ERASMUS CHARTER FOR HIGHER EDUCATION AT THE HHIC
A. GENERAL ORGANISATION OF PROGRAMME ACTIVITIES
1. GENERAL ORGANISATION
STRUCTURE FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION AND ORGANIZATION OF EUROPEAN AND INTERNATIONAL MOBILITY (DIVISION OF TASKS, OPERATION AND COMMUNICATION METHODS)
In order to implement and organize European and international mobility,the HHIC has formed an Erasmus Team (IRO). It is comprised of 4 members who plan for and implement necessary tasks: activity plan preparation; program promotion; completion of application forms; contacts with other institutions; signing of agreements; selection, support and administration of participants; activities appraisal and progress reports submission.
The Coordinator (email@example.com ) submits the plan to management for approval. It organizes information days twice yearly for students, followed by a call for an application of interest. It conducts an annual staff meeting to inform on European Programs encouraging them to participate in the program. Interested staff/students are selected based on a list of selection criteria. Dates and duration of mobility are then decided. A contract is signed between the parties involved. Upon completion of mobility, relevant documentation is presented by the participants.
2. FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES
- The HHIC respects in full the principles of non-discrimination set out in the Programme and ensure equal access and opportunities to mobile participants from all backgrounds
- The HHIC ensures full recognition for satisfactorily completed activities of study mobility and, where possible, traineeships in terms of credits awarded (ECTS). Furthermore, it ensures the inclusion of satisfactorily completed study and/or traineeship mobility activities in the final record of student achievements (Diploma Supplement).
ACADEMIC CREDIT SYSTEM AND THE METHODOLOGY USED TO ALLOCATE CREDITS TO THE DIFFERENT COURSE UNITS FOLLOWED BY OUR STUDENTS ABROAD
The HHIC’s policy for the allocation of credits adheres to the EQF principles and practices. After the implementation of a joint project with the UNWTO for redevelopment of its programs, not only were student career options enhanced, but progression of studies was enabled at level 5 based on 180 ECTS accumulated. Each program spans 3 years and accounts for 60 ECTS. These are allocated to modules to describe the overall student workload required to complete them.
The HHIC and the host institution agree in advance on the periods of study abroad, the modules to be attended by the students involved and the ECTS to be awarded. Before the commencement of the mobility activity, the Team with the help of the Course Program Supervisors examine the curriculum level and content, the learning outcomes and the assessment methods of the host institution’s modules, in order to achieve the best transfer option for the participants.
- The HHIC charges no fees, in the case of credit mobility, to incoming mobile students for tuition, registration, examinations or access to workshops and library facilities.
3. WHEN PARTICIPATING IN MOBILITY ACTIVITIES – BEFORE MOBILITY
- The HHIC publishes and regularly updates the course catalogue on the website of the Institution well in advance of the mobility periods, so as to be transparent to all parties and allow mobile students to make well-informed choices about the courses they will follow.
- It provides guidance to incoming mobile participants in finding accommodation.
ALL COURSES TAUGHT AT YOUR INSTITUTION ARE DESCRIBED IN THE COURSE CATALOGUE AND LANGUAGES IN WHICH THEY ARE TAUGHT
All courses taught at the HHIC are described in the Course Catalogue in both English and Greek.
The Institute offers two educational programs:
1. Hospitality and Tourism Management
2. Culinary Arts
The programs are offered at the level of a higher diploma (Level 5 of EQF) over the course of three years. The student also has the option of exit in the second year of studies and be awarded a certificate (Level 4 of the EQF).
- The HHIC carries out mobility only within the framework of prior agreements between institutions. These agreements establish the respective roles and responsibilities of the different parties, as well as their commitment to shared quality criteria in the selection, preparation, reception and integration of mobile participants.
INSTITUTIONAL PROCEDURE FOR THE APPROVAL AND MONITORING OF INTER-INSTITUTIONAL AGREEMENTS FOR STUDY AND TEACHING MOBILITY AND/OR LEARNING AGREEMENTS IN CASE OF TRAINEESHIPS (WORK PLACEMENTS)
In order to ensure a comprehensive number of inter-institutional agreements,the HHIC contacts the National Agency of Erasmus for the search of potential partners offering similar courses and diplomas.The HHIC conducts its own search through the embassies and consulates of other European countries.
