Erasmus Policy Statement
Lomza State University of Applied Sciences (LSUAS) is a modern and unique institution of high reputation, which is proud of its scientific and educational resources. Its unusual ambience of friendliness and empathy fosters intellectual and social development of the students and staff. Studying at our University means being a part of a special multidimensional world, wherein the needs of students matter, and everyday interactions with the university personnel are something natural and pleasant. Every single student is respected and appreciated at our University. The academic community believes that Lomza State University of Applied Sciences changes people and brings the best qualities in students, staff members, and administrative personnel.
LSUAS offers 14 fields of study at three diverse faculties: Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Faculty of Health Sciences, and Faculty of Computer Science and Food Science. We are recognizable in the country and in the region as the centre of education of specialists – practitioners. In a significant way, the University contributes to the economic and intellectual development of the region, raising the level of education of its citizens. The university works closely with local business representatives. The significant result of this cooperation is the establishment of the Council of Practitioners at all of the three faculties.
LSUAS attracts students from north-eastern Poland and abroad through its wide educational opportunities and individual approach directed to students of all departments. Through interinstitutional agreements and memoranda, we have established a cooperation network with a number of universities and enterprises in cross-border countries: Germany, Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, the Czech Republic and Slovakia; with Asian countries: China, India, Taiwan, Japan, and Jordan, as well as with Georgia, Albania, Italy, Portugal, and Mexico.
We provide different levels and forms of education such as: bachelor and master’s degree programmes, postgraduate programmes, courses, seminars, and conferences for both full-time and part-time studies. We reinforce internationalization in accordance with the Law on Higher Education and Science (Law 2.0) and the Development Strategy of Lomza State University of Applied Sciences for the years 2021-2025.
Within each of the proposed areas, key objectives will be implemented – these objectives are a continuation of the existing strategic development directions: development of teaching staff, improvement of university infrastructure, improvement and constant adaptation of the teaching offer, development of research activities with particular emphasis on implementation projects. In the previously enforced Strategy, internationalization was treated as a horizontal objective, i.e. it served the purpose of implementing goals from all other strategic areas. However, in the new Strategy, internationalization has been raised to the rank equal with other independent strategic areas. Within its framework, the initial strategic and specific objectives have been formulated as follows:
The strategic objective is to enhance the degree of internationalization of the LSUAS and to improve the quality of internationalization.
1. Expanding the didactic offer in English.
2. Establishing cooperation and deepening existing liaisons with universities and foreign partners, as well as other organizations, the activities of which are related to internationalization (e.g. the Fulbright Commission).
3. Intensifying international learning mobilities of students, graduates and employees of the University with the help of local ambassadors and promotional activities.
4. Improving the competences of staff and students in order to develop foreign students-friendly University.
5. Taking actions to ensure the use and promotion of digital mobility management tools.
The University's participation in the Erasmus+ Programme has a compelling impact on the implementation of each of the aforementioned objectives. At the same time, within other strategic areas (apart from internationalization), there are envisaged activities that the implementation of which may significantly support participation in the Erasmus+ Programme.
In terms of teaching staff development, it is primarily related to the possibility of enhancing competences through participation in all forms of mobility. In midst of implementing goals in the area of improving university infrastructure, we plan to provide technical arrangements enabling foreign students to use all facilities equally to the same extent as it is possible for domestic students in order to promote inclusiveness of all students. This includes providing English instructions, messages, and software in addition to Polish language-oriented forms.
Tasks in the area of adapting the didactic offer coincide with tasks in the area of internationalization, i.e. they fundamentally include expanding the subject offer in English. Moreover, the University's participation in the implementation of tasks in the area of research activity development is also of great importance. In its principle, it is related to strategic partnerships as part of cooperation for the purpose of innovation. The university is currently implementing such project as part of this type of partnership. Further activities in this area are currently being planned.
LSUAS is set to be vocal about benefits of internationalization and what it represents for the development of the University. New principles of Erasmus+ Programme for the years 2021-2027 introduce a set of new regulations which should be implemented, such as environmentally-friendly practices. The main goal is to reduce paper-waste, which is an obtainable task in terms of digitalizing the mobility process in the spirit of Erasmus Without Papers project. In fact, our University is planning to promote blended mobilities for students of various disciplines as, due to the provisions of the Law on Higher Education and Science, there is an excessive number of practical training hours for all students. In order to minimalize the lack of time which may prevent joining the Erasmus for studies, we plan to encourage them to take part in the offered conjugation of both types of mobility, which will not only lessen paper usage, but it will also positively affect the environment by reducing carbon imprint.
