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Erasmus Policy Statement (EPS)

Overall Strategy

The aim of internalisation at the University of Bergamo is the integration of a global and intercultural dimension in the purpose, functions and delivery of higher education.

The global dimension has been achieved with the establishment of a network of partners which reflects the teaching and scientific interests of the University, so as to encourage their development and lay the foundations for innovative processes. The network, based on framework cooperation agreements, implements inter-university projects through specific agreements involving one or more departments.

The intercultural dimension has been developed to guarantee the best integration possible of the partners concerned. A preponderant role is retained by European and North American partners (USA, Canada), with whom the University shares strong common interests in scientific methodologies and teaching practices, further favoured by the common use of the Latin alphabet in the languages involved. Non-EU partners are especially present in the Russian Federation, in the People's Republic of China, Japan, Egypt and in Latin America.

In the functions and in the delivery of higher education the internalisation process is based on two perspectives. From an home-based perspective, the university offers degree programmes at Master's and PhD levels, taught in English by foreign visiting and local academic staff and open to both Italian and foreign students. This internalisation approach creates a multilingual and multicultural environment in which English is a vehicular language, thus allowing local and foreign academic staff to exchange different teaching and research practices. In this same perspective, two summer school programmes have been founded (Summer Business Program with the University of Missouri (Columbia, USA; Humanities Summer School with Farleigh-Dickinson University (Madison, New Jersey, USA), as well as two summer language schools (Italian Language Course for Foreigners and Russian Language and Culture Seminar).

The second perspective is outbound and focuses on the development of research and teaching programmes with foreign partners. Such are the agreements in the framework of the Lifelong Learning Programme, promoted by the European Union. They promote Teaching Staff and student mobility (study and internships) at Bachelor, Master's and PhD levels. At Master's level or second cycle studies, the University has signed an agreement with the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University (Massachussetts, USA) for the development of a four-year scientific project, involving selected groups of students and Teaching Staff from both universities for field research. Another collaboration includes two partner universities, Johannes Kepler Universitšt (Linz, Austria) and Vysöaja äkola »konomiki (Niěnij Novgorod, Russia): the programme allows students to participate in a one-year intercultural course divided in trimesters, one in each partner university, including the University of Bergamo. At Master's level, a collaboration agreement between Colorado State University (Pueblo, Colorado), Praxair (USA) and SIAD (Bergamo, Italy) focuses on company internships for incoming and outgoing Engineering students.

Internalisation activities also include agreements for the award of joint or double degrees based on reciprocal and full recognition of a defined and approved period of study in the partner institution. In the Erasmus Mundus programmes offered at both Master's (Crossways in Cultural Narratives) and PhD (Cultural Studies in Literary Interzones) levels, students are awarded multiple or double degrees. Other agreements include: a dual degree collaboration agreement with Fairleigh-Dickinson University (NJ, USA); a joint programme called Boarding Pass at Master's level for Business students. The universities involved are Freie Berlin (Germany), I…S…G (Lille, France), Technische Chemnitz Universitšt (Germany), and University of Washington Bothell (Seattle, USA). Students may choose to spend a semester in one of the partner universities where they will follow the same courses offered in their Home University. Other similar agreements are presently being defined.

For information on the above agreements, please refer to the webpage International Programs: Overview.

The organisation and implementation of International (EU and non-EU) cooperation programmes covers all levels of the University of Bergamo and requires specific skills to manage. To this effect, the University Internalisation Commission represents a strategic tool. Its main task is to select and coordinate international cooperation proposals in the field of teaching, training and research, follow their implementation and verify results. The Commission is made up of two working groups: one group, formed by the departmental representatives, covers the scientific-didactic structure of the University. It is in charge of the international cooperation initiatives. A second group, with specific skills in internalisation procedures, is in charge of agreement contents, student / teacher / staff mobility flows, organisation of internationalised English-taught study programmes, mobility flows for internships, research projects, communication concerning international initiatives inside and outside the University and actions towards fund raising.

The Vice-Chancellor for International Relations and two representatives from the International Office participate in the meetings of the University's Internalisation Commission. They advise and coordinate the Departments' proposals before being approved by the Academic Senate and coordinate their implementation with the help of the offices concerned.

All activities of internalisation are initiated, organised and implemented in order to meet the academic requirements within the EU and non-EU context and in the globalisation process. The expected impact of these activities regard:

  1. increase of disciplinary skills in graduates at all levels who, as researchers and future professionals, will have the opportunity to better compete at EU and non-EU level
  2. the general improvement of the quality of higher education thanks to the defragmentation processes of the didactic-scientific area attained by student and academic staff mobility and the sharing of teaching and research methodologies
  3. The strengthening of the multilingual and multicultural approach of higher education and research thanks to the mobility flows
  4. socio-economic innovation, also considered locally, which is thus promoted and developed in close relationship with higher education
  5. the modernisation of the governance structures of the University and the greater attraction that mobility and cooperation programmes produce on external financial supporters, also in consideration of the increased level of preparation of future graduates with Bachelor's, Master's and PhD degrees.