Strategy of internationalization

The Strategy of Internationalization of Stanisław Staszic University of Applied Sciences in Piła (later PWSZ in Piła) for years 2014-2020 has been established under the act no. X/58/19 of PWSZ’s Senate on May 9th, 2013, in the matter of passing the strategy of internationalization at PWSZ in Piła together with: Declaration on the EU Policy at PWSZ in Piła and Declaration on Language Policy at PWSZ in Piła. In 2016 the Senate at PWSZ in Piła reassessed the existing strategy of internationalization and decided to adjust it to the actual needs on the Institution. The current strategy became effective with the Senate resolution, no. VI/37/17 dated 26 January 2017 in the matter of adopting the Internationalization Strategy at PWSZ in Piła for years 2017-2021 (attachment of the resolution).

Introduction

Internationalization is one of the biggest challenges that the tertiary education needs to face, either in Poland or worldwide. The Ministry of Science and Higher Education defined the process as: not only taking up studies by international students, but also employing an academic staff from abroad, and organizing staff mobilities within international educational and research programs. Internationalization means also gaining and exchanging knowledge and experience. Finally, it means participation in the internationals programs of student and staff mobility, such as Erasmus+ and Fullbright.

Through internationalization process, as well as by educating students from practical profiles from either bachelor’s or master’s degree, Stanisław Staszic University of Applied Sciences in Piła wants to participate in creating more integrated and inclusive European society. Our aim is to build a human potential resources by preparing young academic specialists for taking up jobs at any time and in any EU country. For this purpose, we intend to participate actively in the international student exchange programs that enable students to gain additional soft and hard skills, as well as prepare them for more mobilities into the European labor market.

By encouraging non-EU citizens to study at our University, we wish not only to assist the local labor market by providing particularly talented employees, but also help with building human potential resources with partner countries. Admittedly, the additional value of the internationalization is better understanding of mutual cultures as well as religious, ethnic and national groups. Thanks to the fact, societies gain the possibility of verification stereotypes and building new strong relations. Basing on the previous experience with Erasmus+ Program, we intend to develop the cooperation with certain institutions in order to strengthen the bonds at the level of local societies inhabiting towns.

The Internationalization Strategy of Stanisław Staszic University of Applied Sciences in Piła for years 2017-2021 (later Strategy) has been created in order to define main areas of the internationalization as well as predicting methods of their achievements.

2. Diagnosis of the level of internationalization

2.1 International Cooperation

The moment of formulating the Strategies, the University  took part in the Erasmus+ Program Key Action 1- Mobility for higher education students and staff - cooperation with program countries (later KA 103). For the purpose of the Program, 27 bilateral agreements have been concluded with Universities that have Erasmus Charter for Higher Education. The average number of annual mobilities within KA 103 for years 2014-2017 totals: 25 student mobilities for studies, 19 student mobilities for traineeship, 18 staff mobilities for teaching and 27 staff mobilities for training. The main countries of destinations were: Romania, Slovakia and Turkey. At the same time, PWSZ in Piła accepted around 90 mobilities for students and 15 mobilities for staff.

Until 2017 the University participated only in the Erasmus+ KA 103 project. The essential step to broaden the spectrum of institutionalized cooperation with no-EU institutions, was to conclude an agreement within Erasmus+ Program Key Action 1- Mobility for higher education for students and staff - cooperation with partner countries (later KA 107), as well as to begin working in favor of signing more similar agreements.

In the years before the Strategy, 5 bilateral agreements had been applied. They contained editorial, educational, library and cultural cooperation, as well as possibility of creating mutual study programs. These agreements were an another step to strengthen the inter-institutional relations. The most notable example of vigorously developing relations with program Universities is the partnership with “1 Decembrie 1918” University of Alba Iulia in Romania. The partnership resulted not only in organizing common cultural events dedicated to the local societies in Piła and Alba Iulia, but also signing by Presidents of both cities a letter of intent for establishing twin-town relations.

