Read our current Erasmus Policy Statement (EPS) for the new Erasmus+ programme period 2021-2027 below.

JAMK University of Applied Sciences: EPS

Erasmus activities included in your EPS

Erasmus Key Action 1 (KA1) - Learning mobility:

The mobility of higher education students and staff

Erasmus Key Action 2 (KA2) - Cooperation among organisations and institutions:

Partnerships for Cooperation and exchanges of practices

Partnerships for Excellence – European Universities

Partnerships for Excellence - Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees

Partnerships for Innovation

Erasmus Key Action 3 (KA3):

Erasmus Key Action 3 (KA3) - Support to policy development and cooperation

Erasmus Policy statement: your strategy

What would you like to achieve by participating in the Erasmus Programme? How does your participation in the Erasmus Programme fit into your institutional internationalisation and modernisation strategy?

JAMK University of Applied Sciences (JAMK) has named its new institutional strategy as “Re-inventing higher education”. The aim of the strategy is to improve the competitiveness of the institution, its staff, students as well as the business life with new competence. Sustainability is considered in all our operations; education, RDI activity and regional development work, and we act in an ecologically, socially and economically sustainable manner. Regarding our operating environment, we acknowledge the global climate change, shift in learning, life-long learning, digitalisation, the growing role of entrepreneurship, new business models, internationalisation and the changes in the structures of higher education institutions.

In line with its new strategy, JAMK will reinforce its operations as an active and high-quality international higher education institution (HEI), forecasting the changes in the global framework and considering the regional, national and field-specific objectives. Within education and research, JAMK will promote international learning and learning environments all the while taking into account different types of learners and pedagogy. JAMK’s strategic development plan consists of six themes: competence of staff and management competence, impactful RDI activity, internationalisation, quality management, functioning industry connections and pedagogy of re-inventing higher education. Quality as well as national and international accreditations are an integral part of JAMK’s operations, strengthening our position as a significant national and international higher education institution and partner. Internationality is an essential part and thus integrates into all operations of JAMK; education, RDI activities and regional development work. Internationalisation is guided by the overall strategy of JAMK and supported by the appointed development teams at JAMK. It is also guided by the plans for internationalisation in the region of Central Finland, and by the objectives for internationalisation agreed on with the Ministry of Education and Culture.

Activity based on JAMK’s core values, responsibility, trust and creativity is fortified through participation in the Erasmus programme. JAMK’s overall strategy in unison with the Erasmus programme develop the internationalisation and professional competence of students, staff, the whole institution, cooperation partners as well as the industry, and promotes the mobility of European work force. The programme supports also JAMK’s management, well-being of its staff, the development and sharing of competence within the education as well as applied research and building of innovation ecosystems. Within JAMK’s education and RDI activity, the programme offers possibilities to renew our international cooperation networks of higher education institutions and businesses. Participation in the Erasmus programme reinforces the development and internationalisation of JAMK’s focus areas; bioeconomy, multidisciplinary rehabilitation, applied cybersecurity and the development of the new rising fields; automation and robotics, tourism and renewing learning. Furthermore, as the Erasmus programme boosts virtual mobility options alongside physical mobility options, it encourages us to develop new operation models and activities related to them, taking into account sustainable development, climate change and digitalisation. The new programme period and Erasmus programme promote the increase of digital guidance and online services for students at JAMK, as well as international joint course implementations, online studies and flexible study possibilities within education.

The Erasmus programme supports the realisation of JAMK’s strategy as well as our vision to be internationally acclaimed for reinventing education and developing competitiveness. The programme also supports the internationalisation of our basic tasks: to provide higher education based on the requirements of working life, to carry out applied research, development and innovation activities (RDI) that serve UAS education and support the world of work and regional development and to organise continuing education to sustain and promote lifelong learning in working life. It strengthens the European as well as global higher education cooperation and networks within our education and RDI activities. In and through the education and project work conducted in our networks and with our cooperation partners, we learn from each other, share our specific competences, we develop, research and innovate and fortify tolerance and inter-cultural understanding. Through the networks new ideas, thoughts and concepts spread and the attitude towards developing our own activities remains open-minded. The projects JAMK engages in within the Erasmus programme renew education, its contents as well as pedagogy and support curriculum development work. The Erasmus programme creates opportunities for JAMK to exchange knowledge and information and further improve and share best practices. In support of applied research and international research activities, the Erasmus programme provides us opportunities to create multidisciplinary networks. The programme also supports participation of our students in international projects and RDI work. At JAMK this activity is promoted especially through the Future Factory model, which couples together industry cooperation with education and RDI activities. In the JAMK Future Factory students solve real cases submitted by businesses and RDI projects in multi-disciplinary student teams.

