de Barcelona Spain
Universidade A Coruna Spain
Universidad Del Pais Vasco / Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea Spain
"1 Decembrie 1918" University of Alba Iulia Romania
Univerzita Pavla Jozefa Safarika v Kosicach Slovakia
Mehmet Akif Ersoy University Turkey
Suleyman Demirel University Turkey
Political Science
"1 Decembrie 1918" University of Alba Iulia Romania
Univerzita Matej Bel Slovakia
Vysoká škola v Sládkovičove Slovakia
Izmir University Turkey
Social Work
Univerzita Matej Bel Slovakia
Yalova University Turkey

Health Care Institute

Physiotherapy
Natinal Sports Academy "Vasisil Levski" Bulgaria
Catholic University of Ruzomberok Slovakia
Nursing
Mehmet Akif Ersoy University Turkey
Suleyman Demirel University Turkey
Catholic University of Ruzomberok Slovakia
Medical Rescue
Catholic University of Ruzomberok Slovakia

Polytechnic Institute

Electrical Engineering
"1 Decembrie 1918" University of Alba Iulia Romania
Mechanical Engineering
Zilinska Univerzita v Zilinie Slovakia
Transport
Zilinska Univerzita v Zilinie Slovakia

Since the beginning of Erasmus collaboration a big concern was the quality of cooperation and future mobility, therefore when looking for new international partnerships issues to which we have paid particular attention where: compatibility and quality of teaching programs, teaching languages, quality of student services and inter-institutional communication. This strategy is the reason why each cooperation proposal is carefully examined and consulted with Department Erasmus Program Coordinators who have experiences gained through participating in preparatory visits, or evaluated future partner institutions based on available teaching programs and information found in the internet.

Furthermore with academic year 2011/2012 PWSZ in Piła has started to conduct monitoring visits in partner institutions, to determine if the conditions described on internet sites and in promotional materials are corresponding with on-site reality. For each year there is also a special emergency fund prepared to conduct monitoring visits in case of emergency situations regarding student mobility.

1.1.2. Mobility statistics and their priorities

Intensive and quality oriented preparations have caused a late start of students and staff mobility, however in the past three years we have witnessed an increase of the number of Erasmus Program participants at a level of over 200% year by year.

The below presented graph shows how activity of PWSZ’s in Piła students and staff in Erasmus Program has evolved since academic year 2009/2010 together with the forecast for 2013/2014.

Total mobility increase - outgoing motilities

SM outgoing mobility

ST outgoing mobility

A key role in the swift development of all mobility’s is the policy of our Institutions management, collegial bodies and academic society.

1.2. Other international cooperation programs

Currently PWSZ in Piła is applying to be part of a consortium in a LLP Transversal project, but otherwise does not participate in any additional, international cooperation programs, as a result of the following factors:

1) It has been decided that at the early stage of participation in the Lifelong Learning Programme our institutions main focus should be developing, a high quality and possibly high exchange rate in the Erasmus Programme;

2) PWSZ in Piła is educating students only within first cycle studies (Bachelor and Engineer studies) thus is excluded from participation in part of international cooperation programs, like Erasmus Mundus; currently we are hoping to change this state in the coming future;

3) As a Higher Vocational State School PWSZ in Piła is focused on achieving learning outcomes coherent with National Qualifications Framework.

4) Development and participation in further international relations programs has been sanctioned by the demand of our institutions academic society.

Although our Institution isn’t currently participating in other international collaboration programs the intensive increase of interest in international mobility of students and staff creates a demand for developing new forms of cooperation. Thus in the nearest future PWSZ in Piła will have to develop new fields of mobility and international partnerships. One of new potential fields would be activities related with a program succeeding from the Leonardo da Vinci Programme.

