University of Edinburgh European Policy Statement Please describe
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University of Edinburgh European Policy Statement Please describe briefly your institution's strategy, objectives and priorities for its Erasmus activities (mobility, multilateral projects, etc.) and any other actions in the context of the Lifelong Learning Programme (2007 - 2013). Please also provide information on the following points: What specific actions are planned to give visibility to Erasmus activities and what type of publicity will be given to the Erasmus University Charter and the EPS? What kind of arrangements, if any, does the Institution ensure to comply with non- discrimination objectives (e.g. actions related to gender equality, integration of disabled students and staff, enhancement of social and economic cohesion and combating of xenophobia and racism)? International and European co-operative activities, student and staff mobility play a key role in the University of Edinburgh’s strategic plans. The University has a fundamental strategic aim “To be truly international across the range of the University’s activities” and is committed to a policy of raising its international profile and reputation through promotion of international collaboration in education, research and knowledge transfer, through intercultural exchange and by creating an enriched environment for the university community. Key to meeting these objectives is participation in the Erasmus programme. Edinburgh already undertakes student and staff mobility programmes with over 163 institutions across 23 countries in Europe and is a participant in a large number of EU funded projects. It is committed to offering more mobility (study or placement) opportunities to students through better and more targeted promotion activities – particularly in the area of science and technology - and to achieving reciprocal flows. It currently has a target of increasing its student mobility activity by 50% over a 5 year period. An Erasmus Co-ordinator is responsible for promoting Erasmus activity and liaises with College and Departmental Erasmus co-ordinators. The University actively promotes Erasmus activities through its web site (including an Erasmus specific section currently under re-construction), through a variety of publications and through a series of information events including an Exchanges Fair. It utilises returning students to raise the profile of the programme. Erasmus students were recently filmed and short excerpts of their experiences will soon be available on the web as media files- other interesting promotion activities are planned for 2008. To extend its position as a leading international research and teaching institution and to benchmark its performance against world-class standards, the University strongly supports staff development activity and recognises that participation in European mobility visits is a significant way of achieving this. Increasing the number of staff participating in teaching and development activities in Europe is an objective of the University’s Erasmus office. The University is a member of the Coimbra Group and LERU and it is keen to optimise its engagement in Europe – through quality partnerships and joint teaching and research initiatives. It will support all actions available under the new LLP which advance the University’s strategic objectives. The University is committed to equality of opportunity. It has published an Equality/Diversity Code of Practice, has set up an Equality/Diversity Committee and has appointed an Equality and Diversity Manager to ensure compliance with legislation and to promote equal opportunities/social inclusion. The University’s Disability Office is committed to creating an environment in which staff and students can participate fully in mainstream university life. Quality of academic mobility activities: What kind of specific measures are implemented in the institution to ensure high quality in academic mobility activities? Details should be provided on: recognition and credit systems, the provision of information on curricula, information and counselling of outgoing students, tutoring and integration of incoming students, provision of student services (in particular accommodation, preparatory and refresher language courses, support and acknowledgment of staff mobility. The University of Edinburgh ensures high quality learning experiences for incoming/outgoing mobility students through robust quality assurance procedures. It looks to achieve reciprocal flows with its Erasmus partners and undertakes an annual review and evaluation process. Outgoing students select courses at the host university in consultation with their Director of Studies/ Erasmus coordinator, utilising web based information and materials from the exchanges resource library. Changes to learning contracts must be agreed with the Erasmus Coordinator who maintains contact throughout the study period. Whilst studying abroad, an Edinburgh student must complete two evaluation forms providing feedback on the academic/cultural experience. On return, a student’s academic performance is considered by a committee which acts as an Examination Board (with external examiner participation) and awards appropriate credit (based on ECTS principles). Full academic recognition is given for the Erasmus programme. A formal review process for exchanges occurs annually. Incoming exchange students can access the Visiting Student Guide electronically. It details all available courses. A student confirms courses on arrival to his/her Director of Studies who provides academic support thoughout his/her stay. All University facilities and services are open to incoming Erasmus students. Full year students are guaranteed university accommodation; those on part year programmes can utilise all the services of the Accommodation Office. An extensive orientation programme is offered in September (with a smaller event in January). The International Students Centre (which incorporates the ESN) provides a range of events/trips to assist with integration and to maximise the social and cultural benefits of the exchange. The University’s Institute for Applied Language Studies offers subsidised English language support to Erasmus students. Staff are encouraged to undertake Teacher Mobility visits, are granted time out for this purpose and must report on the value of the visit on their return. Quality of student placement activities: What kind of specific measures are implemented to ensure high quality in student placement? Give details on how the work-programme and the placement agreement are prepared and implemented. Please describe the practical arrangements agreed between the parties. Please specify also the monitoring and evaluation of the placement period as well as its recognition in the curriculum. The University of Edinburgh ensures that all student placements meet the principles of the UK Quality Assurance Agency’s Code of Practice on Placement Learning. There are a variety of different types of placement activity currently offered at the University and each subject is responsible for setting out and implementing its own placement policy – within set guidelines. The Placement Organiser in each discipline must determine whether a placement is appropriate to ensure that students develop key skills and obtain relevant experience, that learning outcomes are clearly defined and communicated to students, that students are advised about accommodation and health and safety issues and that the placement provider understands his responsibilities to the student. In some professional subject areas such as Teacher Education or Nursing Studies, placements are formally organised for students. In other subjects, students, are expected to generate the placement themselves – making contact with the placement provider and obtaining initial agreements. The student then submits a proposal to the Placement Organiser at Edinburgh for approval and a contract or letter (as appropriate) is drawn up setting out the dates of the placement, confirming that the student is subject to the same regulations/conditions applying to all employees in the company and clarifying the health and safety arrangements. Students must be adequately prepared for the placement either by formal training sessions or through written guidance. Throughout the placement, students maintain regular email contact with the Placement Organiser who monitors and evaluates the progress of the placement. Visits to students may be undertaken by the Placement organiser when appropriate. Students must submit a report on their return. .Evaluation/assessment arrangements vary according to the type/scope of the placement but credit is awarded for all approved placements. This is determined by the appropriate board of Examiners.