The International University of Struga has had a gradual, successful and continuous implementation of the Erasmus + program, focusing on increasing future involvement. Given the great influence of technology, information, knowledge, knowledge management, etc, we believe that an excellent higher education affects the intellectual, professional and economic growth of the country’s society. The International University of Struga is committed to implementing creative forms of study, a comprehensive collaboration, practical methods and inclusive forms of teaching that guarantee a high level of the educational process. Our mission is to educate students who appreciate ethical values, and who can, with their self-confidence and creativity, take on working and leadership positions and contributing to the growth of society. Ethical values are important to our HE institution, and we operate in a multicultural society, where in this case our students are the best example of a multi-ethnic mutual cooperation, and they are a model showing how to link different cultures and respect all of them at the same time.
To achieve our goal and objectives, the main focus is on implementing cooperation with higher education institutions that share the same interests and values as ours. Successful collaborations with partners abroad and consistency will bring an increase in the quality of education, from which our students, academic staff, administrative staff and society will benefit. Our cooperation is initiated and realized with a special commitment by the office for international cooperation, based on the main values, such as, the bilateral cooperation of both parties, common interests in terms of education and research, sharing experience and know-how. Also, a high number of collaborations is a result of the connections and suggestions of the staff, who bring their experience and knowledge acquired from conferences, research collaborations and inter-institutional project implementation. As primary focus of collaborations are HE institutions in Europe, but at the same time a cooperation with other countries which are presented as good opportunities to increase the number and level of inter-institutional cooperation.
In terms of exchange and mobility, the main focus and commitment are students, academic staff and administrative staff. Based on ECTS and our study programs which are created with a large analysis for a wider use, we encourage students to pursue a part of their studies in Universities of our partners, while guaranteeing the acceptance of acquired knowledge, grades and course credits. Another important aspect is the experience gained by the academic staff and administrative staff, who bring these experiences, knowledge and implement the best experiences (best-practice). Also, the International University of Struga organizes open days for incoming students of Erasmus+, influencing the growth of students from different HEI to realize their mobility at the International University of Struga, and also increase the number of academic staff and administrative staff, in purpose to pass and communicate their knowledge and experience to a large number of students.
Throughout the mobility period, both for incoming students and for outgoing students, a continuous communication process is established to convey important information, evaluation, achievements, but also to monitor their mobility. Although a large number of students mobilities have been realized in Bachelor studies, the International University of Struga aims at implementing student exchange for Master studies.
The main purpose of encouraging students and staff from different groups to be part of the student exchange is to achieve the goal of the European Education Area, which will enable student and staff exchange to become a common and accessible norm for all, that is to say, to understand, unite and adapt to European identity and culture, increasing the level of knowledge of different languages of European countries, knowledge management and all of these experiences will contribute to the growth and development of society, not only economically but also in cultural terms. Each and every individual who is a part of the University, has equal rights to be part of the Erasmus + program.
International University of Struga digital strategy is by the end of 2020 to adopt, implement and integrate Erasmus Without Paper, using EWP/Erasmus Dashboard, Erasmus+ mobile app and other digital tools offered by Erasmus+ in the context of digitalization of Ersamus+ projects. The applied digital tools will simplify the daily work process and enable online management and communication during the entire mobility process (before, during and after the mobility) such as inter-institutional agreement, nomination process, learning agreements, grant agreements, OLS, transcript of records, fully recognition of ECTS and other requirements of European Union Projects.
Greater focus will rely on the developing and nurturing key competences of life-long learning and digital skills which are essential for a wide range of opportunities in the 21st century. University will update regularly digital skills strategies to respond to the emergence of new technologies and their impact on the digital economy and digital society,
In terms of institutional internationalization and modernization strategy, the main points will be reflected in the International University of Struga and these are:
- Increasing attainment levels to provide graduates and researchers that will contribute to Europe in the future;
Increasing the level of practical knowledge, new technology, remote work are the main points of the future, and this should go in close association with increasing the level of education and methods that will be implemented to respond to labor market demands. By expanding study programs, curricula, research, we will create programs that will support different groups, which through transparent information, simplification in applications, financing (scholarships) vulnerable and differentiated groups, to receive the same education. These steps will simultaneously reduce the number of drop-out students and prepare incoming students.
- Improving the quality and relevance of higher education;
The International University of Struga offers two cycles of study, bachelor’s and master’s, creating programs with a research to meet the needs of the labor market. The quality of education will increase by implementing the experiences of students, administrative staff and academic staff gained through the Erasmus + program, but also other programs for international exchange, where all these experiences will be managed and transferred to all University stakeholders.
- Strengthening quality through mobility and cross-border cooperation;
The University’s trust in quality lies in the fact that quality is strengthened and enhanced by establishing a collaborative relationship with various institutions that have a different system of education from ours, and this communication develops continuously and transparently creating mutual respect for sharing the best experiences, the ways of implementation as well as the expected results, which will directly affect the quality increase. Moreover, through promotion for involvement in staff mobility in institutions from different countries, will enable better transfer of experiences and their implementation at the International University in Struga.
- Linking higher education, research and business for excellence and regional development;
The main focus is on co-operation with the business sector, linking this to the research part of the University and our students. Methods such as organizing joint conferences, workshops, information days, sharing experiences and transfer of best practices are key to building programs that will bring the level and skills of the students in line to the needs of businesses and labor market and this connection will affect the economic, social and cultural development of the country, but also of the region as a whole.
- Improving governance and funding
Day by day the management is focused on improving the conditions by reinvesting in different parts of the University, and at the same time looking for alternative ways of financing, especially financing students from different groups through merit financial scholarships and social financial scholarships for vulnerable groups.
Achieving language proficiency, knowing new cultures, sharing ideas, experiences, knowledge, communication, new skills, life-long learning and European identity, are the main goal which International University of Struga is associated through Erasmus+ Programme.