European Office - Galway RTC
In 1993, Regional Technical College Galway felt the need to create a new position which was entitled European Officer to help deal with the ever increasing amount of incoming and outgoing foreign students, the administration of various European programmes in which the college was involved more and more.
The office is involved with various European programmes, in particular ERASMUS, ECTS, TEMPUS, COMETT and PETRA by assisting the Institutional Co-ordinators and having the responsibility for the incoming and outgoing students.
Galway RTC Active Connections
Galway RTC co-operates actively with colleges in the following regions:
Austria : Graz, Vienna
Belgium : Mechelen
Denmark : Odense
Finland : Kajaani, Mikkeli
France : Grenoble, La Rochelle, Lille, Lyon, Metz, Paris, Strasbourg, Toulon, Toulouse.
Germany : Aalen, Berlin, Dresden, Emden, Esslingen, Flensburg, Karlsruthe, Koblenz, Lausitz, Offenburg, Paderborn, Pforzheim, Reutlingen, Trier.
Great Britain : Coventry, Edinburgh, Lancashire, Leeds, Wolverhampton.
Greece : Kavala, Kozani, Patras, Piraeus, Thessaloniki.
Holland : Amsterdam, Enschede.
Italy : Caligari, Genoa, Milan.
Norway : Kristiansand, Molde.
Poland : Lodz, Krakow.
Portugal : Porto.
Spain : Madrid, Vigo, Zaragoza.
Sweden : Linkoping.
The ERASMUS programme deals with inter-institutional co-operation and student/staff mobility in Europe, through ICPs (Inter-University Co-operation Programmes)/ Almost all departments of the college are involved in one or more ICP, connecting them to a number of colleges in the EU and EFTA countries which offer similar courses of study, thereby allowing students in these colleges the opportunity to attend one of the partner colleges and go to classes they would normally have attended in their home institution.
Galway RTC has proved to be a very popular destination among students from colleges in these ICP's and the number of incoming students has increased substantially every year, with other 100 incoming ERASMUS students attending Galway RTC during the 1994/1995 academic year for periods ranging from 3 months to 1 academic year. Students from the RTC have also taken advantage of the opportunity to study at these partnet colleges, therby improving their language skills and experiencing life in a different country, which mosyt of them found to be academically satisfactory and very beneficial on a personal level. In 1994/1995, approx. 50 RTC students went abroad on ERASMUS.
There is also the option for staff to go teaching visits to the various partner colleges and a few of our lecturers have done this, with some foreign lecturers visiting Galway and giving lectures for periods of one or two weeks. It is hoped to develop this option more under Socrates.
During April 1995, two Business Studies ICP meetings were held in Galway. The first one was for an ICP which is co-ordinated by this college and was attended by co-ordinators from several German colleges as well as some from Denmark, Holland and France. The second meeting was for an ICP co-ordinate in Greece and at this one one there were participants from five Greek colleges as well as Germany and France.
Working with the various co-ordinators on issues relating to their ICPS.
Completing forms, reports, returns, etc. to ERASMUS Bureau and National Awarding Authority (HEA).
Contacting various institutions on all matters relating to student exchanges of the running of the ICPs.
Making travel arrangements for staff travelling to meetings or college visits.
Administration of Institutional grants.
Students - Incoming: (150 approx. 1994/1995)
Communicating information to students before arrival.
Arranging suitable accomodation.
Welcoming the students and helping them to settle in when they arrive.
Introducing the students to the relevant staff.
Tour of college facilities.
Helping them with all queries other than academic matters.
Preparing and sending the results to students and colleges.
Supplying certificates of attendance, etc.
Students - Outgoing: (50 approx. 1994/1995)
Distributing information to students about opportunities to study abroad.
Helping to select suitable students.
Notifying host collegesabout intention to send students.
Distribution of ERASMUS grants and management of other grants i.e. ESF.
Supply of travel and insurance advice.
ECTS stands for European Credit Transfer System. It was set up as a pilot scheme with five areas of study: History, Medicine, Business Administration, Chemistry and Mechanical Engineering. Galway RTC was chosen as the only Irish partner in the Mechanical Engineering inner circle. There are 34 partners in this inner circle, and students from these colleges have the option to attend any of the partners to attain credits which are transfered to their home college. These students either attend for one semester or one year, sit examinations and most attain 30 credits per semester which they add to their home credits for their qualification. They have the option , if they so desire, to attend more than one of the colleges within the inner circle, accumulating credits as they proceed. Galway RTC has mainly attracted ECTS students from Zaragossa, Milan, Esslingen, Dresden and Compiegne over the past few years. However due to the pressure to attain the necessairy credits, students from Galway RTC have generally opted to go to colleges in England (or Sweden) so that would not have been faced with the language problem.
ERASMUS, ECTS and Lingua will come under the new Programme Socrates from 1996.
Same as for ERASMUS but additional forms have to be produced.
Production and distribution of required information brouchures to all colleges participating in ECTS Mechanical Engineering Inner Circle.
Introducing and Promoting the ECTS scheme among the other departments in the college.
Same as ERASMUS with special emphasis on choice on choice of subjects and the transfer of credits and the different formats for results.
TEMPUS stands for Trans-European Co-operation Scheme for Higher Education between Central and Eastern Europe and the European Community. Our Aquaculture section is involved in this programme and works together with Wolverhampton University and two universities in Poland. The universities in Wolverhampton, Lodz and Krakow send a number of students to Galway for one semester. Galway RTC in turn sends students to Wolverhampton University and from there they have the option to spend a period of 3 months working in Poland during the summer months.
Same as for ERASMUS and ECTS.
Administration of incoming students grants.
The COMETT programme is related to work experience. Students are placed in companies abroad which provide work experience which is relevant to their course of study. These students can be placed in companies for periiods ranging from 3 - 12 months. The students receive grants from Hibernia UETP for their placement period. Placements are either offered by Hibernia UETP, or are found by the college, by using our contacts in various colleges or companies abroad. In 1994/1995 the RTC arranged 11 such placements for our students. Galway RTC in turn are requested by colleges abroad to find COMETT placements for some of their students. This usually proves to be difficult in Ireland, due to the high rate of unemployment in this country. However, in 1995, we managed to find 3 very suitable placements in Galway for students from Germany.
From September 1995, COMETT and PETRA will be replaced by the LEONARDO programme.
Searching for and arranging placements abroad for some of our students in industry related to their studies.
Notifying students of placement offers from abroad.
Applying for grants from the UETP for students with placements and distribution of same to students.
Searching for placements in Ireland for a certain number of students from specific colleges abroad.
The Hotel and Catering School and the Aquaculture section of our college have ran many PETRA projects over the past few years, and in a few cases they have even worked together on a project. In 1995, Galway RTC played host to a group of approx. 15 Spanish, French and English Hotel and Catering Craft students for one month, while a group of students from the RTV went to these countries for a similar period.
PETRA is the major European Programme dealing with initial vocational training. Its aims are:
To help memeber satesd to ensure provision of inital vocational training leading to a reconized qualification.
To add a community dimension to initial training and guidance for young people.
To support the development of partnerships between various providers of training and education.
To promote equality of opportunity.
To encourage the development of creativity, initiative and enterprize in young people.