ERASMUS POLICY STATEMENT
In the 21st century, technologically and professionally developed society due to its information connectedness, interdependence and growing economic circumstances requires new ways of education.
At Higher Vocational College of Celje, we educate students to become good professionals in mechanical engineering, civil engineering, mechatronics and traffic and transport. The knowledge and skills students acquire at our college enable them to successfully solve practical professional tasks at work in the field of civil engineering, mechanical engineering, mechatronic systems or traffic and transport. Students also acquire the knowledge and skills to use modern computer and information technology and to organize and lead projects and technological processes. Moreover, our students gain practical experience due to the fact that 40% of our educational programmes consist of practical training.
Our common European educational and labour markets need graduates with comparable knowledge. Our educational programmes are accredited programmes according to ECTS and comprise 120 credit points. Our students get the chance of international mobility because their level of education is properly acknowledged and is in line with European standards.
The College has been oriented towards encouragement of lifelong learning, internationalization and partnerships and has created its own network of contacts through cooperation in the EU projects ever since it was established, primarily based on mutual interest. Consequently, in the past years our institution made use of international partnerships and allowed students to finish their bachelor level studies in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Other partnerships were established with Jyvaskyla Polytechnic in Finland, two universities in Brasov, Romania and Vocational Training Institute in Kuressaare, Estonia. We have not focused on one geographical area only, primarily due to our policy that diversification gives the best possibility to reach and/or improve our high standards for quality of education and training on one hand and practical knowledge and skills of our staff and students on the other.
Considering the goals of mobility, we, as follows:
• allow students to acquire educational, linguistic and cultural experience in one of the participating countries;
• to promote cooperation between higher education institutions and strengthen diverse learning environment;
• to contribute to the development of highly qualified, widely knowledgeable and internationally experienced young individuals and future experts;
• to ease the transfer of credit points and recognition of requirements completed abroad by applying ECTS or other compatible systems in Diploma Supplement, and
• to spend some time during their course of study abroad in a company or similar organisation to get to know the needs of the new European labour market, acquire specific skills and improve their understanding of social and economic culture of a foreign country.
We actively participate in achieving shared education objectives and follow the modernisation policies respecting the following priorities:
– To inform students about the courses which are best for them. Since we are a short cycle institution, our courses last two years full-time and three cycles part-time. Therefore, we stimulate students to continue with their training in mobility placements abroad. Getting to know mobility has been more systematically included into our curricula.
– Via participation in international activities, we have promoted our excellence in teaching since our partnership and project activities have earned us reputation of a development institution giving its students and staff opportunities for upgrading their career paths. The credits gained abroad are fully recognised through ECTS and the Diploma Supplement.
– We respond to the knowledge market and also practise more personalised learning but currently work on improving the quality and relevance of higher education, as the numbers get smaller so curricula meet more the needs of individuals, the labour market and the careers of the future.
– We encourage promotion of a greater variety of study modes (e.g. modular learning, continuing education for adult returners and others already in the labour market) and exploit the potential of ICT.
– We take a very active part in reducing the number of drop-outs and help our students to make study choices on the basis of availability of sufficient information, as well as through personal assistance and guidance. We have also been successful at reducing the numbers of students who have not fully completed their studies but lack an exam or two plus their final thesis paper.
– On the basis of recent external evaluation survey, we have started to better monitor the career paths of our former students to provide for further improvement of study programmes and to track our graduate employment outcomes.
– Incentives for higher education institutions to provide for continuous professional development for their staff and to reward excellence in teaching have also been introduced and applied.
– As some mobility flows are more challenging for students who prefer certain geographical areas or countries to others or find them uninteresting, we make use of existing mobility partnerships to enhance and facilitate exchanges of students and staff, as well as to establish new connections with partner institutions. As internships and placements may not always provide the right conditions for students to develop their skills and/or receive appropriate recognition for experience gained, we shall do more in the field of improving the quality and relevance of traineeships. The success of our Erasmus placements shows a better interest for opportunities to gain practical experience abroad as part of our higher education study programmes. It is also beneficial for the personal development of our students and staff.
– We have made the knowledge triangle work by strengthening the links between education, research and business, as well as helped to create interactive learning environment and knowledge-transfer infrastructure regional hubs of specialisation.
