Funded by the European Union (EU), Lifelong Learning Program (LLP) Erasmus serves the aim of enhancing cooperation between higher education institutions across Europe. It enables students to study and work abroad each year, as well as university staff and academic staff to visit partner universities. METU has been participating within the framework of the LLP Erasmus since 2003-2004 academic year, when the program was introduced as a pilot project in Turkey.
The aim of the Erasmus Program is to increase the quality of the Higher Education in Europe, and strengthen the European Dimension in the Higher Education in Europe. Actually, Erasmus is mostly related with the "mobility of university students". Erasmus is a program funded by European Union (EU), established to link universities in the member states of the European Union. Erasmus is one of the major branches of the EU- Lifelong Learning Program (LLP) that covers undergraduate and graduate studies in universities. It would be explanatory to quote from the key objectives of the LLP Program, determined by the LLP Bureau in Brussels:
- To achieve a significant increase in student and staff mobility between European Higher Education Institutions,
- To promote broad and lasting inter-institutional co-operation,
- To contribute to the concept of a people's Europe,
- To contribute to the economic and social development of Europe through the creation of a significant number of higher education graduates with direct experience of intra- European cooperation.
Starting from the 2003-2004 academic year, universities in Turkey applying to the European Commission (EC) for getting Erasmus University Charter (EUC), which gives the right to participate in the activities supported by Erasmus Program, have been eligible to take advantage of the Erasmus activities. Some of these activities are: Student Mobility (SM), Student Placement/Internship, Teaching Staff Mobility (TS) / Staff Training (ST) Mobility, Thematic Networks (TN), Intensive Programs (IP), Curriculum Development (CD).
Adopted on 14 December 2006 and spanning the period until the end of 2013, LLP and its Erasmus action are now open to the participation of 33 countries:
- 27 Member States of the European Union
- 3 European Economic Area countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway)
- Crotia, Macedonia, Turkey
For more information, please visit the official website of the Erasmus Program or refer to the attachment below:
European Credit Transfer System (ECTS)
ECTS makes teaching and learning more transparent and facilitates the recognition of studies (formal, non-formal and informal). The system is used across Europe for credit transfer (student mobility) and credit accumulation (learning paths towards a degree). It also informs curriculum design and quality assurance.
Institutions which apply ECTS publish their course catalogues on the web, including detailed descriptions of study programmes, units of learning, university regulations and student services. Course descriptions contain learning outcomes (what students are expected to know, understand and be able to do) and workload (the time students typically need to achieve the learning outcomes), expressed in terms of credits. In most cases, student workload ranges from 1,500 to 1,800 hours for an academic year, and one credit corresponds to 25-30 hours of work.
Credit transfer and accumulation are helped by the use of the ECTS key documents (course catalogue, learning agreement, and transcript of records) as well as the Diploma Supplement.
ECTS can feed into recognition decisions. These decisions, however, remain the responsibility of the competent authorities: professors involved in student exchange, university admission officers, recognition advisory centres (ENIC-NARIC), ministry officials or employers.
ECTS credits were assigned for all the courses at METU, however local credits are also used.
Erasmus Academic Networks
Academic Networks are designed to promote European cooperation and innovation in specific subject areas.
They contribute to enhancing quality of teaching in higher education, defining and developing a European dimension within a given academic discipline, furthering innovation and exchanging methodologies and good practices. This is achieved by means of cooperation within the network between higher education institutions, university faculties and departments and may also involve professional associations and enterprises as well as other associations.
Which criteria must a network fulfil?
• All networks should bring together an appropriate range of relevant stakeholders concerned by the theme addressed. Geographical coverage and a balanced participation among countries must be ensured.
• All networks should involve the participation of at least 25 institutions from 25 LLP participating countries;
• Co-operation within networks is expected to lead to outcomes which will have a lasting and widespread impact on higher education institutions and their environment across Europe in the field concerned.
• One of the organisations participating in the network project must act as the co-ordinator. However, it is expected that other network partners take the lead on implementing the different parts of the work programme.
• It is vital that the whole of the network be actively associated with its activities.
What is expected of the network?
