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Erasmus Policy Statement

2021 - 2027

The University of Arts Linz has positioned itself in the context of Austrian and European art universities and colleges in such a way that location-related strengths such as technology, media, industry, art and cultural institutions or creative industries are reflected in teaching and research/development of the arts as a priority and at an international level.

At the same time, the process of internationalization is being driven forward.

The Erasmus+ program has made a significant contribution to realizing this development. The University of Arts Linz therefore intends to pursue this further.

All students benefit from mobility, not only those who go on an exchange themselves, but also those who stay at their home university and work with international exchange students.

Our goal is both a heterogeneous student body and the development of a broad geographical network of European partner universities. One prerequisite for this is the Bologna architecture of the degree programs. The University of Arts Linz has already switched to the Bologna architecture for all but one degree program. In the existing diploma program in Fine Arts, framework conditions have therefore been created that facilitate an exchange just as well. The high incoming and outgoing figures prove this.

As most specialist discourse is conducted in English and professional careers are increasingly being realized internationally, the range of English-language courses will be expanded in the coming years in order to improve students' English skills on the one hand and to provide foreign students with a broader range of courses on the other. There are also plans to open up all courses to all students so that students, including incoming students, have the opportunity to attend more courses taught in English.

In this context, the range of further training courses in English for lecturers and general university staff will also be expanded.

The University of Arts Linz has participated in the last generations as well as in the new generation of Erasmus+ Key Action 1 (KA1) Learning Mobility - Mobility for Students and University Staff.

The University of Arts Linz pursues internationalization under three main aspects:

1. subject-specific internationality
Art and design are international professional and research fields. Both the curriculum and the development and development of the arts as well as the research strategy must take this into account. Internationality is a natural part of the institutional culture. The university sees itself as a hub in the international networks of professional and academic communities.

2. social relevance 
Art and design play an important role in terms of culture and identity. The university sees it as its task to train professional cultural practitioners and promote researchers who are aware of this and can make relevant contributions to the European integration process in their respective fields.

3. digitalization and sustainability 
The UfG plans to develop strategies in the areas of digitalization and sustainability over the next few years. These are also the social fields that will pose the greatest challenges for all stakeholders.

Both areas, digitalization and sustainability, will play an important role in the degree course and are already reflected in the research portfolio of the participating lecturers.

ERASMUS+ as an instrument of the internationalization strategy
The Erasmus+ programme has established itself as an essential tool for internationalization. In recent years, both incoming and outgoing numbers have increased significantly. The incoming students in particular are seen as important for the internationality of the university. They bring it to life and make it effective for everyone - even for those who are not (yet) mobile themselves. The internationalization strategy explicitly includes all members of the university.

In order to increase the number of mobilities, the University of Art and Design Linz has developed targeted support measures in recent years. For example, an international network has been established that serves as the basis for its internationalization strategy. It enables teaching as well as artistic and scientific production to be positioned and re-evaluated in an international frame of reference. The aim is to increase the attractiveness of studying, researching, teaching - and staying - at the University of Arts Linz for people from all over the world. This development is to be continued with the new Erasmus period 2021-2027.

Learning with and from each other - in the European Higher Education Area
The University of Art and Design Linz participates in the activities of European and international art and design university networks CUMULUS and ELIA. Erasmus+ partnerships also play a major role here and are strengthened and expanded through membership.

The discussion on lifelong learning within these networks is an essential basis for the international strategy of the University of Art and Design Linz. Learning from each other is a strong motivation for the institutions involved as well as for the people involved. In the new program generation, the university plans to further expand mobility among teaching staff and extend it to administrative staff.

The University of Arts Linz is also committed to an international network of educational institutions in a global knowledge society.