Upon identification of potential partners, the HHIC’s course program supervisors,compare and evaluate the courses offered. It ensures a very close relationship with Cypriot hospitality and tourism stakeholders,such as the Cyprus Hotel Association and the Association of Cyprus Tourist Enterprises.The cooperation between the stakeholders assists the Institute in recruiting traineeships abroad.The potential outgoing students are invited by interested parties for internships.The Industrial Placement Coordinator evaluates the company’s suitability for HHIC student placement,so as to ensure that at the completion of the traineeship,the aims and learning outcomes of the HHIC’s Programs will be met.
- The HHIC ensures that outgoing mobile participants are well prepared for the mobility, including having attained the necessary level of linguistic proficiency.
THE INSTITUTION’S LANGUAGE POLICY FOR PREPARING PARTICIPANTS FOR MOBILITY, e.g.: COURSE PROVIDERS WITHIN OR OUTSIDE THE HEI
At the HHIC languages play a pivotal role. For this reason,the HHIC conducts compulsory English language courses for all its students for five consecutive semesters.Both its Programs are offered in English.Additionally,a second language is compulsory and students are given the opportunity to select the language of their choice amongst three European languages.
The program Hospitality and Tourism Management offers a third foreign language as an elective in the 3rd year.Incoming students can attend both programs at the HHIC in the English Language or if they wish they can also attend the Culinary Arts program in Greek.They are encouraged to attend Greek Language Courses provided at the Language Center of the University of Cyprus.
- The HHIC ensures that student and staff mobility for education or training purposes is based on a learning agreement for students and a mobility agreement for staff validated in advance between the home and host institutions or enterprises and the mobile participants.
- It provides assistance related to obtaining visas, when required, for incoming and outgoing mobile participants.
- Additionally, it provides assistance related to obtaining insurance, when required, for incoming and outgoing mobile participants.
4. WHEN PARTICIPATING IN MOBILITY ACTIVITIES - DURING MOBILITY
- The HHIC ensures equal academic treatment and services for home students and staff and incoming mobile participants.
- It integrates incoming mobile participants into the Institution’s everyday life.
- Additionally, it has appropriate mentoring and support arrangement in place, for mobile participants.
MENTORING AND SUPPORT ARRANGEMENTS FOR INCOMING MOBILE PARTICIPANTS AND OUTGOING STUDENTS FOR STUDY AND TRAINEESHIPS
The Team provides outgoing students with information and counseling regarding the agreements and the programs of the partner institutions. Furthermore, they are provided assistance in organizing their trip and accommodation at the host institution. Incoming students are given an informational package prior to their arrival in Cyprus and they are assigned an Erasmus Tutor. Upon their arrival an orientation day takes place introducing them to the HHIC. The Student’s Union organizes welcome parties for the Erasmus Students as well as excursions around the island and helps them to understand the new culture. Participation in Student Clubs and activities is encouraged. Rooms are reserved for the incoming students at the HHIC Halls of Residence.
- The HHIC provides appropriate linguistic support to incoming mobile participants.
INSTITUTION’S SUPPORT FOR INCOMING STUDENTS AND STAFF WITH A MINIMUM OF TWO MONTH MOBILITY PERIOD
Incoming students are provided with the opportunity to attend English Language lessons and select amongst three elective European languages. All language modules are aligned with the Common European Framework of References (CEFR) for Language. The aim of the courses is the acquisition of language skills, so that students can use the language as a communication tool in their professional field. Incoming students and staff can attend intensive Greek language courses at the University of Cyprus.
5. WHEN PARTICIPATING IN MOBILITY ACTIVITIES – AFTER MOBILITY
- The HHIC accepts all activities indicated in the learning agreement as counting towards the degree, provided these have been satisfactorily completed by the mobile students.
- It provides incoming mobile participants and their home institutions with transcripts containing a full, accurate and timely record of their achievements at the end of their mobility period.
MECHANISMS THE INSTITUTION HAS IN PLACE TO RECOGNIZE MOBILITY ACHIEVEMENTS FOR STUDY AND TRAINEESHIPS IN ENTERPRISES BASED ON THE FOLLOWING TWO CHARTER PRINCIPLES
·Accept all activities indicated in the learning agreement as counting towards the degree, provided these have been satisfactorily completed by the mobile students.
