International

Internationalization Strategy & Erasmus Policy Statement

Since its foundation, the University of Applied Sciences Kufstein Tirol (FH Kufstein Tirol) has pursued the strategic goals of internationality, mobility, and multiculturalism. For the University, internationalization entails the creation of international standards, enhanced mobility, and sustained evolution of knowledge. The international orientation and the regional anchoring of the University of Applied Sciences Kufstein are not opposites, but complement each other to form a coherent whole. Similarly, internationalization is an effective instrument to create intercultural understanding and to promote diversity, thereby supporting the formation of a cohesive and inclusive society. The modernization and internationalization strategy of FH Kufstein Tirol focuses on furthering the mobility of students and university staff, the development of international research projects, and the creation of regional internationality and integration. As part of its mission to promote the mobility of students and university staff, the University has pledged to follow the principles of the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (ECHE) and is committed to the concept of creating a European education area.

Internationalization at FH Kufstein Tirol

With a network of more than 210 partner universities, approximately 300 outgoing first-cycle students (i.e., students at the undergraduate level) annually have the opportunity to spend their semester or year abroad at a qualified partner university. At the same time, around 200 incoming students participate in the English-language International Program (IP) at the University of Applied Sciences Kufstein, which is specifically designed for them. Students get the opportunity for a further stay abroad within the framework of the requisite internship semester and, in the case of part-time degree programs, in the form of international weeks. The faculty and administrative staff of FH Kufstein can participate in the regular mobility programs for university staff. Beyond that, faculty and staff – as well as second-cycle students (i.e., students at the graduate level) – get an opportunity to network and to engage in intellectual exchange with members of cooperating universities within the context of short-term programs such as summer and winter schools.

The University of Applied Sciences Kufstein Tirol is currently a partner in two joint-degree programs. Our goal is to expand this offer in order to increase the number of local and international students involved in double, multiple, and joint degrees. Moreover, FH Kufstein aims to sign further cooperation agreements with universities from participating and non-participating countries, to take part in international projects, and endeavors to not only visibly support transnational educational projects, but to be an active participant in the international higher education space.

The University of Applied Sciences Kufstein Tirol takes its social responsibility seriously and aims to be an efficient, diverse, participative, and international university of applied sciences. It is a place where networks are strengthened and utilized, innovation is not just enabled but actively promoted, and where internationalization is shaped and lived every day, while at the same time traditions are cultivated and developed.

Commitment to the principles of the Erasmus University Charter

The University of Applied Sciences Kufstein Tirol is committed to the following principles of the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education:

  • To fully comply with the program’s core principles of non-discrimination, transparency, and inclusion.
  • To provide full and equal access to current and future participants, regardless of their personal backgrounds, but with particular attention to disadvantaged participants.
  • To fully and automatically recognize all credits earned (based on the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System, ECTS) for learning outcomes achieved in a satisfactory manner during a study/training period abroad, including mixed mobility ones.
  • In cases of International Credit Mobility (ICS), not to charge incoming exchange students any fees for their enrollment, their studies, their examinations, or for access to laboratories and libraries.
  • To ensure the quality of all mobility activities and cooperation projects from the application through the implementation phase.
  • To implement the following program priorities:
    • Take the necessary steps to implement digital mobility management in accordance with the technical standards of the European Student Card Initiative.
    • Promote environmentally friendly practices in all program activities.
    • Provide incentives for participation by disadvantaged individuals.
    • Promote civic engagement and provide support to students and staff for active civic engagement before, during, and after their participation in a mobility activity or project.
PRINCIPLES FOR STUDENT AND STAFF MOBILITY