International mobility enables the development of international competences on individual as well as organisational level and their spreading on regional and national level as well as inside and outside of Europe. The Erasmus programme has a crucial role in Finnish higher education institutions, including JAMK, reaching the national mobility objectives, in embedding mobility periods as a rule in all higher education degrees and in increasing mobility numbers. Through the Erasmus programme JAMK contributes towards the goal of building a European Education Area by participating in the European University Initiative – EUI, with an application and network where scientifically oriented universities and professionally oriented universities of applied sciences come together to share their expertise and operational cultures to develop new innovations. International partners are chosen and strategic partnerships are formed based on the needs of the subject fields and business life. In the partnerships the possibilities for Double Degrees and further studies are also considered. Further, the mutual needs, applicability of expertise and invocation of research, development and innovation activities in project work are taken into account.

The Erasmus programme supports JAMK also in developing the institution and its activities. We are committed to building a barrier-free learning environment: this objective is included in our pedagogic strategy and Study guidance principles. Based on the Non-Discrimination Act, we also have an equality and non-discrimination plan and ethical principles. The aim is to ensure that every student and staff member of JAMK shall be treated fairly and equally, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status, in line with the principles of the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education.

University of Jyväskylä (JYU), JAMK and Humak University of Applied Sciences cooperate in the region to enhance the internationalisation of Central Finland, the integration of international students and staff in the region, to develop project management together and to share best practices in the administration of international affairs. JYU, JAMK and Jyväskylä Educational Consortium Gradia, which provides general upper secondary education as well as vocational education and training (VET), form a learning, research, and development community called EduFutura Jyväskylä and cooperate in the region to offer opportunities for diverse activities and development of activities, e.g. by providing an extensive, inter-institutional study offering for the students of each institution.

 

Please reflect on the Erasmus actions you would like to take part in and explain how they will be implemented in practice at your institution. Please explain how your institution’s participation in these actions will contribute to achieving the objectives of your institutional strategy.

Within the new upcoming programme period, JAMK foresees participation in all three Erasmus Key Actions KA1, KA2 and KA3. The JAMK Process Manual + Quality Assurance, in which the processes of our basic tasks are described, guide us in all our activities. Concerning our participation in the Erasmus Key Action 1 (KA1) - Learning mobility: The mobility of higher education students and staff the activities coordinated by JAMK’s International Services are based on the following processes: 1) Erasmus+ for higher education: European/Global Mobility, 2) Establishing a mobility partnership agreement, 3) Studies/practical training abroad, 4) Exchange studies/practical training at JAMK, 5) Completing a double degree at JAMK, 6) Teaching/specialist visits abroad, 7) Teaching/specialist visits to JAMK. The processes serve as guidelines on how the processes work, the key actors, tasks and responsibilities (incl. application, follow-up, reporting, development) and required documents at each stage. As a part of JAMK's quality assurance, the processes are revised on a regular basis.

International Services has a key role within all the above-mentioned processes, handling and administering inter-institutional agreements, mobility documents, disseminating information to relevant stakeholders, communicating with and supporting participants and overall keeping the processes rolling, while respecting the principles of equal treatment and non-discrimination in them all. International Services also advertises opportunities for students and staff, updates information on all practicalities (e.g. application periods and process, support services, visa/insurance issues, eligibility criteria, required documents) in the intranet for outgoing students and staff as well as our website for incoming students/staff. Our services are available in-person on our campuses and we may also be reached via email, phone and chat. We use also different social media channels to reach both outgoing and incoming students, e.g. Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram. We continually aim to improve our services and processes and with the new era of digitalisation, we aim to utilise online tools for collecting data and handling processes. The responsibility of contents related to studies, teaching, agreements etc. lies with the Schools of JAMK.

