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INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

The University of Economics and Culture is a dynamically growing higher education institution that follows innovations in the sphere of education all over the world. To provide the students excellent experience, successful integration and further competitiveness in the labour market, the University of Economics and Culture cooperates with foreign higher education institutions and organizations.

Students and lecturers can apply for participation in the international EU exchange programme ERASMUS and participate in many international projects and events.

Cooperation Agreements for organising joint research projects, conferences, seminars and exchange of experience has been concluded with:

EKA International Strategy

EKA is developing as an interdisciplinary multicultural university. The progression of the knowledge society, globalization, new demands in the labour market and education, the need for innovations – all these factors create new challenges for educational institutions. In modern world such challenges can be overcome only in collaboration with partners – local and international. EKA sees its mission as being a higher education institution that provides the acquisition of higher professional and academic education in line with the European Union standards, fosters the development of students’ creative potential and initiative, and motivation for lifelong learning by applying innovative methods and multicultural approach. EKA trains knowledgeable, creative and independent personalities who are excellent professionals in their areas. EKA sees its students as happy students know who they are and what they want to achieve in their lives. It can be achieved only via purposeful development towards becoming an international university. For quite a few years, EKA has collaborated with different foreign universities within the framework of both ERASMUS agreement, multilateral collaboration agreement, and also within the framework of separate projects and arrangements. It is intended to continue the existing and sign new agreements on collaboration in joint research projects, conferences and implementation of seminars and experience exchange with more universities in neighbouring countries, e.g. Lithuania, Estonia, Finland, Poland. The main areas for potential cooperation are as follows:

  • Student and teacher exchange
  • Establishment and provision of joint programmes
  • Implementation of joint scientific and research projects both on academic staff and student level

The main target groups for mobilities are:

  • students of first cycle and short cycle, as they constitute the biggest number of EKA students
  • teaching/ academic staff

The main target groups for joint research initiatives are:

  • second cycle students
  • teaching/ academic staff.

When new partners are chosen, first of all the range of offered programmes is considered, in order to offer students and teachers new cooperation, mobility and experience exchange opportunities. Another important factor for initiating new collaboration arrangements are research areas of HEI’s academic staff, thus encouraging collaboration in the areas of scientific and applied research.

It is intended to continue collaboration with CAH Vilentum University (the Netherlands) to offer EKA’s first cycle students a double diploma opportunity.

It is envisaged to expand Erasmus opportunities, e.g. incoming and outgoing teachers delivering not only 5-6 hours as visiting lecturers, but a whole course or module within a course in a partner institution.

EKA has also non-EU institutional cooperation partners in Russia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan, and also teachers have contacts with their colleagues from various conferences and other activities, and EKA is interested in expanding the range of cooperation partners in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Caucasus. One reason is the common history and experience being a part of the soviet regime that may help in establishing and developing the relationship and tailoring the study programmes for the needs of students of this particular region. Our experience gained after joining EU might be useful for such kind of cooperation. Most of our academic staff beside Latvian and English speak fluent Russian and are able to provide training in Russian, therefore they can act either as lecturers delivering courses in the partner universities or providing full programmes at EKA for the students of partner universities. Another big area for cooperation and joint projects may be research.

Since 2013, when EKA received its first Fulbright specialist, and therefore new collaboration initiatives have been generated with Walsh College, Michigan, USA, that shall be implemented in the following years. Activities include  cooperation in the field of science and research, joint organisation of international scientific conference and publication of scientific journal, exchange and enhancement of curricula, development of joint case studies in specific areas (like banking, marketing, management etc.); exchange of scientific materials, curricula, training programs of students; cooperation in the joint writing of learning materials etc.

Since January 2015 EKA is a partner in the project “Innovative strategic partnership for European higher education” (ISPEHE), financed and supported by the European Commission, Erasmus + Programme, and implemented by the Integrated Business Institute in Skopje (R. of Macedonia) as project coordinator and University of Pavia (Italy), University of Ljubljana (Slovenia) and Technical University of Riga (Latvia) as partners. The overall objective of the project is to support the development of an innovative pathway by improving long-term strategic collaboration between Higher Education Institutions and enterprises and enhancing the development of sustainable learning advancements in HEIs. The specific objectives of the project are:

  • To support and implement models for effective and practical learning, through raising the awareness for an innovation driven culture: establishing educational best practices dedicated to the improvement of the current learning methods in the partnering institutions, fostering innovation, creativity, business and leadership skills;
  • To establish a foundation for promoting innovation and various career paths among prospective students: developing a collaborative link among stakeholders dedicated at increasing mutual linkages on all operational levels, focusing on the enhancement of intrapreneurship;
  • To develop cutting-edge technology platform: designing an innovative solution dedicated to merging all stakeholders and creating various opportunities for sharing experiences, joint collaborative efforts and added value to all interested parties.

