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Sharing the ERASMUS experience

12 Sep 2013

Around 27 staff members undertook an ERASMUS Staff Mobility placement in 2013 allowing them to learn first-hand the workings of another European educational system, deliver courses with European colleagues and/or discover best practices to bring back to their roles in Manchester.

There are two strands of staff mobility. Teacher mobility for academic staff only and Staff Training for both academic and non-academic staff. The former provides funding to teach from 5 hours to 6 weeks at European Universities which hold an Erasmus Charter, and the latter provides funding to enable staff to acquire training at other European institutions of Higher Education.

Dr Ina Berg, Senior Lecturer in the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures completed a  one-week Teacher Mobility placement at the University of Malta earlier this year. She developed a completely new teaching module entitled ‘Island Archaeology’, based around the key research area she had been working on.

Ina said, “I chose Malta because I had contacts there having been a Research Fellow at that University and I knew that this primary course module would be ideal for them. It was good to see how the module worked out in a different university with their students and it gave me the opportunity to let colleagues there know about my research and how successfully it translates into a teaching module.

She added, “I couldn’t have done it without the funding, and the real advantage is that there is now a connection between our two universities which will enable future collaboration on projects.”

Philip Spencer took the ERASMUS opportunity when he was seconded as the Thesis Administrator in the Faculty of Life Sciences. With their support he embarked on a two-week Staff Training placement at Ludwig Maximilians Universitat in Germany. He said, “I was very familiar with München as I had visited often over the last three years. I saw the scheme as an opportunity to experience working and living in another great European city and I chose LMU as it is very comparable to the University of Manchester in terms of standards and rankings.”

Philip contacted the International Officer at LMU outlining his objectives for the placement and with help from the ERASMUS Team he was successful in obtaining a willing host.

“I mostly shadowed the Doktor-Phil Thesis Administrator in their Exam Office. The staff at LMU were very interested in my perspective and knowledge of the University of Manchester’s organisation structure, policies and procedures and it gave me the opportunity to represent Manchester in a professional manner and compare and analyse business practices. But it wasn’t just about work, I was able to watch FC Bayern  München play a small friendly with a local lower league team too.

“To anyone thinking about applying for ERASMUS funding, I would say, do it! It’s an amazing opportunity for professional development and to experience life in another EU country and work at another HE Institution.”

Interested? Apply for ERASMUS 2014

The International Programmes Office is distributing ERASMUS funding for staff mobility, giving both academic and non-academic staff the opportunity to teach, train or work in a participating European country in 2014: