Sapienza University of Rome
Sapienza strongly believes in International Mobility of Students and Staff and its Rector appointed a Delegate for International Mobility. We are a large (135.000 Students) and comprehensive university which cooperates with several hundred higher education institutions (HEI) around the world. Our Strategy is as follows: concerning the EU countries, we have agreements with the most important Universities in Europe. For language and cultural reasons, we have a very high number of agreements with Spanish and French HEI but the exchanges with German HEI are also very intense. We are now trying to increase the number of collaborations with HEI in the UK and Northern countries. Since one of the main barrier in that case is the language, we are encouraging our students to acquire a better knowledge of English and get the relative certificates (IELTS, TOEFL, etc). The number of incoming and outgoing Students is balanced for some countries (Spain, France, Germany) while in other cases the number of outgoing students is higher compared to the incoming (UK, etc.) or vice-versa (Eastern Europe, Turkey, etc.). When necessary, to increase the student mobility, we found useful to ask the Teachers responsible for the agreements to participate to the TEACHING STAFF PROG. presenting the home Institution during the teaching activity abroad. Concerning the non EU countries, Sapienza chooses every year a geographical area to be considered strategic for the promotion of international activities. Recently, the indicated areas were Latin America, the Mediterranean area and Asia. In addition, in the last few years, an excellent cooperation with Western Balkan countries and Russia countries was developed, thanks to Erasmus Mundus and a new Russian Cultural Centre created in Sapienza. For students at Bachelor’s level, a study period abroad can be an experience very useful to understand the international dimension of Education. We ask them to carefully chose the exams to be included in the learning agreement in order to maximize their recognition (ideally 30 credits per semester). For students at Master’s level, another good option could be the preparation of the thesis or dissertation abroad allowing them to enter in contact with Scholars very expert in the field of their interest. Sapienza encourages this kind of mobility offering also additional scholarships for the preparation of the thesis abroad. Indeed it could be a good opportunity also for the Supervisors in the two countries who get to know each other and very often establish research collaborations after that Sapienza offers to its Students and Graduates the opportunity to spend periods of 3-6 months in foreign organizations under the Erasmus placement and Leonardo da Vinci programme. For Erasmus placements, the choice of the organization is often made by the Faculties whether for the Leonardo da Vinci we use a centralized approach. The Leonardo da Vinci programme UNIPHARMA-GRADUATES coordinated by Sapienza was shortlisted in 2006 for the European Quality in Mobility Award . For doctoral candidates it is very important to plan very carefully the mobility choosing hosting organizations capable of helping them to acquire the necessary specialized knowledge and/or skills. A well-organized mobility of doctoral candidates under the Prog. LLP/Erasmus or Erasmus Mundus or Marie Curie (Sapienza is the University in Italy with the highest number of grants and projects under People in 7FP) can be very beneficial for both the candidates and the Supervisors. Teaching Staff Members promoters of Erasmus agreements can visit foreign HEI in order to teach to foreign Students and increase the incoming mobility to Sapienza. We also host every year several foreign Professors under the Erasmus Prog. In addition, we invite a certain number of visiting Professors for periods of 3-6 months providing a salary equivalent to the Italian one. These exchanges are very useful because allow Students who cannot go abroad for economical or personal reasons to benefit from and international experience at home. Sapienza encourages Administrative and Technical Staff Members to spend periods of at least 5 days abroad visiting offices dealing with similar activities (job shadowing) or participating to Staff mobility weeks. We also organize an Erasmus Staff week every year to give to all offices the opportunity to meet foreign Colleagues with similar professional profiles and start collaborations which can be very useful to know good practices from other HEI. The Staff Week model of Sapienza university was presented in Dublin at the 2012 EAIE conference as a POWERFUL TOOL FOR INTERNATIONALIZATION AT HOME. Even if the Italian legislation does not facilitate the creation of bilateral and multilateral joint degrees, Sapienza has a few of them in the framework of Erasmus Mundus Programme.
