ITS Lombardia Meccatronica has been awarded with the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education, (ECHE) an accreditation under the Erasmus+ programme 2021-2027 which allows our organisation to offer students and staff with learning mobility opportunities abroad.
Our international strategy for the next years is resumed in our Erasmus Policy Statement presented below.
ERASMUS POLICY STATEMENT
Fondazione Istituto Tecnico Superiore Lombardo per le Nuove tecnologie Meccaniche e Meccatroniche is a higher VET institution (HVET) operating in the field of mechatronics and industry 4.0. The education provision is composed of 5 courses:
– Industrial Mechatronics (EQF 5)
– Production and maintenance of mechatronic systems applied to public transportation (EQF5)
– Mechatronic systems applied to biomedical equipment (EQF5)
– Mechatronics of Eco-Sustainable vehicles (EQF4)
– Maintenance 4.0 for advanced mechatronic systems (EQF4)
Almost 250 students are enrolled every year in the 4 training centres of ITS Lombardia Meccatronica. The unique combination of high quality theoretical preparation and massive practical training (in average 400 hours of work based learning every 1000 hours of training) offered by the ITS has given remarkable results which are confirmed by the employment rate of students after 1 year from the degree (98%). One of the main strengths of ITS Lombardia Meccatronica is the collaboration with local companies and business associations, which enables the creation of training paths at the forefront of innovation. Among the 27 founding members of ITS Lombardia Meccatronica and the 106 associated partners we can find some top players in the production of advanced mechatronic systems applied to different Industries. Since its ECHE accreditation in 2019 ITS Lombardia Meccatronica has participated in three KA102 projects and two KA202 projects, one of them was submitted in 2019 and not funded while the other four are currently under the evaluation process. Nonetheless, during the last years our institution has developed some transnational activities for students in collaboration with the partner companies through which roughly 10 learners have spent part of their compulsory internship abroad.
NEEDS RELATED TO INTERNATIONALISATION AND MODERNISATION
Starting from the context described above, we have defined some aspects of our internationalisation strategy to be further developed in order to face the rapidly changing society and economy.
- FILLING THE SKILLS GAP: our training courses must be constantly aiming at providing companies with the most advanced competences to increase their competitiveness at national and international level. Apart from technical skills, key competences are always more requested by employers and need to be better embedded in curricula. In this sense, learning mobility is the most effective training methodology to acquire such competences in a relatively short amount of time, and it must be further developed.
- EMBRACING INNOVATION: technology is rapidly changing the way companies operate, the risk is that what students learn in class is already obsolete when they finish school. Therefore, we have to implement cutting edge training methodologies in order to be constantly up to date. It is necessary to boost the European dimension of our activities to exchange practices with other Higher Education Institutions and observe the most advanced training methodologies implemented across Europe in the fields of digitalisation process and industry 4.0.
- RECOGNITION AND VALIDATION: there is a need of improving the methodologies for facilitating the recognition of the competences learnt abroad, particularly in view of increasing the exchanges of students.
- INTERNATIONALISATION AT HOME: In 2013 the European Commission (COM(2013) 499 final) highlighted the need of introducing policies concerning internationalisation at home. We need to rethink internationalisation also as a process to bring Europe and the competences acquired through mobility even to those students that do not have the possibility to participate in such experiences.
OBJECTIVES OF THE INTERNATIONALISATION STRATEGY
On the basis of the need analysis presented above, ITS Lombardia Meccatronica would like to achieve the following objectives within the next Erasmus programme 2021-2027.
– To ensure that students acquire professional competences which allows them to operate in the most advanced field of applied mechatronics;
– To improve in students, the key competences outlined by council recommendation of 22 May (2018/C 189/01), which are increasingly requested by companies;
– To increase the professional competences of the staff in designing innovative training courses and implement attractive, effective and up-to-date teaching methodologies;
– To strengthen the collaboration with HEI and companies abroad in order to exchange practices, develop innovation and foster mobility of learners and staff;
– To improve the recognition and validation strategies applied for work based learning and mobility in class.
COHERENCE WITH THE EUROPEAN EDUCATION AREA STRATEGY
The European Education Area envisages a “Europe in which learning, studying and doing research would not be hampered by borders. A continent, where spending time in another Member State to study, to learn, or to work has become the standard”. Our internationalisation strategy and the related activities presented in the following paragraphs are in line with the content of the recommendation, in particular they will contribute to:
– Introduce learning mobility on a regular basis in the technical training programmes of Higher VET institutions; – Foster the acquisition of key competences in learners generated by the participation in mobility or the “internationalisation at home” activities;
– As consequence of the previous point, make sure that European citizens can speak at least two languages;
– Establish mechanism of recognition and validation of competences through credit system, which is a relatively new aspect in Italy in HVET;
– Support young people with fragile background (cultural obstacles, low income families, unemployed) in finding a rewarding and meaningful occupation.