Concerning our participation in the Erasmus Key Action 2 (KA2) - Cooperation among organisations and institutions: Partnerships for Cooperation and exchanges of practices and Partnerships for Innovation as well as Erasmus Key Action 3 (KA3) - Support to policy development and cooperation, the activities coordinated by JAMK’s RDI Services are based on the following core/support processes: 1) Idea phase, 2) Planning phase, 3) Implementation phase, 4) Closure phase, 5) Invention process, 6) Supporting RDI activities.

Within the processes, the RDI Services has an essential role in informing Schools and staff working in RDI projects about possibilities and funding calls in the staff intra. The Schools review and seize on the fitting opportunities based on industry-related development needs. RDI Services help to manage and improve the processes involved in RDI activities and they also serve to improve the quality and effectiveness of RDI activities. They provide support for the achievement of JAMK’s goals by supplying the services and tools for the development of RDI activities, by creating opportunities and participating in building up cooperation networks, by participating in the RDI strategy process and in defining its goals, and by producing information about RDI activities and the operating processes that support decision-making. Impacts and results of JAMK’s international RDI projects are shared and may be reviewed openly by anyone on JAMK’s website at: https://www.jamk.fi/en/Research-and-Development/RDI-Projects/

Participation in the KA2 Partnerships for Excellence – European Universities and Partnerships for Excellence - Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees are also planned for the new programme period. JAMK has submitted its network application for the European Universities initiative, and whatever the result will be cooperation with the higher education institutions within the network will continue, evolve and deepen. Opting to choose the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees at this point will enable us to plan them within the foreseeable EUI project.

Overall, even if International Services and RDI Services are in a major part in the processes that concern also the Erasmus programme, other support services of JAMK are also involved with the programme, incl. Financial Services, Project Accounting team, Student Services as well as the Schools on many levels – teachers, the Schools’ management teams, career tutors, practical training coordinators, study councellors etc. The programme manifests itself also in the support services and other actors within the institution through the realised incoming mobilities, i.e. library, ICT services, the Student Union and tutors, who are actively involved with the incoming students, enabling internationalisation widely in the whole institution.

Participating in all these activities supports JAMK’s overall strategy in promoting internationalisation, developing international skills and competence of both staff and students, creating internationally skilled and culturally aware workforce, able to match the needs of the international/global working life. Participating in the programme allows the teachers to improve their teaching skills, learn new teaching methods and train themselves in curriculum development work, which ultimately improve the quality of teaching also at JAMK. Gaining international experience and cultivating the international competences also of non-academic staff supports the internationalisation of the whole institution, supporting the vision of being a truly international higher education institution, on all levels. Supporting the international competence of all staff supports the staff’s work ethic and motivation, their well-being at work, and participating in staff mobility for training may give them ideas to develop their own work further. Benchmarking best practices of other institutions also allows for reviewing our own practices and finding ways to improve our own operations. Participating in international RDI work supports JAMK’s basic task to do applied research, cultivating also the internationalisation of staff and students when they participate in international projects. Staff and students participating in industry-related projects allows also for the development of the businesses life on regional and national level, for the development of new innovations, as well as for better cooperation and relationship between JAMK and the regional businesses.

 

What is the envisaged impact of your participation in the Erasmus+ Programme on your institution?

The overall envisaged impact of our participation in the Erasmus+ Programme on our institution include growth in mobility numbers, versatility in mobility with the blended/virtual mobility becoming a part of the programme, realising the potential of international RDI work with the help of the programme, impacting students’ employability through the programme, strengthening strategic partnerships, enabling the growth of strategic education and RDI cooperation, reinforcing professional and international competences of students and staff, and reinforcing our status in industry networks as a European producer of competitiveness.

During the new programme period we aim to see the possibilities of Erasmus staff mobilities better utilised on all levels of the institution. We will aim at maximising the use of the Erasmus+ funding and increasing the proportion of Erasmus+ staff mobility (European + International Credit Mobility) within the total amount of work trips abroad at JAMK. The aim supports JAMK’s strategic development goal of developing the international competences of its staff. Another goal will be promoting international research activities through “research exchanges” via Erasmus+ staff mobility to support JAMK’s newly recruited researchers in creating their networks. Our third goal will be enhancing quality research cooperation with selected partner institutions. Within the KA2/KA3 projects we aim to increase the amount of Erasmus funding during the new programme period.

