Our good practices in international mobility
GOOD PRACTICES TO SUPPORT OUTGOING STUDENTS
The University of Sassari fosters International mobility through several economic and academic measures, such as:
- Advance payment system: the top 200 students of the ranking lists (based on income bracket) receive an advance of up to € 2000. The rest of the students receive a 80% advance of the total EU grant; this facilitates accessibility avoiding economical barriers that might prevent participation in mobility activities;
- Larger mobility grants thanks to the contribution of the Sardinian Regional Government, the Italian Ministry of Education and UNISS co-funding (mobility for studies grants up to €580-620 and mobility for traineeships grants up to €700);
- Some departments award a 1 or 2 point increase to the final grade for students who have completed a successful mobility;
- Provision of additional financial awards for students who achieve best outcomes abroad: part of the regional dedicated funds are allocated to the students who attained the best results based on a credit/month ratio (the system contributed to enhance the number and quality of mobilities, and led to an increase of the ECTS achieved per month)
- launch of Erasmus tutorship programmes and help desks, managed by former-Erasmus students, who support and assist mobility students in the departments;
- Thanks to the above-mentioned actions, the University considerably improved the accessibility to the programme and gradually reduced the main obstacles that could hinder student and staff participation.
- The overall number of outgoing students increased from 343 in 2008/2009 to 699 in 2014/2015: this growth witnesses the efficacy of the University’s actions aimed at promoting the participation of students in international exchange programmes.
GOOD PRACTICES TO SUPPORT INCOMING STUDENTS
- Organisation, through the University language centre, of free Italian language courses before the beginning of term, allowing students to reach an adequate language level. During the academic semesters intermediate courses are also held;
- Provision of questionnaire for incoming students, which has helped to improve the services offered and meet the needs of the Erasmus community;
- Support for accommodation by offering one-night stay in a hotel or B&B on the day of arrival; reservation of up to 20 places at the Students’ residencies, at the same conditions foreseen for enrolled students;
- Nomination of an incoming Ombundsperson, in charge of representing the students’ interests and reporting any irregularity or risk of discrimination against incoming students;
- Establishment of an international desk dedicated to students who need support for visa or residency permit-related issues;
- A strong cooperation with the local section of the Erasmus Student Network, actively involved in the following tasks: welcome, support and assistance to incoming and outgoing students in finding accommodation, pick up service at the airport/train station at the students’ arrival, assistance in carrying out administrative issues.
- Support the ESN, in organising the Erasmus Welcome Week dedicated to integration and welcome activities for incoming students and the Erasmus Welcome Day, an official ceremony in which the Rector and the representatives of local institutions greet our international students.
- Managment of the “Erasmus Traineeship in Sardinia” project: thanks to a partnership with main local institutions UNISS offers over 150 high-quality traineeship positions in companies, research centres and private offices in North Sardinia.
UNISS ranks first at national level for number of students that participated in the programme. In 2014/2015 the students that took part in the Erasmus for Traineeship programme were 319.
The impact was also recognized at national level by several official sources:
- The survey carried out by the Almalaurea University Consortium on graduate profiles reveals that compared to the Italian national average, the University of Sassari reached a significantly higher number of graduates who carried out an international mobility (20,3% of UNISS bachelors students compared to a national average of 10%; 25,70% of UNISS masters students compared to a national average of 15,7% and 30,10% of UNISS students who completed a 5-6 year programme against a national average of 18%);
- The Education Ministry ranked the University of Sassari in first place over 57 selected universities in a national classification of outgoing mobility flows, as Sassari has the highest average of outgoing students (8,61 per 100 students);
- The Erasmus+ National Agency highlighted that the University of Sassari has a high participation rate in the Erasmus+ Programme in terms of outgoing students in relation to total number of students enrolled, UNISS figures reach 4,2% compared to an Italian national average of 1,5%.