Connecting the dots: Launching mobility initiatives among the Circle U. partners
For some time, Circle U. has probably been little more than dots on a map for many people. With the launch of the project in November last year, it is time to start connecting the dots!
Student and researcher mobility will connect the Circle U. dots.
Making mobility easier and more accessible to all
Part of Circle U.’s ambition is to enable and simplify cooperation and mobility between our institutions, and our ambitions are high. We aim to increase international exposure of both students and staff!
Currently, planning an exchange semester or finding partners for an international collaboration can be a challenging task. Making this journey smoother is therefore an important objective. To achieve it, we have three steps planned:
- Establish a joint policy framework that outlines our goals and how to reach them,
- develop common IT-structures that support mobility - physical as well as blended or virtual,
- and finally: Create a campaign to kick-start the initiatives.
Knowing that Circle U. exists is one thing, but students and staff need to know what they can expect to gain from participating – what’s in it for me?
An important task is therefore to prepare and launch a campaign to raise awareness of the options available through Circle U. The campaign – which we expect to launch this fall – will pave the way for mobility initiatives developed by the Circle U. universities. At the same time, it will pilot the initiatives developed in the joint policy framework. Among others, these will include more inclusive, sustainable and environmentally friendly ways to be mobile – as well as innovative ways to do virtual collaboration and learning.
The academic chairs and the knowledge hubs will develop a lot of interesting courses and initiatives like case-competitions and challenges in the coming years. But for students to discover these possibilities within Circle U., those initiatives will need to be connected and showcased. This task will be solved by the IT platforms we expect to develop. For example the joint course catalogue that will be due already this summer.
The portal to Circle U. – creating a common course catalogue
For a student planning to study abroad, finding a university’s course catalogue and decoding which courses are available can be a real challenge. Some students will lose interest during this process, and this is one of the many factors impeding mobility at this point. Therefore, making course catalogues accessible to students will be a small step with a large impact. Since all seven partners have their own systems, we will need to map, discuss and align our systems to give students the best possible point of entry to the world of Circle U. The first step is to have a common platform for courses ready by June. The next step is to expand the platform with the courses, summer school offerings, language courses and other joint initiatives developed by e.g. the knowledge hubs, and finally to have a common database of standardised course descriptions.
Student and staff mobility is important for impact
Connecting the dots is a complicated task, but it is part of the basic point of European alliances. Guiding students and staff via campaigns and the course catalogue will be some of the first steps toward knitting together the community and reaching our goals of empowering students and staff to mobilize knowledge for impact.