THE STATEMENT ABOUT ERASMUS POLICY
Business College of Applied Studies” Prof. Radomir Bojkovic, PhD” (College in further text) has been present in the educational system of the Republic of Serbia for almost three decades. We have developed into a recognizable higher education institution, and for decades we have been educating young people and making them experts in their fields. Since 2007, all our study programs have been harmonized with the European educational standards stated in the Bologna Declaration, and we see ourselves as part of the European educational space.
For a decade, we have been nurturing open cooperation, at home and abroad, aware of the fact that the exchange of people, ideas and results represents individual and general progress, where working together leads to a balanced but competitive atmosphere, which contributes to and benefits all the participants.
We plan to continue expanding cooperation at the level of higher education institutions, regional centres, economic and scientific companies in the country and abroad. Our intention is to expand the scope and type of innovations, knowledge, and skills through our academic community and administrative practice, as well as the organizational structure, scientific and research activities, but also connections with the economy. That is why different forms of cooperation, whether the result of bilateral agreements or specialized programs such as Erasmus, are a crucial component of our institutional policy.
We have implemented a one-cycle system (6 semesters); introduced diplomas and diploma supplements – defining the level of qualification and professional competences. Simultaneously with all these activities, the process of internationalization was developed.
The internationalization strategy implies more intensive inclusion of the College into the mainstream academic cooperation in the region and in Europe. In more recent times, in the framework of the Tempus Program or in the Erasmus+ projects we have been actively establishing contacts and networks of HEI. With our partners, who we have already had contacts with, we are also collaborating through other forms of academic activities: conferences, joint papers and journals, visiting professorship, research projects, joint study programs, etc. The number of new partners has been increasing continuously. We are looking for a partner in a particular field of expertise, with experience and know-how, in order to benefit from diverse experiences, so we usually have partners from whole Europe (EU and non-EU), especially in the region of Balkans, which are logical to collaborate with, because of similar languages, culture and habits.
The main strategic goal of the College is aimed at strengthening institutional capacities and market position through Erasmus programs, which enable connection with those who are already committed to the modernization, construction and internationalization of higher education. Also, the goal will include European values that are increasingly committed to inclusion strategies, to reach underrepresented groups in mobility, to ensure green practices in organizing Erasmus + activities, implemented digitalization through the European Initiative for Student Cards and Erasmus + Mobile App, with a growing commitment to strengthening the civic engagement of mobile students.
We are interested in participating in all three key activities under the Erasmus program, as they provide a wide range of modalities for cooperation, both with program and partner countries. With our professional performance, we confirm that we are ready to be a responsible partner in the project or to take on the role of coordinator (applicant). Previous project experience has given us valuable experience, as we have shown that we can successfully perform a variety of tasks, including project management at the consortium level.
The institutional capacities of the College guarantee active participation and implementation of project results. Our students and staff are constantly encouraged to participate in the work / projects and each new project will be an additional incentive to work with the knowledge, skills and experience they will gain on the project. The institution envisages regular and concrete measures that encourage and motivate employees and students in performing tasks while providing legal, financial and other administrative support.
Before making a decision to launch a project, the goals, priorities and stakeholders are defined, in relation to the thematic field, the sustainability of the results is considered in detail and various aspects of the potential partnership are seriously considered.
We expect that participation in the new cycles of Erasmus projects will significantly contribute to our College, through further development of international cooperation to increase the number of partner institutions, expand cooperation within existing relations, and expand capacity towards joint study programs.
Each participation in the project increases the number of contacts with colleagues representing different domestic and foreign institutions, and the establishment of such contacts should actually result in new cooperation or expansion of existing cooperation. In addition to the skills of negotiation, correspondence, and communication, which are acquired through these types of cooperation, the skills of creative thinking and problem solving, leadership and project management are also nurtured. Finally, all of this contributes to successful personal and professional development.
As a vocational higher education institution, the College is extremely interested in projects involving participants from the economy. For us, opportunities for mobility for quality training of students and teachers are of great importance, as well as the participation of company representatives in the teaching process.
At the institutional level, participation in Erasmus programs means improving teaching and training in terms of methodological approach, subject content and the development of new curricula, including joint study programs.
Also, good and innovative good practice and other outcomes that the institution applies either as a long-term strategy or as a short-term solution were noted. The number of participants involved, the products and services created and the sustainable outcomes achieved are quantitative indicators in monitoring this impact. The long-term impact is significant in terms of the sustainability of the set study programs, the number of potential mobilities, the number of students and new teachers, and greater participation in new projects.
The support is given by the Centre for International Cooperation, the Law Department, the Accountant’s Office, the Student Parliament, including the Director. The College has also introduced the institution of the Erasmus+ Office whose duty is to help with very specific problems related to lack of experience or delicate issues. The Office is the central point for incoming/outcoming students and staff, and offers them full assistance with application, admission, accommodation, and all formalities. There is likewise the Mobility Coordinator who takes care of the realization of mobilities at the College. The Office organizes special English courses that are offered to further develop the language competences of future applicants for the Erasmus+ programmes.
The Centre for International Cooperation prepared various bylaws and rulebooks which help all involved to avoid mistakes and pitfalls during applying or implementing the project. The Centre is also responsible for providing information about programme participation and execution. The College web services are of big importance for the spreading and exploitation of project results, and project sustainability. The ERASMUS+ programme is also advertised on the College website focusing on mobility, with mobility activities addressed towards both students and professors.
The efforts of the institution and all members of the small community, in the direction of providing joint research and publications, international and domestic conferences, new project proposals and future cooperation, are placed under the auspices of the Erasmus program, which will strengthen the European dimension of our organization.
In Krusevac, June 2021.