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Erasmus Policy Statement






I. Overall Estrategy

The international call of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid is expressed in its Statutes, which includes among its competences and priorities "The promotion of international mobility and the exchange of teachers and students in the international sphere, specifically within the framework of the European Higher Education Area".

The Declaration of Commitment to the European Higher Education Area is thus institutionalised. The Erasmus Programme has been decisive in the construction of this European Higher Education Area and the UCM has participated in it since its inception in 1987. Since then, objectives have been defined in accordance with the goals planned in each of the editions of the Erasmus Programme, which have had a very favourable influence on its modernisation process, its governance and in the definition of strategic lines of internationalisation.

Based on what has already been achieved, the UCM is committed to continuing to meet objectives and to establishing new ones, following the lines set by the European Commission in the field of Higher Education.

These objectives, in summary, are:

  • To continue promoting the mobility of students for studies and internships and of academic and administrative staff, in order to achieve not only an increase in mobility figures, but also an improvement in the quality of the activities carried out.
  •  Establish new mobility schemes that include online and virtual teaching and activities, through the development of information technologies.
  • To promote cooperation with institutions and companies, through participation in KA2 and KA3 actions.
  • To support and promote development cooperation through collaboration with educative and non-educative institutions.
  • Encourage the establishment of international joint degrees, by means of bilateral agreements or the mechanisms to be developed within the new Erasmus Programme (e.g. Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters).
  • To contribute to the construction of a true European Higher Education Area through participation in the UNA Europa Universities Alliance, which has been awarded one of the Erasmus+ KA2 "European Universities" projects in the pilot edition of 2019.
  • To promote collaboration with countries outside Europe, encouraging participation in the international mobility and cooperation actions offered by the Erasmus Programme and promoting other plans of its own. In this area, the geographical objectives are set in Latin America; Asia (China, India); Africa (North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa) and the United States, mainly, but not exclusively.
  • To continue to adopt inclusion measures for people with diversity and from disadvantaged backgrounds.
  • To promote Service-Learning as an instrument to foster the social commitment of the University Community, as well as other types of activities related to volunteering and international cooperation for development.
  • To continue working on measures that promote the care of the environment, both on and off the University Campus.
  • To promote the inclusion of the Sustainable Development Objectives in the different activities of the University, also in the international field, especially objective 4, directly related to education.
  • To work on simplifying the management of academic and administrative procedures, promoting the use of e-government and participating in the initiatives promoted by the Erasmus Programme in this regard (Erasmus without Paper, Student Card).

II. Implementation of Erasmus Actiities in the Institution

  • Key Action 1 (KA1): Mobility for learning

The UCM has been participating in mobility actions since the beginning of the Erasmus Programme, back in 1987. Since then, the number of mobilities has been increasing year after year, until it became one of the Spanish and European universities offering highest participation figures, both for incoming and outgoing mobilities. This long experience has allowed the development of an efficient institutionalised management system. In this new stage, the aim is to continue promoting mobility opportunities, both for the UCM university community and for attracting students from the Programme and associated countries. Another goal is to continue working on the simplification of procedures with the use of new technologies.

It is expected that the participation in this key action will allow to fulfil the objective of increasing outgoing and incoming mobilities, thus contributing to the internationalisation of the whole University, both for the opportunities for outgoing participants, and for the internationalisation at home that will be produced by incoming participants. In this sense, it is important to point out that the promotion of academic staff mobility will contribute to the improvement of the quality of teaching; that of administrative staff, to the quality of management, through the comparison of experiences and the exchange of good practices.

  • Key Action 2 (KA2):

So far, the UCM has participated and is participating in different projects corresponding to Key Action 2, both centrally managed and, above all, decentralised: innovation, cooperation and exchange of good practice projects and several Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters Courses.

In the new phase of the Erasmus programme, the desire is to increase the number of projects with UCM participation and with UCM coordination. To this end, the aim is to improve the dissemination and management of these projects, so that they are in line with the University's strategic lines of cooperation and that those who wish to participate find the appropriate support during all the phases of the project's development, from its application to its completion, if it is approved.

It should be noted in relation to the action "European Universities", that the UCM is currently participating as a partner institution in one of the pilot projects approved in the 2019 call, as part of the Alliance of Universities UNA Europe, in which the following European universities are also represented: KULeuven, Freie Universität Berlin, University of Helsinki, Università di Bologna, Université Paris I - Panthéon Sorbonne, Jagiellonian University in Krakov, University of Edinburgh. The objective of the project is very clear: to build a true European transnational campus, with shared governance and management. This is one of the most ambitious projects in the internationalisation strategy of the University and to which the Erasmus Programme will make a fundamental contribution.

In addition to its own initiatives for participation in the various actions of the new Erasmus Programme, UNA Europa will undoubtedly provide an optimum environment for submitting joint proposals to help build this transnational campus, which will go beyond cooperation and educational innovation and will include joint research and development actions for an inclusive, ecological and socially committed campus.

  • Key Action 3 (KA3)

As mentioned above for Key Action 2, the UCM has been involved in projects supporting policy development and cooperation under Key Action 3. Currently, also in the framework of ONE Europe, it is participating in the OPENU project, which aims to establish a shared digital platform of an academic nature.

Participation in these actions is fundamental within the internationalisation strategy of the UCM, due to the importance of involving government institutions and other bodies and institutions in the implementation of joint initiatives between different countries.

  • Jean Monnet Activities

For years, UCM has developed Chairs and Modules and participated in Networks within the framework of the centralised Jean Monnet activities, contributing to the promotion of European studies and European integration inside and outside the institution.

The UCM will continue to encourage the participation in these activities in order to promote the teaching and research excellence in the field of EU studies.

III. Impact of Erasmus+ Programme in the Institution

In the previous sections we have mentioned the important contribution of the Erasmus Programme in modernising and defining the internationalisation strategy of the University, which reveals the important impact it has had at institutional level and in the University Community itself.

Bearing in mind the goal proposed by the European Commission for the creation of the European Education Area 2025, the UCM foresees that the impact of the Erasmus Programme will be, as it has been up to now, very relevant in achieving its objectives, taking advantage of synergies between the different levels of education, not only in higher education. Among others, goals are:

  • Mobility of students and staff: increase the number of mobilities in order to reach, if possible, the objective proposed by the European Commission by offering mobility for all. Special attention will be given to mobility between the Universities of the UNA Europe Alliance and institutions in partner countries, according to the strategic lines of the UCM itself and UNA Europa. As qualitative indicators, annual mobility figures will be used as a reference, so that the increase can be adjusted through the design of specific policies to achieve it, when necessary. In relation to student mobility for placements, it is planned to implement mechanisms to better monitor employability.
  • Quality of mobility: cooperation in the development of curricula, with the promotion of joint degrees, working on the elimination of legal barriers between countries. Mutual recognition of degrees, improving language learning, incorporating innovation and digital advances in education. Implement the EU student card as a single academic passport
  •  Quality of management and support to participants: work on the development of the Erasmus Without Paper project, which will contribute to simplify the management of the programme. Provide support to participants on practical issues such as applying for a visa and residence permit, where applicable; finding appropriate accommodation and arranging health and liability insurance, where appropriate. It is also foreseen to offer linguistic support and help to the integration into university life, through a system of mentoring-tutoring in which the ESN - UCM actively participates.
  •  Action KA2: as mentioned above, participation in these actions is part of the University's internationalisation strategy. We will work on the improvement of the dissemination of the corresponding projects and on plans that allow their sustainability in the long term.