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Chapter 5

Higher education, Europe


Abroad appeal


Singidunum University


British Institute of Technology and E-commerce


Universidad Francisco de Vitoria


Ammosov North-Eastern Federal University


Universidad Internacional MenĂŠndez Pelayo


Karel de Grote University College


University of Economics in Bratislava


Logos European College


University of Lleida


University of Milano-Bicocca

Metropolitan University


University of Pisa


NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences


University of Valladolid


Samara State Technical University


Windesheim Honours College

218 Manchester School of Art at Manchester

Higher education enables individuals to fulfil their academic potential, develop their abilities and enhance their future prospects. Indeed, Europe’s universities, colleges and institutes are nurturing the leaders of tomorrow, as this chapter goes to show

Abroad appeal UK businesses are hoping that a new Government initiative and increased funding from the EU will prompt more UK students to study overseas

Almost half a million international students study

Pace’. In the latter, 47 per cent of employers in the UK expressed

at British universities. Attracted by the institutions’

dissatisfaction with graduates’ international cultural awareness

global profile and the UK’s multicultural, English-

and 55 per cent with their foreign language skills.

speaking society, they ensure that the world’s

  To address these issues, the British Government launched its

80th largest country hosts more overseas students

UK Outward Student Mobility Strategy in July 2013. Delivered in

than any other, bar the USA.

collaboration with universities, the British Council and other partners,

  Yet, for every 15 undergraduates or graduates

this programme aims to encourage British students to study or

who visit from abroad, only one British student heads

do work placements abroad by promoting the related benefits

in the opposite direction. While this imbalance is

and offering easily accessible resources with relevant information,

partly down to Britain’s status as a prestigious study

including details about the financial assistance they are entitled to.

destination, the fact remains that comparatively

   “The UK Outward Student Mobility Strategy was launched in

few people from the UK consider studying abroad.

response to a growing awareness from British businesses that our

   “Countries such as France, Germany and Spain

next generations need to have international experience in order

have many more students who go abroad than we

for the UK to continue to succeed in a global economy,” says Tim.

do,” says Tim Sowula from the British Council. “But in

“Studying or working abroad is a great way to gain that international

a globalised world, more British students should take

experience because living overseas can present challenges and

advantage of international opportunities, too, because

help develop skills that you wouldn’t necessarily acquire while

spending time working or studying abroad can boost

living in the UK.”

their employability. In fact, ‘The Global Skills Gap’ report in 2011 found that there were more employers

Student concerns

in the UK who considered knowledge and awareness

Among the biggest concerns British students have about studying

of the wider world important than employers who

overseas are the costs involved and not being able to communicate

focused on degree results.”

in non-English-speaking countries. However, many international universities teach in English, while stints abroad obviously serve


Cultural awareness

to break down those daunting language barriers. And a vast range

The findings of this report, published by the British

of funding options ensures that studying overseas can actually be

Council and the charity Think Global, are alarming

cheaper than being at university in the UK.

when considered alongside those of the 2013 CBI/

   Unfortunately, however, many British students don’t know about

Pearson education and skills survey ‘Changing the

the EU funds that are available to them for study or work placements


“Living overseas can help develop skills that you wouldn’t acquire while living in the UK” abroad, and so the UK currently lags behind Spain, France, Germany, Italy and Poland in terms of accessing them. “This lack of awareness ultimately holds our students back,” says Tim.   In fact, EU funding for international student mobility went up by 40 per cent in January 2014, when Erasmus+ replaced the existing funding programmes in the areas of education, training, youth and sport. Running until 2020, it boasts a budget of €14.7 billion to provide over four million Europeans with even more opportunities to study, train, gain work experience and volunteer abroad, in the EU and beyond.   Two thirds of these funds will be directly available to more than two million higher education students, 650,000 vocational students and apprentices, half a million young volunteers and 800,000 teachers and other education staff. The rest of the money will serve to support partnerships between educational institutions, youth organisations, businesses, local and regional authorities, and NGOs, as well as initiatives to improve education and to promote innovation, entrepreneurship and employability. Improved prospects This large financial commitment from the EU will help young people gain a better understanding of other societies and the role their own country plays at a global level. In turn, they will also find it easier to get a job upon completing their education because their knowledge of foreign languages and first-hand experience of the wider world will be useful to businesses that operate internationally.    “Erasmus+ is a great way to acquire new skills and improve academic understanding,” Tim sums up. “In addition, it enables students to learn about a new country and culture, make friends and potentially save money compared to staying in the UK. In other words, it is vital to take this opportunity seriously to ensure you get what you want out of the experience.”


Business intelligence In addition to educating students from around the world, The British Institute of Technology and E-commerce champions those at the forefront of the global economy

Technology is driving the expansion of the global economy, creating an ever-

  The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Entrepreneurship works with BITE

increasing demand for trained and talented individuals in this field. A major player

to recognise the work of visionaries in this sector, awarding the Outstanding

in delivering this training is the London-based British Institute of Technology and

Business Leadership Award for 2013 to Remzi Gur, Chairman of Gürmen AS,

E-commerce (BITE), which provides undergraduate and postgraduate courses

an Anglo-Turkish conglomerate with interests in textiles, men’s apparel and

to thousands of students from around the world.

luxury goods.

  While BITE recognises the importance of in-depth subject knowledge, it is the

   “Globalisation and the opportunities it provides mean that the selection of the

application of this knowledge that is the key to individual and institutional success.

appropriate university programme is key to building employability and transferable

Therefore, the institute also champions the pioneering work of those people who

skills,” says Dr Muhammad Farmer, CEO of BITE. “Students and staff can learn from

inspire others to follow their lead in creating the technologies that will transform

our previous winners Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor, Chairman of Al Habtoor Group, and

the world.

Ratan Tata, Chairman of Tata. Our industrial liaison partnerships with Rolls-Royce, Fujitsu, BT, KPMG, Infosys, Barclays, NNL and UKSYS also give our undergraduate

Championing excellence

and postgraduate programmes realisable added value in the real world.”

Through its Champion of Technology Award, in association with Rolls-Royce,

  These partnerships incorporate the World Hi-Tech Forum’s Technology Pioneers

BITE recognises individuals who have shown outstanding commitment to the

programme, engaging high-level delegations from C-level executives and government

leadership, creativity and dissemination of technological advances for the benefit

representatives to discuss and debate business opportunities. For instance, BITE

of the wider community and economy. In 2013, Rob Smith of BAE systems was

has been commissioned by Dr Ali Al-Khouri, Director of the Emirates Identify

recognised for his leadership on the Eurofighter Typhoon.

Authority, to assist in the development of its strategic biometrics framework.

  He follows in the footsteps of the 11th President of India, Dr Abdul Kalam, Lord

   “As such, BITE is more than just an educational provider,” says Principal

Sainsbury, the Nobel Laureate Professor Zhores Alferov and Dr Richard Noble, director

Dr James MacAskill. “We are a catalyst organisation, bringing together talent,

of the Bloodhound SSC Project, which aims to break the world land-speed record.

industry and government.”