As a minimum, each network is expected to carry out the following operational activities:
• Establish a website and other appropriate tools to support information exchange and dissemination;
• Produce an annual report on the state of innovation in its area of activity;
• Provide the ‘players’ in ERASMUS with full information about the network’s events and activities;
• Organise an annual meeting in the thematic area of the network. The meeting may also bring together representatives of other Erasmus-supported activities in the field concerned, including notably multilateral projects and intensive programmes. It can take the form of an open seminar or conference, thereby encouraging collaboration between Erasmus-supported projects and other relevant initiatives;
• Take appropriate measures regarding the evaluation of the network's performance.
Which issues will academic projects tend to focus on?
• Mapping the field. This might typically involve describing, analysing, and comparing existing teaching methods, and defining and experimenting with new ones, identifying existing high quality teaching material and placing it at the disposal of the members of the network with the aid of databases.
• Activities in the field of quality assurance related to an academic field.
• Facilitating European co-operation. Assessing the state of art in European cooperation, identifying needs and obstacles and ways to overcome them. Setting up tools (the use of ECTS, new models of coordination, European strategies). Promoting the production of European modules.
• Defining and updating generic and sectoral competences using the method of the pilot project “Tuning Educational Structures in Europe”. Now it is up to network projects to take the Tuning results further. Networks are now expected to implement the methodology and outcomes of the Tuning project in their discipline.
• Promoting synergies between teaching and research by encouraging higher education institutions to integrate research results in their teaching and link Erasmus networks with the thematic networks funded by the Research Directorate-General of the European Commission.
• Reinforcing the link between education and society, bringing together public and private sector, scientific and professional players, thereby contributing to Europe's innovation capacity.
Which subject areas receive funding?
Priority themes and academic areas considered to not be sufficiently covered are defined in the call for proposals. The aim is to arrive at an optimal coverage of academic disciplines.
Continuing support for networks which have come to the end of their funding cycle is also awarded, provided that they can demonstrate a strong track record of achievements and impact and that extending their funding period will give rise to significant further developments.
What grant is available?
• A maximum EU contribution to projects will be 600.000 € for the entire duration of the project.
• The maximum EU contribution is 75%.
• Maximum duration 3 years.
• Extension of the eligibility period by up to 6 months on request for networks is possible only in exceptional cases. The total grant will not change.
European Policy Statement
MIDDLE EAST TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY
Application to Extended Erasmus University Charter
February 26, 2007
2007-2013 Erasmus Policy Statement (EPS)
Q1. Please describe briefly your institution's strategy, objectives and priorities for its Erasmus activities (mobility, multilateral projects and thematic networks, etc.) and any other actions in the context of the Lifelong Learning Programme (2007 2013). Please also provide information on the following points: What specific actions are planned to give visibility to Erasmus activities and what type of publicity will be given to the Erasmus University Charter and the EPS? What kind of arrangements, if any, does the Institution ensure to comply with non-discrimination objectives (e.g. actions related to gender equality, integration of disabled students and staff, enhancement of social and economic cohesion and combating of xenophobia and racism)?
- METU is the leading technical university in Turkey in terms of the number of publications in international journals, and the amount of funds generated from international research projects.The European context has been assuming increasing attention in the research and education programs of the University. The Centre for European Studies (CES-METU) was founded in 1997 as an interdisciplinary academic unit to undertake research and training on European integration and to enhance collaboration with universities and research centres in the EU countries. Moreover, “METU European Society” was founded in 1993 and accepted by AEGEE network as AEGEE-Ankara by an Agora decision taken 1995.With Turkey becoming an associated country after the Helsinki Summit, METU has established the European Union Affairs Office in 2000 to coordinate the research and higher education activities between Turkey and EU.As attested by 225 active exchange or cooperation programs with universities and research institutions ranging from University of California in USA to Darmstadt University in Germany, METU leads the national universities in terms of depth and breadth of international ties. Moreover, the University is a member of many networks and associations to include EUa, EAIE, SEFI, UNESCO-International Association of Universities, Digital Education Network.At present our academics are involved in 45 different 6th Framework projects either as partners or as leaders.METU is a member of many associations dealing with international education and exchange such as EAIE, IEE, GE3 and CIEE. For promotion of Socrates program, periodic information sessions are arranged to the faculty and students. The METU/Erasmus web site aimed at the faculty and students is well-constructed. The Information Package and ECTS has been completed. A university catalog is also available on the web. The University’s priority in LLP will be on Erasmus, particularly mobility and IP activities. Having a Vocational School, Distance Learning Centre, Continuing Education Centre and Faculty of Education within its establishment, METU is a serious candidate for student placements as well. METU also gives great importance to non-discrimination objectives.In recognition of the special needs of its disabled students, METU Friendship and Solidarity Society was established in 1990 to support the visually impaired students. Moreover, in 2003, the “METU Disability Support Program”, a comprehensive effort, was initiated with aim of creating a Campus entirely suitable for disabled students by the year 2010. This EPS has been prepared by a committee comprised of one vice-president, one assistant to the president and the coordinator of the Study Abroad Office, subject to the guidelines approved by the University Senate. This EPS will be implemented by the University Executive Council and Senate within the framework of the METU Strategic Plan.
