Erasmus + Charter
The University of Poitiers has a long tradition of international cooperation and development which has become one of the main aims of its general policy. The outcome of this is that approximately 4000 students, from 136 different countries, study in Poitiers each year. With 17% of the total number of enrolled students coming from abroad, the University of Poitiers is well above the national average.
Given the present demographic decline and increasing competition between university systems around the world, international development is essential to ensure the continued attractiveness of our courses and research.
Our internationalization policy covers the whole academic community and is organized around five strategic areas.
1. Specific institutional partnerships based on the principle of reciprocity of student, staff and research exchanges. The University has signed 194 international conventions and 575 bilateral ERASMUS agreements. Geographical balance is being sought between developed countries (EU and North America), emerging countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and southern hemisphere countries seeking co-development programs. Common scientific interests are taken into account when establishing partnerships. Priority is also given to universities which are already members of networks in which the University of Poitiers participates actively (Coimbra Group, IRUN, AUF and EUA). Lastly, the University takes into account the strategic interests of local and regional communities (the city of Poitiers, the Poitou-Charentes Region and the Vienne Department) in order to carry out joint co-operative actions (New Brunswick, Burkina Faso and Romania)
2. Promoting incoming and outgoing mobility of students, teacher-researchers and administrative staff. The University of Poitiers has good results for outgoing Erasmus teacher mobility (among the top 5 French universities) and student mobility (among the 20 leading French universities) and will strive to maintain this trend. Efforts will focus on the increase of mobility with non-EU countries. Involvement in Erasmus Mundus action 2 with Russia and neighboring countries (North Africa, the Ukraine and the Caucasus) has paved the way for such development. Our main priority is to increase organized exchange mobility as a tool for student excellence. Recognition of studies and internships abroad and of personal development through intercultural exchanges enhances student employability. Students at all levels are eligible (from their second year of study onwards), but efforts will focus on Master's and PhD students. The same principles will be applied for incoming mobility. For teachers, priority will be given to exchanges which aim at internationalizing courses within the framework of joint/double degrees, and also to the implementation of structural development projects. Special attention will be paid to young foreign researchers who require access to facilities that do not exist in their home countries.
Lastly, personnel from all administrative services will be encouraged to share their practices, either by participating in a specific mobility activities program, or by hosting foreign colleagues. A week of international training (including French for beginners and exchange of practices) will be set up at the University of Poitiers from 2014 onwards.
Current financial incentives will be maintained in order to ensure equality of opportunity for our students: mobility grants from the Ministry of Education for scholarship students based on social criteria (36% of the total number of enrolled students); mobility grants out of the University's own budget (€100,000 per year); scholarships from the University of Poitiers Foundation for PhD students (€30,000 per year); and local authority grants.
Language support will be reinforced for the learning of French and for the learning of foreign languages by prioritizing the activities of the CFLE (the French language learning center), the Maison des Langues (the foreign language learning center) and the CAREL (The Audiovisual Centre of Royan for Language Study). For university personnel, possibilities for foreign language learning will be extended.
3. The international dimension of our university courses. Most of our courses include study periods or internships abroad in order to promote student employability. The creation of joint degree programs will be continued to increase the attractiveness of our University by offering original programs which include well-organized and successful exchanges. In addition to the 3 Erasmus Mundus Master's Degree programs (Euromime, IMAE and IMACS), the University has created 5 joint Master's degree programs within the EU, and 15 joint Master's degree programs with non-EU countries (Canada, Colombia, Lebanon, Vietnam). The University uses its own funds (GSI, €140,000 per year) as a lever to increase internationalization and has established joint international degree support in the University Foundation's International Relations program.
All these joint degrees have been implemented in accordance with the requirements of the "Joiman" program thus helping to extend the Bologna Process in non-EU countries.
The University will maintain its commitment to European training programs within the framework of cooperation with network partner universities. University joint degree projects will also cover the implementation of PhD co-supervision (92 in 2012) which will be expanded to new countries (including the United States).
4. Promoting the internationalization of research: an international project mission has just been created to provide specific assistance for research groups. The funds of the University's Scientific Council will continue to support international research.