Degrees of merit Ammosov North-Eastern Federal University in Russia takes full advantage of its unique setting to deliver a range of well-respected specialist degree and research programmes

One of just nine federal universities in Russia, Ammosov North-Eastern Federal University (NEFU) in Yakutsk was officially established in April 2010, although its roots in the former Yakutsk State University stretch back more than 50 years. Its student population comprises more than 25,000 undergraduates and around 500 postgraduates, spread across 12 institutes and six faculties.   Located on the Siberian permafrost, Sakha (also known as Yakutia) is the largest administrative area in the world: it covers 3 million sq km and straddles three time zones. Its culture is rich and diverse, formed by the traditions and languages of the Yakuts and Russians, and the indigenous minorities of the north – the Evens, Evenks, Dolgans, Chukchi and Yukaghir peoples. Academic expansion In 2012, NEFU was ranked first in the country for quality management by the Moscow-based Russian Organization for Quality, and in the fourth annual national ranking of 1046 universities by Russian news agency Interfax, NEFU climbed 25 places from its 2010 ranking to 35. “In 2013/14, NEFU enrolled students in 27 master’s degree programmes across 20 subject areas,” says the university’s Rector Evgenia Mikhailova, “which was a considerable increase from the 12 courses available the previous year. For 2014/15, we have introduced a further eight master’s programmes, including several that will be offered in connection with other federal institutions.”


“Increasing access to technology, improving quality of life, and the preservation and development of cultures in Russia’s north are key priorities for NEFU”   One significant recent project, involving NEFU’s

funding from Russia’s Ministry of Education and

Institute of Foreign Languages & Regional Studies and

Science, these departments will be joined by a new

the Olonkho Research Institute, was the translation into

laboratory for hydrometeorology, climatology and

English of one of the main epic poems of the Sakha

atmosphere studies.

people, ‘Nyurgun Bootur the Swift’. Known collectively

   NEFU’s unique geopolitical position has shaped

as Olonkho, these epic poems run from 10,000 to

its approach to international cooperation, and the

36,000 verses and have been recognised by UNESCO

university has established successful partnerships

as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage

with universities in the Republic of Korea, Japan,

of Humanity. In December 2013, the complete English

China, the USA, Canada, Finland, Sweden, Norway

translation of the Yakut heroic epos ‘Nyurgun Bootur

and Iceland. It also enjoys close relationships with

the Swift’ was presented for the first time in London.

institutions in the UK, Germany, France, Poland, Switzerland and the Commonwealth of Independent

Unique research environment

States. In addition, NEFU has significantly increased its

NEFU’s location makes it of special interest to students

international population over recent years: students

from a range of academic disciplines. The Siberian

from 22 countries enrolled for the 2013/14 academic

permafrost, which can measure up to 1370 m in depth

year, alongside students from 33 regions within the

(this world-record-breaking depth was set in 1982;

Russian Federation.

the average frozen layer is 300–400 m deep), is a rich

  Looking to the future, the NEFU Development

source of perfectly preserved natural specimens that

Programme – a strategic plan that runs up to 2020

date back many thousands of years and provides truly

– identified key areas in which NEFU can be a major

unique research opportunities.

contributor to the modernisation and technological

  Two of the university’s departments are primarily

development of the region. “Increasing access

engaged in these fields. The Institute of Applied

to technology, improving quality of life, and the

Ecology of the North explores the technological and

preservation and development of cultures in Russia’s

human impact on the environment, and the Institute

north are key priorities for NEFU,” Evgenia says.

of Natural Sciences examines the dynamics of

“And, alongside the Government of the Republic

permafrost landscapes, lakes, biological resources,

of Sakha, we will continue to develop the scientific,

forest and grassland ecosystems. And, thanks to

technological and innovational capacity of the region.”



Designed for all at Karel de Grote University College in Belgium, students help shape the courses they attend in a process that reaps rewards for individuals and institution alike

In keeping with the academically ambitious and socially conscious environment that it provides for its students, Karel de Grote

“We’re constantly adapting our methods. Student feedback is the driving force behind our ongoing improvement”

University College (KdG) in Antwerp, Belgium, isn’t afraid to think big. “Education is essential for a peaceful and prosperous world,”

and each year gather feedback through a digital questionnaire. Student feedback

says Werner Boumans, Lecturer and Coordinator of International

is the driving force behind our ongoing improvement.”

Relations in Business Management. “Our staff enjoy challenging

   Change and adaptation have also fed into the organisational culture of

and supporting the students on their path to becoming intelligent

KdG. “I’ve worked at this university college since it was founded, and it’s always

and democratic citizens. From my point of view, that also means

been a dynamic and exciting environment,” says Werner. “We began by merging

coaching students to develop viable business projects.”

institutions, and that led to a culture of innovation and quality improvement.

  Founded in 1995, KdG is an amalgamation of 13 Catholic

We’ve built cooperative teams of lecturers, created new study programmes and

university colleges in Antwerp. “The founders needed a name to

developed relationships with prominent international institutions.” The university

reflect the diversity, as well as the unity, of the project,” says Veerle

college also encourages staff to participate in international projects and ensure that

Hendrickx, Director of Education and Student Policy. “So they chose

courses are attuned to global trends. This, in turn, enhances student international

the name of Charlemagne, or Charles the Great, the historical figure

mobility – one of the KdG’s main goals.

who founded a European empire that unified peoples, languages, cultures and socio-economic systems.” To this day, it’s a principle that

Mutual development

provides inspiration and cultural bedrock for the university college.

Defined as a Christian Knowledge organisation, KdG provides a moral framework

  Since 1995, the university college has doubled in size, and

in which students and staff experience mutual development. “We created this

today it serves around 11,000 students. KdG offers bachelor’s and

institution by amalgamating Catholic university colleges, and our central values

master’s programmes in six study areas – Industrial Engineering

are still inspired by Christianity,” says Veerle. “Nevertheless, we’re open to other

and Technology, Commercial Sciences and Business Management,

philosophies. It’s essential that we offer sustainable development for our students,

Teacher Education, Art and Design, Applied Social Studies, and

employees and society.

Healthcare. “We deliver a designed-for-all education across our

   “Teamwork allows students and staff to acquire knowledge, skills, insights and

curricula,” says Veerle. “We’re student-centred, innovative, results-

attitudes that are useful in both professional and societal contexts,” she continues.

oriented and committed to creating a better world.”

“One such vital competence we promote in all our staff is the ability to help those students who, due to circumstance, can’t fully develop their talents.”

Meeting student needs

  Reassuringly, the university college’s commitment to principles, innovation

These values are evident in the university college’s emphasis on social

and communication is also present in its alumni. “Our style of education relies on

service, student participation and pastoral guidance. “Karel de Grote

a close dynamic between staff and students,” says Ludo. “We also maintain a close

University College has the feel of a big family with students at its

relationship with former students through our alumni organisation, Kd Gold,”

centre,” says Ludo Vandael, Lecturer and Coordinator of International

Werner adds. “Every year it organises a festival for our alumni, who are impressive

Relations in Teacher Education. “We’re constantly adapting our courses

people. They’re energetic, driven, hardworking and creative in solving problems.”

and methods to meet student needs. We listen to our student council,

They are also great ambassadors for KdG’s progressive approach to education.



