Czech Institutions Active in Strategic Partnerships for Higher Education
Czech institutions were actively involved in Strategic Partnerships when compared to international peers.
Thanks to the Erasmus+ programme, Czech institutes of higher education are not only able to participate in so-called mobilities, but they can also get involved in Strategic Partnerships. With additional 15 strategic partnership projects approved two weeks ago; we now bring you an overview of how those projects fared in the Czech Republic in the programme period of 2014 to 2020.
Steep Increase of Interest
Roman Klepetko, the Head of Higher Education Mobilities and Project Unit, says: “There has been enormous interest in the Strategic Partnership Projects in the Czech Republic in recent years. While we were able to support 4 projects in 2014, in 2020 we supported 25 applicants in the standard call for proposals, and additional 15 that responded to the extraordinary autumn call. As you can see, the numbers are multiplying and we are, of course, delighted, because it indicates that Strategic Partnerships have an irreplaceable position in the process of internationalization of higher education.”
Among the five most active universities are the Palacký University in Olomouc, the Masaryk University, VSB - Technical University of Ostrava, the Charles University and the Prague University of Economics and Business.
During the programme period of Erasmus+ of 2014 to 2020, Czech institutions participated in a total of 212 projects, 59 of which they coordinated themselves. They mostly cooperated with coordinators from Poland (27 projects), Germany (16 projects), or Spain (10 projects). Czechs were also involved in projects from the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Belgium, and Turkey.
In the years 2014–2020, 1659 Strategic Partnership Projects were realized across the whole Europe, with Czech Republic being the fifth most active in the 2020 call, after Poland, Spain, Germany and France.
Additional Autumn Call
In light of the coronavirus pandemic, the European Commission decided to announce an extraordinary call in the autumn of 2020. The call aimed to financially support projects concerning Partnership for Digital Education Readiness. DZS accepted 26 applications, 15 of which were approved for financing. Jan Slavíček, a specialist on ERASMUS+, concludes: “Those projects that focus on digital education will launch in the upcoming months, and I believe they will provide effective support to universities in the current situation when an extra emphasis is placed on online teaching and education.”
Strategic Partnerships in a Nutshell
Strategic partnerships in the field of higher education are projects that aim to create innovative educational outputs, develop new methods, and come up with new ideas. Emphasis is placed on the promotion and distribution of those outcomes. Minimum of 3 organizations from 3 programme countries must be involved in the partnership, with the projects lasting from 2 to 3 years. Participation in the projects is not limited to ECHCE awarded higher education institutes, but is also open to companies, research centres, libraries, hospitals, or other educational institutes. Find out more about strategic partnerships, including examples of good practices, in a new Czech booklet Spolupráce univerzit napříč Evropou (University Cooperation Across Europe).