European Erasmus Charter (2014-2020)
Erasmus Policy Statement (Overall Strategy)
I. University of Nicosia International Strategy
The University of Nicosia is an International University. About 20% of its students are international, representing over 60 different countries and studying in a multicultural environment that promotes friendship, cooperation and understanding. The language of instruction is both English (for most degrees) and Greek. Committed to multiculturalism, the University holds since 2005, the UNESCO chair for “Cultural Diversity and Intercultural Dialogue for a Culture of Peace”.
The University is fully committed to implementing the Bologna Process and the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) reforms. It holds the Erasmus Charter (2007-2013) and is one of the very few Universities that holds the ECTS Label (2012-2015) and the Diploma Supplement DS Label (2010-2013). Furthermore, it has developed innovative ICT tools to support the EHEA reforms. Through the reforms that have taken place (Learning Outcomes (LOs), ECTS, DS, etc.), the University has set a strong basis for implementing its International Strategy both at the EU and non-EU level.
The International Strategy of the University ties very closely with the overall University Strategy in terms of growth with regards to the
- number of degrees offered at all cycle levels
- number of students and graduates
- quantity and quality of both basic and applied research
- contribution to society
- inclusive access to higher education
- offering of cross-border education through
- campuses abroad
- franchising agreements
- double/multiple/joint degrees
- e-learning/blended learning modes of delivery.
The University therefore aims to increase its international visibility, while adhering to its motto of “Excellence in Education”. The choice of strategic partners plays a crucial role in the success of the implementation of the International Strategy and therefore due consideration is given to the selection of such partners. The International Strategy of the University is divided into two sub-strategies:
- A general focus International Strategy that aims at building links with partners from as many EU and non-EU countries as possible, so that students and staff, through mobility and the establishment of double/multiple/joint degrees and research projects, can share experiences and best practices and thus help the University benefit from the expertise gained. The implementation of this strategy and the University’s exposure to as many different EU educational systems as possible, will ensure a true integration of the University within EHEA. Furthermore, it will result in enhancing the University’s educational/research environment. Focal to this strategy, is the choice of partners which are (or are becoming) leaders in teaching and research, and thus can provide to our students and staff the opportunity to experience a high quality educational environment. Due consideration is given to assessing our own strengths and capabilities against the partners’ ones so as to ensure success of mobility activities and collaborations.
- A specific focus International Strategy, through which partners are specifically chosen for their expertise and synergies with our University and/or vision, as well as aims and objectives in selected areas of teaching, learning, research and University governance. Focal to such decisions for partnerships are the University’s strategic directions with regards to degrees, research and innovation, geographical areas targeted, joint ventures, etc. To this end, the University has set strategic aims and objectives to excel in areas where there is lack of expertise in Cyprus and where the University has already established itself as a leader. Such areas are (amongst others):
- E-learning and blended/hybrid learning modes that support inclusive access and provide students who cannot participate in physical mobility, to participate in virtual mobility
- Medical Education
- Accounting and Professional Qualifications
- Energy, Oil and Gas Management and Engineering
The aforementioned areas guide the choice of partners sought, as well as the geographical areas where the university can provide cross-border education. The following geographical areas (amongst others) have been identified as top priority:
- UK and Israel (Medical Education)
- Greece, Romania and Easter Europe (Accounting and ACCA)
- UK and Norway (Energy, Oil and Gas)
- Asia and Africa (Cross Border Education in most subject areas)
- Specific EU Countries (for general mobility and joint ventures in areas of expertise (sought expertise) of the University).
The development of double/multiple/joint degrees and joint research/innovation projects and collaborations follows from the framework of the International Strategy. The guiding principle is the synergies identified, the aim for excellence and ideally the reach to all EU and as many non-EU countries as possible, as well as institutions within each country, so that a true EU (and non-EU) Higher Educational Area integration of our University is achieved.
II. Organization and implementation of international (EU and non-EU) co-operation projects
The University strategy with regards to the organization and implementation of international (EU and non-EU) co-operation projects entails (amongst others):
- Carrying out feasibility studies
- for offering cross-border education at the geographical areas and countries identified in the International Strategy, through the establishment of campuses and/or the signing of franchise agreements.
- to allow EU and non-EU universities to offer through our University selected franchised degrees.
- Development of double/multiple/joint degrees with EU and non-EU Universities.
- Strategic partnerships with
- international research centers for the promotion of basic and applied research and the learning and training of 3rd cycle students.
- the local industry, government and municipality authorities for the development of applied research for the benefit of society; dissemination of research through public presentations, media appearances and articles for the general public.
- Outreach to social partners, youth organizations, secondary education staff and students and the public in general for offering consultancy, knowhow and expertise; promoting learning, research and innovation to secondary education schools and students, as well as to the society in general and especially people of the third age.
- Substantial increase of the number of degrees and courses offered via e-learning and blended learning methods, and co-operation with other stakeholders (international publishers, e-learning providers, etc) for offering inclusive access to higher education.
- International co-operation with universities in countries in Easter Europe, Easter Mediterranean, Asia and Africa so as to help them adopt the EHEA reforms; the University has extensive expertise in EHEA reforms, as this is evidenced by the DS and ECTS label awards, as well as the innovative ICT tools supporting EHEA reforms that have been developed; to this end, training seminars and workshops can be organized.
III. Impact on the University from the Participation in the Programme
The University will benefit in terms of the 5 key priorities of the Modernization Agenda as follows:
- Increasing attainment levels to provide graduates and researchers Europe needs: The student mobility scheme is an important marketing and recruiting tool and will help in attracting more students and thus producing more graduates. Through an inclusive access and policies for informal and non-formal learning and through e-learning and blended learning, the University will further increase its number of students. Staff mobility will help develop 2nd cycle degrees and build research collaborations, which will result in increasing the number of 3rd cycle students and the provision of more researchers.
- Improving the quality and relevance of Higher Education:
- The University degrees will be modernized to address labour needs and applied research will be developed through industry-academia collaboration.
- Research and innovation will be enhanced through the exchange of staff and 3rd cycle students.
- Teaching and learning will be enhanced through relevant 2nd cycle degrees and training and through award schemes for recognizing excellence in teaching/learning.
- The University will develop an e-environment and prepare students for the digital era, through enhanced use of ICT.
- Through e-learning/blended learning, a better support and quality learning environment will be available.
- Strengthening quality through mobility and cross-border education: The programme will help attract better students and academic staff; thus better quality degrees and research will be provided. Any barriers prohibiting cross-border education should be removed both at the national and institutional level and full adherence to the various tools such as ECTS and DS Labels, LOs, recognition of formal and non-formal learning, EQF and NQFs should be ensured, thus enforcing the University to implement all such tools.
- Making the knowledge triangle work: linking higher education, research and business for excellence and regional development: The University will:
- Escape the ivory towers of the institution and integrate into society and industry and develop applied and industry oriented research for the benefit of society.
- Develop industry-oriented degrees and produce graduates to meet labour needs, by integrating in degrees an industry mobility/practicum, creating industry advisory councils and adopting professional associations’ regulations.
- Build centers of excellence and incubators that will closely work with industry.
- Improving governance and funding: The University will modernize its governance in order to deal more efficiently and effectively with cross-border education. The International Strategy and its implementation will require the building of strategic and human resource skills into managers and effective use of ICT. This will in general result in a better managed organization that will adhere to its strategic directions and aims and objectives.