Faith in education With roots in the USA and students based across the UK and beyond, Logos European College in fife offers a truly international Christian education

Logos European College combines a stunning location with academic excellence. In 1994, US evangelists visiting the UK

“The college has great communication with students – we always maintain contact”

established a pioneering college in Fife that would teach courses in Christian education. This new institution was the Scottish-based

of Southampton. With its roots in the USA, Logos European College

Extension Campus of the Logos Christian College in Jacksonville,

offers degree courses that are based on the American system of

Florida, and was founded in partnership with Cornerstone Full

Semester Credit Hours (SCH), which allows greater flexibility for

Gospel Church of Dalgety Bay, Fife – the first local church in

students. They are able to build up their credits at a pace that suits

Scotland to offer training to degree level, preparing people

them. Therefore, if they are studying part-time it does not unduly

for church-based ministry and wider Christian services.

interfere with employment or family life. This system is also suited

   The college was originally built on the premise that people

to the institution’s many home-based students who may study

shouldn’t have to give up work and family commitments, as well

from locations across the UK.

as connections to their local church, in order to gain a degree.

   Each assignment is worth three SCH, and all students – whether

Following a change in Florida’s legislation when arts nomenclature

they are distance learners or based on-site – are expected to take

degrees were discontinued in the state, Logos European College

notes of the monthly live lecture for assessments. “The college

became an affiliate of the Southern Bible Institute and Seminary in

has great communication with students,” says Dr Carr. “The live

Georgia, which now issues its degrees with the arts nomenclature.

lecture is recorded, and we always maintain contact, whether that is via email, phone, Skype or by post.” The college has also further

Thought-provoking study

expanded with the opening of a campus in Eastern Europe for

“We offer qualifications – from bachelor’s and master’s degrees

Hungarian-speaking students.

through to PhDs – in theology and in leadership training based mainly on biblical studies,” says college Principal Dr Geoff Carr.

Community ties

“The courses are intended for ecclesiastical purposes rather

With a focus on development, Dr Carr is a Senior Pastor of Cornerstone

than professional or secular ones, and the college provides a

Full Gospel Church of Dalgety Bay, and both the church and the

Bible-based stance that may vary from other theological colleges.

college have strong ties with the local community. The facilities at

Each applicant is assessed individually and offered a suggested

the college are used to help people from the community, whether

study programme. Those wishing to study for a postgraduate

that concerns training or running a local youth club.

qualification must have at least a bachelor’s degree to enter;

   Dr Carr is also active in helping to set up Bible colleges modelled

a suggested study programme takes into account the prior

on Logos European College, both nationally and internationally.

learning of the individual.”

“Our belief is that a very powerful and flexible tool for training and

   The degrees on offer have been acknowledged by the

the preparation of ministers and their assistants in the wider church

British education system and have been accepted as suitable

has been developed and is worthy of consideration to cover a wider

entry qualifications to study teacher training at the University

outlet than is presently being occupied.”



The art of success manchester School of Art at Manchester Metropolitan University was founded more than 175 years ago but, with its new facilities and collaborative approach, it is a thoroughly 21st-century institution

Since launching in 1838 with the aim of “supporting the creative economy of the region”, Manchester School

“A number of things make us stand out, from our impressive new School of Art building to the expertise, knowledge and commitment of our staff”

of Art at Manchester Metropolitan University has been at the forefront of Britain’s creative scene. Today, its

   More than 50 courses are on offer at Manchester

furniture, extendable power sockets, and mobile

talented students have access to an incredible array

School of Art, at both undergraduate and postgraduate

display boards and work surfaces,” says Professor

of facilities, along with one of the country’s key arts

levels, and disciplines range from architecture and

Crow. “It’s a flexible space that gives students the

and cultural scenes right on their doorstep.

acting to fashion and filmmaking. As a result, the

freedom to create, move and grow.

school also boasts an equally eclectic mix of traditional

   “Our students have the opportunity to collaborate

Ongoing transformation

and state-of-the-art facilities.

with their peers from other disciplines on a daily basis,”

The school has always evolved – from its origins as

   “We have a lot of equipment that isn’t typical of

he continues. “For example, fashion, embroidery and

part of the city’s thriving textile industry, via the key role

other institutions in the sector,” says Professor Crow.

textiles students work with photography students on

it played in the Arts and Crafts Movement, through to

“This includes the glass workshops with hot-glass

the lookbooks and press shots for their collections.”

its current incarnation. It’s an ongoing transformation

facilities, traditional embroidery workshops, in-house

And all undergraduates are involved in the school’s

that continues thanks in no small measure to a recent

bookbinding and letterpress facilities, 3D printers, laser

Unit X module. “This unique 10-week project is

£34 million of investment, along with the wide variety

cutters, traditional and digital screen-printing facilities,

embedded into the curriculum, assessed and credit

of courses – from traditional art and design to cutting-

and traditional and digital looms.”

rated. A typical project group could consist of students

edge technologies – that it now offers.

from photography, fashion, graphic design, fine art

   “A number of things make us stand out, from

Collaborative spirit

and film studies. They work together, drawing upon

our impressive new School of Art building to the

Specific pieces of equipment aren’t exclusive to any

their varying skills and experience to network with

expertise, knowledge and commitment of our staff,

one course – a policy that encourages a spirit of

the local arts industry and deliver a creative project.”

and the award-winning work of our students across

collaboration that resonates throughout the school

   With around 3,500 students following in the

various disciplines,” says Professor David Crow, Dean

and beyond to more than 100 businesses across the

footsteps of notable alumni such as L S Lowry, graphic

of Manchester School of Art.

region. “Collaborative working is an inherent part of

designer Peter Saville and London 2012 Olympic

   It’s a success story that has stood the test of time,

what we do,” explains Professor Crow. “We believe

cauldron designer Thomas Heatherwick, Manchester

with the school celebrating its 175th anniversary in

an art school to be a community and a laboratory.”

School of Art is one of the largest providers of art and

2013. To mark this milestone, 175 international events

   The school’s striking new building is designed

design courses in Britain. And just as its new building

were hosted across Britain and Europe, as well as

to further encourage interaction, thanks to features

sits alongside the original 19th-century art school,

in China and the USA, to showcase the talent and

such as the Village Green, a communal space

the faculty prides itself on combining the best of the

creativity of the school’s students, staff and alumni.

that spans four floors. “It’s kitted out with portable

modern and the traditional.