Two centers at the University of Arts Linz promote an expanded internationality: the IFK, the International Research Center for Cultural Studies (based in Vienna) and the VALIE EXPORT Center, an internationally oriented research archive for feminist art, media and performance art. 
The University of Arts Linz strives for international quality standards in all fields of work. Collaborations with outstanding institutions are to be expanded worldwide. They are intended to enable students and artistic and academic staff to gain international and intercultural experience at an early stage in order to improve their chances on a globalized job market.

Equality between women and men and the prevention of all forms of discrimination are important goals of the university and efforts are made to promote, implement and communicate openness, a willingness to integrate and intercultural dialog, particularly in the context of international activities link

Wherever we are, equality, fairness, sustainability and the promotion of intercultural exchange are binding principles of our engagement abroad.

The University of Arts Linz is integrated into an international network of cooperations and partnerships, which forms a cornerstone for mobility and internationality.

The Erasmus+ programme has established itself as an essential means of internationalization at the University of Arts Linz through its participation in the last programme generations. Particular attention is paid to courses that are not offered at other universities/colleges, or not in the same special form as at the university. At the same time, the process of internationalization will continue to be driven forward in the coming years.

The internationalization strategy explicitly includes all members of the university.

Internationalization also means sounding out the profile of the university in the context of comparable institutions, sharpening it at the same time and highlighting unique selling points. The internationalization strategy - embedded in the university strategy - pursues several goals.

One is the further development of the internationalization of teaching - the University of Arts Linz will systematically develop its range of courses from an international and intercultural perspective. This includes internationally oriented new areas of study such as the BASEhabitat master's and postgraduate program (architecture) as well as an increase in English-language teaching.

Within five years, an average of 10% of teaching in each field of study will be offered in English. In addition, more events, symposia and congresses will be held in English. The summer school format will be expanded. The studio principle (on-site work, bilingual), which works very well, will be applied more widely.

The modular design of the curricula, the cross-permeability between the fields of study, the flexibility within the curricula, the high proportion of elective subjects and the central importance of project-oriented courses generally remain the most important guidelines for independent study at the university. Curricular mobility also offers the opportunity for students to complete a longer stay abroad at another university/college at least once during their studies.

The internationally attractive teaching with strong links to the development of the arts and research is intended to encourage the recruitment of outstanding students from all over the world.

Another goal is to offer exchange opportunities with high-quality international art universities and research institutions, including the greatest possible interlinking of teaching and research content and exchange projects.

A good example of this is the annual campus exhibition, (Festival Ars Electronica together with the University of Arts Linz). The exhibition project creates the basis for new projects and for an exchange between teaching staff and students. This can lead to long-term collaborations, such as between UCLA (USA) and the Interface Cultures Master's program.

In 2020, a start was made on further strengthening the strategic anchoring of sustainability: Sustainability was included in the 2022-2027 development plan and a profile-building focus was explicitly dedicated to the topic of "sustainable and critical design". In June 2021, the university joined the Alliance of Sustainable Universities, an Austria-wide network that serves to support and raise the profile of sustainability at universities. The next necessary step is to develop a sustainability concept in order to systematically develop the numerous sustainable activities link.

Every study abroad or staff mobility is not only important in the context of knowledge transfer, but also promotes the general educational horizon as well as the understanding of intercultural similarities or differences between people and nations. It helps to strengthen the social skills of those involved and thus makes it easier to live together.

Entering the new Erasmus+ programme is a major challenge for small universities such as ours, with all its priorities (inclusion, implementation and promotion of environmentally friendly methods, promotion of civic engagement through active citizenship in incoming and outgoing mobilities, digitalization of the process at all levels - European Student Card).

The implementation of the new program affects the university and its members at all levels.

Good cooperation and internal networking between the International Office and all areas and departments of the university at all levels will be essential for the implementation of the new program at our institution.

The constant exchange of communication with all university employees offers the best possible support for our mobile students and staff (both incoming and outgoing).

Personal and direct communication with guests from abroad reflects the principle of our welcoming culture.

A qualitative characteristic of a well-executed mobility is also the functioning communication with the respective partner institution. A partnership is therefore evaluated on an ongoing basis.

