Student and staff exchange made possible after securing Erasmus+ funding

Alianza 4 Universidades (A4U) has been successful in gaining Erasmus+ funding, securing 275.050,00€ in the latest round of funding award. A4U is a consortium of 4 Spanish public universities: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid and Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona.

Thanks to this funding student and staff exchange will be carried out between universities members of A4U and their partner universities in Russia, South Africa, Iran, India, Indonesia and Malaysia. As a result of the exchange, students will return with improved language and inter-cultural skills, increased confidence, and gain international experience that counts towards their qualification. Staff will get to know first-hand the workings of a different educational system, learn and share new ideas and explore best practices to take back home. They will also be able to benefit from research and teaching development opportunities, and receive training.

Bachelor, Master and PhD students as well as teaching and administrative staff from all subject areas from partner universities and A4U universities can apply. Erasmus+ funding covers travel and living expenses from 3 to 5 months for students, and for 7 days for staff. The time spent abroad is recognised by the sending university, and the obtained credits count towards the student’s academic record. Staff deliver 8 hours of teaching or receive training during their stay.

148 staff and students have already taken part in the exchange between A4U and its partner universities in Russia, South Africa, Iran, India, Indonesia since 2015, and 164 more will join them in the next two years.

It is expected that as a result of this exchange programme, participating partner universities and universities members of A4U will:

  • Help students and staff boost their professional, social and intercultural skills, as well as employability;
  • Forge cooperation in teaching and research;
  • Attract talent and increase the number of international students and staff, thus contributing to their diversity and internationalisation.

Check Erasmus+ stories of students and staff who took part in the exchange on http://alliance4universities.eu/en/erasmus-stories/

The IUNE Observatory evaluates the research conducted at Spanish universities between 2005 and 2014

The A4U outperformed the university system as a whole, especially in terms of competitiveness and quality, output and the visibility of publications

The IUNE Observatory has published a report on the research conducted at Spanish universities between 2005 and 2014. The report measures various parameters, such as scientific output (number of papers by university, region and subject area), scientific collaboration (national and international), impact (citations by university and professor), visibility (papers published in first-quartile journals), recognition of teaching staff (based on the number of six-year productivity bonuses, or sexenios, awarded), technological innovation (measured with indicators such as the number of patents and spin-offs), competitiveness (Spanish and European competitive projects), and talent recruitment and training capacity (linked to the number of dissertations defended or Ramon y Cajal, Juan de la Cierva, research internship (FPI) and university internship (FPU) grants received).

promedio-proyectos-nacionales

The A4U excels in all the parameters measured. The Alliance accounted for 17% of all research output, despite having only 6% of the Spanish university system’s teaching staff. Indeed, according to Professor Elías Sanz, the coordinator of the IUNE Observatory project, at the international level, ‘The A4U’s joint output outstripped that of institutions such as the universities of Munich, Copenhagen, Pierre & Marie Curie or Bologna.’

 

Similarly, according to the report, the A4U accounted for 20% of the university’s system’s national collaborative output, 5% more than the system average. The quality and visibility of the output also bear witness to the Alliance’s potential, as together the partner universities account for 19% of the papers published in journals in the first quartile and 20% of the system’s ‘Top 3’ papers. Finally, the report highlights competitiveness as one of the key strengths of the A4U, which accounted for 17% of the system’s Framework and Horizon 2020 programmes and averaged 3.3 projects per 100 teachers, compared to 0.56 for the system as a whole.

YERUN y REBIUN, represented in the European Commission’s High-Level Advisory Group on Open Science

uring the past 27 May Competitiveness Council of the EU, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas, announced the 25 members of the High-Level Advisory Group Open Science Policy Platform that will provide advice about the development and implementation of open science policy in Europe.

Dr. Eva Méndez Rodríguez, Deputy Vice President for Strategy and Digital Education at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) has been nominated as one of themembersof the Platform and will represent the interests of YERUN (Young European Research Universities Network), as well as of REBIUN (Network of Spanish University Libraries, CRUE).

The mandate of the Platform will be to:

· Advise the Commission on how to further develop and practically implement open science policy, in line with the priority of Commissioner Moedas to radically improve the quality and impact of European science

· Function as a dynamic, stakeholder-driven mechanism for bringing up and addressing issues of concern for the European science and research community and its representative organisations, following five broad lines for actions which are presented in thedraft European Open Science Agenda

· Support policy formulation by helping to identify the issues to be addressed and providing recommendations on the policy actions required

· Support policy implementation, contributing to reviewing best practices, drawing policy guidelines and encouraging their active uptake by stakeholders

· Provide advice and recommendations on any cross-cutting issue affecting Open Science

Regarding the type of organisations represented, the following categories feature:

· Universities

· Research organisations

· Academies of Science/ Learned Societies

· Funding Organisations

· Citizen Science Organisations

· Publishers

· Open Science Platforms/ Intermediaries

· Libraries

Open Science is one one of the three priorities of Carlos Moedas’ mandate Open Science, Open Innovation, Open to the WorldOne of the concrete actions refers to the development of the European Open Science Cloud, presented on 19 April, as part of the Digital Single Market.