PWSZ w Pile dąży do uczestnictwa w międzynarodowych projektach badawczych oraz projektach na rzecz rozwoju technologicznego. Celem Uczelni jest doskonalenie oraz zwiększenie poziomu dynamiki i kreatywności badań w skali Europejskiej; mamy nadzieję wzmocnić potencjał ludzki w obszarze bada oraz technologii poprzez zapewnienie wysokiej jakości procesu kształcenia, praktyk oraz nowoczesnej bazy dydaktycznej, pozwalających na działalność badawczą na poziomie osiągalnym

dla PWSZ w Pile. Zamierzamy stymulować proces uczenia się przez całe życie oraz rozwój zawodowy, rozwijać konkurencyjność; realizować cele Lizbońskie – „Trójkąt wiedzy”: zadania, edukacja i innowacyjność stanowiące jeden z kluczowych czynników działalności europejskiej. PWSZ w Pile jest otwarta na znaczne podniesienie jakości procesu kształcenia młodych Polaków zgodnie z potrzebami nowoczesnego zarządzania, efektywnego współzawodnictwa w zakresie badań naukowych, ale tak że na potrzebę wzmocnienia etyki akademickiej oraz wzmacniania więzi nauczyciel/mentor – student.

W swej misji PWSZ w Pile koncentruje się na zapewnienia procesu kształcenia o najwyższej jakości oraz umożliwianiu pracownikom uczestnictwa w międzynarodowych projektach badawczych. Strategia internacjonalizacji PWSZ w Pile wspiera przynależność do konsorcjów/sieci oraz mobilność studentów i pracowników. Partnerstwa międzynarodowe zawierane są zgodnie z rzeczywistym zapotrzebowaniem.

1.3. Inter institutional cooperation with entities from outside of EU

In 2008 Stanisław Staszic State School of Higher Vocational Education in Piła has opened a new chapter by signing agreements with 4 Russian institutions, thus widening the cooperation range. Today our institution has 6 agreements with following partners from Russia and Ukraine:

Name of the institution (in Polish language) Country
Akademia Pedagogiczna o Podyplomowym Wykształceniu Russia
Międzynarodowy Uniwersytet Przyrody, Społeczeństwa i Człowieka Russia
Filia Międzynarodowego Uniwersytetu Przyrody, Społeczeństwa i Człowieka w Dubnej Russia
Filia Państwowego Ogólnokształcącego Wyższego Kształcenia Zawodowego "Państwowy Rosyjski Uniwersytet Handolowo-Ekonomiczny" Russia
Uniwersytet Managementu i Biznesu Ukraine
Koledż Medyczny w Berdiańsku Ukraine

An added value of the cooperation with our eastern neighbors can be found in:

1) A joint research program on “Polish-Russian relations after the fall of the soviet Union” organized by PWSZ In Piła, the Lower Silesian University of Entrepreneurship and Technology in Polkowice and International University of Nature, Society and Man «Dubna».

2) Multiple international scientific conferences organized both by the Polish and Russian side.

3) Cultural terms, via short cycle exchange of students and academic staff, which have played a role in partly closing the artificially created gaps between representatives of participating countries.

The main field of international cooperation outside of the UE is focused on countries origin from former Soviet republics, which is dictated by language

1.4. International and double degree study programs

Joint degree programs are an objective that PWSZ in Piła is pursuing since 2011 in cooperation with Berdiańsk Management and Business University. Our foremost goal is to create joint degree programs open for Ukrainian students of polish background. We consider enabling Ukrainian students to study in Poland and acquire and international diploma, that otherwise may have been out of their reach. Unfortunately the biggest obstacle today is the legal situation concerning teaching programs in both countries.

In the case of positive fulfillment of the above mentioned goal a further aim in this field will be a joint degree Bachelor program in Economics and Philology. This is possible thanks to experience gained by participating in the Erasmus Programme.

2. Pro-international structures and organization

2.1. Structure and tasks

Parallel to the institutional structure enforced by the Law on Higher Education, PWSZ in Piła has developed a structure specially prepared for development and serving international relations, it is also responsible for operating all incoming and outgoing Erasmus Motilities.

