22-23 September 2011

Results of the NA questionnaire for IP

                     Elina Mavrogiorgou, IKY-Hellenic National L.L.P.
                                                  Agency /Erasmus
General information
 The IP questionnaire was created by the Greek NA
  with the collaboration of DE, AU, FI NA.
 FR, TR NA and the Commission also sent their
  comments concerning the questionnaire.
 The FI NA prepared an electronic tool for answering
  the questionnaire.
 18 NA have participated in the survey.

 A complementary questionnaire was also created
  for IP coordinators. 178 coordinators from19
  countries have answered this questionnaire.
 Data bases/tools used:

 Excel sheets
 E-application + e-final report
 Ulysses software (developed by the French NA)
            Improvements proposed:
-LLP more user friendly
-Easier budget export-import
-Have access to the project titles/the partners
-IP e-application + e-Final Report
-Possibility to print out the main project information easily
-amendments managed in LLP link-specific table
-copy previous versions for the renewal applications
-structure of the application identical to the structure of the
LLP link
-copy paste the whole daily program
-financial data: should follow the logic of the application form
-Insert the ERASMUS Code as search criterion
-insert the automatic calculation of the average of the two
experts’ assessments
-test the check “renewal” under the section ‘Submission
          Other data bases proposed:
-Data base used by the Turkish / Polish NA
(coordinators apply on-line, the NA keeps track of their
applications, of the outcomes)
-IP data transferred automatically in other data bases
-ADAM / EST data base already used for Comenius,
Grundtvig and Leonardo partnerships
But: multiplication of tools: efficient?
Best practice examples:
-Turkish, Polish data base
-Ulysse data base (FR)
-Final report tool in Access (GR)
 Low subsistence costs for students
-huge gap between teacher-student subsistence costs
-Student subsistence costs do not cover real costs
-A real problem especially in big cities
Danger: students from disadvantaged groups are
reluctant to participate / One coordinator has decided
to stop the IP
-imbalance may be covered by the organizing costs/by
researching for cheaper means (ex. change to a
cheaper location)/by using part of the teachers'
subsistence costs (if they agree)
Suggestion: increase the student subsistence costs
-25% of the travel costs may be covered by the partner
-coordinating institutions offer low cost meals at the
student restaurant/rooms in students’ dormitories
-Vilnius-Capital of Europe (co-financing offered in a
subject related IP)
-Private companies (telecommunication companies/
natural product companies in greek IP)
-State budget, local government, associations,
communities, research institutions
-In kind (transportation, refreshments, experts costs
covered by the companies)
Suggestion: co-financing column should be added in
the final report form
           Travel costs for students
-Grant agreements between institutions-students
-Adapted Erasmus mobility agreement used
Different approaches (decision with the partners):
-Project coordinator distributes money to the partners
in advance (agreement signed between partners), they
refund their students
-Partner IP pay for their students' expenses, they send
an invoice to the IP coordinator.
-The IP coordinator pays the travel costs in advance to
students or buy tickets for all
-Reimburse at least one way or total of the travel
expenses during the IP
-Reimburse after the IP completion (boarding passes
requested) either partners or every student separately
-A travel agency is responsible for buying the tickets for
all participants
Usually accommodation is organized by the
Possible to give all money to students and
guide them where to stay and eat

-Financial amendments:rare
-Extra budget for student with special needs
-Money transfer from on heading to the other (travel to
-Amendment issued after reducing the grant according
to interim report given by the beneficiary (left funds are
used for Erasmus Mobility)
-Changes in the number of participants
-Decrease of the grant before the IP implementation, in
case of lower number of participants
-Change the location/country (in case subsistence
costs are lower)
                 Monitoring visits
 Before and during the IP
-During on the spot checks/ system checks (not always
connected / monitoring is not an audit visit)
More interesting: during the action
Selection criteria for monitoring IP
-First / second year IP
-Problematic cases according to the Final Report
-Good practice IP
-New IP that received the lowest score during the
quality assessment
-Projects with financial support above average
-NA with small number of IP monitor all projects
     Methods used for monitoring IP
-Discussion with the coordinator
-Observation (attending courses)
-Group discussion with the IP participants
-Send questionnaire before the visit
-Notification letter
-Questionnaire for the Coordinators/students/teachers
(some NA have available questionnaires in English)
-Collection of material
-Draft report-feedback-final report
  Information on IP quality and Impact given by
-More ideas, creativity, links between partners
-Improvement of the quality: comparison
between different educational systems/
teaching methods/learning content
-ICT used
Innovation: important component
-Teachers need to work in a multinational
-Task distribution-financial arrangement
-Spin-offs : articles/publications
              Evaluation of the final report
-6 NA use external experts
-Quality assessment sheet based on EACEA example
-Check list
-Comparison of application and final report
(not always the case)
-External expert used for an overall judgment
Usually no. (Italy, yes-total refunding)
-Only if there is a breach of the agreement
-First step: NA asks for a revision of the Final Report
-Might affect the chances to get a renewal application
       Evaluation of the final report (2)