2.2 International English-language study programs.

In 2016 Stanisław Staszic University of Applied Sciences in Piła initiated an action in order to create Joint Degree Program for Faculty of Economics and Faculty of Electrical Engineering in cooperation with partner universities in Czechia, Romania and Serbia.

For Polish and foreign students, who wish to study in English language, we offer programs within two specializations in English Philology. Moreover, we offer study programs in English in one specialization at the Faculty of Economics. PWSZ in Piła took also action to create a Faculty of Electrical Engineering in English. The reason for that was constantly growing demand of local labor market for employees with foreign language skills.

The aim for the didactical offer for foreigners is to canvass for talented workers according to the local market needs, building human capital and social potential of non- EU countries. Moreover, reacting against negative effects of baby bust in Poland, which has a significant influence on decreasing number of students.

3. Strategic goals

  1. On the basis of previously presented diagnosis, PWSZ in Piła selected a strategic areas for internationalization for years 2017-2021.
    Increasing the level of internationalization of the University by creating international study programs and increasing the number of mobilities.
  2. Increasing the level of crucial competences and skills of students and staff as well as graduates by allowing them taking part in international mobilities for education and practice.
  3. Improving the quality of education and management processes by staff mobilities for teaching and training, especially by encouraging academic staff and enterprise representatives to conduct classes for Polish students at PWSZ in Piła.
  4. Contributing to the process of broadening international education and training by cooperation between universities, which headquarters are located in the EU or beyond.
  5. Making PWSZ more attractive among the international students by creating the brand of PWSZ in Piła on an international market, tightening the bonds with foreign institutions and supporting them with high level of service.
  6. Publishing periodicals and monographs in foreign languages.
  7. Creating a recruitment system for candidates for studies at PWSZ in Piła in Balkan Countries and former Soviet Union, as well as few Asian Countries.
  8. Preparing an offer of study programs in a form of mutual study programs, mutual recruitment criteria, recognition of learning outcomes and double diplomas.
  9. Participation of PWSZ’s staff in an international scientific-research projects, especially funded by the EU resources.
3.1 Erasmus+ Program
3.1.1 Erasmus+ KA103

Strategic goals for the participation in the Erasmus+ KA103 Program

  1. Increasing the number of foreign partners to at least 50, from at least 20 program countries, subject to agreement of actual mutual academic exchange.
  2. Enabling all students at every faculty in PWSZ to participate in Erasmus+ KA103.
  3. Achieving a rate of 5% of all students taking part in mobilities for studies and practice abroad.
  4. Full recognition of learning outcomes achieved by students during the KA 103 mobility.
  5. Keeping a high level of satisfaction (to at least 80% of all participants) from institutional support from PWSZ in Piła, measured with the Mobility Tool.
3.1.2 Erasmus+ KA 107

Strategic goals for participants in Erasmus+ KA107 Program

  1. Establishing cooperation with selected partner institutions, such as: Region 1 – West Balkans ( Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia), Region 2 – Eastern Partnership (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine), Region 4
    – Russia, Region 7 – Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan).
  2. To achieve the mobility factor of at least 15 student mobilities coming to PWSZ in Piła, and 30 staff mobilities from and to PWSZ in Piła.
  3. Full recognition of learning outcomes achieved by students during the KA107 mobility.
  4. Keeping a high level of satisfaction (to at least 80% of all participants) from institutional support from PWSZ in Piła, measured with the Mobility Tool.
3.2. Join Degree

Establishing at least one study program with double diploma (program fully realized in a foreign language) cooperating with particular partner university/ies from Erasmus+ Program.

3.3 Study programs in English
  1. Starting recruitment for a whole academic year realized in English.
  2. Achieving the minimum number of students that allowsthe University to open a specialization which if fully taught in English.
3.4 From Erasmus to better understanding cultures
  1. Together with foreign universities, taking action in cultural events in order to introduce Polish culture and traditions to local societies, and other way around.
  2. Supporting foreign students’ integration with PWSZ’s society as well as local societies in Piła, especially through establishing “Introduction to the Polish language” and “Introduction to history and culture of Poland” courses, as well as organizing special events with students from local schools.