With the current global challenges, it is also clear that advancing distance learning and teaching, and remote working is in a substantial role already, and the need will continue during the next Erasmus programme period. The focus will shift from actual traveling to developing online courses and joint courses via online/virtual connections. Blended and virtual mobility will become more desirable, and more common. It is very likely that the increasingly important green values will push us to find new ways to support connecting, networking, exchanging of ideas etc. across nationalities and borders will become even more relevant within the new programme period.

Nevertheless, as the most recent ESN Survey about the effects of the coronavirus situation on students’ mobility has shown, students are not participating in the programme and in mobility for an online experience only. They are in it for the physical experience also, to meet people from all over the world in a new environment. Indeed, students will always be curious about experiencing, seeing and feeling other countries and cultures, meeting people from other cultures in real life, and creating international networks for their future and future career. Even though in Finland the number of outgoing student mobilities has been on the decrease for the past years, our goal will be to stop the decrease and to start increasing the numbers again. Another goal is to put more focus in promoting practical training opportunities within the Erasmus+ programme, and its different aspects (e.g. Digital Opportunity traineeship), both for outgoing and incoming students. Respectively, if we get the number of outgoing students on the rise, we can also review the capacity for incoming students at our institution and adjust it accordingly.

One way to enable the shift in numbers is making sure our partner network is of utmost high quality and that the partner institutions’ study modules and course offering corresponds with and complements our own degree programmes and their structures. International Services is conducting a thorough partner evaluation process in face of the new programme period. For the evaluation process information from the EU Survey/Participant Reports, International Coordinators, RDI staff and the management team of each School has been gathered. The aim is to find and terminate the agreements, which are in irreversible imbalance e.g. due to a mismatch of the respective study programmes at the institutions. Regarding the Erasmus+ partnerships, the evaluation results will be used as the basis for drawing up the inter-institutional agreements for the new programme period.   

Additionally, we shall also focus on improving the quality of our mobility processes and thus, the mobilities. Based on the results of the EU Survey/Participant Reports and feedback from the participants, our processes and services are consistently at a very high level. Indeed, according to the latest compilation of the results received from the Finnish National Agency, JAMK has performed better than the national average in most aspects within all mobility flows in the Erasmus+ European mobility project 2018-19. Nevertheless, we have identified the following as the most essential topics for development within student and staff mobility: 1) Outgoing students: prior-to-mobility preparation (linguistic and cultural preparation) and making the results visible after mobility – reflecting on the outcomes of mobility afterwards, sharing them with others, and making the personal and professional progress and growth more visible. 2) Incoming students: enabling and promoting true integration of incoming students into the institution’s everyday life, ensuring the course offer for incoming students is up-to-date and published in time. 3) Outgoing staff: making the benefits of participation in staff mobility more visible, stressing the importance of proper evaluation after mobility with superiors and peers to increase satisfaction with the recognition of mobility, promoting versatility in the contents within staff mobilities. 4) Incoming staff: utilising our extensive partner network better and systemising the use of incoming Erasmus staff and experts within specific topics to promote internationalisation of our courses and study modules, and thus, internationalisation at home.

In Finland internationalisation is integrated well into the higher education institutions’ operations. Still we feel that it is important to continue our efforts in creating a positive attitude on all levels towards internationalisation and to developing the international competences of both our students and staff. By focusing also on the dissemination activities, we can improve the longevity of results and impacts we have reached within our Erasmus projects.

The timeline for achieving the goals discussed is two-fold. With regard to the mobility numbers we will have a checkpoint halfway into the new programme period. By then we will see what kind of direction the numbers have taken and if any additional/corrective measures are needed. Ideally, we will see the goals for quantity reached by the end of the programme period. Regarding JAMK’s strategic development goals, follow-up is done systematically twice a year and they are discussed during specific strategy days.

 

Download a copy of the EPS in pdf-format