According to the law on Higher Education: internationalization strategy, internationalization policies, applications for international programs and projects, procedures regarding participation of students and employees in international exchange, agreements with foreign entities must be accepted by the Senate o PWSZ in Piła.

The legal representative of PWSZ in Piła and executor of Senate’s decisions is the Rector, who is amongst others, responsible for shaping international policies in fields, that haven’t been reserved for the Senate. Within maters regarding international relations and participation in international programs the Rector of PWSZ in Piła is supported by the Vice Rector for Development and Organization (Vice Rector) and his subordinate division. Part of the Vice Rectors division is the Department of Organization, Legal Affairs and International Relations (Department) with the Institutional Erasmus Program Coordinator as one of the employees. The Department plays a key role in administration of all foreign affairs regarding: incoming cooperation proposals, support and organization of mobility, applying for Erasmus founds, monitoring of international cooperation, developing of international promotion strategies, support for all institutional departments and divisions in the means of international cooperation.

The Rector assigns PWSZ in Piła Staff two types of functions specially created for the needs of the Erasmus Program: Institutional Erasmus Program Coordinator, Department Erasmus Program Coordinator. Duties of the personnel acting as the institutional or departmental coordinator have been described in special procedures.

Scheme of Erasmus Program support and administration:

2.2. Procedures and quality assurance

PWSZ in Piła has developed a special set of Erasmus procedures inspired by ISO standards. These procedures determine the structure, relations and tasks of intra-institutional entities responsible for the Erasmus Program, as well as rules regarding participation in all four mobility types and qualification standards. The above mentioned procedures go by a common name: “Procedura organizacji i realizacji współpracy międzynarodowej Państwowej Wyższej Szkoły Zawodowej im. Stanisława Staszica w Pile” (Procedures of organization and conducting international cooperation in Stanisław Staszic State School of Higher Vocational Education In Piła). The Erasmus Program has also been included into the Internal Quality of Education Assurance System.

The Procedure scheme of Procedures of organization and conducting international cooperation in Stanisław Staszic State School of Higher Vocational Education In Piła:

No 01.01. Organization structure of Erasmus Programe in PWSZ in Piła – this procedure describes the structure, responsibilities and tasks regarding different institutional bodies created especially for the needs of Erasmus Programe in PWSZ in Piła

No 01.02. Promotion of mobility and promotion and visual identification of Erasmus Programme in PWSZ in Piła and outside of the institution – introduces visual identification policy and requirements set by the European Commission into the promotion and identification system of PWSZ in Piła. Determines the usage of Lifelong Learning Program logo, Erasmus Programe logo.

No 01.03. Monitoring system of Erasmus Programe mobility – describes the policy and procedures regarding the monitoring of currently conducted student and staff exchange.

No 01.04. Initiating of cooperation with foreign entities – the procedure determines who and at what level is responsible for establishing international cooperation. Describes task and competence diversification between the Senate of PWSZ in Piła, Rector, Institutional Erasmus Programe Coordinator, Department Erasmus Programe Coordinators.

No 01.05. Quality assurance in Erasmus Programe – the procedure describes basic quality assurance protocols and responsibilities

No 02.01. Student mobility for studies (Erasmus Programe SMS mobility in academic year 2013/2014) – the procedure is valid for one year and determines: application requirements, candidates evaluation methodology, procedures regarding realization of student mobility for studies and rules regarding mobility conclusion.

No 02.02. Student mobility for placements (Erasmus Programe SMP mobility in academic year 2013/2014) – the procedure is valid for one year and determines: application requirements, candidates evaluation methodology, procedures regarding realization of student mobility for placements and rules regarding mobility conclusion.

No 02.03. Commission for SM (Erasmus Programe SM mobility in academic year 2013/2014) – the procedure is valid for one year and determines: who and under what conditions is conducting the qualification process of candidates for Erasmus Program mobility in the year 2013/2014. This procedure is prepared to support full transparency of the qualification process.