Pre-departure

  • Ensure that the selection procedures for mobility programs are fair, transparent, consistent, and well documented.
  • Publish the course catalog on the institution’s website well in advance of mobility periods and update it regularly so that it is transparent to all stakeholders and allows exchange students to make well-informed decisions about the programs they wish to pursue.
  • Publish and regularly update information on the grading system and grade classification tables for all degree programs, thereby ensuring that students receive clear and transparent information on the procedures for recognition and conversion of their grades.
  • Carry out student and faculty mobility activities only within the framework of previously concluded agreements between institutions. These agreements will enshrine the respective roles and responsibilities of each party and their commitment to applying common quality criteria in the selection, preparation, hosting, support for, and integration of participants.
  • Ensure that participants in mobility programs, including mixed-mobility ones, are adequately prepared for their activities abroad through measures that enable them to acquire the required language skills and to develop the necessary intercultural competence.
  • Ensure that student and staff mobility is based on a learning agreement (students) or a mobility agreement (staff) concluded in advance between the sending and receiving institutions or companies and the participants in the mobility program.
  • Actively assist incoming participants in finding housing or accommodation.
  • Offer both incoming and outgoing participants assistance in obtaining visas if needed.
  • Provide assistance to both incoming and outgoing participants in obtaining insurance (as needed).
  • Ensure that students know their rights and obligations according to the Erasmus Student Charter.

During the exchange

  • Treat incoming students equally in academic matters, and offer them services of the same quality.
  • Take steps that ensure the safety of both incoming and outgoing participants in mobility programs.
  • Integrate incomings into the wider student community and into the daily life of the institution, and encourage them to act as ambassadors for the program by sharing their experiences.
  • Provide participants of mobility programs, including mixed-mobility ones, with appropriate counseling and support services.
  • Provide incoming participants with appropriate language support.

Upon return

  • Issue transcripts of records to incoming students and to their sending institutions that provide a complete, accurate, and timely overview of their academic achievements at the end of the mobility period.
  • Ensure that all earned credits for learning outcomes achieved in a satisfactory way during a study/training period abroad, including in mixed-mobility settings, are fully and automatically recognized, as stipulated in the learning agreement and confirmed by the transcript of records/certificate of completion of the placement. The credits must be immediately included in the student’s file, credited to the student’s degree program without further work or assessment by the student, and must appear in the student’s transcript of records and in the Diploma Supplement.
  • Ensure the inclusion of successfully completed mobility activities (i.e., study abroad periods and/or internships) in the student’s final transcript of records/Diploma Supplement.
  • Encourage and support former participants in exchange programs to act as ambassadors for the program upon their return in order to promote the benefits of mobility and to actively facilitate the building of alumni communities.
  • Ensure that faculty/staff receive credit for teaching provided and/or training completed during the mobility activity, based on the mobility agreement and in line with the institutional strategy.
PRINCIPLES FOR EUROPEAN AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION PROJECTS
  • Ensure that collaborative activities contribute to the implementation of the institutional strategy.
  • Promote the opportunities offered by collaborative projects and provide meaningful support to faculty, staff, and students participating in such activities during the proposal and implementation phases.
  • Ensure that collaborative activities lead to sustainable outcomes and that all partners can benefit from their impact.
  • Promote peer-learning opportunities in order to maximize a project’s impact on individual learners, other participating institutions, and the broader academic community.
PRINCIPLES FOR IMPLEMENTATION AND QUALITY CONTROL
  • Ensure that the long-term institutional strategy and its relevance to the objectives and priorities of the program are described in the Erasmus Policy Statement.
  • Ensure that the principles of the ECHE Charter are clearly communicated and applied by faculty and staff at all levels of the institution.
  • Consistently employ the ECHE Guidelines and the ECHE Self-Assessment process for full implementation of the principles of the Charter.
  • Regularly promote the activities supported by the program, and publicize their outcomes and effects.
  • Present the ECHE Charter and the related Erasmus Policy Statement prominently on the institution’s website and on all relevant communication channels.

FH Kufstein Tirol acknowledges that the implementation of the Charter will be monitored by the Erasmus+ National Agencies and that violations of the principles and commitments set out above may result in the withdrawal of the Charter by the European Commission. The institution further commits to publishing its Erasmus Policy Statement on its website.

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The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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