Erasmus Policy Statement
The PHL, as a institution of higher education responsible for educating and training people who themselves will become educators in the broadest sense, has developed and is implementing a policy of internationalisation as a central part of its strategic plan. This includes these basic principles: internationalisation of qualifications; international networking with universities and other institutions; international compatibility; pluralisation of teaching and learning concepts; inclusion of international teaching offers; research within the international context. These principles are achieved by openness to international cooperation at all levels of the University structure and including all members of the University community; encouragement of participation in international activity; recognition of mobility outcomes; participation in international teaching, research and development projects; the institution of a logistical support system at the central and departmental level; a philosophy and practice of inclusion; an active policy of combatting all forms of discrimination in everyday life and as a principle of child and adult education. In addition, the PHL is committed to the idea of the European University and seeks to develop its connections and networks within the framework of the European Education and Research programmes. The PHL has been an active participant in the ERASMUS, SOCRATES and Life-long Learning programmes since their inception and will continue to do so in the new ERASMUS programme. At the same time, the University sees it as an essential part of its policy to reach out to countries outside of the European Union and associated countries, so that it maintains close relations with partners within the US, in Russia, China, Japan, Israel, Africa and South America.
The aim of internationalisation is to open up the University to the world; to broaden the horizons of all members of the institution; to provide learning opportunities outside of regional and national confines as a life-long process. But internationalisation is also about giving as well as taking. The University is committed to supporting individuals and institutions that are developing their own process of educational improvement. Thus the University has been and is engaged in a number of projects to support universities in MOE countries (focus on the Balkan countries) and Central Asia.
In addition the University welcomes researchers from other countries who wish to avail themselves of resources and expertise that they lack at home. International partners are chosen largely on the basis of compatability of interest and aims, so that a majority of them are either exclusively concerned with teacher education and training and pedagogical subject matters, or contain units devoted to these areas. A second principle for selection is opportunities offered for exchange in both directions and to include all personnel levels of the respective institutions as well as well as teaching and research interests. This is a central aspect of all non-ERASMUS MOUs. ERASMUS bilateral agreements do not specifically concern research but joint research interests are welcomed. A third principle is the necessity of having colleagues within the University who are willing to commit themselves carrying out the obligations laid down in the agreements. Finally, new partnerships may not impede existing cooperations.
The University's policy of internationalisation has focused on geographical areas but not exclusively. It has been an aim of the University to establish relations with as many of the ERASMUS countries as possible. ERASMUS is thus a central pillar of its international partnership network. At the same time another central concern has been to establish relations with universities in the English-speaking and English-teaching world because of the large number of students training to become English teachers. Thus the USA, Australia, Israel, are prominent (as are UK, Scandinavia and Finland).
Target groups are all members of the University: students in the first to third cycles; academic and non-academic staff. They are given the opportunity to gain intercultural experience; broaden their individual horizions; deepen their knowledge by gaining new insights into areas of learning and research, techniques of teaching and learning, professional practice, processes of administration with which they are not familiar.
Due to the fact that until recently Universities of Education in Baden-Württemberg were devoted to the education and training of teachers for the state school system culminating in a final state exam there were severe restrictions on its ability to develop joint degree programmes. Exceptions are a joint qualification in Applied Languages with some French universities and a joint MA in Educational Leadership with an Egyptian university. Under the BA/MA system now being developed for teacher training this situation shoulds radically improve.