No 02.04. Conclusion and recognition of student LLP Erasmus mobility (Erasmus Programme SMS mobility in academic year 2013/2014) – the procedure is valid for one year and determines: the procedures and rules regarding the conclusion and recognition of Erasmus mobility of students.

No 02.05. Monitoring system of the impact of participation in the Erasmus Programe on the professional life of graduates – determines how PWSZ in Piła is going to monitor how Erasmus mobility influences: the employability of graduates and the choices regarding further education and professional life.

No 03.01. Mobility for teaching assignments (Erasmus Programe STA mobility in academic year 2013/2014) – the procedure is valid for one year and determines: application requirements, candidates evaluation methodology, procedures regarding realization of academic teachers mobility for teaching assignments and rules regarding mobility conclusion.

No 03.02. Training mobility (Erasmus Programe STT mobility in academic year 2013/2014) – the procedure is valid for one year and determines: application requirements, candidates evaluation methodology, procedures regarding realization of staff mobility for professional training and rules regarding mobility conclusion.

No 03.03. Commission for ST (Erasmus Programe ST mobility in academic year 2013/2014) – the procedure is valid for one year and determines: who and under what conditions is conducting the qualification process of candidates for Erasmus Program mobility in the year 2013/2014. This procedure is prepared to support full transparency of the qualification process.

3. Internationalization Strategy of Stanisław Staszic State School of Higher Vocational Education

The Internationalization Strategy of Stanisław Staszic State School of Higher Vocational Education in Piła is correspondent with the objectives set within the institutions Development Strategy. The aim of the following description is to specify the overall goals quoted in the opening word of this document. As such, this strategy determines a key part of PWSZ in Piła development plan for the coming years and will influence the shape of the future Development Strategy of the institution.

The Internationalization Strategy’s main objective is to determine which aspects of international cooperation will be of highest priority for our institution, which aspects will have secondary meaning in the future mobility and international relations development. Finally which aspects of cooperation cannot be accessed at this point due to legal and/or structural reasons.

By applying for the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education 2014-2020 Stanisław Staszic State School of Higher Professional Education aims to contribute to European Union's modernization and internationalization agenda in higher education within all 5 priorities:

1) Increasing attainment levels to provide the graduates and researchers Europe needs by ensuring high quality of student mobility so that all Program participants receive competitive, additional, formal and informal competences, which can only be achieved within mobility frames. As such we see the student’s increased professional, social and intercultural skills which can’t or will be hard to be gain during, only stationary studies. Academic teachers mobility for teaching assignments will improve knowledge proliferation processes, as well, as a faster and more direct exchange of ideas which may lead to developing new solutions and/or animation of D&R.

2) Improving the quality and relevance of higher education by enabling students to choose which competences within their fields of study are the most relevant for their future career development in addition with high quality student mobility in chosen European partner institutions. Thus by using the advantages given by the Bologna Process, ECTS system and mobility Programs PWSZ in Piła is looking to pave a path for all students willing to gain target oriented education.

3) PWSZ in Piła considers quality and management efficiency oriented staff training mobility as an important aid for ongoing quality assurance processes. The possibility to exchanging good practice, introduce institutional management, teaching and administrative staff to different models of HEI management will have a major impact on developing both internal and external policies and procedures.

4) We consider actions succeeding from the Leonadro da Vinci Program as a possibility to engage in linking higher education, research and business for excellence and regional development. Joint projects run by corporations including different entities, form different sectors create a possibility of merging efforts for a better outcome. As an institution having experience within this kind of operation at an micro (regional) level we looking forward to engaging as a partner in similar projects at a macro scale.

5) Improving governance and funding - PWSZ in Piła considers staff training mobility as a strategic element of employees and management development program, which will aid quality development processes, and thus influence all vital aspects of institutional administration. As a HEI open for cooperation with entities from our subregion and region, we are looking forward to participate in activities leading to transfer of knowledge to local public and private sector.

