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Erasmus policy statement

From 2003 to 2005 VERN was one of the initiators and the coordinator of the international project "Champions of Entrepreneurship - CHENTRE" which was a part of the TEMPUS programme; other team members were the Levon Institute from the University of Vaasa, Finland, ISTUD Institute, Italy, Entrepreneurship Centre of the Zadar County, Croatia, and the University of Zadar, Croatia. The main goal of the project was the curriculum development of VERN's undergraduate study Entrepreneurship Economics. During the two years, this programme was completely aligned with the Bologna Process and developed in accordance with the experience of the Finnish partner. Upon the assessment of VERN's curricula (2005) it was immediately issued reaccreditation by the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports, while the project CHENTRE was assessed as one of the "best practices" by the European Commission. VERN is a full member of the European Foundation for Management Development, which numbers 730 members from the academic and business worlds. VERN has valid contracts on student and teacher exchanges with the Upper Austria University of Applied Sciences (Austria), the Faculty of Commercial and Business Sciences (Slovenia), Catholic University (Italy) and the School of Economics and Management in Public Administration (Slovakia). In 2007, with the Georgian Court University (USA), VERN held a Summer School for 50 American and Croatian students.

In the document VERN 2020 its general international strategy of development until the year 2020 has been defined providing for bi- and multilateral co-operation encouraging students to either study abroad for a while at one of the partner institutions of higher education, or to do their obligatory internship. The teaching staff mobility and stay at partner institutions abroad is also provided for by VERN 2020, as well as the exchange of other staff. The final semester of undergraduate studies is to be "the international exchange semester". [1]

The participation in the Erasmus programme will enable VERN's students, teachers and other staff to gain new knowledge and skills, exchange experiences with European colleagues, get to know different cultures and improve the knowledge of foreign languages. The same applies to foreign students, teachers and other staff coming to VERN.

A stay abroad will help our current students – business people of tomorrow – to compete on the common European market, to exchange goods, ideas and services. For teachers it provides opportunities for comparison with foreign colleagues, networking, entering joint projects and intensifying partnerships between institutions.

VERN is firmly committed to Croatia’s soon accession to the EU and wants to become an active academic member of the European family.

The Extended Erasmus University Charter and the EPS will be given a prominent place on VERN's homepage, international links and on all promotional materials. As soon as the Charter is awarded, VERN will inform the public through the media. The International Co-operation Office will organize workshops for all students, teachers and other staff on the benefits and opportunities provided by joining the Erasmus programme.

VERN's Ethical Codex and other by-laws strictly forbid any form of religious, national, sexual, political or other discrimination, as well as any form of xenophobia or racism. Disabled students and staff have unimpeded access to all facilities as well as various forms of assistance that may be necessary. VERN shows its social awareness through various models of payment of tuition fees in accordance with students' means. The Ethical Committee ensures the implementation of the Ethical Codex.

All courses are allocated ECTS credits. 6th semester of undergraduate studies is the international exchange semester consisting of optional courses, which enables students the choice of content of study. [2] The courses selected by the incoming students will be carried out in English. The Student Office provides all the necessary information on study programmes and ensures the compliance of syllabus. The International Co-operation Office prepares outgoing students for the stay abroad providing details on the host institution, contacts with the relevant services at the partner institution, advice on travel, and refresher language courses when necessary, as well as such information about the host country which facilitate the students' stay.

The incoming students will be assigned a tutor, who will help them find their way in the new surroundings. The Communication Department will help with the accommodation nearby VERN's premises, since it has a database of student accommodation facilities in the area not further than 2-5 km from VERN. Students can choose if they want to take courses in English or Croatian in 6th semester, as well as take refresher courses in either language; teachers of English, or, respectively, Croatian will advise on language problems when necessary. [3]

The outgoing staffs are provided for in the same manner as students with the addition of contacting in advance relevant partners at host institutions.

Student placement is a compulsory part of the curricula and is treated as any other course. It takes place in the final semester, with the duration of 160 hours and is allotted 6 ECTS credits. Students can opt for an 8-hour-one-month or 4-hour-two-month period to complete it. They are advised to choose a placement in accordance with their academic preferences and the subject matter of the final paper. Placements can be arranged by The Placement Office or by the student himself/herself. The Communication Department has a database of companies and placement positions. The placement consists of completing a task given to the student by the organization in which he does the practical work. The student is assigned a tutor within the organization to help him/her with the project, while VERN provides another, academic tutor, in accordance with the project content.

At the beginning of the placement an Agreement on Placement is signed by the organization in which it is to take place. The Agreement defines the particular activities and the scope of placement. The signed and notarized document is filed in VERN's Communication Department. The student signs a Confidentiality Agreement, since it is often the case that interns work with sensitive information. Upon the completion of the student's placement a Certificate of Completed Placement is signed and sealed by the organization's representative as proof that the student has met this requirement. On his/her part, the student submits a written Report on Placement in which particular activities, tasks and results are desc

[1] Corrigendum as of 1st July 2011: Second and third year of undergraduate studies and all years of graduate studies are periods when international exchange can take place.

[2] Corrigendum as of 1st July 2011: All students of second and third year of undergraduate studies and all graduate studies can be included in the international exchange semester consisting of optional courses, which enables students the choice of content of study.

[3] Corrigendum as of 1st July 2011: Students can choose to take courses in English or Croatian during their period of mobility.

Ključne riječi: erasmus, erasmus-policy-statement
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