Alianza 4 Universidades (A4U) has secured 367,710 Euros of Erasmus+ funding in 2022. These funds will help continue student and staff exchange between 4 member universities of A4U (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid and Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona) and 53 partner universities in 13 countries: Russia, South Africa, Iran, Indonesia, Vietnam, Botswana, Kenia, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Namibia, India, Malaysia and Thailand.
Since 2015 A4U was awarded a total of nearly 2 million Euros of Erasmus+ funding, which enabled the exchange of almost 500 staff and students from A4U and its partner universities, with almost 90 more being planned for 2023-2024 academic year.
As a result of the exchange, students improve their language and intercultural skills, increase their confidence and gain international experience that counts towards their qualification. A research stay abroad can help doctoral students jumpstart their career.
Elizaveta Cherepovskaia is a Linguistics student of the Southern Federal University in Russia who visited the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona in 2021. She relates: “Erasmus+ academic stay helped me greatly in all aspects of life. It enhanced my studies. I had never experienced how it feels to be an international student, cooperate with people from different countries, solve daily-life issues abroad speaking only foreign languages. Erasmus+ stay was the best period of my life that changed my mindset radically. I would certainly recommend others to consider going on Erasmus+ exchange.”
Staff also benefit from exchange as they learn and share best practice and have a chance to have a first-hand experience of a different educational system.
Dr Marcos Rodriguez Millan from the Polytechnic school of Universidad Carlos III de Madrid visited the Indian Institute of Technology of Delhi in India in 2019. He says: “The stay allowed me to learn about other research and teaching methodologies. I was able to share teachings with students from different countries close to India. It allowed me to establish new links with the researchers of the university. I was able to produce a joint research paper and I am still in contact with them. The researchers showed me a portion of their culture in addition to their methodologies and potential synergies, which was personally very enriching.”
Students from disadvantaged backgrounds are welcome to take part in the programme and may receive top-up grants.
Through participation in Erasmus+ programme, universities have opportunities to forge cooperation in teaching and research, attract talent and increase the number of international students and staff, which in turn contributes to their diversity and internationalisation.
A compilation of stories from previous Erasmus+ participants can be consulted here.