Institution’s strategy for the organisation and implementation of international (EU and non-EU) cooperation projects in teaching and training in relation to projects implemented under the Programme.
The Governing Boards of Sapienza have endorsed in 2012 a plan for the Internationalisation of the University, that includes the following goals:
1. Increase of high quality international master and Doctoral candidates;
2. Setting of international and English taught Programmes;
3. Support to visiting professors teaching in degree and Doctorate courses partially and entirely taught in English;
4. Support to promoters of international, cooperation agreements, for the implementation of student mobility;
5. Increase joint Programmes of scholarships in the framework of bilateral interinstitutional agreements for non-European student mobility;
6. Increase of Erasmus Mundus partnerships for non-European mobility;
7. Increase of Leonardo funding for internships abroad for graduates;
8. Increase of PhD scholarships for foreign students;
9. Funding for foreign students enrolling in second-cycle degree courses;
10. Funding for staff mobility in the frame of LLP/Erasmus;
11. Establishing a front office for foreign students (Hello)
12. Implementation of a database aimed at monitoring all international visiting students;
13. Updating of web-pages for international students on Sapienza English web-site; 14. Information material, published in English, for international students;
15. Advertising Sapienza opportunities on the major areas of interest, such as Central and East Asia, Middle East, Arabian countries, Latin America and Eastern European countries;
16. Activation of specific agreements with language assessment centres to improve language skills of students;
17. Introduction of further languages of teaching, directly connected with new emerging countries, such as China, Russia and Arabic countries;
18. Introduction of mobility semesters (mobility windows) during students’ careers, in order to facilitate international mobility of Sapienza students;
19. Appointment of academic International coordinators at a Faculty/Department.
Expected impact on the modernisation of Sapienza university (for each of the 5 priorities of the Modernisation Agenda*) in terms of the policy objectives to be achieved.
International Mobility and in particular the Erasmus Programme plays a very important role in the international strategy of Sapienza because we believe that can have a significant impact on Quality of Education. Study or training periods abroad are very useful for Students and Doctoral candidates allowing them to get specific knowledge or training in fields not available or not well developed at Sapienza. Having hundreds of agreements with European and non-European higher education Institutions and other organizations, we offer a very wide choice to our Students and graduates. Employability: Study or training periods abroad under European mobility Programmes such as Erasmus, Leonardo and Marie Curie are very useful for Students and Doctoral candidates to obtain “soft or transferrable skills” such as autonomy, critical thinking, creativity, etc. which are very much appreciated by prospective employers as indicated by different studies (e.g. Vitae , Adoc, VLIR). Sapienza pays special attention to the quality of the placements Programmes such as Erasmus Placement and Leonardo da Vinci because believes that high quality placements can result in a significant increase of the employability not only of the trainees but also indirectly of all graduates of the sending institution because they are perceived as ambassadors of the University. Professional Development: Sapienza believes that students and graduates having had an experience abroad have more opportunities because they can have access to the broader European Union labour market rather than to the limited national market.
Sapienza is not afraid of “brain drain” because believes in “brain circulation” and while is encouraging its Students and Graduates to go abroad is also trying to attract foreign applicants to its Programmes. In this direction, we recently developed a new website in English and we are rapidly increasing the number of programmes available in English. In addition, Sapienza founded an Alumni association in order to keep in touch with its graduates and encourage the most successful ones to provide current students with guidance and advice. Innovation: Graduates and doctors with an experience abroad are usually more innovative and can help Sapienza or other employers to innovate their educational, research or manufacturing activities. In particular Sapienza is very active in this area having an office specialized in patenting and licensing and in the creation of spin off companies.
Endorsement of the Organisation
The Erasmus Policy Statement is part of the application form Call 2014 for the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education 2014-2020, signed by the legal representative on May 14th 2013.
All Programme activities will be implemented on the basis of written agreements with the relevant authorities of the partner institutions, in line with the fundamental principles of the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (ECHE).
The legal representative of the Institution