5. A language policy aimed at promoting the language and culture of French speaking countries but also at raising awareness of the languages of our partners. An international option was introduced in 2010 to allow undergraduate students to study Russian, Chinese or Portuguese and to have skills in these languages mentioned in their final degree. This option may be extended to include other languages in the future.
The University policy for the organization and the implementation of European and international cooperation projects in education and training in connection with projects implemented under the Program.
The University of Poitiers International Relations service has set up two networks of international relations contact staff (one for training, the other for research) and has long expressed its desire to co-operate with the whole university community for all European and international activities and projects. Indeed, the internationalization policy can only be effective if all the members of the community are involved.
Through regular meetings, the International Relations Service can assess its European and international strategy and invite the university community to develop other European and international education and research programs within geographically targeted areas. The International Relations contact staff in the various Faculties are authorized to spread the University's international policy to teachers, researchers, students and administrative staff.
All of these actions are possible thanks to cooperation with the Registrar's Office and the administrative offices for Human Resources, Research, Career Guidance and the University Agency for Future Developments.
The University participated in the IMPI program to identify internationalization indicators and will also participate in U-Multirank in order to acquire the necessary tools to assess the University's international actions: these indicators are gradually incorporated into the analysis of the of University's internationalization.
In addition, having discovered that despite our questionnaires, we have very little feedback to assess the real impact of mobility on outgoing students or on international students enrolled in our programs, the University has set up an Alumni platform on the University website. This platform, which is based on British and American experience, will allow us to assess the impact of our courses and of our European and international policy on the skills students have acquired to fit into the national, European and international socio-economic context.
Lastly, recognizing that the foreign languages policy established by the University of Poitiers does not meet all identified needs, the scheme to increase foreign language training possibilities for our students and staff is one of the priority actions identified in the University Charter. We therefore intend to create other international options for our undergraduates.
The expected impact of participation in the University Modernization Program (for each of the 5 priorities of the higher education modernization strategy) as regards the objectives of the policy aims.
The participation of the University in the program will consolidate our European and international policy as regards education and research, by responding to the priorities of the European higher education modernization strategy, in accordance with the Erasmus+ and H2020 framework programs.
1. In order to increase graduate and researcher skill levels, the University will develop its joint undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, and joint PhD supervision programs. We have already learnt from the experience of our Erasmus Mundus Master's
degree programs by being open to our partners' cultures, languages and organizational good practices. Our experience of the European programs (actions 2 and 3, and Tempus) will continue to help spread the European model throughout the world. In addition, international and interdisciplinary Master's degree programs will be developed in association with companies.
2. The objective is to make our courses more transparent for foreign students and employers. We need to generalize the notion of acquired skills through systematic adoption of the ECTS system for the recognition of the professional qualifications of our graduates. The VOCASCIENCES system, set up by the Science Faculty, which connects its graduates to different professions, is being extended internally within the University (VOCALETTRES will provide similar connections for graduates in foreign languages and French) and also externally (Tempus OIPULES).
The University won a national program award (2012-2020) and will continue to develop a program to enhance its learning excellence program for all students (PaRé), even those who have the greatest learning difficulties, through new educational practices using information technology.
3. Student mobility has long been adopted as a key element of our courses at the University of Poitiers, in order to improve academic knowledge and enhance employability. Teacher mobility in joint degree programs should also be supported because it helps internationalize and modernize learning through the upgrading of knowledge and the sharing of teaching practices.
Exploration of virtual mobility and e-learning will be carried out in order to promote the internationalization of education and research.
Lastly, the exchange of practices between administrative staff will be strengthened to help compare procedures and to share expertise.
The University and its Foundation have already used their funds to encourage such mobility.
4. The need to link Higher Education, research and private and public companies is already part of the University's role in providing training for qualified professionals.
Internationalization encourages the University to develop transversal training at the three LMD levels. Knowledge alliances and/or sector skills alliances type projects are currently being set up.
The University has partnerships with companies and consular chambers of commerce which help us set up innovative projects (PRIM'INNOV) based on student mobility in foreign and local companies.
This initiative will be pursued by recognizing the skills of our international students who will provide local businesses with privileged access to international markets.
5. Membership of the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education will support the University's European commitment and will ensure consistency of actions to internationalize our courses and research. This approach will ensure better financial and structural governance.