Description of the international strategy:
"Istituto Universitario Bona Sforza per Mediatori Linguistici di Bari" is a university school whose aim is to promote the furthering of a culture founded on universal values such as human rights, peace, respect for the environment and international solidarity. The main vocation of the Bona Sforza University is to promote language learning, to enhance cooperation between countries, people, institutions within the fields of sanitary, fashion and design, communication, tourism, marketing, multiculturalism.
Our students attend courses to become language and cultural mediators in several fields and contexts and so international mobility plays a crucial role in their CV. Hence the importance the institute gives to international mobility and its efforts to promote it.
The Bona Sforza University offers high profile undergraduate degree courses in Language Mediation focusing in the following key professional sectors:
- Criminology and Web Security
- Digital Marketing and Communication
- Tourism Management and International Trade
- Fashion and Design Management
- Multicultural Interaction and Socio-health Strategies
The participation in all mobility programmes is guaranteed to all students and staff members, with no discrimination on any grounds. An important reference – when running all selection processes – is given to equal opportunities, and facilitations for those individuals with special needs is provided.
A significant number of collected data are now able to show how – for our students – international mobility is perceived as a necessary pre-condition to be ready to face “the global market”. In fact, during the academic year, we provide all students with the possibility to attend a series of meeting focused on international mobility opportunities. During these meetings, we often invite ex-Erasmus+ participants to present their experiences, giving tips and suggestions on how to fully exploit this opportunity. The main purpose of these meetings is to provide students, but also staff members all necessary information to become better European and world citizens.
International mobility also matches with the needs and requirements of the Bona Sforza University from a practical and didactic point of view. Our students reach a C1 level in their languages of study and attend several courses of international reach. In addition, a period of placement is compulsory, thus, a number of students are willing to meet this requirement by doing the Erasmus+ for placement.
The Bona Sforza University has decided to adopt a policy of international interdisciplinary exchange to meet the global challenges currently facing university education. We are convinced of the need to establish partnerships that offer our students the opportunity to gain university qualifications recognized in different countries.
International mobility increases not only students’ and staff’s knowledge (i.e. developing best practice), but it might increase resilience and the ability to adapt. In a world where global challenges might put a lot of pressure, being adaptable, resilient and flexible is necessary.
The Bona Sforza University started the process of internationalization “from the bottom”, focusing on students’ needs and trying to give them a varied and continuously expanding network of partners.
Furthermore, incoming students coming from so many different places are able to enrich our academic community, contributing in the reciprocal understanding of different cultural background, and the spreading of universal values and tolerance.
Placement mobility has also been implemented for outgoing students, both for enrolled students and post-graduation students (within one year from the acquisition of their BA).
When looking for and selecting new partners, we have tried, and we still try, to find other language and translation institutes. The inclusive and eclectic nature of the courses we offer, has allowed the Bona Sforza University to make agreements with very different partner-institutions and to help the students to choose the destination that better suits their interests and special study and research requirements.
Assuming that STAFF mobility for teaching is an essential part of the process of acquisition of best practices in the field of education and teaching, within the limits of provided funds, we are committed to implement and enhance STAFF mobility even further.
The growth in the years of internationalization choices and activities respected a strategy of “learning by doing”. We started using the new Online Learning Agreement (OLA) through the Erasmus+ Dashboard, and now, within the 2020-2021 academic year, we implemented this tool almost abandoning paper. We do believe in the Erasmus+ Without Paper project. We believe that through the EWP, Erasmus+ students will be given the chance to understand the importance of using technology as a mean to respect the environment and facilitate the exchange of information. Indeed, by pushing students in using the OLA, this can increase their IT skills preparing them to use technology in their future careers.
If the Erasmus+ programme is a soft power tool and it reflects the political motivation behind its creation including the task of legitimizing European institutions and reinforcing the idea of EU-citizenship, its next challenge is to prompt – among other values – the idea of sustainability and respect for the environment. The EWP that we have immediately endorsed goes in this direction. We are strongly committed to realize a new green and more technological approach within the Erasmus+ Programme.