Game changer Offering courses that range from tourism and leisure to games and media, NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences has grown to become one of the netherlands’ most innovative centres of learning

From its roots as a small institute offering management programmes in tourism and leisure, NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands has become a leader in its field. It delivers bachelor’s, master’s and research programmes in areas such as tourism and leisure, games and media, and logistics, and nearly all of its courses consistently gain top place in national rankings. In addition, NHTV Breda was rated first overall among the country’s small applied science universities in 2013.   These rankings, compiled by Elsevier – a Dutch weekly whose coverage includes economics, politics, finance, science and culture – also show that students at the university have “aboveaverage enthusiasm” for their courses. All NHTV Breda programmes have a score above the mean in their field (many score first place), and many benefit from international accreditation from the UN World Tourism Organization and the World Leisure Organization, which serves to underline the quality of education found at the university. International placements Located in the Dutch town of Breda, only 100 km away from both Amsterdam and Brussels, NHTV Breda has always had a strong international focus. Of its 7,000 students, almost 15 per cent are from overseas, representing more than 50 countries. Courses taught in English are the norm rather than the exception, and students are encouraged to complete work placements abroad or at companies with an international presence. NHTV Breda has links with, for instance, the Hilton Group and Sony and, as part of the students’ preparation for their placements, all study programmes include focus areas that are vital to their relevant industry.    One of these is cross-cultural understanding. “We teach students that people have different value systems and different cultural expectations,” explains Hein van Oorschot, President of


“We teach students that people have different value systems and different cultural expectations” the Executive Board. “You have to understand those differences if you want to be able to act in an international environment.” Sound ethics Another thread that runs through all courses is social responsibility. “We place great emphasis on personal responsibility,” says Hein. “Students should be aware of which products they use and who made them. Because, perhaps more than anywhere else, in the tourism and games industries you will be confronted by customers if you do not have sound business ethics.”   Further evidence of the university’s innovative approach is its executive master’s in Imagineering, which focuses on a method of problem-solving that is becoming more and more popular in the Netherlands. “It encourages students not only to think about what they have learned, but to find solutions by concentrating purely on the needs of the customer,” explains Hein. “This enables them to look at their industry in different ways, and within a few weeks they often come up with new concepts.”   NHTV Breda also has a strong focus on entrepreneurship and runs a specialised course for students who show creative business flair. They are put into contact with organisations that support start-ups and, as a result, several such students start their own companies every year.   These initiatives have made the university tremendously popular. Its Game and Media programme, for instance, recently attracted three times as many applicants as there were places. However, the university is keen not to become too big.    “Many people who come into our school are surprised by how accessible the staff are to our students,” explains Hein. “But we believe in encouraging strong interaction between the two. That is part of our success because it means that our students remain motivated and challenged at all times.”


Technical brilliance Russia’s Samara State Technical University is a dynamic centre of research and education whose scientific innovations are in demand across the world


The year 2014 marked the 100th anniversary of Samara State Technical University (SamSTU), making it one of the oldest universities in the Volga region of south-west

“SamSTU conducts research at an international level, and the results are in high demand”

Russia. Samara lies at the confluence of the Volga and Samara rivers. The city is an industrial hub, which makes the university perfectly placed to work with industry on

  Improving the quality of motor fuels and increasing the depth

research projects.

of oil processing are also important areas of research. These are

  SamSTU has around 19,000 students and offers more than 80 degree

priority tasks for the whole of the Russian Federation, which is keen to

programmes across 11 faculties. A renowned science and technology park,

reduce the emissions from road transport that lead to poor air quality

SamSTU has more than 70 scientific departments and carries out important applied

and public health problems. In the field of petrochemicals, SamSTU

and fundamental research in the fields of environmental protection, chemistry and

has also developed a new catalyst that processes hydrocarbon raw

chemical engineering. Indeed, the university has earned a prestigious reputation

materials in cars, ensuring they meet the new minimum standards

thanks to its expertise and links with industry.

set by the EU with regard to pollutant emissions from diesel and

   “The Samara State Technical University is a dynamic research and educational

petrol cars.

centre with modern scientific and social infrastructure, and significant human and

  The university’s chemical engineering research faculty, meanwhile,

scientific potential to influence the development of high-tech industries in the region

has developed and produced nano-structured coatings for industrial

and in Russia as a whole,” says Professor Dmitry Bykov, the university’s Rector.

equipment that are now supplied to over 35 countries and widely used

“Today, SamSTU conducts research at an international level, and the results are

in areas such as drilling and construction.

in high demand by both domestic and foreign companies and organisations.” Technical library Industry-oriented research

As you might expect, with such an emphasis on scientific research,

An example of this is the university’s most important environmental protection

the university has one of the largest technical libraries in the Volga

research, which focuses on the creation of new and effective systems for the

region. It is home to more than one and a half million volumes, plus

processing of waste. Since 1984, it has developed more than 30 waste-processing

a wide range of periodicals, and provides students with access to an

technologies. Many of these have been put into practice, such as the technology

ever-growing number of electronic databases and resources, along

of bioremediation, which uses an organism’s metabolism to remove waste, and has

with more than 100 computer workstations.

been used to clear more than 2 million sq m of oil-polluted farmland. The university

  The university doesn’t only offer academic prowess, however.

has also developed a new method for the sterilisation of oil slurries, leading to a

The home of writers Leo Tolstoy and Maxim Gorky, and the composer

positive evaluation in the Federal Environmental Impact Assessment.

Dmitri Shostakovich, Samara also has a rich cultural life. The city

  The creation of new medication is also a priority for the university, which

boasts a ballet company, an opera house, numerous museums and

performs research in the field in conjunction with leading global pharmaceutical

art galleries, a concert hall and no fewer than five theatres.

companies Novartis, Bayer AG and Gedeon Richter. So far, five antiviral drugs

  In all, studying at SamSTU represents an unparalleled opportunity

designed to treat poxviruses have been commercially produced as a direct result

to acquire expertise in cutting-edge areas of technology in a setting

of SamSTU’s research.

that is truly stimulating.


Beyond borders Singidunum University in Serbia offers its students a competitive international approach that includes joint English-language programmes with prominent overseas universities

Established in 1999, Singidunum University in Belgrade is a relatively young institution, but it has already

“Students develop the relevant knowledge and business skills necessary to participate in the world knowledge market on an equal footing”

established an impressive academic reputation in


Serbia and beyond. Founded by renowned professors

MBA programme. Based at Singidunum’s campus,

in the EU’s surrounding area – and other relevant

who wanted to create an institution that reflected

classes are held in English and mostly given by

scientific projects, and it fosters university exchange

Serbia’s economic growth and offered globally relevant

professors from Lincoln University. The master’s

programmes for teaching staff and students.

higher education, it is the country’s best-known private

in Business Systems in Tourism and Hospitality,

university to award bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate

accredited by the United Nations World Tourism

Professional internships

degrees in social sciences, technical sciences, natural

Organization and run in collaboration with some

Apart from the academic knowledge and skills

sciences and mathematics.

of the most prominent European universities, is

acquired through traditional teaching methods,

   The university now comprises nine faculties

also conducted in English.

students also gain hands-on experience by taking

offering finance, information technology, tourism


on professional internships – usually lasting six to

and hospitality, engineering, economics, media

learn at least two foreign languages, with English

nine months – throughout their undergraduate

and communications, legal studies, political studies

mandatory for all undergraduates. English is also

studies. Singidunum has connections with more

and ecology to some 12,000 students.

one of the prerequisites for enrolling in any of the

than 550 companies in various fields, including

master’s or PhD programmes.

domestic and foreign banks, and international hotel

Modern mindset

   “Singidunum University is putting a lot of effort

corporations, as well as companies in the industrial

Students at Singidunum have access to an enviable

into the realisation of bachelor’s, master’s and PhD

and agricultural sectors.

range of modern facilities. At the end of 2012, a new

study programmes that are conducted entirely in


6,000 sq m university building was opened, which

English and intended for foreign students,” explains

and business skills necessary to participate in the

includes state-of-the-art information technology,

Professor Slobodan Unković, the university’s Director

world knowledge market on an equal footing,”

internet infrastructure and audiovisual equipment.

of International Cooperation. “In addition, the

says Professor Unković. “Even though Singidunum

   Since the university’s inception, international

university aims to enhance its collaboration with

University is a relatively young academic institution,

cooperation has been high on its agenda, and

well-known cultural institutions, such as the British

it has succeeded in presenting itself as an innovative

the ongoing promotion of this is one of its most

Council, the Cervantes Institute and the Goethe

and vibrant institution with great aspirations and

important strategic goals for the future. Its four-year

Institute, as they play a huge role in enabling our

outstanding potential.”

