DRAFT: THE STRATEGY FOR THE INTERNATIONALISATION OF THE BELGARDE BUSINESS AND ARTS ACADEMY OF APPLIED STUDIES
The Strategy for the Internationalisation of the Belgrade Business and Arts Academy of Applied Studies (hereinafter referred to as BBAA) is a general framework defining the institutional intents, main principles, vision, mission, goals and objectives, aimed at and guiding the achievement of the strong international position and reputation of the BBIT Department.
I GENERAL PRINCIPLES
Higher education plays a prominent role in building future flexible, creative and entrepreneurial members of a fair and open society and a competent workforce, capable of thinking autonomously, communicating effectively, utilizing cutting-edge technology in responsible and innovative ways and being resilient to the challenges posed by increasingly complex workplace demands. One of the prerequisites for fulfilling this role is increased internationalisation as a tool for achieving higher quality education and excellence in the development of knowledge, skills and competences.
The BBAA is a renowned higher education institution with a long tradition in the business and IT educational fields. As such, it recognizes the essential place of internationalisation, i.e. the process of integrating an international, intercultural and global dimension at both the national and international level, as a driver of modernization and innovation in the education area and a strategic goal pertinent to the institution’s future growth and development. Internationalisation is perceived as a pathway for it becoming not only a relevant actor, but also a leader in the area of higher education in the fields of business and IT education at the regional, European and international levels.
The BAA is committed to fostering a more inclusive, effective and efficient higher education system and directing its efforts in the promotion and strengthening of the inter-connected and integrated Higher Education Area aligned with the principles laid down in the documents accompanying the Bologna process and the Renewed EU Agenda for Higher Education.
The Strategy for Internationalisation is conceived in such a way as to leverage the Institution’s strengths, build quality partnerships, attract students from all over the world, create a centre of excellence for fostering and developing professional networks among the teaching staff and students aimed at sharing and creating new knowledge and insights for coping with modern world challenges.
The BBAA sees the impetus for its future growth and development in becoming an active agent of a global inter-connected higher education area. By enhancing its international visibility and reputation through collaboration with international institutions, continuously modernizing and improving the competitiveness, quality and standards of its study programmes and curricula in the professional and applied education field it aims at preserving its position as an important leader and influencer in changes for future education, in helping build a highly employable, competent and socially responsible workforce for the 21st century.
The BBAA is fully committed to providing high-quality, modern, and innovative study programmes in the fields of business, arts and IT education aimed at preparing students to take an active role in the modern globalized academic and professional arena, being able to respond to the challenges posed by the contemporary knowledge-based society. The scope and diversity of its study programmes, both at the undergraduate and the specialist and master studies levels and the highly technologically developed infrastructure and equipment offer this institution wide-ranging opportunities for taking a prominent place in the field of international collaboration and research and development, cross-pollination of ideas and knowledge. Internationalisation and international cooperation will improve the further development and enhancement of all the key 21st-century skills highlighted in the future education agendas both in the European Union and worldwide, such as collaboration, innovation, creativity, intercultural connectedness, critical thinking and entrepreneurial initiative.
Bringing together educational, research and business communities across borders can facilitate in bridging gaps between the academia and the workplace, addressing future skill mismatches and promoting excellence in skills development. This will lead to enhancing the future employability of graduates and providing with them with an international outlook. Empowered with the given competences, attitudes, beliefs and motivations, along with skills for life-long learning and self-efficacy, they will be competitive and competent in the global workplace market, and able to provide meaningful contributions to society as global citizens and global professionals.
With the aim of:
- developing graduates able to perform in international and multicultural societies
- advancing the level of teaching, learning and research to an international standard
- developing culturally sensitive, and interculturally competent future recruits
- raising the level and impact of academic, professional and career competences as part of its internationalisation commitment, the BBAA is planning to scale up its international presence, build its international reputation, and strengthen its capacities by striving to achieve the following main strategic goals:
1. Promoting student and staff mobility
The institution is going to devote its efforts to encouraging, promoting and increasing opportunities for student and staff mobility, seeing it as one of the critical elements leading to raising the institution’s international profile.
Student mobility (study stays, internships, training) enhances students’ experiences and results in raising their career prospects by upgrading their professional competitiveness, employability skills and readiness for the global workplace. The international experience also leads to developing culturally sensitive and interculturally competent graduates able to perform in international multicultural environments.
