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Erasmus Policy Statement

Erasmus Policy Statement

AHO understands internationalization in education and research as the challenge of integrating an international, inter cultural and global dimension in the institutions goals, organization and actions.

AHO will utilize internationalization strategically to reach the institution's ambitions within education and research. AHO will educate candidates fit for a globalized labor market and produce research of high international quality which corresponds to relevant international discourses within our academic areas. Internationalization shall be integrated in all academic endeavors, and play an important part in AHO’s quality assurance and development, and in building of AHO’s reputation.

The governing principle when choosing partners for international cooperation is that the cooperation must contribute to mutual benefit and increased quality in teaching, mobility opportunities, research or management. Formalized partnerships are based on strategic networks with academic staff at institutions abroad and rooted in academic rationale.

Incoming requests for partnerships are handled by the relevant governing body at AHO, i.e. the Education Committee, Research Committee, institute leaders or the Board. The everyday management and communication is handled by the international coordinator in the academic services department.

Nordic and European partnerships constitute the majority of AHOs inter-institutional agreements. AHO keeps close contact on a broad institutional level with similar institutions in neighboring countries. Erasmus exchange agreements within Europe is the cornerstone of the mobility options provided to students and staff.

Independent bilateral agreements and memorandums of understanding with institutions located outside the EU, e.g. China, Southern America and East Africa are also a crucial part of the internationalisation strategy as it provides the basis for inter-continental mobility and cooperation.

AHO encourages second cycle (master´s level) students to participate in student mobility. Due to flexible programme arrangements at this level external credits are easily accredited as part of the students´ degrees based on learning agreements signed prior to the mobility.

AHO receives exchange students from partner institutions to participate in second cycle courses with the local students. Incoming students must meet the academic and language-wise requirements described on our websites for application procedures. AHO strives for balance between the number of outgoing and incoming exchange students.

Academic and non-academic staff is encouraged to participate in mobility projects for teaching or research, learning and sharing best practices, gaining international experience and language skills, or building strategic professional networks. AHO may likewise receive incoming staff for participation in teaching, research or administrative/support projects. For staff exchange it is crucial that a detailed plan for the proposed mobility is worked out and agreed upon by both parties well ahead of the mobility.
AHO sees Erasmus+ as a cornerstone in its internationalization strategy, and a crucial means for the implementation of goals set in the overall internationalization strategy.

For outgoing students the opportunity of mobility represents an “extended global course catalogue” which provides complementary perspectives and other insights to the subjects taught at AHO. Outgoing students also gain skills in foreign languages, cultural understanding and international cooperation which contribute to enhancing their global employability.

For outgoing staff mobility contributes to strengthening bonds to partner institutions and ensuring long term institutionally rooted partnerships. It is crucial for the quality assurance of all research projects at AHO that the results are measured in an international context. Participation in international research networks and partnerships is important. Staff mobility also opens up for learning and sharing best practices within education, research and management.

The opportunity to include institutions from non-participating countries in cooperation projects may contribute to further strengthening the strategic bonds to partner institutions in other continents.

Student and staff mobility is also regarded as important for the internationalization at home strategy. Local students who do not participate in mobility also gain international experience by participating in courses with incoming exchange students. Incoming international students, and local students who have participated in mobility, contribute to increasing the quality of the learning environment. AHO also values the international experience gained by teachers who participate in mobility as a mark of quality.

AHO supports and implements incentives related to the Bologna process for international recognition of degrees, courses and grades, and the Erasmus framework for streamlined mobility and cooperation management between higher education institutions.

It is important that implemented international activities are rooted in AHOs overall strategy. Being a small institution striving for excellence in education and research, AHO is selective and focused on quality rather than quantity in international cooperation projects. The motivation for entering cooperation projects must be the realization that it will contribute to increased quality in mobility, teaching, learning environment, research or management.

Internationalization is a fluid process continuously in development within the organization. AHO is in principle open to support any cooperation project for further development of research projects, study programmes or mobility programmes in the future if they are rooted in the institution´s governing bodies and based on academic rationale.