In order to implement the focal points of the new program well, the University of Arts Linz is planning the

  • Continuing the internationalization of teaching: it is already a prerequisite for professorships that teaching can also be held in English. Internationalization will also take place in parallel with a generational change in teaching staff.
  • Opening up all courses (all courses should be made accessible to all students). This will increase the choice of courses and the possibility of finding courses taught in English for all students - especially incoming exchange students.
  • Simplification of the credit transfer process through the recommended inclusion of mobility windows in the curricula
  • the introduction of mobility for administrative staff and the
  • continuing and increasing the mobility of teaching staff 

The mobility of both students and lecturers/administrative staff should be promoted through the following measures, among others:

  • New partnerships follow the thematic focuses of the profile pillars of the University of Arts Linz.
  • The selection and assignment of students to universities/locations and fields of study is as transparent as possible.
  • In addition to conventional exchange programs, stays abroad that take place in the course of projects can be better utilized and integrated. 

Detailed information on the program can be found on the website International Issues

Addition to the 2022 policy statement

In the current development plan 2022-2027 link the University of Arts Linz has committed itself to strengthening cooperation with the Global South.

One starting point for this is the cooperation with universities in Colombia and Israel that has been established for several years partner universities.

One of the pillars of the exchange is the cooperation with the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogotá, which has been established since 2015. The exchange with a large, state university, which also has a faculty of art, is of outstanding interest, as students from Linz, who are used to studying in an almost familiar environment, can broaden their horizons there both professionally and interculturally. UNAL is also a highly respected international university, where interdisciplinary teaching is a top priority, especially in the arts subjects. Topics of cooperation include decoloniality, sustainable development and social documentary film.

The second Colombian university for the time being is the Universidad des Valle, a very renowned public comprehensive university. The courses on offer cover all areas such as art, architecture, humanities and social sciences, engineering and natural sciences. There are currently links with the Faculty of Art, the Faculty of Architecture and the Faculty of Social and Cultural Sciences, in particular the Maestría en Relaciones Eurolatinoamericanas (Master's degree in Euro-Latin American Relations).

Conversely, excellent students from Colombia can deepen their interests at the University of Arts Linz and also promote internationality on site.

The University of Arts Linz has a very high level of expertise at the interface of art, design, technology, science and society that few other universities can match.

The multifaceted opportunities for collaboration with the new TU for Digitalization and its contribution, particularly in the technical subjects, further strengthen all four profile-forming focal points of the University of Arts Linz. There are already starting points for potential collaborations in almost all of the goals, projects and plans in the current 2027 development plan.

New partnerships follow the thematic focal points of the profile pillars of the University of Arts Linz link :

  • Kunst: Zeitgenössisch und zukünftig / Contemporary Art and Beyond
  • Postdigitale Kulturen / Postdigital Cultures
  • Nachhaltige und kritische Gestaltung / Sustainable and Critical Design
  • Transformative Forschung und Bildung / Transformative Research and Education

The profile pillar Sustainable and Critical Design can be found in the collaborations with Israel, especially with the Holon Institute of Technology H.I.T. / www.hit.ac.il/en for the Fashion and Technology and Interface Cultures degree programmes and accentuate the high aspirations of the University of Arts Linz to act in a future-oriented manner and to face the social, ecological, technological and societal challenges of globalization and digitalization in terms of content and resources. Another profitable and long-standing cooperation in Israel is with the Bezalel Academy of Arts & Design in Jerusalem www.bezalel.ac.il.

Beyond the European region, cooperation in South America and Asia will be expanded in the coming years and will be promoted for the time being via the international component of KA 131 Mobility of Individuals .

 Addition to the 2023 policy statement

The focus of cooperation in EU member states and third countries associated with the program in 2021-2027 is generally on further developing and strengthening existing partnerships.

In third countries not associated with the program, a selective expansion to include new, strategically important partnerships is planned.

update May, 2024