OVGU's ERASMUS+ Policy Statement
Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg (OVGU) has traditionally seen itself as a bridge between East and West.
By organising high quality study, placement, teaching and further education and training programmes, the University seeks to encourage a broadly defined cooperation with international partner universities and to support the improvement of mutual understanding and familiarisation with different working and organisational cultures and lifestyles.
Intensifying and creating better framework conditions for mobility and exchange is one of the primary goals of OVGU in its internationalisation and modernisation efforts. Strategic partnerships play a crucial role as part of this. Starting with individual mobility for students, lecturers and staff and the formation of professional and subject-related networks, the aim is to bring together expertise and new knowledge for the mutual benefit of the partners. A prospective goal is the development of joint teaching units from individual modules through to complete courses. Behind this is the vision of establishing a network of complementary and corresponding courses with reliable partner universities worldwide. This network is intended to support the mobility of students and university lecturers, break down barriers, enable the unrestricted recognition of study achievements and open up synergies in the use of human and physical resources.
A distinctive welcome and a well-structured supervision concept guarantee that Incomings feel at ease, so that those who remain in Magdeburg will benefit just as much from the international dimension of mobility as their fellow students and colleagues abroad.
Cooperation with universities in central and eastern European countries emerged early on as a regional focal point. At the same time, OVGU picked up on trends on a demand-driven basis, and so the following geographical areas of emphasis were also established: central and south America, Asia (Japan, Vietnam) and Africa (Mozambique). A further area of emphasis is mobility in Europe as part of the ERASMUS programme.
The European mobility programmes in particular are seen by OVGU as excellent tools for supporting the implementation of the strategy described above.
For OVGU the prerequisite for establishing a partnership that is productive for every participant is the transparent form of the development process in combination with stringent quality management when concluding and evaluating agreements. Particular quality indicators here are the compatibility of the academic profiles and a relationship based on trust between the partners.
In this regard OVGU acts as an interface between the local partners (the potential Outgoings) and the international partners. Both partners are required to adhere to the quality parameters defined in the agreements and to select qualified candidates for all forms of mobility; in both technical and linguistic terms as well as with a view to key qualifications.
In particular, the students, lecturers and staff members of OVGU are expected to act as ambassadors for our University and to convey an impression of the teaching and research landscape, the organisational culture and the established teaching and working methods in Magdeburg. The idea is for knowledge obtained within the context of mobility to be incorporated in the improvement of academic and administrative processes.
A principle of the internationalisation strategy of OVGU is that every member of the university who wishes to make use of the mobility programme should be enabled to do so. The following are considered to be target groups:
- students in the first, second and third study cycle;
- university lecturers;
- members of the university administrative staff.
European mobility programmes offer undergraduates, doctoral students, young academics and young staff members in particular an ideal opportunity to build up a network of international contacts at an early stage in their professional and academic careers and to acquire social and intercultural skills or gain teaching experience in an international context.
Over and above this, OVGU especially supports the mobility of groups with special needs. A specific concept has been developed to this end.
When selecting staff and students for mobility measures, OVGU is guided by the principle of establishing fair, transparent and coherent procedures with a view to initiating partnerships and the administration and implementation of mobility programmes.
OVGU makes a comprehensive advisory and support programme available for the preparation and realisation of mobility measures, which is offered on the websites and in print media in a target and subject-oriented manner.
The participation in European and international cooperation projects is a fixed component of the modernisation and internationalisation agenda of the University.
The decision to participate in a project is made on the basis of clearly defined parameters that are geared to the academic profile, specialist expertise and human resources.
OVGU supports the application for and implementation of projects through the provision of human and technical resources for advice, technical, administrative and financial execution and the publication of the results and measures for ensuring sustainability. In this regard it is immaterial whether the University is involved in a project as a partner or coordinator.
Competent advice, a transparent procedure, clearly structured administrative processes and stringent quality management in every phase of a project are considered by OVGU to be effective measures for encouraging members of the university to apply for and implement projects.
The corresponding advice is available individually as well as being target group-, subject- and programme-oriented. All necessary information for this is made available on the websites of the University. Regular information events and workshops are held regarding project applications and execution. The latter are a part of the continuing education concept of OVGU.
Participation in international projects is an important aspect of the professional development of the employees of OVGU. It is seen as a component in the regular appraisal of the staff members and as an integral part of the human resource development concept.
For the application period from 2014 to 2020, OVGU plans to use the full scope of the programme with the following priorities:
1. Raising the standard of education to cover Europe's need for academics and researchers
- Increasing the number of internationally developed curricula and double degree programmes at all levels;
- increasing the mobility of lecturers and international teaching capacity;
- increasing the mobility of students in all three study cycles (course of studies and internship).
2. Improving the quality and relevance of university education
- Promoting and preserving high quality teaching, research and services;
- improving the human resource development possibilities (advanced qualifications and training);
- additional networking of academic and administrative structures;
- increasing the employment prospects of university graduates;
- aligning curricula to the needs of the job market and the international university landscape;
- developing strategies to increase the number of degrees awarded.
3. Strengthening quality through mobility and cross-border cooperation
- Expanding the network of strategic partnerships with domestic and international universities and companies as well as key organisations;
- enhancing the European and global dimension in education through mobility;
- creating options for combining mobility with job or education and family, thus guaranteeing equality of opportunity and taking into consideration people with special needs;
- analysing and removing the most serious barriers to mobility;
- facilitating access to relevant and up-to-date information on cross-border mobility opportunities at national or regional level.
4. Linking of university education with research and industry
- Establishing knowledge alliances between OVGU and companies;
- structured mobility, including through internships of students in companies, short-term employment of university lecturers in companies or teaching activity by company personnel;
- promoting entrepreneurial skills and mindset by imparting trans-sectoral skills.
5. Improving management and financing
- Mobility of employees in the context of the continuing education and human resource development concept;
- cooperating with international partners in the field of quality assurance;
- improving strategic leadership through stringent management systems;
- developing of strategies for more efficient financing, including performance-related financing mechanisms;
- fostering transparency, diversity and the performance of higher education establishments.