The specific actions planned to give visibility to Erasmus activities.
In response to the Lisbon strategy of creating a common, European educational space, the University of Bielsko-Biała aims to improve the quality of courses offered, to increase the number of courses in foreign languages and in eLearning system, and to encourage students, academic staff and researchers to intensify international cooperation. We also find it important to continue the process of adapting to the local environment, consulting our common needs on the daily basis. In consequence, science the year 2000, two new educational lines have been established and the existing ones are undergoing the process of modernization. International cooperation is considered to be a crucial factor for the development of the University. Therefore, the network of international partners has been developed, the portfolio of agreements has been enlarged, and new structures and procedures have been introduced. The university plans to increase the staff and students exchange. Special attention will be given to the activities attracting incoming students and staff, as our exchange has so far been unbalanced. Consequently, we plan to increase the number of Curricula Development and Thematic Network projects, and to develop more courses fit for international environment. We also aim to increase the number of international industrial placement offered to our students, as they provide the students with an important experience in the process of Lifelong Learning. We hope that the actions listed above will help to create a multicultural environmental at the university, and will also positively influence the local milieu.
For a few years now, the information about the program, as well as the reports of the returning Erasmus students and staff members have been published on the web page; interviews on the subject of student and staff exchange are published on a regular basis in the university magazine. The meetings for the new candidates for the program are organized periodically and short presentation are given to the students before lectures. Our brochure and posters are prepared and printed on the regular basis. We plan to continue and develop this kind of activities. Additionally, we plan to give information about the European Policy and international programs and exchange to the local media. The Erasmus University Charter and European University Statement will be published on the University web page. In order to ensure the non-discrimination policy, the University will focus on the issue which is particularly important to us-on the enhancement of social and economics cohesion. There are commissions responsible for apportionment to the funds for the financial help for our students. There are also plans to open a new academic building, adapted to the needs of disabled students and staff members. As the University is located in a multicultural environment, no special measures have to be taken to ensure gender equality or to combat xenophobia or racism.
Quality of academic mobility activities.
The specific measures implemented in the institution to ensure high quality in academic mobility activities.
The outgoing students go through a multi-step selection process, according to the fixed algorithm. The Departmental Coordinators are responsible for Learning Agreements and any further changes in them. Academic recognition is given to all the students who fulfill the obligations from the LA, and present the documentation required. We plan to introduce an improved formula for LA, to make the evaluation and recognition process easier. Our university has adopted the system in which 60 credits are planned for an academic year. Different courses valued differently, depending on how demanding they are. Different value is also ascribed to lectures, seminars, laboratories, or exercises. Students are given credits provided they complete the given subject as well as pass/fail marks. The official University web page offers the basic information on our curricula. Outgoing students get information and counseling from the staff and International Office (responsible for formal and administrative work) and Departmental Coordinators (responsible for academic issues). Our University provides accommodation for incoming students in dormitories, which is the first step in the process of their integration into the local environment. We have also introduced the "buddy-system", where Polish students help and assist their colleagues, especially during the first period of their stay. Departmental Coordinators facilitate cooperation among academic teachers and they monitor the progress of incoming students. We also organize welcome and integration trips and the Polish language course. We are planning to increase the number and quality of such activities. The outgoing students and teachers are offered the opportunity to refresh and improve their language skills as the multimedia courses for different languages are available. The staff members who are candidates for mobility exchange must be accepted by the faculty and prove their language skills and the quality of materials prepared.
Quality of student placement activities.
The specific measures implemented in the institution to ensure high quality in student placements.
In order to ensure the high quality of student placement, the university implements different measures. The management of the project consists of two sections: a didactic and an administrative one. The former deals with recruitment, selection and certification; the letter with periodic reports (both on internal and external level), as well as administrative and financial tasks. University partners are responsible for external communication, selection of the proper partner institutions for consortium, and fitting the placement to the specific needs of both students and the company chosen. The key issue is to disseminate innovative methods of education and henceforth to enlarge the competences of the beneficiaries as well as their competitiveness on the labour market. Industrial partners are responsible for the preparations of work placements (with consideration to new technologies). They also monitor the progress of the placement and contact the University when necessary.
Each outgoing student has the work-program designed, with special attention given to the student's area of interests, professional plans and individual skills. Students periodically report the progress of placement to supervising representatives of both the university and company, who regularly evaluate the quality of work and help the students whenever didactic support is required. The dean recognizes the stay in a partner institution as the practical placement period required in the study program. The practical placement is followed by the report presented for evaluation to both the faculty and the industrial partner. Depending on the value and quality of report, certain study subjects can be recognized on its basis; in case of more advanced students, the report can be recognized as a part of their diploma dissertations. The students receive a certificate issued by both the enterprise and the University.