The Bona Sforza University confirms that its participation in Erasmus+ is part of its own strategy for modernization and internationalization, and an opportunity to strengthen the importance of technology (e.g. EPW) to respect the environment. Furthermore, the Bona Sforza University is actively committed in the realization of the goals laid down in the communication on “Strengthening European Identity through Education and Culture” published ahead of the EU Leaders’ meeting in Gothenburg on 17 November 2017.
“As for the numbers” of mobility:
- We expect to enhance the number of outgoing and incoming students through the ratification of other HEIs.
- We expect to enhance the number of teachers involved in STAFF mobility, both outgoing and incoming. From a technical and didactic point of view, the interaction with international partners stimulates a rethinking of teaching and evaluation methods that raises the level of transparency.
- We expect to increase the number of participants in the Erasmus+ SMP, both as enrolled and just graduated students. We do believe that the SMP experience can increase our students skills, making them ready for the job market challenges.
To realize these goals within the activities under Key Action 1, we will ensure:
- A high quality mobility of students and staff. We are committed to achieve this goal by selecting the best participants with equal opportunities and transparent public selection process, in which curricula and motivation of candidate will be evaluated impartially by the Bona Sforza scientific committee. In other words, according to the principles of nondiscrimination, the selection and the award of grants is fair, transparent, coherent, and documented in line with the provisions enshrined in the National Agency signed Convention. These principles are applied throughout all stages of mobility and in the process of responding to queries/complaints from mobile students/staff.
- A better inter-connections with our territory, in particular by reinforcing our partnerships with local and regional enterprises and authorities.
- To further develop non-discrimination policies by making express reference to the nondiscrimination principle in all Erasmus+ related activities (selection process, presentations, etc.).
- To develop integrated transnational teaching activities, by increasing the number of visiting (and outgoing) professors through the organization of seminars and conference with an international dimension.
- To publish in our website and disseminate properly the results achieved by our staff members engaged in individual mobility or in cooperation projects with strategic partners. We will make Erasmus+ projects results (concerning staff and students mobility) available on our website in a specific page. In addition, during frequent meetings during the year, presentations will be provided to potential participants in order to explain the potential underpinning the Erasmus+ programme.
- A full recognition of acquired ECTS for all outgoing students. In this context, the OLA will play a crucial role giving the possibility to monitor possible LA changes and establish – ex ante – the full recognition to be given to selected courses followed at the host institution. The recognition procedures will ensure that students’ mobility activities will be recorded transparently (i.e., indicating the original course / subject titles at the receiving HEI in the national language and English or another widely spoken language) and the recognition will be a full recognition within students’ academic career (as integral part of their degree programme). All credits agreed in the OLA or Training agreement (for SMP students) will be recognized by Bona Sforza. Students will be considered full-time students and they will be required to complete a number of credits proportional to the duration of their mobility. Thus a one semester student will be required to achieve 30 ECTS as an annual student will be required to achieve 60 ECTS.
- Equal treatment, and full opportunities for incoming students. To achieve these goals we will reinforce our established practice of creating mixed students group within classes (during courses). We will issue transcript of records within the terms established in the IIA. As for the promotion of academic inter-exchange, we will adopt measures ensuring incoming mobile participants the possibility to Integrate into the wider student community and in the Institution’s everyday life. We will encourage incoming students to act as ambassadors of the programme and share their mobility experience. As we have always done, we will provide appropriate mentoring and support arrangements for mobile participants, including for those pursuing blended mobility. In addition, whether needed, we will support incoming mobile participants in learning our home language (though, being a language mediation university course, students usually know Italian and English quite well).
The Erasmus Program, a sub-program of the Lifelong Learning Program of the Commission of the European Union, allows university students to spend a period ranging from a minimum of three to a maximum of twelve months at one of the European universities. The stay abroad can be for study or work.