Key Action 1:

Key activities of Internationalization are:

1. Student and staff mobility within the Program for 2014-2020 (successor of Erasmus Programme), in this also mobility to third countries, non EU members.

2. Joint, international bachelor degree programs and masters programs (after starting masters programs in PWSZ in Piła).

The biggest strategic priority for internationalization at PWSZ in Piła will remain student and staff mobility organized within the successor action of the Program. Our institution will be aiming to multiply today’s achieved internationalization level within this type of international cooperation. However our utmost concern will remain a high standard of all outgoing and incoming mobility, this is why we will continue to evaluate and adjust the already developed quality standards and procedures.

An important part of sustaining these standards will be the support of incoming mobility’s by providing up to date information on English language modules and curricula, as well as study programs offered in Polish language. PWSZ in Piła will ensure accommodation for incoming students coming with the Program for 2014 – 2020 in the PWSZ in Piła Student Dormitory, according with standards offered for polish students. Besides an up to date course package we will also do our best to keep an updated information package on living conditions in Piła with public transport process and basic information on life essential product prices.

All incoming mobility’s for a period of more than 2 moths will participate in compulsory basic Polish language course and facultative Polish and regional History course. If possible we will also do our best to organize and sustain a facultative course on Local and Polish couture. Students attending these courses will be granted ECTS points for each of them in accordance with the Bologna Process.

PWSZ in Piła home students participate in compulsory foreign language classes, which ensure a language competence level of B2 according to European language passport standards. Any student applying for mobility must have language skills within the teaching language at her/his chosen university at B2 level or above. For groups of students qualified to participate in outgoing mobility’s PWSZ in Piła can arrange special, facultative support language courses, under the condition that students apply for these types of courses.

All outgoing student mobility (mobility for studies / mobility for placements) will be documented in the students diploma supplement in accordance to the in force law on higher education.

Key Action 2:

Strategic partnerships for medical staff education with our Ukrainian partners, as well, as join educational programs for Ukrainian students with Polish background, and Polish minority students in Ukraine. Special attention will be given to support all activities held under this action with quality oriented management at all levels. Our aim will be to develop and sustain a quality level correspondent with today’s Erasmus Program quality support.

Promotion of internationalization

PWSZ in Piła will continue to promote all kinds of international mobility in which our academic society is actively participating. As it has happened until now, we will also do our best to involve the local government and local society in creating and open and friendly environment for incoming students and staff. We hope to achieve this objective by using different kinds of promotion and stressing the importance of mobility.

One of prepared activities aimed to aid this goal will be partnerships for promoting companies that are Mobility Open / Mobility Friendly. Mobility Open are companies prepared to welcome students and staff coming within the Program for 2014 – 2020, that is companies having there offer prepared at least in English. Mobility Friendly are companies which besides being Mobility Open additional offers dedicated for foreign guests, f.e. special discounts etc..

PWSZ in Piła would like to actively participate in the promotion of Piła City and our subregion, local history and culture within the framework of HEI promotion amongst students and staff of partner foreign institutions, under the condition that this cooperation will be done within the financial limitations of our institution and in a maner of partnership.

Placement program

A big objective for the next years will be a project regarding student placements for students coming from our partner universities. This project involves finding several employers offering high quality placements for foreign students, with the administrative and accommodation help of our institution. At the same time partner universities participating in this program will be responsible for creating a similar basis of placements within their home cities/regions.

We hope for this project to have a positive impact on inter-institutional cooperation as well as opening new possibilities for market cooperation and growth.


[1] Development Strategy of Stanisław Staszic State School of Higher Vocational Education in Piła; Stanisław Staszic State School of Higher Education in Piła Senate Resolution No XXIV/208/07; February 22nd, 2007; page 87 - 88