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Higher education student and staff mobility project
Start date: Jun 1, 2014, End date: May 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Context/ background The vision of SRC is to provide relevant and meaningful learning opportunities delivered through quality and innovative teaching that will transform lives through meaningful and enjoyable learning experiences. Internationalisation and modernisation are key to this development and 1 of the 7 objectives of the CDP 2013 – 2016 is: International Links - ‘To promote an outward and forward looking College through the development of international links supporting staff, students and knowledge exchange’. This project prepared students for life and work in a globalised economy and multicultural society. Staff benefitted from the transfer of knowledge and best practice and got to know first-hand the workings of other European Educations systems. The international strategy of SRC has enabled SRC’s External Funding and International Affairs Team to secure funding under the Erasmus + programme that has enabled staff and students to avail of European mobility opportunities. The project’s main objectives were to: - Exploit opportunities to develop learning and teaching practices through improved linkages with European, enterprises and HE institutions, leading to a more effective & international curriculum - Prepare HE students to live in, and contribute responsibly to, a globally connected society through an international work placement - Gain an insight into European working practices through work placement and implementing methods of best practice. - Expand upon participants knowledge in their area of study/ specialism through European approaches. - To experience work placements thereby improving skills and increasing employability. - Opportunity to build links with other European organisations. No. and profile of participants: 4 student traineeships completed: - 2 Foundation Degree Early Childhood Studies students - 1 HND Diploma in Health and Social Care student - 1 Foundation Degree Computing student 4 teaching staff from the School of Health & Early Years completed. Description of Activities The 3 student traineeships for Early Years & Health Care were completed with Helsinki Diakonia College in Finland, 2 students in Early Years settings and 1 student in a health and social care setting. Each traineeships lasted 2 months. The 1 computing traineeship was sourced by the individual and took place within a company in Ireland, again this traineeship lasted 2 months. This project also supported the professional development of 4 teaching staff to spend 3 days each at Helsinki Diakonia College in Helsinki, Finland undertaking a job shadowing/ observation period in the field of health care. The International team at SRC provided the initial contact with the College and then the teaching staff liaised with the partners at Diakonia who provided an excellent job shadowing/observation period. The areas covered by the mobilities were professional development around rehabilitation programmes & processes for the marginalised in society including long-term homeless; those with mental health problems; learning disabilities and people with addictions. Results and impact On the individual student: •Increased skills and knowledge in their area of study •Improved ability and confidence to perform in a real work environment •Increased awareness of another European culture •Improved employability skills including organisational, problem-solving, self-motivation, team working and negotiation skills •Realisation that it is an international job market Broadening of cultural horizons, increased confidence and development of language skills •Enhanced understanding of being a European citizen •A network of European employer contacts •1 student was offered a permanent position with their placement provider •New friendships with a range of nationalities “I'm very thankful that I got the opportunity to have this experience. I'll miss everyone in Finland and I'll never forget them. I've really enjoyed this Erasmus placement and I would recommend any students who are given the opportunity to take part of the Erasmus, go for it. (Early Years trainee) On the staff: •Gained valuable life-skills and international experience which helped them develop personally & professionally. •Increased engagement with European employers/HEIs offering insight into new educational practices •Increased knowledge and skills which can be applied to curriculum or learning and teaching practices •Wider industry/education contacts •Personal development including communication, problem-solving, creative thinking and organisational skills •Increased knowledge of different cultural practices and procedures relevant to their curriculum which has been cascaded and disseminated to other staff within the School thus increasing their knowledge base. •These job shadowing/observation periods also helped the development of new international partnerships which will facilitate the hosting and sending of HE traineeships in the future.

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