Erasmus Policy Statement

Suitcases - Brighter Futures

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) has been informed that it has been awarded an Erasmus University Charter for Higher Education (ECHE), which permits it to participate inthe Erasmus+ Programme from 2014-2020.

An overview of GCU's International (EU and non-EU) Strategy.

GCU aims to be a successful international university delivering access and excellence, with a strong commitment to the common good.

The GCU Global: Internationalisation Strategy 2012-2015 details the strategic importance of collaborations and mobility and the operational commitments to facilitate staff and student engagement and research collaborations. The University’s mission is to provide an outstanding inclusive learning environment underpinned by curiosity-driven research allowing us to share our knowledge and expertise; to work in partnership with business, the professions and the public sector; to create successful global graduates and citizens; and to deliver economic and social benefit for the communities we serve.

One of the main pillars of the University’s 2015 strategy is to: “deliver excellence, competitiveness, and cultural diversity through new models of international collaborations with key partners in Scotland and around the world to extend our reach in education, research and development”.

Staff and student mobility are core elements of any new partnership being considered. In addition to our 85 European partnerships GCU has established relationships with a further 80 academic institutions across the World which
include:

  • USA: University of Massachusetts, Boston; Stony Brook University, New York
  • China: East China University of Science & Technology in Shanghai; University of
  • Jinan; Guandong Foreign Studies University; Zheijang University of Media and
  • Communications
  • Brazil: Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
  • India: Chitkara University Punjab and Chitkara University, Himachal Pradesh
  • South Africa: University of Johannesburg & Transnet Freight Rail
  • Oman: Caledonian College of Engineering is a 15 year partnership, providing
  • undergraduate, postgraduate degrees and CPD programmes.

The Institute of Health Sciences (IHS) is a 4 year partnership upskilling to honours degree, programmes for Allied Health Professionals. Together, they offer programmes to more than 3,000 students, of which 50% of those studying full time are female.

We understand our responsibility to generate and share knowledge for the greater good of society, and commit to educational development in emerging economies. This is illustrated by our partnership with the Grameen Foundation and Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammed Yunus (the new Chancellor of GCU) which created the Grameen Caledonian College of
Nursing in Bangladesh.

In addition, GCU has established the Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health. The Centre aims to transform the lives of the poorest through pioneering research examining the relationship between social business and health improvement.

The Centre's unique research evaluates the impact of social business creation on the lives and health of disadvantaged communities in Glasgow and overseas. The Yunus Centre works closely with the GCU Institutes for Applied Health Research
and Society & Social Justice Research and a number of local, national and international collaborators.

We are seeking to expand our global network in a targeted manner aligned with our geographic priorities and programmes. Our focus will be on Europe; China and the Middle East; India and South East Asia; USA and Latin America enabling us to capitalize on new partnering opportunities.

We have also developed a portfolio of international collaboration projects with various regions, particularly Latin America, North Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia through previous programmes such as ALFA, Tempus and Erasmus Mundus. These partnerships will be further developed and expanded under the new Programme. 

Mobility is a key aim of our Internationalisation Strategy and as such we are fully committed to developing new mobility opportunities across the full range of subject areas as well as promoting the existing exchange portfolio. We have more than tripled the number of staff/student exchanges in the last 3 years and look to increase this further to 1500 by 2015.

We will achieve this by raising awareness among students, academics and parents through campaigns and alumni testimonials; improving integration of international and domestic students through buddying on campus; assisting GCU students through Year 1 and Year 2 to overcome perceived barriers to exchange by building confidence, helping to resolve financial challenges, offering more language provision and additional support to students from widening participation backgrounds.

Masters and Doctorate level international mobility is equally important to our mission. We are already actively involved in two Erasmus Mundus projects and have applied for a further three, one of which GCU would be coordinating. We intend to harness these partnerships in order to develop joint and/or double degrees with key partner institutions.

Organisation and implementation of the international (EU and non-EU) cooperation projects in teaching and training.

In order to ensure that GCU fully engages with both the new Programme and Horizon 2020, a new EU Engagement Office has been created specifically dedicated to the promotion, management and development of EU engagement, offering an integrated approach for all EU projects across the University, thus supporting the delivery of the University’s International Strategy.

We will build on our existing portfolio of international cooperation projects under LLP, Tempus, ALFA and Erasmus Mundus as well as Horizon 2020 to develop and sustain a culture of mobility. Staff teaching and training in global cooperation projects will be critical to our ambitions to increase student mobility.

The Office will ensure that information about mobility opportunities feeds in to curriculum planning teams. The Office will ensure that GCU actively cultivates EU partnerships and programmes in order to effectively expand and develop its international networks. These programmes should reflect University strategies for research, innovation, teaching, CPD, mobility, exchange and cooperation. Within the Programme GCU will continue to actively promote EU engagement at all levels across the UK HE sector and beyond.

The Office will promote EU opportunities, increase awareness amongst staff and students resulting in more proactive engagement in European activities. International projects funded by the EU will be fully exploited in order to forge closer ties with other institutions and more student and staff exchange.

Opportunities to develop specific international courses within the curriculum will be highlighted to the academic schools. Funding leveraged successfully will be fully exploited to promote EU values and the University’s core mission to deliver economic and social benefit for the community. We will actively pursue projects that reflect and support socially innovative activities.

How the programme feeds in to the modernisation of the University.

The modernisation agenda is core to everything we do as a university and participation in the Programme will emphasise and facilitate this. We will continue to:

  • Develop international teaching, mobility and exchange projects thereby increasing attainment levels to provide the graduates and researchers Europe needs. GCU has achieved success in two Erasmus Mundus projects: one supporting the development of international offices in Central America to incorporate EU programmes; the second offering placements in Engineering/ICT for UG, PG, pre and post docs and teachers from across Latin America. This has been a strategic decision in order to position GCU internationally and to act as a basis for future development of double/multiple/joint degrees.

  • Increase engagement in international and EU projects as a means of enhancing the quality and relevance of our institution locally and globally. As stated above GCU has developed an extensive portfolio of international cooperation projects under the existing Programme. We are committed to increasing the number of projects and widening the participation of all students and staff throughout the University.

  • Increase student exchange to further strengthen the quality of mobility and crossborder co-operation. In addition to the overall volume of student exchange and increased project engagement, we will develop a more explicit picture of the geographical regions aligning with University priorities to identify potential for new collaborations. We will develop and highlight exchange opportunities to these new regions. We have been successful in encouraging and supporting students from widening participation backgrounds and students from hard to send subject areas to undertake student exchange. We will continue to make this a priority so that mobility becomes the norm for all students.
  • Ensure GCU is recognised as leading player in innovation at an international level, promoting and developing the knowledge triangle by linking higher education, research and business for excellence and regional development. We have a strong track record in meeting skills demands through flexible, negotiated learning pathways involving employers, learners and the University.
  • To improve governance we will continue to refine our comprehensive systems for monitoring funding and the added value to the University of its international activities, and ensure transparent monitoring against key performance indicators.

Download document: Official Erasmus Charter