Higher Vocational College is an equal opportunity institution and it offers opportunities to all students and members of staff. We strive for the respect of human rights and assure equality of genders, as well as members of different social and cultural environments. We also have and support students with special needs or disadvantages and we do not prioritize the mobility within economically or socially more developed societies to others.
The international activities are presented to other students and employees at School Centre Celje, as well as to the local community via our web site, promotional material, e-mailing students and staff, articles published in local newspapers and magazines, radio and TV broadcasts and at different promotional events of our institution. The school is permanently in contact with home organizations in the field of education programmes and takes part in national and international seminars, conferences and fairs.
Our mission as a higher professional institution is the following:
– to promote excellence in teaching and research activities via European integration as a high-quality institution,
– to participate equally in the European education and job market,
– to aim at creation of transnational cooperation between education and training providers/youth organisations and other stakeholders,
– to disseminate accumulated knowledge,
– to encourage life-long learning of students and staff to demonstrate their need to expand knowledge professionally and personally, and
– to take part in international education activities to increase the quality of professional knowledge and skills.
The overall strategy shall be, as follows:
– to maintain and enhance transnational cooperation,
– in the process of lifelong learning to offer students and lecturers the possibility to reach and/or improve high-quality education, and to obtain knowledge and skills relevant for the labour market and society, recognised within the European Union,
– to increase learning mobility opportunities for students and staff,
– to strengthen cooperation between education youth and the world of labour market,
– to support the modernisation of education and training programmes,
– to exchange acquired knowledge and experience and to promote awareness of linguistic diversity,
– to promote the idea of Europe as a lifelong learning area,
– to encourage research and development, innovation, quality assurance and staff development,
– to add international dimension with partner institutions operating in the same professional field as an integral part of the school’s mission,
– to increase the attractiveness of the higher education institution, and
– to disseminate good practices and make their benefits more recognizable and obvious.
Erasmus University Charter brings the opportunities to reach our objectives in terms of:
– promoting benefits of social inclusion and equal opportunities through increased participation in internationalization scheme,
– participation in multilateral and bilateral projects in order to access innovative environments and exchange experience, ideas and knowledge,
– improving learning of languages,
– increasing equal mobility opportunities for students and staff,
– promoting excellence in teaching and research activities via European integration
Global demand for modernization is a driving force towards constant reviewing of curricula and quality of education process, which is where we benefit from co-operation with similar European institutions.
Participants With Fewer Opportunities Strategy
The aim of this strategy is to help create equal access to programmes for all, by removing the barriers that the two target groups (described below) may face in accessing such opportunities within Europe.
A geographical barrier can be living in remote or rural areas, in peripheral/remote regions, in suburbs, in areas with fewer services (limited public transport, poor infrastructure).
Barriers can be caused by health problems, including severe or chronic illnesses or any other physical or mental condition that prevents participation in the programmes.
‘GO GREEN’ Strategy
For the transition to green travel, the use of trains, buses, car sharing (van, bus), of course also cycling, hitchhiking, walking, electric bicycles/skiskeys, etc. is taken into account.
In the case of using sustainable means of transport (green travel), a declaration of honour signed by the person receiving the travel grant and a representative of the sending organisation is used as proof.
Transition to the use of the Erasmus Without Paper strategy and related training to upgrade digital literacy and the use of tools and applications and AI of all Erasmus+ stakeholders.
‘’DIGI Strategy of VSŠ/HEI Why? What is the value?
– learning about and integrating good practice examples of useful tools, apps and AI, and intergenerational transfer into work and the environment, school websites and communication with students, alumni and staff.
– digital literacy reduces the risk of exclusion and contributes to individual participation in future societies and new technologies in years from now.
– up-to-date knowledge and improved digital competences contribute to increased self-confidence and facilitate the achievement of personal potential for staff and students.
– training enhances collegiality and belonging to a team, as well as confidence and creativity in using new tools for modern learning approaches, while also increasing students’ motivation and understanding of their needs.
– improved financial competences and points for promotion increase the realistic prospect of a better financial situation for HEI staff.”
Še več o programih Erasmus+ si lahko preberete na Centru RS za mobilnost in evropske programe izobraževanja in usposabljanja CMEPIUS ali na strani programa ERASMUS+ na spletnem naslovu http://www.erasmusplus.si/vstopna-stran/