Vysoká škola regionálního rozvoje (VŠRR) realizes its international cooperation on the basis of the elaborated document Project on International Cooperation, which is the part of the Long-Term Aim of the educational and scientific, research, developmental and other creative school activities for years 2011 – 2015. The international cooperation strategy is being developed mainly in two basic areas; the cooperation between university institutions based on general agreements and within the Erasmus Programme.
Department for International Cooperation, which is managed by the vice-rector for study and educational activities, was established in order to secure the realization of the international cooperation strategy. The work of the department is performed by one full-time worker and occasionally by cooperation of the workers of the Department for Foreign Languages.
Bilateral contracts are made with the schools which provide compatible study programmes. VŠRR looks mainly for schools in Germany and Slovakia. The reason is the geographical location of the Czech Republic, common historic landmarks and cultural proximity. Academic workers and also students are, regarding their language skills, prepared to communicate also in English language. Therefore, VŠRR sets the aim to also focus in the follow-up programme more on the English speaking areas, which would also increase the opportunities of the cooperation within innovating and upgrading the study programme.
The most important target group for mobility are the academic workers who have the opportunity to verify their research results in front of the students and teachers of foreign schools and therefore get a feedback from abroad. Another important group are the students going on working stays. As VŠRR presents itself as a professionally specialized higher education institution, one of its priorities is to prepare specialists for the field of public and state administration with knowledge and experience also from foreign countries, not only from the Czech Republic. Another used type of the mobility was also sending the academic workers to schoolings, which already helped to implement a lot of innovative processes within the organization and study issues management. This mobility will also be used in the future as it was efficient. A less used is the mobility focused on the study stays, the reason being mainly a high percentage of part-time students. A lot of those do not have any possibility to leave for four and/or more months. This is why it is realized in a smaller range, which needs to be counted with also in the future, unless the student structure changes.
VŠRR plans to join other projects on international cooperation in the area of teaching and education within the programme. For this aim it is prepared to enlarge the base which realizes the cooperation and provides support for its realization, which means to enlarge the Department for International Cooperation. This also means that the Project on International Cooperation needs to be upgraded fundamentally in the following period. The Department for International Cooperation will elaborate a new organizational system and working procedures. The fulfilment of this aim is practicable, because as the result of the recent upgrading of the study plan there are new academic workers. These new academic workers seem to guarantee the extension of the international cooperation thanks to their high professional and also language knowledge and skills.
- VŠRR has realized a project on the innovation of the study programme, within which the study programme was upgraded; the aim was to make the school international and to adapt to current European requirements. VŠRR is now preparing specialists with solid theoretical and practical base for the development of a particular geo-social region with emphasis on international relations with the EU and efficient involvement in its structures. VŠRR will in the follow-up Erasmus Programme verify if the suggested and implemented innovations were optimally focused. This will be enabled by the students and academic workers mobility.
- VŠRR has joined a current process of looking into the internal quality of the higher education in the Czech Republic. It has elaborated a Study on Internal Quality Evaluation System, in which the conditions, processes and outcomes of the educational process are specified based on the European Standards and Guidelines for assuring the internal quality within the higher education institutions, which is, after observation of the particular issues, further improved. For implementation of this study more comparison with other tertiary institutions is necessary, so that VŠRR can become a contributing part of the European educational process (see www.msmt.cz, Areas of Work, Tertiary Education, Accreditation Commission, documents in English available)
- Cooperation with foreign schools will help thanks to a closer communication to implement examples of good practice and the in practice verified measures. The international cooperation so far has shown benefits for teaching quality improvement, so it is important to continue. The comparison with the study programmes of other foreign higher education institutions will contribute to the constant improvement of the current study programme, it will help to optimize the management of the teaching and managing processes.
- The cooperation with foreign schools will provide better support of the research development, which is reflected in the education quality. The Erasmus Programme will enable VŠRR to start cooperation in the research area, join international research groups and also exchange experience and its implementation. As VŠRR is mainly a professionally specialized tertiary institution, it is necessary that it focuses its activities on practice in public and state administration, supports the students to take part in working stays at similar institutions and offices.
- The cooperation within the Erasmus Programme with other tertiary institutions abroad will provide VŠRR with comparison and with innovative steps within the area of management of the whole educational process. VŠRR intends to send more academic workers from management posts abroad, who can implement the abroad gained facts and experience into practice. This should help the optimization in the management and also financing of all internal processes. This will be helped by the mobility of academic and non-academic workers.