ERASMUS POLICY STATEMENT 2014 – 2020
The development strategy of State Higher School of Vocational Education in Zamość (PWSZ) encompasses the main goals of European programmes concerning higher education. The relatively young school is located in the south-east Poland, close to the EU’s border with Ukraine. It is the only state higher school in the former Zamość Province. Owing to its location our School is open to international cooperation and dialog with other countries including these that currently do not constitute part of the European Union.
Being aware of the role the international cooperation plays in improving the quality of research and education we are developing close relations with foreign partners. We are constantly interested in growing the number of our partners with whom we intend to run educational and research projects. Due to this fact, increasing the mobility of students and academic staff is our high priority. Starting an international cooperation we try to respond to our staff’s and students’ needs and fields of interest. We put emphasis on cooperation with educational and research centres with compatible and similar curricula, but we are open to new models, experiences and good practices of others. International cooperation with businesses plays an important role in our strategy. We use research and development activities to strengthen our own potential. We are attempting to benefit from the experiences of European companies in teaching students and developing our academic staff. This is important especially in case of the technical courses.
Due to our location in the south-east Poland our School becomes naturally the spokesperson for the European Union in the Eastern Europe, especially in Ukraine. Our geography has influenced our activities. So far we have been focusing on cooperation and exchange programmes with neighbouring countries, mainly with Czech Republic and Slovakia. Agreements signed in recent years have allowed us to exchange both students and academic staff and learn from the experiences of many different educational and research institutions of these countries. Putting the idea of ‘Europe without barriers’ into practice we are keen on the maximizing the geographical reach which can be seen in cooperation with schools and universities from Spain, Belgium and Turkey. At the same time we want to stress the importance of the cooperation on a more local level and especially with countries that are not part of the European Union. We are trying to identify the limitations and problems of integration of the borderland between Poland and Ukraine (and at the same time between EU and Ukraine), which are due to many underlaying factors of political, economical and social characters. This situation hinders development of the cooperation between nations and in consequence makes it difficult to fully utilize the development potential. This leads to many initiatives to strengthen the teaching potential nad improving the education process not only at home, but also abroad. Our profile, research, development, curricula and experiences (foreign students - especially from Ukraine - constitute a big and growing group make our school a subject and a motor of many activities in many different aspects and fields of higher education.
The strategy of State Higher School of Vocational Education in Zamość states as an explicit goal increasing the mobility of academic staff and students of BA/BSc programme. Our priority is to intensify the bilateral exchange of students, academic staff and administrative staff. We believe that mobility is the best way to learn about the higher education systems in other countries, allows to take advantage of their knowledge and experiences, and enables the standardization of quality assessment in teaching and research. International cooperation is also seen as a very important factor stimulating the development of our academic staff. We are trying to provide our students with a comprehensive and attractive courses and we are constantly working on the quality of teaching. In order to make our School attractive for foreign students we are planning to add courses taught in English. Effective usage of documents, such as Learning Agreement and Transcript of Works, also in paperless form, helps our students and staff in attaining greater mobility.
We are consistently working on creating common curricula in cooperation with other schools and universities. The main issue here is the problem of recognising degree certificates between EU and Ukraine.
The development strategy of State Higher School of Vocational Education in Zamość (PWSZ) in concordance with the idea of Europe without borders includes promotion of the European education, learning foreign languages, improving the teaching process, cooperation between educational institutions, the exchange of knowledge and experiences, and all the efforts to recognize international degree certificates. All these activities aim to intensify international cooperation. We put forward many proposals concerning international educational projects, among other things building strategic partnerships with research institutions and businesses operating abroad. We are consistently creating and updating curricula to match the needs of the European job market, which in consequence should help our graduates find employment. In our cooperation with other universities we make use of our rich experience in matching the curricula to current needs of the job market. Moreover, in accordance with our strategy, promoting the idea of higher education influences the qualifications and knowledge of graduates, considerably improving their situation on the job market, especially with comparison with people without a higher education. Our strategy stresses the importance of teaching skills of our academic staff, which relates directly to the quality of teaching. All these elements are taken into consideration when creating and running all the teaching projects and programmes.
State Higher School of Vocational Education in Zamość (PWSZ) concentrates both on technical sciences (Mechanics and Machine Construction) and the liberal arts. In line with our strategy we work on international level, taking part in many international projects and programmes. Improving the quality of education and intensifying the mobility of students are integrated in all our curricula. As far as the Modernisation Agenda is concerned, we are constantly adapting to the European system of education, taking into consideration the plans for modernisation of higher education system in Europe. Our goal is to increase the number of higher education graduates, to improve the quality of teaching, to provide more opportunities for students to gain the knowledge and practical knowledge thanks to our apprenticeship programme and to intensify the cooperation between education, research and business, therefore strengthening the ‘knowledge triangle’ and to create new mechanism of managing the education sector. In order to achieve these goals we are adjusting our curricula in accordance to Bologna declaration. Our curricula are created in cooperation with other EU and non-EU universities. In addition, we are developing innovative and flexible cooperation schemes with international businesses. Our strategy encourages the academic and administrative staff to develop professionally. We stress the importance of cooperation also with local and regional companies, which helps to transfer knowledge and promotes the development of higher education. Moreover, we believe that an intensive cooperation with partners outside the EU is a precondition for modernisation of higher education in Europe treated as a whole and social and economical development.
Taking part in the Modernisation Agenda we:
- have been using the ECTS system since the School’s foundation
- have been giving our graduated the Diploma Supplement, so that the diplomas could be acknowledged abroad
- have adapted the curricula to the most recent teaching standards, taking academic mobility into consideration
- have been publishing the curricula and ECTS making them available to students
- have adopted the principles of financial and organizational support of the ERASMUS Programme
- have created unit responsible for international cooperation
- have signed cooperation agreements with educational institutions from abroad
- have been working on foreign language courses, refresher foreign language courses, as well as intensive courses targeted both at people going abroad and those visiting our School
- have been planning to introduce mechanisms to encourage the academic and administrative staff to participate in foreign exchange
- make mobility an important factor in personnel and promotion policy
- attempt to increase the attractiveness of our School for foreign students