-Renewal applications not usually rejected
-May be rejected due to bad assessment of
the Final report
-Changes in the number of participants:
Remark in the closing letter (generally the
difference is already explained in the Final
Minimum requirements for the IP website

  -Logo of the NA/ DG EAC
  -Project funded by the EU
  -Practical information
  -Courses offered
  Relevant information is given to the IP
  coordinators during the Project Management
  meeting (GR)
  Minimum requirements for the IP
-According to what is foreseen in the IP grant
-Results should reach persons outside the IP
community – visibility of the website + access
to the courses content

Recommendation in the closing letter if there
is a discrepancy between the final report
results and the application.
Minimum requirements for the IP outputs

   -Only in line with the grant agreement and the
   IP application
   -Checking of the outputs promised in the
   application form
   More information is asked, if needed
         Students final reports

Not all NA ask the coordinator to send all the
student final reports, but are assessed during
and audit or a systems check.
A small number of NA ask the coordinator to
send a summary+ a statistical analysis of the
students final report.
                 IP Desk checks

Usually only problem cases are desk checked
/if an institution is selected for a systems/desk
The Italian and the Greek NA desk check all
final reports.
       Same students every year?

Usually no.
It is only allowed as an exception.
IP Final report form-suggestions
-More specific-detailed questions
-Common European assessment sheet +
handbook for the IP final report
Best practice:
Austrian NA: rating system-can detect easily
best practice IP
          II. Impact of the IP
    Evaluation sheets: a good tool?

-Useful tool for the IP improvement
-Specific questionnaires are also needed
(prepared by the IP partnership)
Suggestion: impact study done both at
national and European level
But: Coordinators feel some of the questions
are not relevant or cannot be answered right
after the IP
-Some coordinators adapt the evaluation
sheet to their specific needs.
Evaluation tool on line: good idea (who is
going to organize it?)
    IP inclusion to the curricula
Data collected on the final report level
Best practice:
-Special dissemination questionnaire,
additional to the final report
-Excel sheet: must be handed in with the
Final report
IP is in some cases included to the curriculum
as an elective course
In one case, an IP will be implemented in the
new English Module of the coordinating HEI
        IP impact on Institutional level
-Mobility promotion tool
-New level of trust between the partner institutions
-international team work-improvement of teaching
methods, learn from students/learn from each other
-a kick off for further cooperation, research projects,
networks, joint degrees
-Joint master programs
-CD projects
-Erasmus Mundus Masters
-EU Canada projects
-FP7 projects

-PhD students
Certificate,recognized as an elective course
Not always the same number of ECTS
(usually 5 ECTS /differences between partner
Even if the coordinating Institution recognizes
the IP course, it is not always the case for the
partner institutions
         IP after the 3 year funding
-following only during monitoring or systems
-Asking best practice IP coordinators in a
personal level

Need for a long term strategy?
-A sustainable strategy should be obligatory
-At least ensure that the new content created
can become a part of the teaching program
-Small IP can be used as a tool to enhance
                  IP duration
3-5 years
Should bear in mind that there are IP for 15
years! (same partnership-different topic)
Stronger emphasis should be given to
Extension of the financing period but cutting
funds down
-NA support the idea
-Could reduce the number of traveling IP
But: the majority not in favor: difficult to find
additional funding
       Platform for IP coordinators ?
-Good idea (coordinators’ reaction very
positive) but face to face contact is also very
-Needs good organization
-Information should be transferred directly
from the LLP link: administrator of the
platform is needed, coordinators don’t have
the time for that.
-Some IP have their own internet platforms or
are part of subject related networks
Best practice example:ADAM/EST data base
        Suggestions on the IP impact
Application forms-published earlier
-Contact seminars for coordinators
-Thematic meetings for coordinators
-IP portal/platform: link the coordinators-
exchange of experience
-informal meetings
-Teachers should stay minimum 3 days
-Defining clearly the learning outcomes
               III. IP Quality issues
Academic criteria
14 points:
-added value for students/teachers
-Learning outcomes (academic skills, soft skills)
13 points:
-innovative character-creative thinking
11 points:
Improvement of new teaching methods
9 points: recognition
7 points: participation of external experts
Assessing CV: usually no (only 3 positive answers)
         Project management criteria
14 points:
Team work of the partners-real effective collaboration
11 points:
Dissemination strategy-web page-use of social
10 points:
partnerships-financial management
Balanced participation of students
Other: Experienced coordinator, cooperation within the
partner institutions, support by HEI representatives,
cooperation within Units/departments of the same HEI.
IV. IP beyond 2013-the next generation
What to change?
-simplify financial rules and budget allocation
-increase subsistence cost for students
-lump sums
-one budget heading including travel and subsistence
-IP funding for 3 years with no renewal application
-participation of laboratory assistants as teachers
 using rate of the IP grant
-Improve IP monitoring
-The road map for IP should be thought again
What to keep?
Keep the structure and format
           IP application form
-Simplification of the IP application form
-Renewals based on Final reports
Explanatory column inserted instead of
footnotes and texts between.
-The summary of the activities: part of the
final report + application form
Automatic calculation of the budget (e-form)
All NA are very positive about the creation of
a common IP e-form, which should be
compatible with existing e-forms already
created by some NA.
Simplification of the grant calculation
-lump sum for subsistence costs –no
difference between teachers/students
-lump sum for travel costs (but real costs
should be taken into consideration when
deciding about the lump sum)
-lump sum for all the project based on the
number of mobilities
Some NA fear that lump sum will increase the
unused funds
  Partner Institutions from 3rd countries
Good but expensive idea
A maximum amount should be set
3rd countries could participate on a self-financing base
Invent a sub-activity under other Programmes
(Tempus) to support 3rd country participants
Problem: 3rd countries don’t have EUC : quality
assurance needed- responsibility of the partnership
Coordinators are in favor for the participation of
Bologna Countries
Not more than 25% of the total number of partners
 IP taking place in 3rd countries?
The majority of NA is against, but many
coordinators like the idea
Too expensive
Against the philosophy of the Programme
Would become an ERASMUS MUNDUS
Visa problems
Should be allowed only in limited cases for
justified reasons (subject related)
        IP: decentralized partnership/mobility
             project/ERASMUS cluster?