Finance and Banking bachelor’s degree is conducted

teaching staff and students to improve their current

   And with its high-quality education, modern

entirely in English in cooperation with Lincoln

knowledge of foreign languages.”

teaching methods, emphasis on internationalisation

University in Oakland, California. Singidunum

   The university also actively participates in

and strong collaboration with industry and other

and Lincoln have also joined forces to run a joint

TEMPUS – the European Union’s programme to

academic institutions, it is already delivering on

Financial Management and Investment Banking

support the modernisation of higher education

that potential. 

During their studies at the university, students

“Students develop the relevant knowledge


Worldly wise in its “pursuit of truth”, Universidad Francisco de Vitoria in spain delivers an education that embraces both academic ability and an awareness of life’s broader challenges

Established in 1993 as a not-for-profit institution, Universidad Francisco de Vitoria (UFV) is located 10 miles northwest of Madrid, Spain. Fully accredited as a private university in 2001, it was named after a 16th-century scholar widely considered to be one of the founding fathers of modern international law. A Catholic university that strives for the “pursuit of truth”, UFV has around 3,500 undergraduate students enrolled in more than 20 degree programmes.    “As a university, the focus of our work is our students. We strive to educate them in such a way that they can transform society,” says Dr Juan Perez-Miranda, Vice-Rector of International Relations. “For us, excellence translates as a comprehensive education, encompassing all aspects of life and following an academic model that integrates knowledge, skills, attitudes, professional criteria and human values.” Progressive programmes Two programmes that embody this approach are delivered by UFV’s business and medical faculties, respectively. Responding to an increasing need for business leaders who are able to take organisational control at a global level, the university has created an Integral Leadership programme. This comprises a double degree in business administration and law, which also incorporates a postgraduate certificate programme at the University of Notre Dame in the USA. “The purpose of this programme is to train future leaders in both the business world and in legal practice,” explains Juan, “with the expectation that they will transform the society they work in.”   Integral Leadership takes place over a five-year period, helping students to develop the leadership, emotional intelligence and creative skills that are needed to succeed in today’s business world. “In the course of their studies, students gain first-hand experience of the art and science of leadership,” Juan says. “Once a year they will travel to a foreign destination to explore the business and cultural roots of that market, and its impact on the world economy.” Students also benefit from


“In the course of their studies, students gain first-hand experience of the art and science of leadership” mentored guidance with the aim of helping them to become powerful influences in whatever organisations they progress to. Through its cooperation with the University of Notre Dame, UFV has embedded a global view of the business and legal professions in the heart of its academic programme. Modern role UFV’s approach to its medical curriculum also reflects a keen understanding of the role of the modern university. “In traditional medical schools, students are not exposed to patients until the final courses of the curriculum,” Juan says. “The result is that they develop a fragmented view of medicine, making it more difficult for future doctors to develop a person-centred practice that combines both the scientific and humanist aspects of the medical profession.”   Responding to social and professional demands, UFV has developed a new six-year medical degree programme. This is designed to cover not only the intensive transmission of theoretical knowledge – basic and clinical – but also to give students the chance to interact with patients so as to improve their social and communication skills.   Launched in 2010/11, UFV’s Early Clinical Experience programme (ECE) for first-year medical students has been created to raise awareness of the relational and communicative needs of clinical practice. It does this by exposing students to real medical situations with personal and emotional content. The programme is the first step on a complete ECE pathway that allows students to progressively increase their responsibilities through a range of teaching methods.   With its groundbreaking approach to teaching – and the study of business and medicine, in particular – the Universidad Francisco de Vitoria is helping to develop Spain’s education system of the future.


Fluent delivery universidad internacional MenĂŠndez Pelayo in spain provides students from around the world with the ideal environment in which to hone their language skills


“We usually have some Nobel Laureates among us – we’ve hosted Octavio Paz, Mario Vargas Llosa and Susan Sontag” Spread over 12 different locations across Spain, from Santander in the north to

  UIMP’s international students, who come from every corner of the world,

Granada in the south, Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo (UIMP) offers

are accommodated on campus, or in residences and with families across the

an array of degrees throughout the academic year. However, as Spain’s leading

city. No matter where they stay, however, they all benefit from the facilities

institution for the teaching of Spanish language and culture to foreign students,

of the university’s Campus de Las Llamas, which include a library geared towards

it’s the university’s summer courses that have earned it a reputation that reaches

foreign students, a video library with Spanish films and documentaries, and a

far beyond its national borders. Taught at its Santander campus, the combination

language lab.

of outstanding teaching, impressive facilities and stunning location attracts more than 5,000 overseas students each summer.

Range of courses

   “Our Spanish language and culture courses include a formal academic training

The university’s summer courses tell only part of the story, however. In 2012,

of excellent quality,” says Montaña Cámara Hurtado, Director of Programmes

more than 15,000 Spanish students enrolled in UIMP’s English-language immersion

for International Students. “An integrated approach focusing on linguistic and

programme in one of its various locations. It also delivers master’s and doctoral

sociocultural aspects is used to teach four skills: listening comprehension, reading

degrees, such as an MA in Spanish as a foreign language – presented in collaboration

comprehension, oral expression and written expression. We also put great effort

with the Cervantes Institute. All courses are compatible with the university credit

into promoting interaction between teachers and students.”

systems of the USA and the ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System), and the university is also accredited to administer DELE (Diplomas in

Cultural immersion

Spanish as a Second Language).

In conjunction with its annual summer programme, the university offers a host

  In addition to its summer school and degree-level language and culture

of cultural highlights. Indeed, thanks to UIMP, Santander is transformed into a

courses, UIMP offers a selection of targeted, practical Spanish programmes.

world-class city of culture for a few months each year. “We usually have some

These include Spanish for international experts, training courses for teachers

Nobel Laureates among us,” says Montaña, “and in the past, we’ve hosted writers

of Spanish as a foreign language, and training for translators and interpreters.

such as Octavio Paz, Mario Vargas Llosa and Susan Sontag.”

“Given the importance of the Spanish language for politicians and decision-

  A series of concerts, theatre productions, poetry readings and exhibitions

makers, UIMP’s course on Spanish for international experts is invaluable,” says

is presented throughout the summer, all of which are free for students to attend.

