Erasmus Charter Higher Education 2014-2020

Erasmus Charter UM

Erasmus Policy Statement

The University of Murcia (UM), with over 100 years of history, is known for its high international participation and competitiveness, founded on its own strategic action planning.

One of its major strengths is that research management and internationalization processes are run from the same office. This provides a more dynamic and powerful integral vision of cooperation with the rest of the world.

Centralized management favors and tightens connections between our processes, so ensuring close collaboration with academic heads. All this, coupled with quality management, efficient governance internal control and finance systems, is a powerful guarantee of excellence.

Key points of the UM's internationalization strategy include choosing partners on the basis of quality standards, mutual recognition, management excellence and joint objectives. These criteria, along with geographical proximity and common policies, make European countries the nucleus of our action. One immediate outcome of this policy is the more than 230 ongoing Erasmus mobility agreements with recognition of credits, setting-up of joint teaching programs, English teaching in selected areas and on quality master and PhD programs, dual international qualifications with shared teaching, exchanges of researchers and establishment of university networks in which we are leaders.

Likewise, we have reached out to other geographical areas in a large way through bilateral agreements and participation in joint projects as well as through the extensive relations we maintain through collaboration networks. The Erasmus Mundus program and Tempus have been a great support in this area. This section would be incomplete without mentioning our deep involvement in the LLP program, where several IP are in place, in Comenius and Leonardo. All this and our participation in university networks and Programs with the USA, the programs, agreements and joint actions with institutions in Asia, the excellent relations that language and culture inevitably offer us with Latin America mean that our presence around the world can boast high recognition and quality.

To attain the objectives of its internationalization strategy the UM has designed and set up the following tools:

a)      support for visiting students, teachers and researchers under an individual attention program: International Welcome Point.

b)      An attractive and suitable offer in line with demands: bilingual qualifications, Spanish courses and dual qualifications.

c)      UM staff language training accredited by the UM Languages Centre and in line with the Common European Framework of Reference levels.

d)     Participation in education and higher education cooperation projects.

e)      Internships in industries in the area which enhance and complete scientific, technical and research training. It also builds bridges between education, research and industry and favors excellence in sustainable regional economic development.

f)       Support for training programs for researchers which provides funding for stays abroad or at the institution itself.

g)      Development of online distance teaching with degree and masters qualifications and totally accessible time and money saving e-administration systems.

h)      Strategic consortiums and presence in forums and at international events to gain greater visibility and help attract students and researchers interested in our offer.

i)        Transparent computerized systems for recognition of ECTS harmonized studies and with mechanisms for incorporating activities realized under the Diploma Supplement.

j)        Incorporation of information and motivation systems for UM students and teachers to increase involvement in international mobility programs.

Along with the above there is smooth coordination between decision-making bodies, managers and academics, and this has been of huge help in our opening up mobility possibilities and offering joint educational and research abroad and in our own institution.

We would underline the good relations between the UM and industry, which enables economic resources to be used to get this activity under way. Policies are also in place for the social enhancement of the region and its citizens.

Institution's strategy for the organisation and implementation of International cooperation projects in teaching and training in relation to projects implemented under the Programme.

We have a high participation in cooperation projects. Our management structure eases and favors implementation of international cooperation projects. There is a Unit devoted to project participation while the Research Section works on involving teachers and researchers in the tasks and recognizes their work.

The UM is currently involved in Comenius, Leonardo, Jean Monet and IP projects, and this has led to highly valuable mutual understanding with European partners which has been the starting point for applications for new projects. The UM has agreements with bodies from various EU countries to perform other actions (practicals in secondary schools in UK and France and Latin America) or personnel training with management practicals in the UM

In line with Spanish cooperation, the UM participates in various actions in Latin America and North Africa. We have strategic alliances and agreements with Mexico, Argentina (an overseas office) and Chile. Here are others with Israel, Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia where we participate in university networks and joint projects. The UM has funded a call for international cooperation focused on areas and people in relief areas, those suffering marginalization and those with scarce resources.

Fundamental to our strategy is our participation in programs of excellence like Erasmus Mundus and Tempus. Internal organization of teachers who act as academic tutors, the huge potential of our research groups, master's degrees and PhDs serve to systematize activity within these frameworks.

We are coordinating 2 Erasmus Mundus projects (Asia and North Africa) and one Tempus project (Morocco).  Our internationalization strategy has led to our presenting new projects as coordinators and to align ourselves to others and so promote the aims of the Mare Nostrum Campus of Excellence.

Impact of your participation in the Programme on the modernisation of your institution in terms of the policy objectives you intend to achieve.

The UM feels close to its surroundings, it owes itself to the society that sustains it and therefore participates in local, regional and national policies and works in line with these in internationalization processes and plans. Proof of this is our Mare Nostrum International Campus of Excellence Project in which the UM works closely with industry, research centres, financial entities, local and regional authorities, consortiums and university networks. The campus corresponds to a geographical area – the Mediterranean - and seeks to create a common space of research and teaching excellence. One of its challenges is to build an area of excellence of understanding and work in specific fields of knowledge (in particular agri-food and environment). As with other actions, the aim is to increase student and researcher mobility by responding to their specific needs and by putting into effect plans that favor vulnerable and disability groups through active in-the-field policies. A number of agreement shave been signed with relevant governments and institutions, calls for cooperation have been announced and awareness raising programs are up and running.

With 2,000 teachers, 1,000 administration staff, 35,000 students, research groups and an annual budget of €140 million, the UM has the capacity to carry out its "roadmap" in internationalization processes of quality and excellence which are driven by:

a)      clear recognition and learning processes linked to practical training

b)      an opening up to all levels of education, even the least favored and with special attention to drop-outs

c)      financing for classes with least resources

d)     establishing finance mechanisms that reward success

e)      more flexible learning modules that can run smoothly alongside other duties and so avoid unnecessary obstacles

f)       maximum use and exploitation of the UM's Information Technology

g)      new investment initiatives in professional staff development

h)      a sense of unity among all levels in our educational system

i)        fostering knowledge transfer, innovation and research

j)        favoring cooperation consortiums between university and industry

k)      involving our development policy in government internationalization plans in order to enhance our participation in European and international policies

l)        improving our governance system by maximizing society's investment in the UM and by achieving the highest standards in Higher Education and Research Centers in the quest for Excellence.