The Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw has been involved in activities related to subsequent editions of the Programme of the European Commission since 1999. The Academy’s participation in the programme over the years has resulted in an ongoing intensive exchange of students and staff, and a significant internationalization of our Institution.
Since Poland joined the European Union and began fully participating in the Programme, 472 of our students have taken part in the student mobility for studying and about 50 students have taken part in the student mobility for traineeships (since 2007/2008). In the same period the Academy has hosted 344 foreign students from our partner institutions. The Programme has also created opportunities for mobility of our academic staff. 69 of our teachers have so far taken part in the teaching staff mobility and 22 members of staff have benefited from the training available (since 2007/2008). The same number of foreign staff have visited our Academy. The number of bilateral agreements has increased from 28 to 91. Within the new Programme we intend to continue to co-work with our existing partners. Recently, all bilateral agreements were reviewed by the departmental coordinators and the Deans of the various faculties.
We believe that the current way of establishing contacts and signing bilateral agreements at the request of the faculties is advantageous and efficient. Moreover, to improve the quality of student and academic staff mobility, our Academy has appointed a Rector’s Plenipotentiary for International Co-operation. The tasks of the Plenipotentiary include initiating international contacts and supervision of the implementation of agreements with foreign partners.
The Academy has also established a number of partnerships with art schools outside the EU. Within the framework of cooperation agreements between our institutions it is also possible to exchange students and teachers as well as joint research activities and exhibitions and workshops. Participation of these countries in the Programme will strengthen relations and facilitate academic exchanges. We have also noticed a growing interest in student exchanges to countries with different cultures, which motivates us to expand contacts in different geographical areas, particularly in Russia and Asia. In the academic year 2012/2013 seven students from the Academy took the opportunity to study in our partner schools from outside the EU and The Academy has hosted five students from these schools.
In the new Programme student mobility for studying will still be a priority. Creating opportunities for the exchange of PhD students will be a welcome new challenge for us. We also foresee an increased interest from students in the mobility scheme for traineeships. This enables students to acquire new skills and has a huge beneficial impact on their careers. We would like to broadly promote traineeships among our students, improve procedures and increase the involvement of the faculties, especially with regard to adequate counseling on the place a traineeship is held.
In the new Programme we will continue to support the mobility of our academic staff. We would like to a greater extent to link staff mobility with the monitoring of the approaches to art education provided in the partner institutions. Apart from enabling teaching staff mobility, the Programme has provided the opportunity to exchange administrative staff. In our opinion this has been a very valuable experience for our employees in various administrative positions, and virtually the only way to ensure professional development at an international level.
Our efforts will also be focused on foreigners who choose to study at our Academy. The Academy continues to expand the range of courses it offers. We have been developing and creating new programmes and faculties (Faculty of Media Art, Faculty of Managing Visual Culture, Department of Fashion Design). Over the past few years great interest has been shown in Polish language courses and a course in the history and theory of art in English developed specifically for international students. We also hope to increase the attractiveness of the Academy with a new building designed for the needs of a modern art school.
The Academy is also interested in the potential opportunities offered by joint degrees. To achieve this goal the Academy is going to seek suitable partner institutions to reach agreement on conducting joint studies. This form of study requires serious preparation and acceptance from the whole academic community. As an institution with a teaching profile focused on individual artistic development and creating a strong relationship between tutor and student, we would like to approach this idea with particular care to preserve the unique character of our Institution.
The Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw (ASP) has been participating in the editions of the European Commission Program since 1999. Participation in the Erasmus + program is permanently inscribed in the Academy’s strategy and is a key element in the internationalization process. The goal is to maintain a high assessment of the implementation of the Erasmus + Program by the stakeholders participating in it, also confirmed in the assessment of individual faculty programs by the Polish Accreditation Commission.
The aim of internationalization of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw is to constantly improve the quality of education, conduct scientific research at a high international level, enrich the experience of teaching staff and cultural offer in the space of international institutions, galleries and public places. To achieve those objectives, it is indispensable to support and promote the mobility of employees and students within the Erasmus + Program and other programs with the organizational, substantive and financial support provided by the ASP.
