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Higher education student and staff mobility project
Start date: Jun 1, 2014, End date: Sep 30, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The University of Gloucestershire is keen to ensure that its students have opportunities to experience working or studying in an international context. The profile of students at the institution is such that many will not have had the opportunity to travel widely prior to joining university. Erasmus Plus provides an opportunity for those students who wish to participate to travel to another country and experience first hand a different culture with a view to expanding their horizons and improving their employability. For those students who are unable or choose not to travel, the presence of incoming Erasmus students is key to internationalising the classroom environment. Gloucestershire offers a number of academic programmes that do not recruit large numbers of international students from outside of Europe but which are very popular within the Erasmus community. The bilateral arrangements which these schools have in place are key to ensuring that students on these courses are offered an alternative international experience at home. Similarly staff engagement is welcomed in order to share best practice in teaching and as a precursor to building long term relationships which can lead to joint projects in the future. A number of successful projects have been initiated as a direct result of Erasmus institutional links and specific examples are included in sections 9 and 10. Student participation in 2014-15 has included students in the fields of art, design and music, whereas staff mobility has been dominated by staff in the applied sciences faculty. There have been significant staff changes affecting the administration of Erasmus Plus in the past 18 months and this discipline split is largely the result of the specific Faculty Erasmus Coordinators who have been in place.Only 4 students participated this year, three undertaking mobility for study and one for work placement and 7 members of staff undertook a period of mobility versus the 12 that were anticipated. In 2014-15 much of the promotion and selection was devolved to the faculty coordinators and it is clear that much can be done to promote the scheme more widely and more consistently across the institution. In mid 2015 the administration of the Erasmus Plus project passed to the International Development Centre and a dedicated Erasmus Manager has recently been appointed to review the management of the scheme and improve participation rates for outward mobility. We recognise that there are changes to be made in terms of both the promotion of the scheme and the support ( both pre-departure and ongoing ) that is provided to participants to ensure consistency and greater satisfaction with the experience. The results of these efforts will hopefully be seen in 2016-17. In addition there are discussions underway within the School of Education and two partner institutions, one in France and one in Spain, to offer reciprocal teacher training placements for modern language students. This would be an excellent addition to the project which would enhance the quality of language teachers graduating from the University of Gloucestershire and the partner institutions in the future.

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