|Erasmus Policy Statement 2007|
Strategy, objectives and priorities for Erasmus activities
Saimaa University of Applied Sciences acts as an active partner in the field of European higher education participating in student and staff mobility programs. The cooperation with existing Erasmus partners will be deepened and expanded and special emphasis will be made on new EU member states when looking for new partners.
During the previous Socrates programs staff mobility has concentrated in teaching and networking. During the new LLL period (2007-2013) in addition to teaching Saimaa University of Applied Sciences will produce joint research and development projects with Erasmus partners.
Saimaa University of Applied Sciences will increase the number of bilateral Erasmus agreements 30 % mainly with new EU member states. Accordingly the number of incoming and outgoing students and staff will increase.
The key areas in which the cooperation will be activated in the field of engineering are paper technology; information technology and civil engineering.
In the field of business administration the focus of attention is the economic cooperation between EU and Russia. In the International Business Program there is a specialisation option in Russian Trade, which might be interesting to our European partners.
The demand of health care and social services is increasing in Finland as well as in other countries. The yearly intake of students will increase in the near future which creates pressure to expand the network of European institutions of higher education.
In the faculty of tourism and hospitality the new degree program in English gives the groundwork for international mobility. Especially placement abroad is recommended to the students of the faculty.
The faculty of fine arts and design will find some new partners among new EU members.
In addition to quantitative objectives there are also qualitative aspects. Through the staff mobility teachers can expand their professional knowledge, become familiar with different cultures, meet with European colleagues and this way create possibilities for joint research and development projects.
Curricula are developed with partners in order to make the process of planning and recognition of studies abroad easier and more realistic.
Visibility of Erasmus activities, EUC and EPS
On the website of Saimaa University of Applied Sciences the Erasmus program is introduced among other mobility programs. In all information sessions students are informed on this program and the possibilities it offers. Special efforts are made to introduce the new LLL program (2007-2013) and the new forms of mobility.
The Erasmus University Charter will be put up on the main notice board of Saimaa University of Applied Sciences and information on the EUC will be mentioned on our webpage.
The EPS will be published on the website of Saimaa University of Applied Sciences.
Disabled students and staff can enter and move in the faculties easily, because the doors are made wide enough, there are elevators and ramps in necessary places for them. Also staff members are trained to help disabled people.
Quality of academic mobility activities
Before the beginning of the exchange period abroad both incoming and outgoing students must fill in the learning agreements. This ensures the recognition of the studies at the home institution.
In the staff mobility teachers of the sending and receiving institutions discuss in advance the contents of the course which will be taught by the visiting teacher and also needs and special requirements of the students participating in the course. If the staff exchange takes place for the first time, a preparatory visit is often made in advance.
Modern technologies also enable students and teachers to find out course information on the webpages.
Saimaa University of Applied Sciences has a virtual training course for outgoing students. Students are also prepared individually for the studies abroad and if necessary, they will be offered a language course.
Incoming students are tutored by Finnish students and this way integrated into the student life. Staff mentors advise incoming students on all questions concerning their studies. Accommodation is organised for incoming students. All foreign students can participate in Finnish language and culture courses.
Incoming teachers are provided with accommodation and hosted by a Finnish teacher.
Outgoing teachers get support in practical arrangements, their costs are covered and if necessary, they will get language and culture preparation. If required, it is possible to have teaching materials revised by a native speaker.
Exchange periods abroad do not mean any extra work for teachers, because they are included in the teachers´ yearly work plans. Some extra compensation is also paid for delivering lectures in a foreign language.
Quality of student placement activities
Students can do their practical training also abroad. Work assignments should be in the field of the degree programme. The degree requirements comprise 30 credits (ects) of practical training. One internship week (about 40 hours) is equivalent to 1.5 ects.
Before starting the training students must inform the university of applied scienses in which company, in which tasks and when they will do the practical training.
During the training students keep diary where they mark daily or weekly the tasks they have done.
After the completion of a practical training period students must apply for approval from the university of applied sciences. They write reports about their training periods. Testimonials and diaries must be attached to the report.
Trainees are usually employed in companies and in those cases employers and trainees sign work agreements. If the training, however, is agreed to do without salary, the company, the trainee and in this case also the university of applied sciences sign a training (placement) agreement, which corresponds the work agreement.
In the field of health care and social services quality of student placements in clinical practice is monitored from time of the the application through the evaluation after the exchange visit is completed. The partners maintain strict quality insurance of clinical placement facilities.
Students prepare a plan of study which is approved by the teacher/s involved in the theory and practice for the placement in question. The plan is submitted to the responsible teachers in the host institution, and student progress is also monitored during clinical practice by a responsible practicioner of the facility. If the plans change during the placement, documentation is provided and approved by the involved parties. Credits for student placements in a foreign institution take the place of the corresponding credits in the curriculum of the home institution on a 1:1 ratio.