Erasmus Policy Statement
I. OVERALL ESTRATEGY
The international vocation of the Complutense University of Madrid is reflected in its Statutes, which include among its competences and priorities: "The promotion of international mobility and exchange of teachers and students in the international domain, specifically in the context of European Higher Education Area".
The UCM maintains a strong interest in increasing both the quality and the number of mobilities within the Erasmus program, being involved from the very beginning of its implementation with a high number of mobilities.
In these last years the implementation of curricula adapted to the European Higher Education Area has been completed, which simplifies the process of credit transfer. At Bachelor and Master's programmes, UCM is trying to overcome the barrier of the difference in their duration in relation to other European countries, in order to promote and increase mobility. It is also contemplated as a priority to foster mobility of Third Cycle.
The UCM will continue to encourage teacher’s mobility for teaching purposes. This type of mobility promotes the internationalization of the university community, especially that of students who have not benefited from the personal experience of mobility. As a consequence of it, the institution strengthens its relationships with partners and develops future collaborations, such as participation in Networks, Projects, Seminars, Summer Schools and direction or co-supervision of doctoral theses.
Promotion of Administrative Staff Mobility, in order to improve capacity building, and for sharing best practices.
As far as Institutional Bilateral Agreements are concerned, the collaboration with HEIs is settled after thorough study of geographic and academic suitability of partner institutions, mainly in terms of its academic curricula, reception and mobility management resources. Heading into the new phase of Erasmus, 2014-2020, the main goal is to conduct a review and update of agreements allowing the optimization and thus best opportunities for mobility.
Special attention is given to the promotion of student mobility for placements in business. Along these last years, this action has shown a significant increase in figures. The growing interest is favoured by the inclusion of placements and mobility within the new curricula. One of the main objectives is to strengthen and foster loyalty in UCM relationships with business partners as to finding better and new placement offers for students. The aim is to strengthen the "knowledge triangle" linking education, research and enterprise.
Another objective is to get UCM actively involved in actions 2 and 3 of the Erasmus for All program which aims to promote Partenariates, Knowledge Alliances and participation in Networks. The Complutense University of Madrid intense international vocation has been demonstrated throughout the years and would be, in this way, consolidated.
In addition to the countries participating in the program, the following are the main geographic areas of interest:
USA. With the presence of the Real Colegio Complutense at Harvard, as well as important relationships with the universities of California, Wesleyan, Berkeley and Stanford among others.
Latin America. Area of special interest for the large number of bilateral and close collaboration developed over the years.
Some of the highlights: Complutense Latin American Schools, participation in the "Science Without Borders" Program with Brazil, new agreements with Peru Ministry of Education related to cooperation at postgraduate and doctoral level.
Countries in the Mediterranean Area. Policy fostering a closer collaboration in this area, through the participation in projects developed by networks of which UCM is a member, as well as other projects in cooperation with the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation (AECI). Emphasis can be done on those concerning sustainability and environment.
Presently, collaboration with institutions in China supported by the Education Ministries, is being carried out, to welcome degree seeking students, mainly in Economics and Tourism areas.
The UCM is also involved in several Joint Master programmes within the framework of Erasmus Mundus Action I, as well as Joint Degrees with various European universities: Paris I and Paris IV among others.
So far UCM has mainly implemented double degrees, however there are new National Legislation proposals to establish Joint Degrees.
The Vice-Rector, through the Office of International Relations provides support and counseling, as well as coordination with
other university bodies and services involved in the establishment of Joint Degrees.
II. EXPECTED IMPACT ON THE MODERNISATION OF THE INSTITUTION
Participation in the Erasmus program has been and still continues to be a key component in the internationalization and modernization of the ComplutenseUniversity. The activities carried out within the framework of international mobility schemes provide students and staff with additional tools and skills that will allow them to develop and enrich their professional profile.
UCM commitment to the principles and objectives of the program has promoted coordination between the various departments involved in mobility management, which is considered as a necessary principle for effective governance.
The increase of mobility figures remains a primary goal, however, te improvement of mobility quality also ranks high on the priorities of the institution, both for students and staff. This focal point is reflected in specific aspects, among which can be highlighted language skills and full academic recognition.
UCM broad academic offer, revised and enhanced by the incorporation of curricula adapted to the European Higher Education Area, the implementation of new management tools, and the use of ICT in teaching through the Virtual Campus, are part of the UCM modernization assets.
New ICT tools have been implemented to improve communication processes, as well as information disemination, application and collection of reports, all aimed to the optimization of resources.
Full integration into the university community of students who visit UCM contributes to an international and intercultural environment, essential for fulfilling the international commitment of the university. This integration is completed with the joint efforts of the International Office and the Office for the Integration of People with Disabilities, which provides significant support to those students who require it.
The UCM, together with the PolytechnicUniversity participates in the "Campus of International Excellence" project. The objectives of this project are intended to make the shared campus sustainable, promoting the employment of students in it and contributing to innovation and development. It pursues a participatory and pluralistic campus, inspired by the transforming power of diversity, exchange and dialogue, an efficient campus, with transparent governance, open to all people and institutions with full interaction with social, economic and cultural fabric.
III. ORGANIZATION FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION PROJECTS
All international activities are integrated into the general policy of the UCM and therefore have a strong institutional support.
UCM participation in various university networks encourages and strengthens the bonds of cooperation with partner institutions and reinforces the actions and proposals for future projects.
Throughout the various stages of the Erasmus Program, ComplutenseUniversity has participated in a significant number of European Projects, both as coordinator and as partner.
Likewise, UCM has participated very actively in cooperation projects with non-EU countries, an activity that represents an important experience asset.
The UCM intends to coordinate and join efforts, human resources and previous experience gained facing toward implementation of cooperation projects under the program.
The Vice-Rectorate, through the Office of International Affairs, and with the cooperation of Faculties, promotes the participation of the university community in projects by disseminating information and implementing policies aimed at overcoming possible obstacles. In addition, it offers support and advice to applicants from the administrative and financial point of view, monitoring the different mobility periods and their recognition. In the specific context of Erasmus Mundus Programme, UCM has been active since 2006 in Actions I and 2, working in different lots with Middle East, Africa, Caribbean, Pacific, countries and with China.
Similarly, the work in International Centers such as the Real Colegio Complutense at Harvard or Servet Institute in France. reinforce this structure and gives support for future projects.