Erasmus+ policy statement (2021-2027)
Bifröst University strives to train its students in carrying out scholarly analysis, to achieve in their respective fields, whether it may be for business, culture or community, all the while exerting a positive influence on society. In today ‘s world of seamless communication across borders, open international markets for services and goods as well as markets for jobs and education, an international policy is essential to any university. Erasmus actions are integral to achieving Bifröst University ‘s objectives for internationalisation.
Bifröst’s International policy places emphasis on building capacity and improving quality through cooperation with foreign universities and other organizations by taking part in innovative and impactful work.
Bifröst University shall seek to extend its network of partner universities, aiming to increase its participation in the educational and research community. Academic staff and students are encouraged to use Bifröst ‘s network of partners to form new connections, with active participation in teaching activities abroad, exchange studies and research, thereby gaining knowledge and broadening their horizons. Bifröst cooperates with partners throughout the world, most important for this aim by far, are Bifröst ‘s university partners from Europe.
The key components of Bifröst University ‘s international activities stand on three pillars: bilateral student exchange, mobility of staff (both academic and non-academic), and cooperation on research, innovation and development. These three aspects of the universities’ activities are clearly reflected in Erasmus ‘s Key Actions. Bifröst ‘s emphasis has been, first and foremost, on teaching and research excellence. It’s stated vision is to be for the student „a convergence points for personal development and social participation “. A crucial component of such growth is to help students gain cultural awareness and allow them to foster intercultural competences. This can be achieved by completing part of one’s studies abroad on a student mobility. Secondly, by studying at home, but in a diverse environment with a blend of domestic and foreign students and teachers. And thirdly, by completing courses or even full programs that were jointly developed by multinational consortiums, thereby ensuring an international dimension to them. Bifröst University seeks to engage students in practical assignments with direct links to businesses, the public sector
or society from the start of their programs and for that purpose international study cooperation is also ‘very important.
Competences are acquired through, both exchange programs and study cooperation with universities in other countries, which include study visits and on-line research cooperation even at the undergraduate level.
Academic staff and teachers at Bifröst will continue to benefit greatly from Erasmus mobilities and other cooperation with European universities as they have done now for many years. Bifröst has embraced ITC solutions to modernize its teaching and most of its degrees are now taught using distance or blended learning techniques. Taking part in
Strategic Partnerships, Bifröst will continue to contribute to joint development of teaching excellence as well as learning new developments from European partner universities. Such projects will create new learning opportunities for students from Bifröst and abroad. And finally, the campus at Bifröst will continue to offer a unique and stimulating environment supportive for learning and research as Bifröst University will continue to welcome incoming students and staff through Erasmus mobilities.
Under Erasmus Key Action 1, Bifröst University will take part in the mobility of higher education students and staff. Bifröst University offers to its students, the opportunity to go on a student exchange and complete parts of their studies abroad at one of Bifröst’s partner universities. The International office of Bifröst University administers all student exchange, handles bilateral agreement with partner universities and applications for mobility from students.
Outgoing students from Bifröst are invited to apply for a mobility grants in the fall and spring semester, to then go on mobility in the following semester. The International office maintains a list of partner universities on its website and promotes these exchange opportunities through various mean. Students receive emails and newsletters were the
options are highlighted, Q&A sessions are held when students gather on campus and mobilities are further disseminated on Bifröst social media accounts.
Agreements are bilateral, and mobilities for incoming students are typically promoted to students at Partner Universities by their International offices. Once a mobility is granted for an incoming student, the International office is responsible for all practicalities such as assisting with finding housing at Bifröst, assimilating the students to campus life, and being at their disposal for any service or support needed during their stay. Bifröst has signed bilateral agreements with a selection of partner universities outside of Europe, but Erasmus+ mobilities to and from Bifröst’s European university partners remains the backbone of Bifröst’s student exchange program.
Bifröst University intends to implement staff mobilities as well under Key Action 1, both for teaching and training purposes. At Bifröst, these mobilities will as before, be administered through the International office. Staff mobilities offer diverse opportunities for professional development for staff working in, for example, the central office, student
counselling, managing LMS systems and more. Mobilities for teaching enable the academic staff to broaden their horizon, teach in a new environment, to learn new practices and reflect on their already established teaching methods. Incoming staff mobilities, not only offer value to students who take part in workshops and lectures delivered by visiting professors, but also allow academic staff at Bifröst to cooperate more closely with researchers from other universities.
Bifröst’s International policy lays emphasis on encouraging both students/teaching staff to learn/teach abroad, thereby enhancing their knowledge and intercultural competences. The policy also notes the importance of welcoming incoming staff and students, to strengthen ties with partners, create opportunities for mutual learning, and increasing instructor and student participation in multinational projects. So throughout, the mobilities made possible
through Erasmus Key Action 1 contribute directly and with significant impact towards the objectives of Bifröst’s strategy.
Under Erasmus Key Action 2, Bifröst University will take part in Partnerships for cooperation and exchanges of practices. Through such participation, academic and non-academic staff at Bifröst University are given the chance to join consortia of other European universities and organizations, to mutually develop new courses, curricula, teaching practices and more. Participation in Strategic Partnerships is usually initiated by academics, or other staff, drawing from their network of European collaborators. During the lifetime of such projects, those involved get administrative support from Bifröst University’s Research Institute but are themselves responsible for the topic and implementation of their project. For staff at Bifröst, participation in Strategic Partnerships is often seen as an important part of their continuous professional development, thereby contributing to Bifröst’s Human Resource Policy that clearly states as an objective to give its employees an opportunity to grow and thrive.
By this, it is clearly established that further participation from Bifröst University in Erasmus+ Key Actions 1 and 2 is expected to contribute significantly towards Bifröst’s mission and stated objectives.