Šolski center Slovenj Gradec, Višja strokovna šola, Koroška ulica 11, 2380 Slovenj Gradec Datum/Date: 1. 10. 2019 Erasmus+ Policy statement (EN version) The vision of our institution is to become even more well-known as an institution that offers and provides quality knowledge based on the interaction of theoretical knowledge and its practical use: this way our graduates will obtain all those generic and vocational competences that are demanded and sought for by the employers. The key one is the awareness of the importance of life-long learning which provides the basis for the success and development of the society as a whole and enables sustainable economic development and higher social cohesion. International cooperation has an important role in gaining new knowledge in school’s development plan. We have gained a lot of experience about various types of Mobility (Students’ work placement, Teaching and Staff) through Leonardo, Erasmus programmes (2007/2013) and also Erasmus+ programmes (2014/2020). We have many undersigned contracts about cooperation, both with employers and educational institutions. When choosing our partners, we have been looking for comparable schools of lower tertiary education and have been trying to expand our partnerships into various and numerous countries, from Eastern, Western, Central EU, even with Turkey. Our goal is to find partners also outside the EU: this will add value to all our work as we will be able to get familiar with the new educational programmes and labour specifics. Our school’s strategy (enhancing the quality of theoretical and practical knowledge and enabling the student’s possibility of entering the labour market even more successfully, not just in Slovenia but also outside our borders) will be performed through various measures, namely with:
  • Including even more employees and students into mobility projects, giving a chance to participate to all those who are interested;
  • Finding new partners and establishing cooperation with college and university programmes within and outside the EU, and thus enabling a comparison of the college and university programmes. Employees are the key element of this cooperation as they are the ones who travel abroad and bring back valuable experiences and knowledge;
  • Cooperating in/or managing of innovative projects, supported by the latest ICT, development of new modules, curriculums and other forms of education;
  • Offering intensive courses for all who will take part in the projects.
The key activities within this strategy are and will be:
  • Enabling students’ work placement mobility. Our students get valuable experience and additional knowledge in their given field of work, learn more about business customs, behaviour, and ways of communication and improve their knowledge of foreign languages, become more self-assure, learn about other countries’ culture and specifics, establish new contacts and learn to be tolerant to all who are different. All that leads to a better chance of finding a job and easier and faster compliance to the demands of the labour market. Our operative goal is reached through additional knowledge and experiences, gained abroad and specific to partner countries;
  • Cooperation with similar institutions (the ones that educate in lower tertiary programmes) abroad to enable students’ mobility during their education. That way we enable higher transparency of education and specific topics or subjects and of acquired competences and broaden the level of qualifications, gained in higher levels of vocational education. We also reach our goal of transparency through international cooperation. Students get the possibility to learn about foreign education systems, the possibilities of studying abroad and establish links, which are extremely valuable for their future professional career;
  • Lecturers’ and staff exchanges lead to further cooperation with the schools of lower tertiary programmes. They obtain a chance to exchange knowledge and experiences and the possibility of learning in various areas: pedagogically, professionally, culturally and also improving their language skills. This enhances transparency of topics and competences, especially with the help of good practices, the use of new methods and technologies in the teaching process. Lecturers are thus involved in the process of life-long learning and share their new quality, effective and useful knowledge with the graduates;
  • Cooperation in the joint-projects that enable the development of innovative practices in education at tertiary level by transferring all that from one cooperating country into another. We will do this by cooperating with similar schools, companies and other institutions or associations in the projects. The basis for this will be the development of innovative topics, services, pedagogy and life-long learning practices which are based on ICT;
  • Performing new intensive programmes for gaining additional competences for students and employees. These intensive programmes will be offered also to our former graduates: to promote life-long learning.
  Our school’s strategy is to cooperate and lead all internationally accepted and approved projects, both within and outside the EU. We follow the set targets of the institution for the area of international projects. We strive towards cooperation which enables our lecturers to gain such knowledge and experiences that help our students achieve all their expected competences. This definitely includes the use of good practices from abroad and their implementation in our education process. We can say that we provide higher quality and applicability of the gained knowledge this way. Simultaneously taking part in the projects broadens our network of potential partners for further Erasmus mobility exchanges (all: staff and teaching and students’ work placement). The school provides equal possibilities for taking part in the mobility for the students and the employees, regardless of gender, religion or nationality. By acquiring additional finances, we will enable mobility also to those who come from poorer background and also the disabled persons. Poorer knowledge of language will not be an obstacle but an opportunity to improve the language skills. The credit system enables equal evaluation of everything a student takes within the mobility. In the case of incoming mobility, the school will not charge any tuition. Our school is rather small so it is even more important that we establish links with various partners that we implement novelties and innovations, that we strive towards up-to-date knowledge, that we learn through the examples of good practices and that we have a chance of taking part in projects as we can enhance the competitive position of our graduates in the labour market. Therefore, the renewal of Erasmus charter is of the key importance. Our priority tasks:
  • First priority task: we will inform and persuade the students to take part in the educational possibilities and about the transition from one into another, at home and abroad. We will obtain information with the help of realization of mobility exchanges of the employees and students. The aim of exchanges is to implement the learning methods that lead towards a more successful and faster graduation. The projects also offer the chance of mobility for the students who come from under-privileged economic surroundings. Students can, through the international mobility, obtain the knowledge that can be approved also through national vocational qualifications.
  • Second priority task: taking part in the projects enables the improvement of the quality of education process as lecturers can implement the knowledge, gained abroad, into their teaching process and thus it may become more applicable for the students. Teaching methods and forms can therefore be more up-to-date and more innovative, with the use of modern ICT, especially with distant learning. Our graduates will therefore become more competitive in the labour market and will be able to find work faster and easier. The school will, through its Career Centre and the Graduates’ Club, work closely with our graduates in future education processes development, especially concentrated on the employers’ needs and demands.
  • Third priority task: students’ mobility will enhance our students’ vocational, social, inter-cultural skills and therefore open their possibilities into the labour market. By getting to know the specifics of certain education programmes and their topics they will be able to enter study mobility and be able to transfer credit points for the knowledge gained in one country into another.
  • Fourth priority task: taking part in the work placement abroad will form the so, called knowledge triangle where education, research and business are interlinked. We will encourage our students (with the help of the employers and partners from abroad) to develop their entrepreneurship, innovative and creative skills. Our graduates will be able to put all the gained knowledge into practice in their companies and thus contribute to the development of our region which is one of the poorest in Slovenia.
  • Fifth priority task: taking part in international projects gives the employees a chance to participate actively in the strategy development, which stresses the importance of human resources and the importance of excellent and quality knowledge of our graduates. The organisation is enabled to set up the excellence centre, based on the knowledge and cooperation with foreign partners. All that can also lead to easier donations or sponsorships which are extremely important in the time of economic crisis. Our effort for improvement and the »international spirit« have been awarded by the two national rewards Apple of Quality 2012 and 2017, which obligates us for good work also in the future.