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Presentation on theme: " “Extending Horizons: The benefits of the European Dimension on the Student Learning Experience” British Council, Cardiff 18 May 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 “Extending Horizons: The benefits of the European Dimension on the Student Learning Experience” British Council, Cardiff 18 May 2009 Professor Steve Wilks Deputy Head School of Engineering, Swansea University,


3 Importance of global mobility Case study – School of Engineering, Swansea University Aims of presentation To share the experiences of the School of Engineering, Swansea University, on how Bologna has provided a springboard for its Internationalisation strategy – focussing on mobility To reflect upon the importance of mobility opportunities for students, and the opportunities for the school and the university To consider the various models to promote mobility opportunities – ranging from exchange agreements to joint doctoral degrees

4 School of Engineering – case study Background 90 academics, 1500 students RAE results (73% in 4* and 3* categories, ranked 8 th in UK) International research projects (FP7, NSF-EPSRC etc) International profile of the school -Staff - 25% of staff outside UK (Staff from 8 European countries), China, Malaysia, Australia - Students 20% outside UK International industrial partners (Airbus, Rolls Royce etc) All degrees accredited

5 School objectives – to raise its international profile  Promote Research and Teaching Excellence  Development of partnerships with industry and world-class Universities  Excellent student experience –Teaching informed by research –Industrial placements –Mobility opportunities –Mature and well rounded students  Leading to globally employable students School of Engineering – case study

6 Leuven and Louvain-la-Neuve Communiqué 28 - 29 April 2009 “We believe that mobility of students, early stage researchers and staff enhances the quality of programmes and excellence in research; it strengthens the academic and cultural internationalisation of European higher education. Mobility is important for personal development and employability, it fosters respect for diversity and a capacity to deal with other cultures. It encourages linguistic pluralism, thus underpinning the multilingual tradition of the European Higher Education Area and it increases cooperation and competition between higher education institutions…” School of Engineering – case study

7 School of Engineering – pre-Bologna School of Engineering’s early engagement with Europe Innovations (in addition to standard student exchanges): Late 1980s –Introduced Integrated Engineering degrees with French/German/Spanish and Italian (“leading to degrees eg BEng with a year in …” –1995: Teacher Exchanges : Modules taught by Partner Staff From 1995-today: Sevilla and Marseille: Fully integrated modules with credits. –1997: Thematic Network known as “JEEP Teams” Joint European Engineering Project Teams, providing funding for joint Undergraduate Projects across Europe Exchange students tend to be high quality students and get good jobs. Many Erasmus students have continued to PhD at Swansea

8 School of Engineering – Engagement with Bologna Bologna is an unprecedented movement in Higher Education, which has fostered co-operation between governments, universities staff and students, as opposed to competition. It strives for excellence in all aspects of education through the sharing of good practice and through the modernisation of curricula with an emphasis on internationalisation. The school has, and will continue to engage as fully as possible, in the interests of students and in the interest of strengthening its international profile. We look forward to being an active participant in the European Higher Education Area.

9 The School’s involvement includes: 1.Senior staff participating in advisory commissions in their countries of origin, set up by partner EU Universities 2.Diploma Supplements have been issued to all Bachelor and Masters students since 2005 – enhancing employability (Swansea was granted a Diploma Supplement Label last week) 3.Member of a consortium offering a 2-yr Erasmus Mundus Master degree in Computational Mechanics (with UPC Barcelona, Univ. of Stuttgart, Univ. of Nantes) 4.A joint PhD has been developed with the University of Avignon, building on existing collaborative research 5.Involved in an application to deliver a joint Doctoral Degree under the Erasmus Mundus II programme 6.Involved in a Swansea University / French Embassy initiative to develop joint doctoral degrees with French Universities School of Engineering – Engagement with Bologna

10 Future plans  To ensure that all programmes are compliant with the Bologna Guidelines - in the interest of graduates’ employability and the attractiveness of the programmes to European students  Enhancing the content and structure of the MEng degrees  Expanding the portfolio of joint PhD programmes with European partners based on the co-tutelle with Avignon  Involvement in the Atlantis programme and other European “window” initiatives eg Canada, Asia A short case study on the School of Engineering was included in an article on Swansea University in the EUA’s “Bologna Handbook” in December 2008 School of Engineering – Engagement with Bologna

11 Other EC Initiative - US / Canada programmes 1Atlantis programme To fund postgraduate exchange between US and Europe Summary To develop joint masters where student mobility to another country for a specified period is paramount 2EU-Canada transatlantic Exchange Partnerships Programme To fund joint study and/or training programmes allowing transatlantic exchanges between European and Canadian education institutions Summary Development of curricula, joint study programmes, international internships, exchange and study abroad – main focus on transatlantic mobility Web page:

12 The Importance of Mobility for the School Students Employability, Employers are expecting more mobile employees Global citizens, Exposure to different cultures and languages Level of Maturity Staff Bringing different dimensions to teaching and research Share good practice and test the relevance of our set ways Extending the school’s network Collaborative research Links with Industry

13 Mobility is important for our competitors, thus it should be for us! UK students’ engagement with mobility is poor compared to the European students and to Chinese students & American schemes Junior year Abroad – these will be the competitors for our graduates so we must up the pace Swansea University is part of the Texas UK collaborative, primarily was research focussed, now progressed into teaching. We have progressed from the idea of an exchange agreement to international Masters degrees or even joint PhD – solely based on the University and the school’s track record with Bologna Staff exchanges as well as students under the scheme – enhancing excellence. The Importance of Mobility for the School

14 Programme structures to encourage mobility Exchange Agreements - 4 years 2 + year out + 1 Exchange Agreements – 3 years One year spent abroad in lieu of study Joint degrees/Double degrees Mostly at postgraduate level – but why restrict Co-tutelle arrangements - A formal joint supervision arrangement Combined degrees One degree (Bachelor) at one university followed by the Master at the other (upward mobility)

15 Enhancing Student Recruitment Problem with recruitment in STEM areas Need for high quality engineers Mobility provides an attractive dimension to study, particularly at prestigious institutions Industrial placements Showcasing Engineering excellence at Swansea eg Bloodhound

16 Enhancing Student Recruitment Bloodhound Video

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