Montaña. “Within our courses of Spanish for specific purposes, we also focus

Further activities for international students include a conversation exchange

on the language requirements of professionals such as physicians, lawyers,

programme, known as Hablamos, or “Let’s talk”, which brings together scholars

economists and scientists.”

from the Official Language School, UIMP Spanish-course students and those

  There are also plans afoot to design specific courses for university groups,

enrolled on UIMP’s translation and interpreting programmes. In addition,

and to explore the needs of British students in particular – a move that should

Spaniards of all ages can practise their foreign language skills in a relaxed

prove popular, considering the uptake of Spanish as a second language in British

atmosphere at the university’s Language Café. UIMP also helps overseas students

schools. In fact, whether a student is seeking to earn professional qualifications

to get to know the real Spain by equipping them with information about the

or polish their language skills for the summer, UIMP provides an ideal, and fully

most interesting things to see and do.

immersive, environment like no other.


Talking business The University of Economics in Bratislava recognises that Language skills are a top priority when forging a successful career in the world of business


“The linguistic diversity at the UEB is very important in enabling Slovak students to use languages for work or study” Located at the heart of Europe, the University of Economics in Bratislava (UEB)

standing. These comprise the internationalisation of education, science and

is forging a reputation as one of the continent’s most forward-thinking centres

research; the development of relations with industry, both locally and globally;

for business, economics and management education. A modern, thriving city,

and improvement across all the university’s areas of activity.

Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia, a landlocked country at the geographical centre

   “We achieve internationalisation primarily through our participation in the

of Europe. It was declared a sovereign state in 1993, and has been home to UEB

Erasmus programme,” says Professor Lenghardtová. Erasmus is the EU’s flagship

since the institution began life in 1940, initially as the Higher School of Commerce.

education and training programme, which enables some 200,000 students to study and work abroad every year. It also funds cooperation between higher education

Language skills

institutions across Europe. “We have partnerships with 240 universities, and we are

The university places a strong emphasis on the linguistic preparation of its

proud to have been included in the European Commission’s publication Erasmus

students, ensuring they can communicate effectively in the business language

Success Stories in 2009 and 2010,” she adds. “In 2012, we were awarded the

of the 21st-century – English. “The linguistic diversity at the UEB is very important

prestigious Quality of Erasmus Mobility label at national level, and we’re looking

in enabling Slovak students to use languages for work or study,” says Vice

forward to participating in the new Erasmus+ programme in the near future.”

Rector for International Relations, Associate Professor Dr Jana Lenghardtová. “Two foreign languages are compulsory for all students and at the International

International connections

Relations Faculty it’s three.”

Preparing students for the domestic and international labour market is also high

   UEB offers a number of courses taught in foreign languages – the majority

on the university’s list of priorities, and it has projects specifically aimed at achieving

in English. These include two bachelor’s programmes: Intercultural Communication

these goals. Working with Ohio State University, UEB’s Global Consulting Programme

and Foreign Languages, delivered in English-German, English-French or English-

brings American and Slovak students together to work on assignments in marketing

Spanish; and Management of Enterprise, delivered in English. It also offers three

and management for global players such as Dell and Google.

master’s double-degree programmes: International Management, taught in English,

  Meanwhile, the Knowledge Triangle project, based on the triumvirate of

which enables students to obtain a double degree from the University of Strasbourg;

education, research and innovation, is aimed at fostering international cooperation

International Finance Management, delivered in German in cooperation with the

between European universities and those from Latin America. UEB students

University of Halle; and Management of Sales, delivered in French with the University

can also combine their study periods abroad at partner university Instituto

of Grenoble. In addition, it offers dual-degree programmes in conjunction with

Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico. This initiative supports applied research

Nottingham Trent University.

aimed at supporting international projects for Slovak businesses and institutions

   UEB offers 69 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral study programmes across its

with their Mexican counterparts.

seven faculties: national economy; commerce and trade; business management;

   UEB’s Rector, Professor Rudolf Sivák, is firmly behind these global initiatives.

economic informatics; international relations; business economics; and applied

“Our students are excited about the experience of working on projects for

languages. In all, the university has around 12,000 students and 700 faculty staff.

businesses, and about meeting new friends from around the world,” he observes.

  One of UEB’s fundamental aims is to cooperate with universities, businesses

“We are also proud that students from Europe, the Americas and further afield

and other organisations around the world. This policy was the catalyst behind

are equally excited about discovering Slovakia.” Thanks to its international outlook,

the university’s decision to pinpoint three target areas to further its international

the UEB looks well set to produce a new generation of global business leaders.


Fruitful research The Escola Tècnica Superior d’Enginyeria Agrària, part of Catalonia’s university of lleida, is leading the field in farming, food and forestry education


“I was impressed with the mix of academic, applied, project-based and research focuses that ETSEA’s courses offer” Having recently celebrated 40 years as one of Catalonia’s leading centres of

  ETSEA boasts 16 consolidated research groups, which have been recognised

learning for agriculture, farming, food and forestry, the Escola Tècnica Superior

by the Catalan government, alongside several other emerging groups. Key areas

d’Enginyeria Agrària (ETSEA) is also recognised as one of the best in Spain.

of current research include crop breeding and biotechnology, crop physiology

Located on a 12.5-hectare campus at the north-western edge of the city

and agronomy, animal husbandry, integrated crop protection, and food technology

of Lleida, ETSEA was founded in 1972 – originally as part of the Polytechnic

and safety. The school’s research groups have led eight EU projects during the last

University of Barcelona – and was integrated into the University of Lleida in

three years, and have participated in several more.

1991. Dedicated to quality training and research, ETSEA also places a strong

   “From an academic perspective, ETSEA is very involved in international

emphasis on sharing its findings – as its on-campus research and technology-

programmes,” says Dr Ballesta, “and at the European level, we are an important

transfer centres go to show.

faculty for academic mobility in agriculture, forestry and the other areas in which ETSEA operates.”

Sharing expertise “In Catalonia, much of the economy revolves around Barcelona,” says Dr Astrid

Invaluable opportunities

Ballesta, Vice-President for International Relations and Cooperation. “But Lleida

Dr María Navarro, Associate Professor at the University of Georgia’s College of

is really an agricultural area, and over the 40 years since it was established, ETSEA

Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, began her career studying agricultural

has made a significant contribution to improvements in agriculture by training

engineering at ETSEA. “As an undergraduate at Lleida, I was given invaluable

generations of agronomists and managers. The faculty provides farmers with

opportunities and exposure,” Dr Navarro says. “For example, I presented some of

a valuable source of information, and the expertise produced by ETSEA is

my work at an international conference, I was sent to a week-long postgraduate

disseminated throughout the region.”

training course on statistical analysis applied to plant breeding, and I had the

  ETSEA has 160 teaching staff across seven departments, 1,700 undergraduate

opportunity to meet the authors of key papers I was using for my research. I was

and postgraduate students, and 95 PhD students. The school offers two Erasmus

immediately very impressed with the mix of academic, applied, project-based

Mundus master’s degrees in forestry, alongside five BSc degrees and nine other

and research focuses that ETSEA’s courses offer, and by the affordability and

master’s programmes.

college-town atmosphere in Lleida itself.”