 

In line with the priorities of the Modernisation Agenda, EKA envisages to contribute to the European Union′s modernisation and internationalisation agenda in higher education in order to achieve the following impact:

Priority No.1 - Increasing attainment levels to provide the graduates and researchers Europe needs

  • Continuing participation in Erasmus study and internship mobilities, student gain international and practical experience that broadens their angle of vision and helps preparing better for the world of work;
  • The activities to establish cooperation with enterprises in order to provide placements for students will continue also in the following years. It is being done with the help of existing contacts with enterprises, via the network of teaching staff and their professional contacts, as well as with kind assistance of partner HEI. The work in close cooperation with partners during the placement, as well as monitoring the placement period and providing feedback is very essential for the quality of the placement period itself, and it also demonstrates whether the education and training provided by EKA meets the standards and requirements of employers in the EU. The feedback from employers serves as a tool for upgrading the education and training process and curriculum quality at this HEI.
  • Organisation of joint courses, scientific conferences, seminars etc. (like activities together with Vilnius Gediminas Technical University for master’s programme students) helps student researches become, broader, more international. Besides, they establish new network with future peer researchers in other countries.
  • Internships in international cultural management organisations, e.g. Institute for Cultural Diplomacy, European Capitals of Culture etc.

Priority No.2 - Improving the quality and relevance of higher education

  • During teaching and staff mobility, EKA teachers have gained new ideas for broader use of  multidisciplinary approach in the curricula of Interior design programme  and Translation and Interpreting programme, Management programme etc.

Priority No.3 - Strengthening quality through mobility and cross-border cooperation

  • The current experience of students, teachers and staff members clearly demonstrates the gains from ERASMUS programme - besides enhancing their knowledge, skills, cultural, multi-cultural and professional experience, they all have established new contacts, gained new friends and colleagues, which, in its turn, has served as a beginning for new joint projects, cooperation or research initiatives.
  • Exchange of experience with Walsh College (Michigan, USA) in the enhancement of curricula, development of joint case studies in specific areas (like banking, marketing, management etc.); exchange of scientific materials, curricula, training programmes for students; cooperation in the joint writing of learning materials will add a new dimension.

Participation in the the project “Innovative strategic partnership for European higher education” (ISPEHE), which aims to establish a unified international Career Center, where graduates will get the optimal expertise and advice quality possible; develop a model, develop a new on-line system that will bridge the gap between private, public and educational bodies to enhance multidisciplinary collaboration and project management; develop an “Integrated Model for Fostering an Innovation Driven Culture and Learning Efficiency at HEIs” – a model that is being developed by synergizing comprehensive educational approaches already implemented in the partnering HEIs, using a complementary approach to establish new pilot curricula, focused on introducing innovative concepts to current learning methods utilized.

WALSH COLLEGE(USA)

In April, 2013, the UCEC signed long-term cooperation agreement with Walsh College that offers exchange programmes for students and lecturers, joint development of bachelor’s and master’s programmes. For students the cooperation provides successful career in Latvian and international companies, and for best students of the UCEC – possibility to get second higher education diploma – diploma of Walsh College. In spring semester 2013, within the framework of USA government’s leading specialists program, Mike Levens, associated professor at Walsh College and Head of Marketing Department, visited the University College of Economics and Culture.

Walsh College offers full-time and part-time studies and widely uses Online study possibilities. Offer of study programmes is directed to global business demand, development of leadership and effective communication skills. Walsh College provides the students with wide knowledge in marketing, management and finances. Finance management programme of Walsh College is highly appreciated by bank sector professionals and leading specialists.

Walsh College offers 17 study programmes, from bachelor level to doctor level. Bachelor programmes offer to study finance management, management, information systems safety and management, audit and marketing. It is possible to get academic and professional master’s degree, as well as Doctor’s degree.

Mike Levens, associated professor at Walsh College, specializes in marketing and previously has worked as marketing manager in company General Motors. The professor has been a guest lecturer at the University College of Economics and Culture, where he delivered the course for Master students “Research organization and academic work” and consultations for students of bachelor’s programme “Translation and Interpretation” during their bachelor paper development process. Mike Levens reads lectures on marketing and advertising issues.

Cooperation agreement provides for cooperation in the scientific sphere – joint researches, publications, organization of conferences, seminars and study practice.

In academic sphere, the cooperation includes development and exchange of study materials and programmes, as well as exchange of students and lecturers.

More information about Walsh College:

About associated professor Mike Levens

Information about high school the UCEC cooperates with

Walsh College about cooperation with the UCEC

The Wallstreet Journal about the cooperation of high schools

CAH VILENTUM UNIVERSITY (NETHERLAND)

Within the framework of the Cooperation Agreement between the UCEC and CAH Vilentum in the Netherlands, the University College of Economics and Culture offers its students a possibility to study one year at CAH Vilentum and get Professional Bachelor Degree in the Netherlands (Dutch ingenieur degree = Bachelor Honours) in addition to qualification and Bachelor degree of the University College of Economics and Culture.

ABOUT ISPEHE

Ekonomikas un kultūras augstskola is a partner in the project “Innovative strategic partnership for European higher education” (ISPEHE), financed and supported by the European Commission, Erasmus + Programme, and implemented by the Integrated Business Institute in Skopje (R. of Macedonia) as project coordinator and University of Pavia (Italy), University of Ljubljana (Slovenia) and Technical University of Riga (Latvia) as partners.

For more detailed information please visit the project website ISPEHE.org

The University College of Economics and Culture is a member of the Baltic University Programme (ERASMUS) that unites more than 160 universities in 14 countries of the Baltic Sea region. The Programme basically attends the issues of sustainable development, environmental protection and democracy.

Every year the list expands as the UCEC signs new cooperation agreements.

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