The University has received the reward for their work with student exchange between UiA and foreign Universities. In addition, the award honours the University’s participation in and management of international knowledge and development projects.
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The Erasmus Prize 2017 is awarded by the Norwegian Centre of International Cooperation in Education (SIU), and University of Agder (UiA) is the third institution to receive the Prize.
“UiA is receiving the prize for two reasons. The university is the only institution to participate in all centralized measures of Erasmus+, and UiA have also succeeded in their application for and commitment to the program Global Mobility. The last mentioned program is about exchanging students outside of Europe,” says Vidar Pedersen, Head of Department in SIU.
Pedersen emphasizes that the centralized measures of Erasmus+ are impressive.
“If you apply for centralized measures, you compete with universities from all of Europe, and these are funds straight from the EU,” says Pedersen.
The Prize is a Diploma and NOK 5000 to be spent on students.
“The Prize is an honour to the Teacher Education Unit and all Faculties at UiA. They have done an outstanding job at promoting projects and measures in Erasmus+,” says Marianne Øhrn Johannessen, Assistant Student Director at UiA.
Erasmus+ is a EU program promoting mobility and quality in education, training and innovation and increased collaboration between education and work life.
“We have had a steady increase in students going on exchange through the Erasmus program the last years,” says Aase Galteland, Head of International Education Office at UiA.
UiA had 86 students on Erasmus scholarships in 2015-2016. This year is looking at 120 students travelling to foreign universities on Erasmus scholarships from UiA. The University received 223 students in 2016, while the numbers for 2017 are closing on 240.
UiA has benefited from the funding programs of SIU and has collaboration projects started with countries like India, Armenia, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Taiwan.
University of Agder applied to SIU for six competitive projects in 2017 and received all of them. The projects are run by the Faculty of Engineering and Science, UiA’s School of Business and Law and the Facutly of Social Sciences in collaboration with the International Education Office.
“UiA is the only university in the country participating in all the programmes of Erasmus+, and we were the first Norwegian university to join Knowledge Alliances,” says Øhrn Johannessen.
Knowledge Alliances is a program from Erasmus+ where higher education institutions, organisations and private ventures participate together.
“The Prize is an acknowledgement of the university’s international commitment,” says Galteland.