Information for Erasmus Charter for Higher Education

The institution’s international strategy has been established for many years, prompted by the recognition that professional development for both staff and students would greatly benefit from the introduction of an international dimension.

The College has active relationships with UAE, China, South Africa, India, Saudi Arabia, and Malaysia for example, as well as with the USA, and works collaboratively with several partners across some 15 EU member states. International partnerships are increasingly necessary to remain competitive within the global marketplace, as the drive toward a European single market and free movement of its citizens across borders offers an increasing number of opportunities.

Equally important is the need to foster closer collaboration between enterprises and education, as students seeking to enter the European labour market need to gain new skills to take advantage of this. Transnational mobility is a key objective to achieve this. The ability of students to acquire language competence in a language separate from their mother tongue will be necessary in order to achieve this most effectively.

From a staff mobility perspective, they too would benefit from continuing professional development if they are to broaden learners’ horizons by disseminating their greater experience of European mobility in order to enhance learners’ skills, help them to learn from others and share others’ experiences of good practice across Europe. The main driver for this aspect is the need to improve teaching and learning and to introduce new delivery methodologies and technologies.

With regard to choosing its partners, Bridgwater & Taunton College has been involved through Leonardo and now Erasmus+ in a number of mobility initiatives and KA2 initiatives in recent years and has established considerable links with partners throughout Europe. Bridgwater & Taunton College is a member of EFVET - European Forum for Vocational Education and Training. This network of some 1,500 member institutions, including vocational colleges, associations and universities offers the perfect partner-finding services.

EFVET is actively engaged with the EC in preparing and implementing the EU Education and Training Strategy 2020 and is also active in collaborative projects, networking and sharing development activity. Member institutions collaborate in transnational mobility, often on a reciprocal basis. EFVET is involved with the implementation of ECVET (European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training) and EQARF (European Quality Assurance Reference Framework for VET) and has established a major Europe mobility network.

From an Erasmus perspective, a number of member institutions have gained the Erasmus University Charter. In choosing its partners, Bridgwater & Taunton College has looked to identify partners in those countries where our HE learners wish to undertake their mobility and where their levels of language competencies do not impact negatively on the learning experience. Geographical areas where mobility is strongest include: Germany, Italy, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Portugal, Cyprus, and Finland, and Bridgwater & Taunton College tends to work with institutions which match and deliver a similar curriculum provision and who have a sound track record in mobility organisation, as well as offering positive support and links to enterprises locally.

Currently Bridgwater & Taunton College’s objectives are:

  • To broaden students’ horizons through transnational internships/work placements abroad.
  • To promote and improve language competence in another language beyond home language.

Bridgwater & Taunton College’s target groups are students undertaking HE programs at short first and second year cycles including:

  • Automotive and General Engineering
  • ICT
  • Business
  • Management
  • Media
  • Accounting
  • Agriculture
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Sport

Bridgwater & Taunton College strategy for the organisation and implementation of international (EU and non-EU) cooperation projects

Bridgwater is involved in a number of European cooperation projects on a range of topics directly appropriate to the institution’s strategic development, innovation and modernisation. Active involvement in such projects is key to our development strategy. Bridgwater & Taunton College has many years’ experience in promoting the development of new teaching methodologies; use of new technologies in the learning process; new curriculum development; resource development and the development of processes and procedures supporting mobility.

The College recently reviewed its strategic direction and is seeking to build the European dimension within its curriculum offer to learners, and to promote knowledge transfer through closer collaboration with partners across Europe, for the benefit of learners and staff. Recent moves in this direction include participation in KA2 initiatives and applications under KA1. The Erasmus+ Charter will allow Bridgwater & Taunton College to broaden the opportunities available to our HE learners.

Bridgwater & Taunton College impact of participation in the Erasmus+ Programme

The institution is keenly aware of the need for HE to modernise, to reach out in many directions to improve both quality and opportunity, to stimulate innovation and strengthen its links with other stakeholders within the business and regional development communities.

The institution also recognises that in today’s world it needs to promote greater cooperation initiatives, including transnational mobility to ensure the highest level of skills development and knowledge transfer. Erasmus mobility for both students and staff is a key policy objective within the institution – to raise both the quality and skills base. Erasmus will contribute toward our strategic objects in many ways including:

  1. The improvement of the quality and relevance of our qualifications and skills training through the provision of increased transnational mobility opportunities, enabling students to better meet the European labour market needs for higher level and transferrable skills.
  2. The offer of transnational mobility opportunities to staff in order to improve their teaching and learning through professional development and cross border cooperation.
  3. Using Erasmus to positively strengthen the institution’s knowledge transfer and assist the institution’s objective to develop closer strategic partnerships with both European HE institutions and enterprise across Europe.
  4. Using Erasmus mobility to incorporate greater entrepreneurial insight and creativity in our offer to students – inspiring higher skills attainment for our graduates.
  5. Enhancing the quality of our HE offer via cross border cooperation, which in turn will enable the institution to improve its contribution to the skills agenda and economic well-being of our region as well as Europe.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This website reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Download the Certificate for Erasmus Charter for HE 2014 – 2012