ERASMUS University charter (ECHE) is issued by European Commission and it permits higher education institutions to take part in activities of ERASMUS programme. Latvian Christian Academy awarded with the enlarged ERASMUS Charter for Higher Education (renewed) in 2021. The text of the Charter available here.
ERASMUS University charter permits following activities:
- To organize study mobility of students, academics and personnel,
- To organize international placements for students,
- To offer ERASMUS intensive language courses,
- To apply for international projects, networks, additional activities.
The charter describes basic principles which the higher education institution has to follow when ERASMUS programme activities are organized and carried out.
ERASMUS policy statement (EPS)
European Christian Academy is a classic student-oriented research and education institution with a strong ambition to be one of the leading Christian education institutions maintaining a high quality level. Its curriculum is based on internationally oriented interdisciplinary research.
ECA has embedded internationalisation and mobility into all layers of the academy’s study and research work: internationalisation is the main pillar for ECA Strategy Development Policy Plan to fulfil the goals. ECA has traditionally put focus on so called “innovation from antiquity’, which means Judeo-Christian anthropological tradition in dialogue with European Social Agenda, and European integration and labour participation. By this innovative approach from ‘antiquity’ (theology, anthropology, ontology, sociology) ECA is investing unique contribution to common European Education Area. This strategy is helpful for innovative issues of international policy for internationalisation, because its anthropological and theological concept complements European HE area with absolutely innovative approach to solutions of modern European knowledge society with ontological, anthropological and sociological innovation which are very specifically needed for modern post-human societies. By this concept ECA differs from other theological HEI’s and is highly evaluated from European accreditation experts for the innovative concept and professional international activities, and the importance of quality control in this regard.
By this concept, we are providing competitive programs with a goal to become the Centre of Excellence in the wider Baltic region. ECA is a small university in a small country, therefore the international quality and recognition is of highest importance. ECA has an important role to play in common HE European education goals because of the competitiveness of the study programs.
We consider internationalisation as important for institutional success in a competitive knowledge society. For an institution to excel in a competitive knowledge society, the challenge is to have effective International Relations with short and long term strategy.
Short-term strategy: increase of outgoing & incoming students; the promotion of attractive international programs; the improvement of international study culture. Long-term strategy aims at promoting internationalisation through detailed planning at the beginning for each year, and includes set of indicators and targets to be reached. We believe that internationalisation should not be regarded as a goal in itself but rather an effective instrument to achieve all goals related to the central obligation of ECA as HE institution in EU for common goals of European Education Area.
This focus includes that ECA strongly encouraged the inclusion of partners from the world of labour participation, social dialogue, membership in EU networks (such as EZA (European Centre for Workers’ Questions), Semaines Sociales de France, International Deaconate Centre (IDC)), research contacts that have been established already under Strategic Partnerships, Jean Monnet Modules at LCA, and other research platforms.
As HEI we are going for Erasmus+ Programme and European Education Area goal – “Strengthening European Identity through Education and Culture” (2017). Through bachelor, master, doctoral study programs in Social Work, Caritative Social Work, Caritative Supervision, Social Entrepreneurship, Visual Arts: Iconpainting, Altar Painting, Sacred Graphics, Calligraphy, and integral Integrative Methodology as methodological tool – we will work towards achieving Erasmus+ Charter goals. Curricula education for each study program is based on active partnership with enterprises. We are looking for widening cooperation on European scale in learning and research by key actions (KA1, KA2) – included in EPS. Previously our EPS focused more on KA1 – mobility of students and staff.
The new Programme will offer deeper opportunities for ECA for modernisation and internationalisation through participation in European and international cooperation projects, mobility of staff and students to increase quality ECA programs and students experience. We understand participation in new Programme as a challenge to develop cooperation with partners in other countries in the framework of a clear strategy for internationalisation. To promote student and staff mobility and further develop non-discrimination policies, to make steps for development of integrated transnational teaching such as joint courses, joint curricula, joint degrees, joint modules. To reach the goal of high-level international performance. The objectives and proposed actions under the new program fit perfectly within ECA’s Strategy Development Policy Plan for Internationalisation (further – Strategic Plan) with its emphasis for intensifying mobility for students and staff, for partnerships, for cooperation, partnerships of excellence and innovation. Participation in action of European Universities is one of the strategic goals of ECA in the new Programme.
Strategic Plan of ECA is to deliver measures for European Education Area in teaching and training – key competences for lifelong learning, digital skills, common European values, and inclusive education. Sense of belonging to country as well as European family. To implement European Pillar of Social Rights. Through teaching we are going to fulfil European recommendations for key competences of lifelong learning (LLL). Since 2019, ECA has adopted a Digital Education Action Plan that was put in motion in 2020 regarding Covid-19 created situation for digital transformation for education at ECA. Situation improved one of the priorities for action – education through better data analysis and foresight. Study and placement mobility will be an important part of education, and digital technologies will be a key for improving it further. Erasmus+ projects such as European Student E-card and Erasmus Without Paper will be integrated in ECA work. We consider European Student Card Initiative as positive for improvement of quality of student mobility in Europe. We consider digital competences as part of the revised European Reference Framework of Key Competences for Lifelong Learning.