                      10 NA:
           decentralized partnership
                       4 NA:
                 mobility project
                       3 NA:
ERASMUS cluster (but possibility to apply for
                IP independently)
Other: decentralized specific mobility activity,
alternative to individual mobility
          Enterprises involved?
Experts are already invited speakers
Should not have a partner status
Added value for improving employability and
entrepreneurial skills
But: insisting in connecting every academic
activity to the market is not always creative
Can be enriching depending on the IP subject
Quality standards for participating
Experts should be paid like teachers
    Reworking the IP final report form
-Add an online tool (questionnaire) for
-analysis of the students final report
-more concrete questions
-describe the learning outcomes more in detail
Focus on impact and dissemination activities:
-list of the main impact for students/teachers
-Add question on the sustainability of the project
-Interview the coordinators 2 years after the action
         Rule of 10 days: flexibility?

5 NA are positive
The rest think 10 days should be the
      Feedback from the coordinators
final report : time consuming
Much less bureaucracy comparing to how IP were
administrated as a centralized action
Too much work, not enough funding for
students/organization but students learn a lot
A very good experience overall
     IP connected with the key competencies
9 points:
Expression and communication in foreign
7 points:
Social and civic competence
Sense of initiative and entrepreneurship
6 points:
Learning to learn
2 points:
Intercultural skills
             V. General questions
How multidisciplinary or inter-disciplinary are IP?
  A crucial element: already in the quality assessment
  Multidisciplinarity ensures a better understanding of the
  subject, but the deeper learning may be lost if the
  theme of the IP is too general in order to fit into many
  different subject areas.
  Interdisciplinarity also a plus: different teaching
  cultures of the same topic compared, combined
  The best IP are both multidisciplinary and inter-
  It varies, depending on the subject.
  Intercultural approach is also an important IP
  component “Europe in the classroom”
               How innovative are IP?
“An IP is as innovative as are its partners”
Need for a good definition for “innovative”
One teaching method may be standard in one area, but
innovative in some other
Positive aspects:
IP allow teachers to take risks, to try something new
Share of best practices
Mix theory + workshops
Working with an international group of students
Use of e-learning platform
Lab exercises / in wild nature
Working in real cases
Field work
Faster way of gaining knowledge
Developing soft skills
IP enhance the quality of ERASMUS mobility?
  Establish + strengthen networks of

  Possibility to be mobile for more students,
  who cannot participate in a standard
  ERASMUS mobility
            Benefits for teachers
Teaching staff improves professional teaching
experience –exchange of ideas-teaching in a
foreign language-add prestige
Discuss the latest research results/on state of
art subjects in their field
Self assessment of teaching methods
Work with international groups
International recognition
             Benefits for students
Strong impact on young researchers
Learn something they can’t in their university, but
needed for their research
They learn a lot : about new approaches on their
subject, about linked subjects, new topics, latest
Improved language skills
Work intensively and in depth
Building confidence/networking
Creative thinking
Many opportunities to study abroad after the IP
Learn how to work in a group of people coming from
different cultures-overcoming stereotypes
            Use of ICT Tools
Web  based platforms
E-learning platform

E-visualization platforms


IP Project websites


Moodle /Optima/ Wikis/ Second Life
   Positive impact on teaching methods

IP make the teachers be more open minded
Teaching improved/enriched
New ideas
Encourage further cooperation
Creative teaching methods
        Ideal number of partners
Average number : 5 partners
No more than 10

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