The Alliance centres its primary interest on people, as the essential component and resource of the knowledge society, and the raison d’être of education in general and higher education in particular. The policies and activities of the Alliance are designed to provide quality provision and attention to the entire community of diverse persons participating in our higher education institutions, and to ensure their full participation in and ownership of this initiative. The strategy will address the three major groups composing the university community: students and potential students; academic staff; administrative, technical and support staff.
A laboratory for institutional learning
The Alliance will work as a shared laboratory for experimentation in innovative actions for deep university integration and inter-university cooperation. As such, it will design and test a wide variety of actions, rejecting those which prove to be unviable or unsuccessful, and implementing and disseminating those which prove feasible and beneficial. The results of the experimentation will provide a sound and informed source for deep evidence-based institutional learning within the Alliance, and for the enhancement of higher education policies at national and European level. They will be shared with other universities and networks and with the higher education sector
Mobility and recognition
The seven partner institutions in the Alliance share a strong tradition and long experience in student and staff mobility at both European and global levels, and are fully committed to the principles of the Erasmus Charter
for Higher Education, in particular to full and automatic recognition of all mobility study periods and of all diplomas awarded by partner institutions. This principle of recognition extends also to various forms of recognition
of staff mobility. The Alliance is deeply aware of the centrality of staff and researcher mobility to the attainment of its long-term objectives, and as such will work towards feasible shared policies for recognition in both workload systems and evaluation processes.
Building on this experience and existing cooperation, the
Alliance takes up the challenge of working towards seamless
mobility of all kinds with full recognition for all members of the
community, by promoting physical, blended
and virtual mobility in a wide variety of formats, including -where appropriate- structured and embedded mobility in the form of joint programmes in all cycles. Intersectoral mobility for work-based learning, research-based learning and service learning will also be priorities, as a special form of experiential learning, strengthening employability, entrepreneurial mindset and societal engagement.
Jointess and participation
From its inception, the Alliance has promoted a participative approach to the organization and planning of its activities and structures. The Alliance has designed shared governance structures to ensure smooth and efficient dialogue among the partner institutions at all levels: rectors and senior management; departments and faculties; academic and research staff; technical, administrative and support staff; students and their representative associations. The Alliance has also instituted internal Committees at each partner university to ensure internal follow-up and wide involvement in Alliance activities. Similarly, the Alliance will hold an annual event which will rotate around partner institutions, focussing on an annual theme, and facilitating widespread participation of staff and students from all partners.
The Alliance is committed to contributing actively to the reshaping of Open Science and publication culture, specifically regarding Open Access and Open Data. The partners will stimulate open interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary approaches to both study programmes and research to ensure the acquisition of the high-level, transferable competences required by the rapid evolution of technology, the economy and the labour market. Arqus believes this to be vital in order to ensure that complex societal challenges are addressed from the innovative and creative perspectives necessary for the pursuit of effective responses. Furthermore, the Alliance will attempt to break down the barriers which currently persist between education and research within higher education. To this end, it will promote research-based approaches to teaching & learning, attempt to ensure that research activities are fed directly into study programmes allowing students to participate in ongoing research, and pursue shared policies to guarantee balanced recognition of both activities in staff evaluation and promotion.
The Alliance believes firmly that an essential element for its success and sustainability is the close link between its joint goals and policies and those of each partner’s institutional strategy already in place. The partners are committed to investing in implementing and sustaining joint activities, within the bounds of their financial possibilities. The cross-cutting participation of staff and students at partner universities in governance structures and work plans for the Alliance will ensure potential for lasting cooperation in teaching & learning, research and outreach activities.