·Provide incoming mobile participants and their home institutions with transcripts containing a full, accurate and timely record of their achievements at the end of their mobility period.
The HHIC offers the possibility to all students to participate in Erasmus without disrupting their studies.Exchanges are achieved through the implementation of the rules set by the ECTS Systems.Comparisons are made on course descriptions, curriculum content and quality assurance between institutions.
Mobility achievement for traineeships is only recognized after completion of 4 months of work.Faculty inspections secure the quality of the placements and an Internship Coordinator oversees the placement process.A log book is kept by the student where weekly tasks are recorded along with supervisor evaluation.The student is required to submit an Internship report and a confirmation letter is issued by the enterprise awarding the student 10 ECTS.
- The HHIC supports the reintegration of mobile participants and gives them the opportunity, upon return, to build on their experiences for the benefit of the Institution and their peers.
- The HHIC ensures that staff is given recognition for their teaching and training activities, undertaken during the mobility period, based on a mobility agreement.
INSTITUTIONS MEASURES TO SUPPORT, TO PROMOTE AND TO RECOGNISE STAFF MOBILITY
Interested staff is provided with information and counseling regarding the bilateral agreements. Programs staff members are interested in, are assessed and priority is given to staff that have not been on Erasmus or on any other mobility programs. Further to the selection of staff for mobility, the Institute undertakes the necessary correspondence with the host institutions and prepares the necessary documents. To recognize staff’s mobility a certificate is required from the host institution, which should include the number of hours for the exchange. The participation of staff in Erasmus activities is considered during staff evaluation.
6.WHEN PARTICIPATING IN EUROPEAN AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION PROJECTS
- The HHIC ensures that cooperation leads to sustainable and balanced outcomes for all partners.
- It provides relevant support to staff and students participating in these activities.
INSTITUTIONAL MEASURES TO SUPPORT, PROMOTE AND RECOGNIZE THE PARTICIPATION OF THE INSTITUTION’S STAFF AND STUDENTS IN EUROPEAN AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION PROJECTS UNDER THE PROGRAMME
The HHIC plans to publish a press release upon receipt of the ECHE the HHIC will announce through its webpage its participation in Erasmus providing a link to the website of the National Agency of the Foundation for the Management of the EU Lifelong Learning Programs.
The ECHE, EPS and posters will be placed at the Institute’s entrance, the IRO office, the student’s union and student’s cafeteria. Information days will be organized to inform both students and staff on the program’s mobility.
Additionally, the HHIC has initiated European Partnerships such as an Employer Program(EP) under Erasmus.The EP aims to develop functional partnerships between institutions and the industry. The HHIC also participates in the Leonardo da Vinci Program.
- The HHIC exploits the results of the projects in a way that will maximize the impact on individuals and participating institutions and encourage peer learning and the wider academic community.
7. FOR THE PURPOSES OF VISIBILITY
- The HHIC displays the Charter and the related Erasmus Policy Statement prominently on the Institutions website.
- It promotes consistently activities supported by the Programme, along with other results.
B. ERASMUS POLICY STATEMENT (OVERALL STRATEGY)
INSTITUTION’S INTERNATIONAL (EU AND NON-EU) STRATEGY RELATED TO THE FOLLOWING ISSUES:
a) HOW PARTNERS ARE CHOSEN; b) IN WHICH GEOGRAPHICAL AREAS; c) THE MOST IMPORTANT OBJECTIVES AND TARGET GROUPS OF OUR MOBILITY ACTIVITIES (WITH REGARD TO STAFF AND STUDENTS IN FIRST, SECOND AND THIRD CYCLES, INCLUDING STUDY AND TRAINING, AND SHORT CYCLES.
The HHIC constitutes a public institute of tertiary education. The responsibility of its administration lies with the Cyprus government, operating under the supervision of the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance. Consequently, it should be acknowledged for its ability to sufficiently support the Ministry in promoting the Republic’s policies and initiatives for the upgrading of service quality and the achievement of sustainable development and management of human resources.It’s vision is to render a European, qualitative and modern institution of tertiary education for professional specialization to be recognized (in Cyprus, Europe and internationally, by the industry, the students and the professionals, the educational and academic world and the broader society) for the quality of education it provides, as well as its ability to properly prepare the students and trainees of every age for the needs of the Hospitality, Catering and Tourism Industry.
