Szymon Szymonowic State School of Higher Education in Zamość (full name: Uczelnia Państwowa im. Szymona Szymonowica w Zamościu; abbreviated to Uczelnia Państwowa w Zamościu UPZ – in this document hereafter UPZ), in accordance with its mission and development strategy intends to implement the main objectives of European programmes concerning higher education. The policy of our HE Institution is a continuation of the activities started in 2009 when it received the opportunity to participate in international programmes and the provisions of the ECHE Charter for 2014-2020. UPZ is aware of the role of foreign cooperation in improving the quality of research and education process and developing foreign policy in a way that brings it closer to the European and international dimension. The importance of internationalisation has been highlighted in the latest document “The Mission and Development Strategy of the Szymon Szymonowic State School of Higher Education in Zamość” adopted in 2020. Internationalisation will be an instrument for the implementation of UPZ strategic objectives and operational goals.
UPZ treats increasing the level of internationalisation in subsequent years as a priority objective in terms of quantity and quality. The extension and deepening of this level will contribute to the implementation of the idea of Europe without borders and the promotion of the European Area of Education.
One of the elements of achieving this goal is to increase mobility of students and employees and intensive personal exchange - at the educational, scientific and administrative level. UPZ, using its activity profile, scientific research, development and didactics, which are implemented in a transnational dimension 9a large group of students from Ukraine) and its location in south-eastern Poland, right on the border with Ukraine, as well as its own statutory goals, intends to continue to be at the forefront of the EU's multidimensional activities concerning higher education.
By expanding and intensifying international cooperation UPZ seeks to take into account the needs of the teaching staff and students' interests. Cooperation with scientific and research bodies with compatible and convergent curricula becomes a priority, and UPZ in its strategy emphasizes its openess to adopting new models and using the experience and "good practices" of other units. International cooperation with the business sector is particularly important. UPZ uses the R&D sphere to strengthen its own potential. The cooperation aimed at transferring the experience of European enterprises to the level of education of students and teaching staff, especially technical faculties, is widely developed. The above elements have already been implemented on the basis of ECHE Charter 2004-2020.
Foreign cooperation is also seen as an essential factor stimulating the development of the staff and scientific and didactic employees. In its didactic activity UPZ tries to create a rich and attractive curriculum offer and constantly improve the quality of education. To increase the attractiveness of UPZ for foreign students, efforts are made to enrich the offer with subjects and programmes conducted in English.
UPZ's mission and development strategy adopted in 2020 includes the promotion of the European dimension of education, supporting and developing the learning of foreign languages, improving the educational process, promoting cooperation between educational institutions, developing the exchange of information and experience, as well as activities aimed at mutual recognition of academic diplomas. The strategy is part of the idea and promotion of so-called "European universities". Increasing mobility, high quality of education, strengthening the links between research and teaching, multilingual teaching are conducive to the promotion of the European educational area.
UPZ intends to increase the level of participation in international teaching and training projects, to engage in the creation of strategic partnerships with other universities, research units, enterprises, NGO sector. Modification of curricula, launching the MA studies and creating new fields of study are to correspond to the quality and usefulness on the European labour market, strengthen students' potential and make them more mobile. The promotion of education and science at the higher level has a positive impact on professional preparation, qualifications of future graduates and professional mobility. The tasks are part of the foundations of the European area of education, which are based on lifelong learning, the promotion and support of mobility and modernisation of education systems.
Digital education is crucial in supporting high quality education. In the context of building the European educational area, the aim of UPZ is to make better use of digital technologies in teaching and learning, to develop digital skills and competences, to participate in the process of digital transformation, to effectively analyse data and forecasts.
Another objective is to improve the quality and effectiveness framework for vocational preparation. UPZ as a HEI with a practical profile, is to carry out good quality vocational preparation, combining work-related skills, professional experience and work-based learning. Effective and good quality vocational preparation can be developed based on structured partnerships.
The Szymon Szymonowic State School of Higher Education in Zamość (UPZ) intends to increase the level of internationalisation and participate in more actions under the Erasmus+ programme.
Student and staff exchange (KA1) remains the main priority. Student mobility is closely related to the modernised system of education at the Bachelor level (BA). If we succeed in launching Master studies (MA), it is assumed that the mobility programme will also cover this group. The activities undertaken by UPZ and the prospect of participation in the new edition of the programme are consistent with the adopted assumptions contained in the institutional strategy and are in line with the educational programmes and prospects for their further development. Student mobility is the most effective way to broaden the knowledge of higher education systems in other countries, to benefit from their knowledge and experience, as well as to facilitate the standardisation of procedures for assessing the quality of teaching and research activities. Taking into account the practical profile of UPZ, mobility for the purpose of practical training, during which students have the opportunity to acquire experience and implement it during their further education, is of great importance. The experience gained during the mobility contributes to the increased competitiveness on the job market.