   “Research is very important to us,” says Dr Ballesta, “and we have several

  Dr Navarro, who was awarded the United States Department of Agriculture

large research groups that produce excellent results.” The Science Citation

New Teacher Award in 2012, acknowledges that it was her professors at ETSEA

Index, a database that records the number of times a research paper is cited

who taught her what it means to be a good teacher and mentor: “I had outstanding

by peers, ranks ETSEA top in Spain in terms of food science and technology

role models and I strive to follow their example,” she says. “I believe that the

research. And within the field of life sciences, the faculty is ranked number

systems in place, the pursuit of depth and breadth of knowledge, and the passion

one among Catalonia’s scientific institutions, and number three among

for people and teaching have all helped me make an impact as an educator –

such institutions in Spain.

and all that started at Lleida.”


New perspectives firmly focused on the future, the University of Milano-Bicocca offers students an international outlook and the chance to launch their own start-ups

When the young Giovanni Pirelli established a factory in Milan in 1872 to produce his now famous tyres, little could he have imagined that the same buildings would one day be transformed into the hub of another centre of innovation: the University of Milano-Bicocca (UNIMIB). Based on the site since it was founded in 1998, UNIMIB is one of Italy’s most dynamic and future-focused universities.   Striving to promote a strong relationship between academic excellence – particularly in research – and the business world, it has, for instance, teamed up with influential domestic organisations such as Confindustria (the Italian Entrepreneurial Association) to carry out projects. And beyond Lombardy – the region that has long been the focus of Italy’s technical innovation and international investment, with Milan at its heart – UNIMIB has partnerships with around 200 partner universities in Europe and another 200 around the world.   All of these links promote research collaborations and overseas study placements and exchanges. “The mobility of students and faculty staff is a way of increasing our knowledge of new educational methods,” explains Professor Dr Marialuisa Lavitrano, Pro Rector for International Affairs. “And it is also one of the best ways to foster a profitable scientific debate.” Joint programmes UNIMIB has established, among other schemes, joint learning programmes for double honours degrees, doctoral co-tutorships and research collaborations. Its School of Medicine, for instance, has strong links with Harvard and Yale in the USA and Imperial College London, while the School of Economics has a long-standing relationship with the London School of Economics and runs a well-established exchange programme with the prestigious Chongqing University in China.    “Internationalisation has become one of the priorities of Milano-Bicocca’s policy,” says Professor Lavitrano. “We aim to give as many students as possible the opportunity to study abroad.”   UNIMIB’s 33,000 students – of whom 5 per cent are from overseas – study in 16 departments across the schools of economics and statistics, law, medicine and


surgery, and natural sciences. The university offers 29 research-based doctorates, with state and international funding allowing it to take part in long-term research projects in areas such as plasma research and artificial intelligence. Since UNIMIB opened, there has also been an increase in the number of IT and language courses offered. “This reflects the fact that the university is constantly working to anticipate the demands of a complex, changing world,” Professor Lavitrano says.

“In the last few years, we have registered an increasing number of start-ups, which is testament to the enthusiasm of our graduates” Preparation for the future The academic programme at UNIMIB is strongly geared towards preparing students for their future careers. This means that internships are a key part of student life. In fact, every department has specific agreements with, or sponsorship from, private companies, which offer students a direct route into internships and work placements.   For those who want to go it alone after graduation, the university operates a dynamic programme of so-called Spin Offs. These are start-up companies launched by graduates with the full support of faculty staff and research fellows. “In the last few years, we have registered an increasing number of start-ups, which is testament to the enthusiasm and drive of our graduates,” says Professor Lavitrano.   Spin Offs – which are often in the areas of information and communication technology, energy and the environment – are monitored by the university, whose staff advise graduates on issues such as patents, intellectual property and the preparation of business presentations. The ventures epitomise how UNIMIB combines academic excellence and an international perspective with ties to the business community. And while today’s campus with its airy classrooms, libraries, open spaces and sports complex may be a world away from Pirelli’s factory floor, he would have instantly recognised and applauded the university’s commitment to science, enterprise and future technology.


A towering reputation combining a legacy of excellence that dates back to the 14th century and outstanding modern facilities, The University of Pisa is a world-class institution that spans the ages


The University of Pisa (UNIPI) has long been recognised as one of the world’s great academic institutions.

“When I visit campuses and fairs abroad, I realise that we are perceived as unique in combining world-class research in sciences with top-quality research in humanities”

Officially established in 1343, it is one of the oldest universities in the world, although its origins may

  Other current UNIPI developments include

centre for the study of the poet’s work – just one

stretch back as far as the 11th century. UNIPI occupies

the establishment of the first Italian research

of the many reasons why it is so highly regarded.

a number of historic buildings in the centre of Pisa and

centre on nutraceuticals and healthy eating,

As Professor Marco Guidi, Vice-Rector for

currently has around 56,000 students. And while its

which combines 170 scientists from seven

Communication and International Promotion,

most famous alumnus is the legendary 17th-century

different university departments.

explains: “When I visit campuses and fairs abroad

Italian astronomer and physicist Galileo Galilei, the

  As part of its internationalisation strategy,

to promote the University of Pisa, I realise that we

university maintains a global reputation as a leading

UNIPI runs several master’s and PhD programmes

are perceived as unique in combining world-class

centre of research and learning for natural sciences,

in English. Aimed at attracting students from

research in sciences such as physics, computer

computer science and mathematics.

around the world, they offer world-class teaching

science, biology, chemistry and health sciences,

  In fact, the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics, awarded

and tutoring. The programmes include a PhD in

with top-quality research in humanities.”

to Peter Higgs and François Englert for proposing

Computer Science, an MBA and master’s degrees

the Higgs boson, was also recognition for the efforts

in Science in Aerospace Engineering, Business

New facilities

of more than 120 scientists working or educated

Informatics, Computer Engineering, Computer

This breadth of expertise is underpinned by

at UNIPI. This group participated in the high-profile

Science, Computer Science and Networking,

significant investment in the university’s modern

experiments conducted at the CERN laboratory

Economics, Embedded Computing Systems

infrastructure to complement its beautiful old

near Geneva to prove the existence of the so-called

and Nuclear Engineering. In addition, UNIPI

buildings. Recently, for instance, a number of

“God particle”.

offers a range of English-language classes within

new, purpose-built facilities have been built for

its Master of Arts in History and Civilisation.

students and researchers, including the Polo

Cutting-edge research

  The university excels in the field of humanities,

Piagge, which comprises a 240-seat conference

Meanwhile, research undertaken at UNIPI’s Centro

as well as that of science, and is running a range of

hall, a 140-seat study hall and 30 lecture rooms,

E. Piaggio facility has confirmed the university’s

related English-language summer school courses

which accommodate around 2,000 students.

position at the cutting edge of robotics with the

from 2014 onwards. Subjects on offer include

   “I am proud to say that our university is second

development of FACE (Facial Automation for

Roman History, Humanistic and Renaissance

to none in Italy for the quality of services it offers

Conveying Emotions) – a robot that can accurately

Culture, The Jews in the Mediterranean Area,

and for the excellence of its researchers and

reproduce an array of human expressions. Of great

and Liberalism and Fascism.

degree programmes,” says the university’s Rector

potential use in therapies for autistic children, FACE

  Though world-famous for its leaning tower,

Massimo Augello. The perfect latter-day setting,

can emulate expressions for moods such as fear,

Pisa is also renowned as the city of Dante. It’s no

then, to continue the groundbreaking work that

disgust or wonder.

great surprise, then, that UNIPI is an important

has distinguished UNIPI since the days of Galileo.