Staff mobility, undertaking a teaching/learning and or/other professional experience in another country (study visits, training events, observation or training periods at a partner HEI or another relevant institution abroad), supports the professional development of higher education institution teaching and non-teaching staff, in terms of improved academic, professional and administrative competences, increased opportunities for professional and career development, improved international networking, broader understanding of educational practices and systems across countries, greater involvement in international professional bodies. The open exchange and sharing of ideas and best practices help the dissemination of innovative learning and teaching approaches and lead to enhanced quality and standard of teaching and research performance. It enables greater understanding and responsiveness to social, linguistic and cultural diversity and an increased ability to address the needs of the disadvantaged. It results in increased competences for modernisation as well as building high quality and innovative study programmes. Positive outcomes may also be expected in improved foreign language competences and increased motivation and satisfaction at work.
2. Internationalisation of the curriculum
This goal is twofold. In terms of “internationalisation at home” it strives towards improving the learning experience for the local learners, preparing them to be able and competent professionals in the multicultural global workplace, by purposefully incorporating the international, intercultural and global dimensions into the content of the curriculum as well as into the learning outcomes, assessment tasks, and teaching methods.
It also presumes introducing courses/a study programme conducted in the English language which would increase the competitiveness and attractiveness of the institution to foreign students and bolster its visibility worldwide. This would enrich and modernise the offer of the institution and attract students from abroad who would thus be introduced to the local traditions and be enriched with the educational and cultural heritage of our environment.
3. Increasing the quality and quantity of international partnerships
One of the priorities in the forthcoming period is fostering and deepening bilateral cooperation with existing key education partners with the goal of forming strategic partnerships. This goal should lead to furthering the competences in all the fields of interest to our institution, the exchange and transfer of knowledge and know-how, modernization of the curricula and building and strengthening the institution’s educational, research, professional and administrative capacities.
The BBAA will also work on identifying new prospective partners based on academic alignment in order to develop new high-quality partnerships through bilateral and multilateral inter-institutional agreements with programme and partner countries and institutions from the EU and worldwide. Furthermore, the BBAA will focus its efforts on developing networks and alliances at the regional, European and international level with higher education institutions, corporate organisations, business and research communities where they align with the institution’s educational priorities.
V PLANNED ACTIVITIES
The goals of providing a range of student and staff mobility options and increasing participation in mobility programs, increasing the quality and quantity of international cooperation and participation in international projects in the field of higher education for professional and applied studies will be achieved by:
- identifying prospective partner institutions, establishing relations and signing interinstitutional agreements with reliable international partners aimed at achieving high quality student and staff study or training experience,
- expanding the circle of partner institutions through European programmes such as Erasmus+, and other relevant institutions and programmes,
- fostering the exchange of students and staff within Erasmus+, CEEPUS and other mobility programmes supported by the European Union and other bilateral and partner collaboration, aimed at both incoming and outgoing mobility,
- strengthening collaboration between higher education, research and business,
- ensuring fair access to mobility regardless of student background,
- providing linguistic support to both incoming and outgoing students and upgrading foreign language competences through the Centre for foreign languages,
- building effective systems for managing and supporting student mobility, - raising the level of well-established partnerships to strategic partnerships which might lead to joint projects and joint study programmes in the fields of business and IT education and trainings,
- membership and active role in relevant international higher education networks and associations,
- participation in international conferences and symposia aimed at the dissemination of knowledge and experience,
- bolstering the International Relations Office and uniting its efforts with the Centre for foreign languages, Centre for Development, Quality and Projects, Centre for Internships and Career Development, the professional journal Vesnik,
- raising the level of awareness and commitment within the Institution of the importance of internationalisation, - continual modernisation of study programmes, curricula and syllabi.
VI STRENGTHENING INSTITUTIONAL CAPACITIES FOR INTERNATIONALISATION
In order to enable and facilitate the implementation of the Strategy, the BBAA is committed to building a legal an administrative framework for mobility projects by taking the following steps:
- developing a strong, competent and well-organized team in the International Relations office,
- ensuring an effective system for promotion and the appraisal of mobility, relevant mobility documentation, up-to-date course catalogue, effective ECTS transfer system,
- providing easily accessible information about the range of our international activity and what we offer by creating a user-friendly and accessible Internet site in the English language as a gateway to the international aspects of the Institution,
- actively involving student bodies and students in providing support to incoming students (Buddy programme).