Q2. What kind of specific measures are implemented in the institution to ensure high quality in academic mobility activities? Details should be provided on: recognition and credit systems, the provision of information on curricula, information and counselling of outgoing students, tutoring and integration of incoming students, provision of student services (in particular accommodation), preparatory and refresher language courses, support and acknowledgement of staff mobility.
- English as the language of instruction in all its degree programs has greatly facilitated METU’s efforts to accommodate international students and researchers.METU hosts about 1300 international students from nearly 65 different countries studying toward myriad of academic degrees. METU has recently launched 7 joint PhD programs with French universities. A number of joint MS and PhD programs with selected universities in Europe are under consideration. METU has extensive experience in mobility programs. At the moment, it has 110 Erasmus agreements with European Universities and more than 100 bilateral agreements with universities in other parts of the world. In order to organize exchange programs, the Study Abroad (SAO) Office was founded in 1992. For the incoming students, SOA office organizes an orientation program to help the students adapt to living in a new environment and culture. The Office also organizes the METU International Summer School. In addition to the guidance provided by this Office to the outgoing students, courses on various foreign languages prepare the outgoing students. The reputation of METU as a world-class teaching institution has made METU an attractive destination for exchange students and faculty.At the moment, there are about 140 incoming and 220 outgoing students. ECTS and Diploma Supplement are being issued.METU received “Diploma Supplement Label” in 2006. METU is a member of many associations dealing with international education and exchange such as EAIE, IEE, GE3 and CIEE. METU actively participates in AIESEC and IAESTE summer internship programs.As for staff exchange, each year some 50 visiting faculty come to METU for research and teaching. On-campus accommodation is made available also for the visiting faculty. In addition, METU faculty is also encouraged to participate in staff mobility. METU faculty is eligible to use “sabbatical leave” abroad.
Q3. What kind of specific measures are implemented to ensure high quality in student placements? Give details on how the work-programme and the placement agreement are prepared and implemented. Please describe the practical arrangements agreed between the parties. Please specify also the monitoring and evaluation of the placement period as well as its recognition in the curriculum.
- Having a Vocational School and a well-established Faculty of Engineering, METU is a serious candidate for student placements as well. METU already actively participates in AIESEC and IAESTE summer internship programs and has also completed a Project titled "Industrial Mineral Research", in Germany. The Faculty of Engineering, which is the largest faculty at METU, offers 13 undergraduate programs as well as numerous graduate programs at both master's and doctoral level. In all undergraduate programs in this faculty practical experience is required for the degree and accordingly, students are required to go into summer practice at the end of their second and third years and to have a satisfactory record of their summer employment approved by their Departments.This approval is given by the placement committee in each department by evaluating the report the students have to prepare at the end of their work, which is recognized by being displayed on the transcripts. The Faculty of Engineering, being aware of its distinguished standing in the country, gives utmost priority to research activities and to relations with the industry, which results in cooperative links with universities in the U.S.A., Europe and Australia via several educational and R&D protocols and also to enhance international collaboration, and networking. Accompanied by the Technology Development (Incubator) Centre, the University’s science park, METU-Technopolis, has been a major undertaking to foster strong links with industry and support entrepreneurial activity. Located within the Campus, METU-Technopolis as the first operational science park in Turkey admitted its first company in 2001. Today it already hosts around 150 high-tech R&D companies which carry a portfolio of over 300 national and international research projects.
Note: 2007-2013 Extended EUC has been granted by European Commission in August 2007.
An Intensive Programme (IP) is a short programme of study which brings together students and staff from higher education institutions of at least three participating countries. It can last from 2 weeks or 10 continuous full days to 6 weeks of subject related work.