The HHIC has successfully participated in ERASMUS as from 2006 with staff and student mobility and signed European bilateral agreements with other EU institutions in Lithuania, Finland, UK, Greece, Austria and Czech Republic. Furthermore, it has also organized and implemented short, intensive courses for neighbouring countries such as the Palestinian National Authority and Egypt.
Following the accession of Cyprus to the EU, the educational field has changed considerably and studying abroad has become cheaper for Cypriot students. Each Institution should upgrade its services, develop the possibilities that the various European programs and funds offer and strengthen its comparative advantages in order to compete effectively in the industry.
The HHIC has a number of other challenges to face, namely:
·The challenge to recruit students has intensified in recent years with the creation of private universities, two state universities as well as a great number of colleges that offer mainly H&CM programs either at a degree or diploma level (HND).
·The promotion of the politics and objectives designed on national and European level regarding education and employment.
·The establishment of cooperation at European levels.
In 2010 the HHIC initiated a joint project with the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) for the redevelopment of its full time programs of study. Hence, as from the academic year 2012-2013, the HHIC offered two new three-year programs of study in Hospitality and Tourism Management and Culinary Arts. For the successful implementation of these programs, students have to undertake placements spanning a eight-month duration, and accumulating a total of 20 ECTS. The UNWTO experts have included in their recommendations that the placements should be internationalized in order for students to gain an all round experience of the hospitality and tourism industry. The Institute plans to sign bilateral agreements with other Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) with the purpose of encouraging staff and student mobility within EU countries.
Erasmus enriches the learning and research experiences for staff and students alike and improves the knowledge transfer between the HHIC and other institutions in the EU specializing in Hospitality and Tourism. This will facilitate the development of collaborative networks between HEIs for mutual benefit and the furthering of studies abroad at graduate and postgraduate levels.
The HHIC will pursue the following activities in the framework of the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education: Student and Staff Mobility, Students Placements, Development of Cooperation with HEIs and other organizations specializing in Hospitality and Tourism and participation in research projects and networks. The HHIC awards ECTS since 2007 aiming to facilitate mobility and the continuation of studies in the EU. The assistance of the Bologna Experts has already been requested for the preparation of the Diploma Supplement to be awarded to students.
The HHIC within the framework of its non-EU strategy, implements Short Summer Courses which are organized annually for foreign nationals through scholarships offered by the HHIC (Cyprus Government).
INSTITUTION’S STRATEGY FOR THE ORGANISATION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF INTERNATIONAL (EU AND NON-EU) COOPERATION PROJECTS IN TEACHING AND TRAINING IN RELATION TO PROJECTS IMPLEMENTED UNDER THE PROGRAMME
Direct contact with the enterprises is sought in a modern and effective way, something that nowadays can be achieved with the use of technology. This is achieved through a range of initiatives, which brings the Institute closer to the enterprises and adds value to the relations of the enterprise with the Institute.
For the above reason, in January 2013 the HHIC applied for Erasmus Cooperation between HEIs and enterprises (Employer Program) which support activities bringing together HEIs and partners from outside academia; developing educational services; reinforcing links between educational activities and employment needs; etc. The Employer Program aims to develop functional partnerships between educational institutions and the industry in a modern and systematic manner. Through this program, tertiary educational institutions offering programs in hospitality and tourism will have a continuous and constant relation with the industry not only locally but at European level as well.
The program is expected to upgrade the relationship of the institutions with the industry by securing the constant online communication and execution of a range of cooperative activities that will be systematically planned for and implemented through the Employer Programme. Within the framework of this innovative project the methodology of developing a modern Employer Program will be established and shared between European partners (Higher Hotel Institute – Cyprus, University of Granada, Spain – Institute of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Praga–Czech Republic, Technical Educational Institute of Crete – Greece, Cyprus Hotel Association, ACTION Synergy S.A., RTD Talos Ltd).