In the new edition of the Program, we intend to continue cooperation with our existing, active Erasmus Program+ partners. The Agreements with our partners will be continued based on prior mutual verification of previous effects. Over thirty new contracts have been signed in the previous edition. In the new edition, we will focus on concluding contracts based on the initiative of individual departments and their partner contacts. Reliable, substantive assessment of the cooperation perspective is crucial for us in achieving the goal of increasing the quality of exchange in the Program.
The internationalization strategy assumes the active exchange of artistic thought, involvement in the development of the pan-European community and removing barriers to international dialogue through art, by the means of the teaching methodology tools. This is reflected in cooperation with partners from Europe, China, South Korea, the United States, Israel and membership in international organizations ELIA – European League of Institutes of The Art, European Association CUMULUS, ENCoRE European Network for Conservation Restoration Education, BAMS (British Art Medal Society), OISTAT International Organisation of Scenographers,Theatre Architects and Technicians.
The Erasmus + office implements the Programme’s objectives and provides ongoing exchange support. Plenipotentiary for international cooperation and promotion and Plenipotentiary for science and quality of education, as well as the Artistic Research Department and the Promotion and Cooperation Office actively initiate and support scientific and artistic activities under other contracts and programs.
In response to the growing students’ interest in mobilities to countries with a different culture and from outside the European Union, we are successfully expanding contacts in various geographical areas, which is reflected in projects with partners in the United States, China and Mexico. We are open to contacts with institutions that would like to learn from us as part of incorporating new countries and areas into the Program.
In the new Program the exchange of students for part of studies at all three levels of education and nine fields of study will continue to be the priority.
The constant increase of students’ interest in the possibility of internships under the Program results in the development of this type of mobility and increased support from the Program funds. The internship procedure is optimally simplified, which encourages students to acquire new qualifications that have a huge impact on their careers. This is evidenced by reports and opinions of students returning from internships.
Another priority is expanded linking of the mobility outcomes of teachers, scientists, artists and designers with the monitoring of the education process’ quality at partner universities and bringing result in joint projects under the Program’s actions and projects outside the Program. We have valuable experience in cooperation with partner schools, which is the basis for the development of future strategic partnerships in the frame of the Program.
In addition to the exchange of teachers, the Program in the previous edition created the possibility of mobilities for administrative staff. This is a unique opportunity for international professional development for this group of employees. The Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw is constantly expanding its educational offer, new faculties are being created, and other faculties’ programs are being modernized. The modernization of programs and continuous improvement makes the ASP attractive to study candidates from Poland and other countries. The only Faculty of Stage Design in Poland functions at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw.
The attractiveness of the ASP was raised by the commissioning of a new building designed for the needs of a modern art university. The building at Wybrzeże Kościuszkowskie, financed from European funds, has an audiovisual room, which successfully serves both teaching process and scientific conferences. Currently, teaching takes place in four locations offering a unique atmosphere related to the history of Warsaw. The renovation of the Czapski Palace, the main seat of the Academy of Fine Arts, is carried out in order to increase the exhibition area and make artistic activities space more attractive in the heart of Warsaw. Investments in infrastructure ensure the attractiveness of the Academy of Fine Arts as a partner for joint ventures within culture and art.
The Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw has valuable experience in cooperation with the European business environment. Exhibitions, projects and publications are conducted as part of activities carried out with partners on the basis of competition and partnership agreements. The projects are realized with care for the artistic and substantive level. We conducted joint activities with business partners, including IKEA, Siemens, Nokia, Danone, PZU SA, and with public institutions and foundations, such as the City of Warsaw, the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, the Visegrad Foundation, The Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation, the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage (projects on promoting Polish culture abroad), the European Union Commission, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, the National Science Centre, the National Centre for Research and Development.
Involvement in exchange of students and teachers, in digital modernization of the workshop space in design faculties, teaching on self- presentation and building a portfolio using modern technologies gives graduates the possibility of professional activity around the world. Difficult challenges during the pandemic time prepared us for distance learning, we learned to act online and use digital technologies at an accelerated pace. We believe that we will be prepared for blended mobility projects which will allow for increased participation in the Program and implementation of the objectives of the European Education Area. Joint diplomas and strengthening didactic cooperation with partner universities are a huge potential which, with the approval of the academic community, we would like to prepare to and implement in the new Program.