The mobility of workers, researchers and administrations is also important. It is gradually being expanded and developed in quantitative and qualitative terms. The School intends to continue these trends in the following years. The participation of employees in mobility programmes is a vital element of raising the level of education, implementing innovative solutions in the teaching process and modernising the quality of education. The cooperation with the enterprise sector and the acquisition of experience by the employees during international trainings are of great importance due to the practical profile of teaching. The aim of UPZ is to support free transfer of workers between different countries, sectors and disciplines. This contributes to increasing the competitiveness of science in the international arena. UPZ has a database of partner institutions and enterprises where training can be held. By participating in the process of mobility, UPZ creates tools for supporting scientific development, which include the "path" of individual development of an employee, the system of international scholarships, granting scientific leaves etc.
Due to its location in the south-east corner of Poland, UPZ pays attention not only to mobility within the European Union. The natural partners for the UPZ have been the countries in the eastern part of Europe, mainly our closest neighbour Ukraine. UPZ intends to use its possibilities and potential in this area and increase the rate of personal exchange, make the mechanism of double diplomacy more effective. Expanding cooperation in the geographical context, focusing on new regions is one of the long-term goals of UPZ.
Apart from the mobility programme, UPZ aims to intensify its activities under other actions (KA2). Participation in multilateral projects is a part of the School's development strategy and mission. Participation and building strategic partnerships will allow UPZ to increase its potential and effectively compete on the regional market with other entities. UPZ acquires partners from a group of other universities, companies, non-governmental organizations, with whom it will be able to effectively create teams of partnerships for innovation and implementation of good practices. Personal contacts are proven to be a highly effective way of finding new partners. UPZ intends to take advantage of the opportunities offered by intra-European partnerships, as well as using its geographical potential (location) it intends to become an ambassador of good solutions in the Eastern European countries, including Ukraine. The aim is to promote and implement the solutions adopted in the EU with partners (administrative support). The Partnerships for Innovation and Exchange of Good Practices (KA2) will certainly contribute to building and increasing the potential of UPZ in terms of science and research and improving the quality of education.
UPZ, due to its plans of launching MA studies, intends to participate in Joint Master study projects.
The institutional objectives of the Szymon Szymonowic State School of Higher Education in Zamość related to the Erasmus+ programme result from the assumptions of modernisation of higher education in Europe and carrying out the vision of the European educational area by 2025. Participation in the Erasmus+ programme will allow direct beneficiaries (students and employees) to access education and training of the highest quality. UPZ will be able to adapt to dynamic changes in the surrounding world, build and shape European identity, acquire new skills needed to function in a multicultural society with a high degree of digitization. In addition, our HE institution will be able to benefit from Europe's diverse cultural and educational heritage, increase cooperation in education and training and have an additional impact on modernising education systems and improving its quality. A greater involvement of UPZ in cooperation projects (under the KA2 action) will contribute to the quality and effectiveness of practical vocational training. Opening up and involvement in Erasmus+ projects of social partners, enterprises, intermediary entities, vocational education institutions and creation of structured partnerships will allow for good quality vocational preparation, which will be beneficial for both students and staff. Strategic partnerships will make it possible to create well-designed programmes of vocational preparation and create high standards of education quality.
The main institutional objectives of UPZ will be implemented by increasing the level of internationalisation in terms of quantity and quality. By 2025 UPZ intends:
- to strive to increase the number of graduates who participated in mobility projects, studies or work placements under the Erasmus+ programme in the course of their studies
- to seek to improve the quality of education and professional competences of academic teachers through their participation in mobility projects
- to promote the idea and aim to create an EU Student Charter with a system of information on a person's learning pathway
- to pursue the process of mutual recognition of diplomas
- to cooperate with other universities and organizations in modifying curricula to reflect the knowledge, skills and competences necessary in the modern world
- to raise the level of foreign language teaching
- to promote lifelong learning and increase the proportion of people studying and entering later age groups,
- to increase the use of digital technology in line with the Digital Education Action Plan, including introducing the European Student eCard and making Erasmus+ paperwork paperless
- to pursue the implementation of digital higher education in line with the Digital Education Action Plan, including the creation of e-learning, blended mobility, virtual campuses and exchange of best practices between universities and institutions
- to increase the number of agreements and strategic partnerships concluded in order to cooperate across national borders, including building partnerships outside the EU
- to promote the idea of the Erasmus+ programme in its immediate environment and support all local initiatives aimed at promoting education