An IP aims to:
Encourage efficient and multinational teaching of specialist topics which might otherwise not be taught at all, or only in a very restricted number of higher education institutions;
Enable students and teachers to work together in multinational groups and so benefit from special learning and teaching conditions not available in a single institution, and to gain new perspectives on the topic being studied;
Allow members of the teaching staff to exchange views on teaching content and new curricula approaches and to test teaching methods in an international classroom environment.
What does an Intensive Programme involve?
It may not consist of research activities or conferences, but should provide something new in terms of learning opportunities, skills development, access to information, etc. for the participating teachers and students.
An Intensive Programme can be a one-off activity or repeated over a limited number of years (maximum duration of funding three consecutive years, annual application).
What criteria must an Intensive Programme respect?
The consortium involves at least 3 participating institutions from 3 different countries. At least one participating institution must be from a Member State of the European Union.
The planned location of the Intensive Programme is in a country which is eligible to participate in the Lifelong Learning Programme.
The number of students travelling from countries other than the country where the Intensive Programme takes place must be minimum 10.
The activity plan should include at least 10 continuous working days of subject-related work.
The Intensive Programme must take place without interruption and subject-related work days can only be separated by weekends.
How will an Intensive Programme be selected?
The following desirable features should be noted:
The ratio of staff to students should guarantee active classroom participation and promote an element of curricular development in the implementation of the Intensive Programme;
The involvement of higher education institutions from more than three countries, in order to enhance the European impact of the Intensive Programme, is a plus;
The programme should be making a high contribution to the dissemination of knowledge in rapidly evolving and new areas.
Priority will be given to Intensive Programmes which:
-Focus on subject areas for which shorter programmes give a particular added value;
-Give evidence of full recognition and credits to the activities by the participating institutions;
-Are part of integrated programmes of study leading to recognised double or joint degrees;
-Present a strong multidisciplinary approach;
-Use ICT tools and services to support the preparation and follow-up of the Intensive Programme, thereby contributing to the creation of a sustainable learning community in the subject area concerned.
NB: Intensive Programmes that are part of an Erasmus Mundus Master Course are not eligible for funding.
Who can apply?
The co-ordinating higher education institution of the Intensive Programme, on behalf of the IP participating institutions (all must hold an Erasmus University Charter).
How to apply?
Applications must be submitted to the national agency in the country coordinating the Intensive Programme, by the institution coordinating the Intensive Programme on behalf of all the partners.
Selection is carried out by the national agency in the country of the Intensive Programme coordinating institution, on the basis of a call for proposals published by the national agency in complement of the general Lifelong Learning Programme call for proposals.
Selection of Intensive Programme participants (students and teachers) is carried out by the Intensive Programme consortium.
Curriculum development projects are designed to support the process of innovation and upgrading in higher education teaching. They may be proposed in any academic discipline.
By combining the expertise and state-of-the-art knowledge of higher education institutions from at least three eligible countries participating in the LLP, such projects can make a significant contribution to reinforcing the quality and European dimension of higher education teaching.
What should the project emphasise?
Particular importance is attached to co-operation with the professional world.
Priority will be given to projects which aim at developing or revising one or more of the following:
integrated programmes covering a complete cycle of study (at bachelor, master or doctorate level) and leading to a recognised double or joint degree;
curricula and modules for continuing education designed to update knowledge obtained in the past;
teaching modules in highly interdisciplinary areas or in areas with a specific need for strong transnational cooperation in teaching.
What arrangements need to be made?
After the development phase, these programmes or modules should be delivered by partner institutions in a genuinely integrated manner, involving student and staff mobility.
The students should receive multiple or joint degrees (or certificates for modules), recognised by the participating institutions and countries.
The last year of the project should be devoted to the implementation and dissemination of the joint delivery of the course/modules/curricula, agreement on admission criteria, learning outcomes, assessment, quality assurance and recognition.
Who can benefit?
Higher education institutions
Associations, networks or consortia of higher education institutions or other organisations active in relation to higher education
Who can apply?
Higher education institutions holding a full duration ERASMUS University Charter.
What grant is available?
A maximum of 150.000/year
The maximum EU contribution to projects running for more than 2 years will be 300.000 € for the entire duration of the project
The maximum EU contribution is 75%.
Maximum 3 years