NUST Enters Multiple Erasmus+ Inter Institutional Agreements
The Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) has concluded close to twenty Erasmus+ Inter Institutional agreements with European universities which will see a significant increase in student and staff mobilities abroad during 2023 – 2025.
NUST has emerged as the partner of choice for universities across the European continent as the Namibian institution has entered agreements that govern the use of funds for international staff and student mobilities. Universities in Spain, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Poland, Turkey, Romania and Lithuania all partnered with NUST in early 2022 to finalise and submit funding applications to Erasmus+.
Erasmus+ is the European Union’s (EU) programme to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe. It has a budget of €26.2 billion and supports mobility and cooperation opportunities in higher education and vocational education and training (VET) among others. The funding allocated to NUST and its European partners will make possible student and staff exchanges. The exchanges for staff typically last one week and are for teaching or training, meaning that both academic and administrative can make use of these opportunities. The student mobilities are for a five-month period, meaning that these are full semester exchanges.
“Our belief is that NUST is viewed as a valuable partner by universities across Europe, hence the high number of agreements for student and staff mobilities,” said John Haufiku, Director of Corporate Engagement and Internationalisation at NUST. He added that the increased number of student and staff mobilities bodes well for internationalisation of higher education, and that the exposure, skills and knowledge gained through the exchanges would be invaluable.
In total NUST entered 17 Erasmus+ Inter Institutional Agreements with European universities for the 2023 – 2025 cycle. Under these agreements no less than 170 International Credit Mobility (ICM) grants for exchange will be awarded to NUST staff and students. Students will be the main beneficiaries as 93 ICMs are for semester exchange, while the remaining 77 ICMs will be allocated to NUST staff members. Students from all four of NUST’s Faculties will eligible for international exchange through these ICM grants.
Nico Smit, NUST International Relations Officer, expressed happiness over the high number of exchange opportunities for NUST staff and students, pointing to the fact that international mobilities make up a core element of internationalisation of higher education. “We will, of course, be very busy planning and coordinating all these mobilities, but international exchange presents an excellent opportunity for holistic growth and development – exchange changes!”, he said.
In 2022 NUST and the EU celebrated 20 years of partnership. The conclusion of the new IIAs therefore marks a continuation of the strong relationship that the Namibian institution and the EU have built. “Namibia’s premier university of science and technology remains the go-to partner for the EU and universities across Europe for partnership in the areas of international exchange, research and other related activities,” Haufiku said. This sentiment is underlined by the high likelihood that no other Namibian university has entered into more international mobility agreements with European institutions of higher education than NUST.
NUST is a local institution with a global outlook, aiming to attract students and academics from across the world, while at the same time offering its staff and students the opportunity for international exposure.