The short Summer Courses offered by the HHIC to non-EU countries, are conducted in the English language. These programs aim at making Cypriot know-how and expertise in economic transition and development, to third countries on subjects including Culinary Arts, Housekeeping and Food and Beverage Operations.
THE EXPECTED IMPACT OF PARTICIPATION IN THE PROGRAMME ON THE MODERNIZATION OF THE INSTITUTION (FOR ALL OF THE 5 PRIORITIES OF THE MODERNIZATION AGENDA) IN TERMS OF THE POLICY OBJECTIVES WE INTEND TO ACHIEVE:
The 5 Priorities of the Modernization Agenda:
1.Increasing attainment level to provide the graduates and researchers Europe needs.
2.Improving the quality and relevance of higher education.
3.Strengthening quality through mobility and cross-border cooperation.
4.Linking higher education, research and business for excellence and regional development.
5.Improving governance and funding.
According to the HHIC’s strategic plan the institution aims to upgrade its offering in tertiary education for professional specialization in order to meet the rapidly evolving needs of the hospitality/tourism industry and education.To this effect the HHIC implemented a joint program with the UNWTO for the redevelopment of its programs of study.Leading European institutions specializing in hospitality and tourism participated in the joint program which recommended the provision of two upgraded programs of study.The internationalization of students’ placements through the participation in the ECHE was a key recommendation included in the study of the UNWTO experts.This will expose students to the European hospitality and tourism industry thus satisfying the requirements of the programs for personal and professional development and enhancing the students’ future employment prospects.The new programs should provide the option for industrial placements in the EU for the accumulation of a total of 20 ECTS corresponding to two internship periods.At the same time Erasmus would enrich the learning and research experience for staff and students alike and improve the knowledge transfer between HHIC and other Institutions in the EU specializing in hospitality and tourism.This would facilitate the development of collaborative networks between HEIs for mutual benefit and a furthering of studies abroad at graduate and postgraduate level.
The new programs:
- Consider the progressive needs of the industry
- Offer quality of education offered
- Include developments and trends in tourism education
- Harmonize the programs with European and international models.
- Satisfy the needs of students in Cyprus and abroad and the possibility to attract various groups.
- Develop comparative advantages as a tertiary educational institution.
- Establish cooperation with other educational institutions of tertiary education. This cooperation is vital for the purpose of its graduates to continue their academic studies. This cooperation contributes substantially to the increase in interest and admission of higher level students to the institute.
- Implement the targets,objectives and policies of the Government for education,the hospitality,catering and tourism industry and employment
A vital part of the effort made to upgrade and modernize the HHIC,is a management based on rationalism and the development of human resources of the Institute,so that the problems and weaknesses accumulated over the years and which are recorded in this field can be faced effectively.The HHIC has become a modern,far-reaching institution,which has a continuous and constant relation with the industry.Within the framework of its upgrading and modernization, the HHIC strengthens its cooperation with the industry in Cyprus and the EU and the broader tourism sector,in a modern and effective way.It improves the existing ways of cooperation and develops new ways with the help of technology.
The Higher Hotel Institute, Cyprus participates in the Leonardo Programme since 2000.
The Leonardo da Vinci Community Vocational Training Action Programme was introduced in 1994.
The programme actively supports the lifelong training policies conducted by the Member States. It supports innovative trans-national initiatives for promoting the knowledge, aptitudes and skills necessary for successful integration into working life and the full exercise of citizenship, and affords scope for links with other Community initiatives – particularly the Socrates and Youth programmes – by supporting joint actions.
Leonardo offers the opportunity to trainees from various European countries to learn the language of the host country and train in the field of their studies. The programme may involve countries accepting students for three to twelve months or engage in an exchange programme between two or more countries.
The Hotel and Catering Institute has, up to now, been involved in the following three programmes:
- In the year 2000, the Higher Hotel Institute carried out a programme with GFT – Gabinete de Formaηao Technical e Professional Lda.involving 7 students.
- In the year 2002 the Higher Hotel Institute carried out a programme with Hermann-Hesse-Kolleg in Germany involving 10 students.
- In the year 2003 again the Higher Hotel Institute carried the same programme with Hermann-Hesse-Kolleg in Germany involving 5 students.