There are several examples of environmentally-friendly practices which Lomza State University of Applied Sciences has instilled in the previous years which will be promoted in the years of 2021-2025. Given the abilities of technology, it is possible to conduct virtual classes (i.e. e-learning), which allows for students not to be present at the university for each lecture. This way, students are reducing the carbon emission. Furthermore, the city of Lomza offers public bicycle sharing system, which is a great alternative for fuelled vehicles and our University encourages students to choose this type of transportation during their stay as it is more environmentally-friendly. In addition, the Students’ House obtains several bicycles which can be used by its residents. Also, as ecological awareness is a strategic principle in European strategy for the following years, LSUAS will promote choosing land transport means over air transport for incoming students by presenting them with most convenient routes available from different directions.
Lomza State University of Applied Sciences is a place that does not distinguish people based on any criteria, which is why the strategy for the years of 2021-2025 includes the increase of mobilities of disabled and unprivileged students in order to achieve equal opportunities for all students. Our University is open for students with disabilities including incoming students, as it is significantly important to promote inclusiveness at all levels. The disabilities of our domestic students are also not an obstacle in providing them with mobility possibilities. The Programme activities will be financially supported in terms of reorganised facilities adapted for the disabled. LSUAS is responsible for raising awareness of cultural diversity in order to fight against xenophobia and racism, which is why thematic seminars and conferences are organised to share the significance of the issue.
Academic Mobility Activities
All three faculties have their own Faculty Erasmus+ Coordinators, who work closely with 14 Departmental Erasmus+ Coordinators in order to support incoming and outgoing students and staff members with their exchange activities. The Institutional Erasmus+ Coordinator is an active supervisor of the entire Programme as the Head of the International Relations Department, and all activities are inspected and overseen by the Vice Rector for Science and International Cooperation. Departmental representatives may undertake monitoring visits to partner institutions to assess the exchange activity and its quality. Each year, the University issues its own Study Guide for exchange students for the upcoming academic year, which includes additional information about the region, a list of holidays, and showcases the daily life of being a student. We are fully committed to a comprehensive Equal Opportunities Policy in order to create working and learning environment.
Study programmes are created on the basis of learning outcomes and are graded in accordance with ECTS system. All programmes are validated through the University quality assurance process, they are discussed at departmental and faculty levels before they can be authorised in the motion process by the Academic Senate. Moreover, each programme needs to be positively assessed by the Student Council representatives. Incoming students receive details about particular course offers and credit values from the International Relations Department and Departmental Coordinators. The University approves of and fully promotes mobility opportunities for staff members by encouraging them by assessing additional points in terms of international cooperation participation during the periodic evaluations. Also, in regards to students, Foreign Language Department organises free of charge Polish language classes which are available for incoming students, and the International Relations Department offers an English course for students who are interested in joining the Erasmus+ Programme.
Student placement is an integral part of study programmes. Placement arrangements, evaluation and monitoring will be implemented by our University in cooperation with partner institutions. The recruitment procedure is based on the following criteria:
- students’ language competence,
- academic achievements,
- involvement in student associations and academic community life.
The Erasmus+ Departmental Coordinators assist students in choosing appropriate host organizations and calculate the duration of stay based on the student’s academic obligations. Coordinators ensure that the programme of a practical training is adequate to the study programme of each student. In addition, International Relations Department provides help with logistic support such as: travel arrangements, visa and work permit obtaining process, finding accommodation and insurance.
As a result of satisfactory completed activities and submitting a report, students are awarded with full academic recognition. The Erasmus+ practical training activity is shown in Diploma Supplement, which benefits students in their career-hunting process in terms of international experience.
Lomza State University of Applied Sciences will popularize European Card of Higher Education, the Erasmus Policy Statement and the Erasmus+ Programme activities during promotional activities and events e.g.: Open Days, Erasmus+ Programme Days, The European Funds Open Days, International Staff Week, Children’s Academy, periodic information meetings, which are solemnly focused on advocating the advantages of the Programme as a European-funded project. Issuing Study Guides, Erasmus information packages, and marketing gadgets with Erasmus+ logotypes allow for a broader visibility of the actions. The main idea for popularization of the Programme is showcasing its benefits, which is possible by organizing guest lectures with former beneficiaries of student and staff mobilities so that they can connect with uncertain students and answer their doubts. Modern marketing is effective on social networking sites which is why the International Relations Department is active on such platforms as: Facebook (www.facebook.com/pwsip.erasmus/), Instagram (www.instagram.com/erasmus_pwsip/), but also on the University website (www.pwsip.edu.pl/en/), (www.pwsip.edu.pl/dwz) and other platforms (www.facebook.com/pwsip/), (www.instagram.com/pwsip).