Erasmus+: Proud to Promote Student Mobility

Understand another way of life ~ more independent and improved English Language Skills ~ Teaching and Learning style is very different but easy to adapt to ~ was able to integrate well and joined the musical theatre society” 

In 2014, Staffordshire University was awarded an Erasmus Standard University Charter in order to participate in the Erasmus+ programme.

The Erasmus+ is a programme that promotes student mobility, by providing opportunities for Higher Education students to work or study abroad at one of our partner institutions in Europe (for a minimum of two months and a maximum of twelve months). A grant is available to assist with the extra costs.

Students must be registered on a full time degree, study for a minimum of three months and the study time must count for credit towards their degree. Work placements can be credit bearing (compulsory) or non-credit bearing (voluntary).

The first Erasmus newsletter was published in February and introduced Wendy Pollard, Erasmus Co-ordinator.

The first students from the School of Law, Policing and Forensics, will be beginning their Erasmus+ programme in January in Prague. However, we also have students from our partner institutions studying here at Staffordshire University. A student from France, studying on one of our Sociology courses, said the experience has made her ‘more culturally aware’, enhanced her future career skills and made her ‘more open minded’; she ‘learned more about [the varying] social environment[s] more deeply involved in different areas of sociology’. Whilst studying here, she ‘went on a trip to Manchester for Research Methods’ and had ‘the opportunity to travel around the country – Scotland to London’.

~ Not just for Students ~

Erasmus is not just for students; there are opportunities available in training or teaching mobility. Staff are able to teach at our partner institutions for a minimum of five days and a maximum of six weeks. Training opportunities are available to all staff as long as it meets the criteria of the European Union.

‘The training enables members of staff to acquire knowledge or specific know how from experience and good practices abroad, as well as develop practical skills that are relevant for their current role or as part of their professional development. So examples would be job-shadowing, study visits or relevant conferences or training.’

There was a huge uptake of around 50 teaching and attending training events last year. Sue Lee, E-Learning Manager at Staffordshire University, said “taking part in a Staff Training week in Sweden was a great experience. I learned a lot and enjoyed it. I met lots of interesting people from all over Europe; Spain, Hungary, France, Germany, Romania and more. Our Swedish hosts made us very welcome with activities that ranged from discussions in small groups to “A crash course in Swedish”, and more importantly, an introduction to “Swedish Fika” – Coffee and cake at every opportunity! I’d recommend taking part in the Erasmus program to everyone, I wish I’d known about it before.”

To find out more about opportunities available under Erasmus, contact Wendy Pollard at erasmus@staffs.ac.uk or on 01785 353404.

Why Study or Work Abroad?

Students (eligible to claim for 12 months’ support per study cycle, i.e. degree level, masters, etc.):
• 12 month sandwich placements – this would sit as part of the student’s degree programme (we currently only have Computing doing this)
• Summer placement (minimum 2 month) – this would be work experience and does not have to link to the student’s degree; see www.erasmusintern.org
• Study abroad (minimum 3 months but could be up to 1 year) – this would be with a partner university and Wendy Pollard would work with the Staffordshire University course leader and the partner organisation to facilitate this. This would involve setting up an inter-institutional agreement if there is not one already in place
• Recent Graduate Scheme – if the student secures a work opportunity overseas (fixed term or permanent) prior to graduation they are able to claim up to 12 months funding – this is assuming they haven’t already used their allocation of Erasmus funding during their study

Staff (academic and professional support):
• Training weeks at any educational institution or organisation which could involve job shadowing or organised international weeks; minimum 2 day visit and minimum of 8 hours of activity per week – see www.staffmobility.eu/staff-week-search
• Teaching (minimum 2 day visit and minimum of 8 hours per week) at a partner institution where we have an interinstitutional agreement in place
• Scoping visits to establish partnerships (educational or commercial)
• Staff placement visits for those students on 12 month placemen

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