UWL Erasmus policy statement
EU and Non-EU strategy
The University of West London currently receives students from 30 programme and 14 partner countries and, reflecting our global reach, an additional 70+ countries worldwide. This successful track record of international engagement, coordinated by the University’s International Office, exemplifies our commitment to international partnerships, which in turn builds on our prime location in London, the principal gateway for international trade and inward investment for the UK, and a major centre of global finance.
The University’s international strategy combines different activities, including a mutually supporting mix of partnerships, mobility and recruitment. All of these elements are driven by the University’s strategy, which exemplifies our commitment to global engagement. The University aims to expand its global footprint through new collaborations in a number of disciplines including: hospitality, tourism, business management, engineering, psychology, nursing, health studies and the arts.
We also aim to internationalise and globalise our curriculum to support the development of ‘global graduates’, and we strive to be at the forefront of the emergence of the global citizen connecting to the many international communities in our region and beyond. Key to this is our aim of enhancing placement and employment support provided by the University’s Centre for Employability and Employer Engagement in order to encapsulate international opportunities for all our graduates. A key strategic priority for UWL is internationalisation in its broadest remit, which means there is engagement with HR and Heads of Academic Schools to support staff mobility.
Our international partners are chosen according to a number of criteria, including fit with the University in terms of mission, size and shape, compatibility with the University’s diverse population, congruence with the University’s values. Among these, most important is the quality of the student experience.
Our partners are drawn from right across the globe, reflecting a commitment to engagement with EU programme and partner countries and beyond.
In respect of Europe, the University’s recent activities have been focused on brand awareness, with much student recruitment activity focused on Eastern Europe, Spain, and France. Norway has also been a focus, though lying outside the EU. The University maintains an active presence in all of these markets, attending recruitment fairs, working with schools and other institutions to raise the profile of the University, and develop stakeholder networks.
Many of these stakeholder networks build on the University’s academic links. Most of the University’s academic schools have links with European institutions, most notably the London Geller College of Hospitality and Tourism, and the London College of Music, both of which have academic connections right across Europe. In 2014, the University will invest further to develop these networks and to facilitate both student and staff mobility. A particular priority is the University’s links to the accession states.
Beyond the EU, we are developing strategic relationships in China, South East Asia, the Middle East and the USA supportive of both inbound student recruitment and increasingly ‘in-country’ access to our qualifications and expertise; we aim to sustain and extend partnerships in the Indian sub-continent to extend ‘in-country’ accessibility.
In early 2012, the University of West London introduced a new international recruitment strategy, focussing on rapid growth and diversification of markets, including new market entry in the Middle East (UAE, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia), Central Asia (Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkey), SE Asia (Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia), Greater China (China, Hong Kong, Taiwan), West Africa (Ghana, Nigeria), North America (Canada and USA).
In relation to mobility activities, the University’s objectives are as follows. For students, we welcome mobility across all cycles, though the majority of our outbound students will be first cycle, and so this will be the focus of the majority of our inter-institutional agreements. We welcome equally agreements in relation to studies and traineeships. For staff mobility, we welcome inter-institutional agreements with partners that would provide a complement to the annual and longer-term staff development objectives of our staff. We welcome inbound staff mobility where our students and existing staff would derive maximal benefit in relation to the further improvement of the student experience.
The University’s strategy for cooperation projects is as follows. In relation to strategic partnerships, we seek to develop these in two key areas: a) where there is a strong rationale for building in internationalisation, especially related to Europe, into new curricula and to do so jointly through a framework of dual and joint degrees; and b) where the development of innovations in relation to learning, teaching and assessment would strongly benefit from partnership with other European institutions. We also anticipate work in relation to knowledge alliances, which we believe can help promote entrepreneurship within our curricula, and enhance links with industrial partners. We believe such partnerships are likely to have lasting benefits for our staff and students, enhancing their employability skills and allowing them to bring new perspectives to the work of the institution. These activities will help the University’s ambition for a pan-University Centre for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship. Lastly, we anticipate work in the area of capacity building, helping our students and staff develop their global awareness, and a keener sense of the strengths and weaknesses of the UK model of higher education.
The University aims to increase the number of graduates through provision that combines the highest academic quality with a focus on employability and the application of useful knowledge. We believe through active participation in the programme we will further enhance the attractiveness of our higher education offer, and thereby widen the opportunity for mobility to individuals and groups previously under-represented.
We believe that the quality of learning and teaching is enhanced by student and staff mobility, as well as strategic partnerships that emphasise the development of high-quality curricula and provide students with valuable employability and life skills. Through collaborations with partners, our students and staff will benefit from exposure to different ways of thinking, enabling both the University and our partners to more quickly and assuredly develop and improve existing areas of good practice.
The University will strongly promote student and staff mobility and cooperation projects. In the case of student mobility we will seek partnerships that offer both incoming and outbound participants exposure to aspects of the curriculum they would not otherwise experience or new forms of teaching, learning and assessment. We will promote student mobility for traineeships, offering our outbound students valuable opportunities to develop their employability skills still further. Staff mobility will be fully recognised and supported through existing mechanisms of workload planning, appraisal and staff development, and we will build on the experiences of staff mobility, through sharing at our annual Learning and Teaching Conference and across our communication platforms. Cooperation projects will build lasting value into the University, offering us the prospect of dual and joint degrees, knowledge alliances helping us to achieve our ambition of a pan-University Centre for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, and capacity building projects helping the institution to realise its aim of producing deeper global awareness.
We anticipate strengthening the knowledge triangle through several aspects of the programme. Student mobility for traineeships, for example, will enable students to put into practice their research-informed learning. Staff mobility will enable research-oriented academics to make deeper links with their teaching. Knowledge alliances, in particular, would enable the University to deploy its already strong links with employers and industrial bodies, building collaborative partnerships that will then feed back into our curricula, promoting and encouraging entrepreneurship.
The University has strong governance arrangements and is in robust financial health, yet we believe participation in the programme will bring benefits. Cooperative projects, for example, would lead staff to reflect on our internal structures and processes, and we expect to bring improvements to these as our collaborative partnerships deepen.
Download the University of West London's Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (pdf)