Erasmus policy statement
The University of Leicester supports the EU Modernisation and Internationalisation Agenda for Higher Education, and the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education is integral to the realisation of our institutional plans, strategies and aspirations.
We believe that higher education is a power for good and makes a significant economic, intellectual and cultural contribution to the world. We are committed to international excellence through the creation of world-changing research and high quality, inspirational teaching within an inclusive academic culture.
These core values expressed in our institutional strategy permeate our approach to international engagement. Central to the achievement of our vision of an international university are the benefits derived from working collaboratively. Our international partnerships in both participating and non-participating countries facilitate and support staff and student mobility, student recruitment, developments in teaching and learning, collaborative research and capacity-building.
International collaborative partnerships are a core element in our broader strategic objectives in regard to teaching, learning and research. Our Code of Practice on Collaborative Provision provides guidance and criteria to facilitate and support the establishment (including risk assessment and strategic “fit”), quality assurance, development, monitoring and evaluation of cross-border collaborations.
All successful partnerships are the result of shared commitment to, and mutual benefit from, the relationship. Many of our partnerships result from individual links between academic staff. Others have been introduced through existing partners or other networks. Our international partner institutions are diverse, reflecting the different needs and priorities of our partners’ and our own students and staff. As well as developing partnerships which are multi-dimensional and strategic, we also recognise the place of specialist, focussed partnerships for specific purposes.
While maintaining our existing geographical priorities (in Europe, East Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, Africa, North America and Latin America), we remain open to new and unexpected opportunities. Through the interaction of our College-based International Strategy Groups, University-wide International Advisory Forum and the International Office we encourage the development of academic-led initiatives and projects, disseminating information about new opportunities and promoting good practice in all aspects of our international operations and strategy. We actively disseminate across the institution and to our local community and beyond, as appropriate, examples of the outcomes and benefits of our international partnership activity.
In regard to mobility we are committed to extend the range and nature of the opportunities we can offer to our students, as integral or optional credit mobility components of an ever-increasing range of degree programmes, principally, but not exclusively, at Bachelor level. This will include both study and work placements in participating and non-participating countries. We will continue to explore short-term mobility in order to encourage participation by a more diverse student body and to introduce new and less familiar study destinations in non-participating countries. We will actively promote international mobility when recruiting new students (for example, at University Open Days) and to current students through our network of departmental co-ordinators, a programme of departmental presentations and our annual Study Abroad Fair. At the same time we will demonstrate our strong institutional commitment to equality of opportunity, offering additional financial assistance to those from disadvantaged backgrounds. We have successfully made arrangements with partner institutions to enable students with disabilities to participate in Erasmus exchange. We will build on our experience to enhance and develop inclusive polices and practice in regard to all aspects of mobility.
Mobility of academic and administrative staff is a priority for effective partnership relationship management, support of co-operation projects, professional training, teaching delivery and programme development. In this context we will explore opportunities for joint delivery of Master’s programmes with partners from both participating and non-participating countries.
In all our international activities we recognise the importance of regular monitoring and evaluation, as well as bench-marking with peers, in order to inform and influence our future practice, policy and strategy.
We expect to focus primarily on the development of selected existing partnerships and to extend their scope so that they contribute to achieving the objectives of the EU Modernisation Agenda for Higher Education, for example, by developing relationships with other key stakeholders and/or cross-sector co-operation. In order to realise these objectives we will engage in more strategic and sustainable relationships based on deeper mutual understanding of our capabilities, capacity and priorities. We will seek to develop further, in co-operation with HEIs in participating countries, our contribution to capacity-building for higher education in post-conflict Partner countries.
We envisage that the impact of the European Union’s Modernisation and Internationalisation Agenda in Higher Education will be seen at the University of Leicester in each of the five priority areas:
- Increasing attainment levels to provide the graduates and researchers Europe needs:
- We believe that universities are not just the privilege of elites, and that a diverse student and staff body makes the University stronger.
- We will develop our commitment to widening participation and inclusivity, through our outreach programmes and projects, our admissions policies and practice, and in our policy to provide targeted financial assistance to minimise barriers to entry, progression and mobility.
- Improving the quality and relevance of higher education:
- We have high aspirations for our graduates, and proactively deliver employment-related skills that will enable our graduates to meet these aspirations.
- As providers of a broad-based portfolio of distance learning programmes, we will continue to develop and diversify our transnational education provision at all three cycles and short cycle. Across all our programmes, both distance learning and campus-based, we will make innovative use of new information and communications technologies to enrich teaching and enhance the student experience.
- We will actively promote to students and staff the personal and professional development benefits of international mobility and highlight to prospective employers the transferable skills and competences typically associated with this experience, such as cross-cultural communication and language skills.
- Strengthening quality through mobility and cross-border collaboration:
- We believe that we improve and grow stronger by listening to, and learning from, others. Working with our partners in participating and non-participating countries, we will expand our knowledge and experience of other education systems and qualifications to facilitate admission, progression, recognition, exchange and co-operation in programme development.
- We will seek to offer more diverse mobility opportunities to our staff and students, and to include mobility as an integral or optional element of an increasing number of study programmes.
- Making the knowledge triangle work:
- We work in partnership with business and industry, including regional associations, to exploit our intellectual capital and create a highly-skilled workforce.
- Working with industry translates research into innovations that shape our world, tackling global challenges and transforming lives. We will develop our research collaboration with industry and the public sector, and will seek to increase opportunities for integration of industrial experience into degree programmes.
- Improving governance and funding:
- As we continue to diversify our funding sources across the range of our activities, our priority will be re-investment in the academic mission and strategic vision of the University.