The Academy of professional Studies South Serbia (APSSS) was established by merging five independent accredited state Higher education institutions. APSSS inherits not only their decades-long tradition and experience in education, but also everything that was previously realized in the process of internationalization of Higher education institutions, that have merged. This especially applies to all the experiences gained so far by participating in the Erasmus+ program. The APSSS strategy in this area is in line with the internationalization strategy, given that all cooperation projects should contribute to improving the quality of the teaching process, training of students, teaching and non-teaching staff, as well as cooperation with partner institutions and organizations. For this reason, the APSSS recognizes the process of internationalization as a key element for improving the competitiveness and visibility of the new institution in the field of higher education. APSSS makes great efforts to establish and maintain cooperation with similar institutions (European and non-European), especially the one related to student and staff mobility.
In order to achieve the goals stated in the internationalization strategy, the focus of the APSSS will be engagement in Erasmus+ program activities related to: outgoing and incoming mobility for students, teaching and non-teaching staff within program and partner countries, as well as student incoming and outgoing mobility in within the student internship program (KA1); Partnerships for Cooperation and exchanges of practices, Partnerships for Innovation (KA2); Support to policy development and cooperation (KA3);
In the initial period of strategy implementation (two years), the emphasis will be on the mobility of teaching and non-teaching staff in order to raise the Erasmus+ capacities of the Academy of Professional studies South Serbia. The implementation of these activities raises the capacity of teaching staff through the exchange of knowledge and experiences related to mobility programs, as well as knowledge from relevant areas of interest (academic aspects). In this phase, work will be done on the transfer of experiences within the Academy itself related to the Erasmus+ program.
The training of non-teaching staff through mobility will contribute to the adequate implementation of incoming mobility by providing administrative support. In the next phase, in addition to staff mobility, the focus will be on establishing incoming student mobility from Higher education institutions, as well as outgoing student mobility to partner Higher education institutions. It is expected that most incoming mobility will be realized by students who do not have a (or have small) language barrier to attend classes in the Serbian language (Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Slovenia). APSSS will organize free Serbian language courses for all interested incoming students. The realization of student mobility programs, as well as the promotion of international experiences based on these exchange programs will significantly increase the competitiveness of the institution.
Throughout its participation in the Erasmus + program, the APSSS will mobilize and strengthen its project application capacities as well as the partnership within the Erasmus + KA2 part of the program (Partnerships for Cooperation and Exchange of Practices and Partnerships for Innovation), as well as Erasmus + KA3 and cooperation). Participation in this group of projects has multiple influences on the realization of the goals from the Strategy on internationalization of the institution, and especially on the strengthening of the international reputation which is connected with the high quality of learning and the teaching process.
The APSSS will work continuously to eliminate all forms of discrimination in terms of race, religion, gender, nationality and ethnicity. It will also work to raise students’ environmental awareness, using modern technologies wherever possible, which should help preserve the environment (using digital technologies instead of paper, appropriate means of transport that pollute less, etc.).
The Academy has the appropriate technical capacities, but it will also work on their improvement (access to teaching facilities, ramps, toilets, elevators, etc.) in order to enable students with special needs to attend classes without hindrance.
For the needs of organizing and implementing cooperation projects within the Erasmus + program, the APSSS has formed the Team for International Cooperation.
This Team will be responsible for the effective implementation of strategic commitments, as well as for operational activities related to international cooperation, preparation and implementation of projects and implementation of mobility programs. Team members will implement their activities at the level of the Academy and at the level of the Department, in order to provide appropriate support to all employees and students at the Academy for equal participation in all aspects and programs of international cooperation. Team will actively work on the promotion of all programs and their results in which the Academy participates within the institution itself and beyond. Team members will continuously work on raising their competencies related to international cooperation in accordance with modern practices and needs, as well as exchange their experiences with foreign partners, and in that sense adequately use the participation.