In the CIFP Rodolfo Ucha Piñeiro we are aware that experiences involving contact of our students or workers with the realities of other countries, cultures and languages, have the potential to provide valuable insights for our institution, which may contribute to a comprehensive training and to a richer and more motivating working environment.
Our institution has so far limited experience in international mobility programs. The first priority has been conducting actions of Student Mobility for Placements during the period of compulsory training in companies, in target countries such as Malta, Germany and Portugal. Students are guided throughout the process, which includes tasks of information, selection, preparation and monitoring. These activities involve different roles such as the International Programmes Coordinator, Head of Relations with Companies Department, or teachers acting as tutors.
Prior to mobility, an agreement is signed in which the three parties (student, company and educational institution) agree in a training program and share the responsibility of achieving a successful placement. The students are guided on linguistic and professional aspects and even on practical details that may be useful for the trip. During mobility, students are in constant contact with their tutor in the institution and can communicate their concerns or difficulties, and report on the progress of mobility.
These experiences have helped us to get an idea of the benefits that can be achieved for the institution, as well as of weaknesses in terms of development management and the use of knowledge generated. We would like inputs from
students who have returned to become part of a background of experiences that can serve as motivation to peers and advertising of available actions that many of them don't know.
There are aspects that can be improved: a greater control over the quality and appropriateness of the participating companies, a better selection of students or an increased language training prior to the mobility. We intend to take steps in the right direction to solve these difficulties.
With the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education we would like to also provide access to mobility opportunities for our workers. It is likely that, whatever the professional field in which a worker unfolds, there are significant opportunities to learn different techniques, cultural spaces and educational realities.
Also we will explore the possibility of organizing study mobilities for our students, as another form of immersion in professional, cultural and linguistic reality of another country.
Nor so far we have had the opportunity to act as host institution for students or teachers interested in placements in our country. Given that the number of students or teachers who perform mobilities abroad are a small percentage of our community, receive participants from other countries could be an interesting way to put in contact a greater number of people with different realities and valuable knowledge.
In this sense, we are prepared to receive teachers providing training, students who can do an internship as readers or students who simply want to follow part of their curriculum in our institution. For them, it would be necessary to establish a procedure for reception and a support network that can address in the better way their administrative needs, accommodation and logistics.
Whatever the type of action, there are two broad lines along which we put the focus:
Any action taken under the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education should be led by these two variables.
Probably in this section our activity should focus, at first, in information gathering tasks on the possibilities of participation, embraceable goals and available means to establish cooperative projects. We believe our educational community suffer a major deficiency of knowledge about possible ways to establish successful partnerships with institutions in other countries faced with common projects and obtain and distribute results that are enriching for all participants.
Our intention is to work along the lines of setting agreements and projects with educational institutions from other countries, or even companies in the productive sectors in which we provide training, to promote among our students and staff new communication habits, contact with innovation and entrepreneurship.
We will also try to gather ideas arising from our community to seek institutions interested in sharing with us the research effort or creating products that will be addressed. It will involve the Teaching Departments for each specialty to detect training needs and possible areas for action.
In any case, we will seek that projects have as a final result an improved technological training and expanding opportunities for our students and staff to become valuable professionals.
New technologies, especially for communications, will be an essential tool to set fluent contacts and make collaboration a reality, as well as being the foundation on which to establish any future learning.
It seems likely that our students, and professionals in general, are going to work in a world moving increasingly towards internationalization. In this situation, language skills, knowledge of other cultures or keeping abreast of technological
developments in the professional field itself, will be valuable characteristics of workers.
We believe that participation in the various actions to which the Erasmus Charter gives access, could mean improvements to our institution in areas such as: