Egas Moniz International Strategy
Egas Moniz, CRL is greatly concerned with offering its students, teachers, researchers and non-academic staff an international profile in their quest for professional and personal enhancement. This aim is mainly rooted in the inherently practical nature of the degrees and courses offered by the institution, and the increasingly integrated and international labour market in the context of a global economy. It has thus made several efforts over the years towards the enhancement and implementation of its internationalisation, which is one of the vital axes of its strategy. By actively taking part in the Erasmus+ Programme, the institution expects to prepare students and graduates for the dynamic and competitive international labour market, thus contributing to a better performance in terms of employability. Egas Moniz, CRL invests, among others, in promoting networking between graduates and potential recruiters, often with an international reach.
Egas Moniz, CRL intends to continue to expand its collaboration networks and broaden the scope of the mobility actions that it is involved in, especially in the framework of the Erasmus+ Programme, to continue to create valuable learning opportunities for the participants. The focus shall not be exclusively on the mobility of individuals, but also on the potential of strategic partnerships and knowledge alliances to enhance the competitiveness of the institution, its staff and its graduates in the European context. Egas Moniz, CRL pledges to provide all necessary support to candidates and participants in mobility schemes, as well as to grant maximum visibility to the activities associated with the projects and their results, which is also considered to be a key instrument to consolidate its own internationalisation policy and its projection abroad. This includes the promotion of the new tools implemented in the framework of Erasmus+ such as the “Erasmus+ mobile app” to be used by students, putting in place the necessary measures and adjustments for the implementation of the European Student Card Initiative and the Erasmus Without Paper network that are part of the expected transition into a digital European society.
The institution is interested in ensuring that it offers the best possible conditions to incoming students, regarding the quality of the education and training they receive, the material conditions available in terms of accommodation and the linguistic preparation and support that is offered. In line with these aims, mobility participants may enrol in a free Portuguese course and are also given the possibility to find accommodation on-campus at Egas Moniz University Residence at affordable prices. Egas Moniz, CRL values the importance of developing language skills and recognises the immense potential offered by mobility opportunities for that effect. This is also in line with the European Commission’s premise that European citizens should know two languages in addition to one’s mother tongue as a standard practice, as part of the measures to be implemented towards the creation of a European Education Area by 2025.
The institution currently offers foreign language lessons to its staff and is considering the possibility of offering a second foreign language as part of that catalogue. This kind of action may be included in the framework of an equal opportunities policy, as it helps to prepare potential mobility participants with essential tools. Given the strong commitment of Egas Moniz, CRL towards Erasmus, it has recently invested on the expansion of its International Relations and Mobility Office by hiring a new officer, aiming to maximise its response capacity to the increasing requests related to mobility activities. With this new element, the institution also aims to be able to reach out to more people and engage a higher number of participants, aligned with the premise of the European Education Area that expects that “spending time abroad to study or learn should become the norm”.
The establishment of European and International cooperation projects will continue to improve the quality and usefulness of the learning of students and staff, due to the development of the study plans and to the greater interconnection between higher education Institutions, companies and other research Institutions. This is expected to lead to the promotion of excellence in teaching, the improvement of staff performance and to a higher employability of students once they graduate. Current data available points to a prevalence of mobility among students of the 1st cycle at Egas Moniz, CRL, who tend to choose mainly host institutions from Programme countries. Among other things, Egas Moniz, CRL would like to achieve greater variety in terms of the geographical distribution of participants in Erasmus+ activities, as well as greater incidence among students of the 2nd and 3rd cycle of studies. Another aim is to continue to see an increase in the number of staff taking part in mobility activities – both academic and non-academic.
In line with the strategy for the future Erasmus Programme, the Institutional and Mobility Coordinators expect to be able to promote and increase staff mobility by creating the necessary conditions for those experiences to take place (namely regarding schedule flexibility and financial support, as well as the possibility of developing tailored b-learning opportunities). Several dissemination actions have been and will continue to be undertaken in order to ensure that information about these opportunities is widely available to all members of the Egas Moniz, CRL community. Egas Moniz, CRL continues to invest in its internationalisation policy and in that sense, it has sought to broaden the support schemes that encourage scientific and cultural exchange in order to develop new internationalisation opportunities for all its students, researchers and teaching and non-teaching staff alike. Erasmus is perfectly aligned with these actions, representing the main mobility programme implemented by Egas Moniz, CRL and being at the core of several modernisation efforts, such as the launching of an online platform to centralise the applications and management of mobility processes, both incoming and outgoing.
This online tool is also in line with the European Commission’s proposal of Erasmus Without Paper. Furthermore, Egas Moniz, CRL strives to consistently expand its network by establishing collaboration protocols with relevant higher education institutions or companies from several origin countries. This action can be achieved in two different ways: on the one hand, Egas Moniz, CRL may undergo a search for potential partners, based on their credibility and competence in a specific field of teaching and research, as well as the comparability of curricular plans with those offered at Egas Moniz, CRL. On the other hand, the institution may receive direct contacts with expressions of interest by potential partners and tries to respond to those requests, to the best of its capabilities and whenever the necessary conditions are met. In some cases, preparatory visits to the potential partner institutions may be arranged, as well as meetings with representatives, when such actions are deemed relevant. As part of its modernisation and internationalisation strategy, Egas Moniz, CRL commits to thoroughly analysing the feasibility of developing or taking part in specific projects in the framework of the Erasmus+ Programme.
While most partner institutions are currently from Erasmus Programme countries, Egas Moniz, CRL is also committed to reaching out to third-country partners, namely those with specific connections such as Portuguese-speaking countries like Angola and Brazil. Another axis of the internationalisation strategy currently under way includes the participation in international Consortia and innovation-focused groups with other Higher Education Institutions and industry partners that collaborate on fields like research, technology transfer actions and social responsibility (Innovation District and Madan Science Park, for instance). The interactions that may result from these networks often lead to interconnections that feed into the degrees and research taking place inside the institution. The institution is aware of the importance for its students and graduates of developing soft skills such as those connected to intercultural communication and continues its work to offer relevant opportunities for the students.
One of the main purposes of the institution in the near future is to intensify and diversify the channels of internationalisation, focusing on the EU Partner Countries in the framework of Erasmus+, but also pointing towards different opportunities in other regions of the world, that may offer different perspectives to the individuals interested in such kind of mobility. As well as hosting an increasing number of international students, Egas Moniz will continue to invest in the internationalisation of its teaching body, by inviting international lecturers to be part of undergraduate and post-graduate degrees and courses. These actions are aimed at creating a truly international and multicultural community that can contribute to the international affirmation of the institution, promotes benchmarking and sharing of best practices, such as the methods and the excellence of its teaching, to the incoming students and staff. Thus, Egas Moniz, CRL intends to continue to develop and deepen its international approach in the coming years, in line with the European Commission’s guidelines and to the benefit of its community of students, alumni, academic and non-academic staff, hoping to contribute to the promotion of common European values, social integration and the development of cultural understanding, while believing that Erasmus+ is a useful and effective instrument for that purpose.