The ERASMUS program at VŠE
Erasmus is the EU’s flagship education and training program enabling students to study abroad as well as supporting cooperation between higher education institutions across Europe. The final report of the NAEP system audit states that the realization of the ERASMUS program at VŠE is at a high level. VŠE also obtained a positive evaluation from the European Commission.
The University of Economics, Prague has participated in the ERASMUS program (one of the most important EU projects) since 1998. The main goal of the ERASMUS program is to support international cooperation. It caters not only to students, but also to professors and business staff who want to teach abroad and to university staff who want to be trained abroad. Around 90% of European universities take part in Erasmus. The annual budget is in excess of €440 million, and more than 4,000 higher educational institutions in 31 countries participate in it.
The ERASMUS program is a key element of the university’s long-term internationalization strategy. VŠE cooperates with 85 partner universities from 24 European countries. Students have the possibility to study in six different European languages. In academic year 2008/2009, there were 263 students, 27 teachers and 10 employees of VŠE participating in the ERASMUS programme.
In November 2009, the ERASMUS program system audit was realized by NAEP (National Agency for European Educational Programs) at VŠE. The goal of the audit was to review the functionality of the ERASMUS program at the university. The evaluation was focused on 12 thematic areas: (1) ERASMUS program strategy; (2) The system of mobility management and its implementation; (3) Control mechanism implementation within the program including risk analysis; (4) Institutional coordinator; (5) Communication and publicity of the program; (6) Partner universities; (7) Contractual relations; (8) Students; (9) Staff in higher education; (10) Financial resources; (11) Finance and accounting; (12) Program evaluation.
Evaluation was based on a four level scale of risk:
- high significance requiring high attention;
- medium significance (particular area is conducted but needs higher attention);
- low significance (particular area is well-managed but there are some elements that could be improved);
- no risk identified.
The audit’s results are very positive for VŠE. Nine areas were identified as “no risk” and three areas were classified as areas with risk at a low significance level (area 3, 10 and 11).
According to the report, the strength of VŠE is high-quality management of the following parts: students’ mobility administration in the Integrated Study Information System (ISIS), the system of careful procedures with regard to student mobility and choice of partner institutions and the system of contractual relations with partner institutions.
VŠE also obtained a positive evaluation after November’s monitoring of quality and the impacts of the ERASMUS program during the visit of the DG for Education and Culture Director, Ms. Natasha Sander.