Far-sighted focus the University of Valladolid in Spain successfully makes the most of its local and national resources while embracing an ever-expanding global outlook

When it comes to location, the University of Valladolid (UVa) has much to be proud of. Its campuses are sited in northern Spain, while its outlook, student

“We believe internationalisation is crucial. You can’t just apply local insights to solve global problems”

body and staff are increasingly international – and the institution works hard


to embrace both aspects.

“For example, people coming from China can spend six months in our language

  The university is spread over the region of Castile and Léon, but the main

centre before they enter our degree programmes, so that by the time they leave

campus – the largest of four – is in Valladolid, which offers a mix of old and

us, they have an excellent degree as well as a good level of Spanish.” UVa’s double

new architecture, a great environment for cycling and excellent shopping.

degrees and double master’s – which combine its courses with those at a university

The other campuses are in Palencia, which is smaller but similar in atmosphere

in another country – further promote its global reach.

to Valladolid, the beautiful city of Soria and historic Segovia. Each of these smaller

  The institution is keen to learn from such international exchanges. “Our returning

sites houses between 2,000 and 2,500 students, and the total number enrolled

students provide great feedback,” says José, “and our teachers bring back insights,

at UVa is currently around 25,000. Courses at each campus vary, but the university

too, so our university constantly improves, while our international links become

overall offers 53 undergraduate and 59 master’s degrees, with programmes

richer. We’re developing a culture of global citizenship, and this communication

spanning science, engineering, the humanities, health sciences and social

between teachers, in particular, can be the first step towards international

sciences, as well as Spanish as a foreign language.

collaborations on research projects.”

An international institution

Environmentally aware

UVa’s reputation spreads beyond national borders, however. “We have around

Of course, the local area is important to this historic Spanish institution, too, which

1,500 students from abroad, mainly from Europe, and strong connections with

is why UVa works hard to support regional communities and the environment.

South America and Asia, too,” explains Vice Rector José Marbán. “One of the

A good example is the institution’s LUCIA building for applied research, which

university’s key priorities for 2014 is to become more international. We believe

won the Sustainable Construction of Castile and Léon award in February 2013.

that internationalisation is crucial for students, teachers and researchers.

Aiming to become a European benchmark for energy-efficient construction,

Nowadays, you can’t just apply local insights to solve global problems.”

LUCIA runs on zero emissions, while exporting energy to other buildings on the

  Consequently, UVa boasts extensive international connections – thanks, in no

campus. Then there are the university’s green transport initiatives, such as its free

small part, to the Erasmus programme, which enables higher-education students and

bike system, which serves the university communities in Valladolid, Palencia and

staff to spend time abroad. The university sent 1,000 Erasmus students to partner

Segovia. It has also set up a car-sharing programme and efficient-driving courses,

institutions overseas during 2011/12, an increase of 20 per cent on the previous year.

the latter of which teaches students techniques that could reduce their fuel

In return, UVa welcomed 850 foreign participants to its own campuses.

consumption by as much as 15 per cent.

  Due to this diverse student body, an increasing number of topics are being

  All of these initiatives demonstrate that UVa is a forward-thinking institution,

taught in English, particularly on postgraduate courses. “We have also designed some

committed to developing global citizens while caring for its local environment.

specific programmes to help students overcome language barriers,” José explains.

These are the foundations upon which it thrives, both in Spain and beyond. 


Agents of change Windesheim Honours College in the netherlands offers the ideal DEGREE for those seeking to tackle international projects with a focus on sustainability

“Anyone who aspires to be an effective international project manager while contributing to a sustainable world will learn all they need to know at Windesheim Honours College,” says Dr Josephine Woltman Elpers, Dean of Windesheim Honours College (WHC). A residential college in the historical Dutch city of Zwolle, WHC gives talented and motivated students the chance to study in an intensive, small-scale, international learning community with other motivated and engaged students. Together they learn how to change the world by connecting people, profit and the planet.    WHC is part of the Windesheim University of Applied Sciences – one of the biggest universities of its kind in the Netherlands, which has more than 20,000 students on its bachelor’s degrees or exchange programmes. Over 350 of these students are international, flocking to Windesheim to attend one of the university’s 28 exchange programmes for either a semester or a full academic year. Of these, around 50 overseas students attend WHC for its four-year bachelor’s degree in International Change and Project Management. International project management Taught entirely in English, this degree is aimed at those seeking an international career in project management with a focus on sustainability. It has been specifically developed to equip students with the knowledge and skills they need to implement large-scale change in a practical and realistic way.    “WHC aims to be the top choice for motivated and gifted students who apply and combine their talents in a sustainable international educational environment to become excellent project and change managers,” says Dr Woltman Elpers. In short, WHC gives global talent the chance to make a global impact.   Students on this degree programme can specialise in social entrepreneurship, health or media and communication, or participate in a number of other combinations of courses in different project-management fields. All students are taught and supported by international staff with extensive organisational, practical and academic experience of project management in countries around the world.


“We believe one size does not fit all, so our curriculum is designed to allow students to customise their own learning”    “We believe one size does not fit all, so our curriculum is designed to allow students to customise their own learning programme,” says Dr Woltman Elpers. And in September 2014, yet more study combinations and project-management specialisms will be offered. These include civil society and urban economics. Dynamic environments WHC educates its students to address complex issues in challenging and dynamic environments through field trips, projects and internships. For instance, two of the university’s students went to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia recently to assist Dires House of Sports, an independent sports NGO that encourages people with disabilities to participate in society through sport. The students undertook research among relevant businesses, government organisations and other NGOs, as well as the employees of the sports association itself. They looked into the best practices for social entrepreneurship, and used their research to draft an advisory report for the NGO on how it could become financially independent – just one example of how the university fosters international collaborations among students, lecturers, research professors, education programmes and companies of all sizes.   As well as adding value to the organisations they work for, Windesheim Honours College expects its students to add value to society as a whole. Hence its degree in Global Change and Project Management also focuses strongly on personal development, sustainable business innovation and global competence. “Our graduates are socially skilled, initiative-taking and reflective professionals who solve global issues and dilemmas from various perspectives and angles,” says Dr Woltman Elpers.   At WHC, students who want to use their talent to change the world can find all the skills and motivation they need to contribute to a secure and sustainable future. As Dr Woltman Elpers concludes: “The companies and organisations that hire them – either as interns or graduates – know they will be adding a value-conscious and competent professional to their team.”


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