International Student Mobility - Agreements, Assistance and Procedures
The service deals with the agreements definition with universities in other countries for the international mobility of students, in particular for internship periods abroad, but also, for example, for the award of joint titles or double degrees title, suitable for the achievement of the expected learning objectives, as well as the organisation and management of the international mobility of outgoing students and the reception of incoming students from other countries.In recent years, the University of Parma has undertaken important engagement aimed at increasing the number of degree courses with double degrees titles or joint titles, with the aim to increase and promote international mobility. In this sense, the development policies of the course catalogue have taken into specific consideration the relationship between the international development of the course catalogue itself, its sustainability and adequacy, and the territorial dimension and relations with other universities. The international dimension of the degree course catalogue aimed not only at increasing the number of deserving international students, by diversifying their geographical origin, but also at increasing the number of graduates who have had training experience abroad, thus strengthening the international dimension of the training contexts, also through the teaching of foreign experts and the development of the students' language skills. The University of Parma is part of an exchange network of professors and students that allows for study periods abroad and/or internship activities thanks to numerous agreements at EU and non-EU level. These agreements enable students to undertake learning or working experiences abroad, becoming part of mobility programmes. The University of Parma offers its students several opportunities for international careers and creates favourable environments for the development of research activities, through the funding of projects by local researchers and the attraction of scholars from all over the world. This intense activity aimed at improving internationalisation has contributed to an increase in language training opportunities, in the consolidation of exchange activities within the Erasmus+ Programme, the expansion of exchange opportunities within the OVERWORLD University Programme, in the implementation of dual-title programmes with structured mobility, in the TeachinParma project co-funded by the Cari Parma Foundation to support Visiting Professors working within the PhD Schools, in the recruitment of Visiting Professors for teaching activities in Level I and II courses. Internationalisation initiatives are accessible from the 'INTERNATIONAL' menu item on the homepage of the University and the Department of Chemistry, Life Sciences and Environmental Sustainability. In order to foster the growth and scientific and didactic updating of the teaching staff, the university encourages professors to take part in international mobility programmes, both under the Erasmus+ Programme and the OverWorld Programme, in order to allow them to carry out a period of teaching and/or training abroad; it promotes initiatives useful for acquiring specific knowledge and know-how from good practices (creation of academic networks, research collaborations, participation in competitive calls for projects) and for developing language skills relevant to professional development.
In order to coordinate central activities with activities organised at departmental level, International Mobility Commissions have been set up since 2017 in each department, which include the Erasmus and Overworld contact persons of the various LDCs. The international mobility of students in the degree course takes place mainly within the new Erasmus+ programme, which started in 2014. The relevant University offices take care of all the administrative aspects of concluding and renewing bilateral agreements, and since 2014 calls for applications for students are conducted according to the new rules. When calls for applications are published, the University Internationalisation Unit and the Erasmus contact persons of the Department of Chemistry, Life Sciences and Environmental Sustainability publicise them in classrooms and by means of posters, assist students interested in participating and carry out the selections. Wide relevance is given to these international programmes on the University and Department websites. The Department of Chemistry, Life Sciences and Environmental Sustainability - and in particular the Commission for International Mobility - is responsible for the allocation of Erasmus+ students in the areas of Chemistry, Biology, Biotechnology, Environmental Sciences, Ecology and Geological Sciences for the three levels of education: Bachelor's degree courses, Master's degree courses and PhD programmes.
Mobility agreements relating to this degree programme have been concluded over the years by professors and concern several countries: Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Spain. The degree course professors are currently working on new bilateral agreements with locations that facilitate the possibility for the degree course students to acquire ECTS credits not only through passing exams, but also through internship experience. In the first instance, the departmental Erasmus and Overworld contact persons help the student to get in touch with foreign contact persons and with foreign professors, to find and evaluate degree course programmes. The Erasmus and Overworld Referents in agreement with the CoursePresident are involved in this first stage of the procedure, prior to the student's departure for the foreign location, as they are required to approve the student's preliminary programme of study (Learning Agreement Before Mobility), possibly in consultation with the professors of the course units directly involved in the Learning Agreement and the BoD. This preliminary approval confirms the student's ability to validate scheduled examinations. The new Erasmus+ programme requires greater cooperation from professors and the degree courses so that exams and study periods abroad can be fully recognised, without additions after the student's return to his/her own University. The pre-validation procedure has been modified to allow greater flexibility in the choice of examinations. In the second phase, when the student returns to his/her University, the Departmental International Mobility Committee examines the results obtained and registered in the student's Transcript of Records or Learning Agreement After Mobility and converts the grades obtained in the foreign location into thirtieths (as provided for in the University Regulations). Finally, the International Mobility Committee forwards the outcome of its examination to the Course President for acknowledgement and approval at the next meeting of the Degree Council. There is the possibility of validating examinations by keeping the name of the course units in the original language in the electronic academic transcript. In Erasmus+ programmes, special attention is attributed to students doing their internship abroad and the related validation and dissertation writing procedures, in cooperation with the internship manager and dissertation tutor. Further opportunities for training abroad are offered by the Erasmus Internship Programme, in which students submit a programme for practical training abroad. The internationalisation referees of the university receive interested students and guide them in the choice of the most suitable international programme, illustrate them possible destinations, support them in the preparation of a learning agreement or an Erasmus Internship Project tailored to the wishes of each student.
Erasmus and Overworld contact person for the degree course Prof. Marco Bartoli