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Erasmus Strategy Statement

D 27 November 2014    


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Erasmus Strategy Statement

Introduction
The Lycée Guillaume Apollinaire has defined dynamism and international cooperation as key elements of its school project. This involves all the classes of the sixth-form college and the higher education department of the school: we wish to offer students a chance to do a student placement or an internship abroad. In order to do so, the Lycée is organizing school trips and various partnerships within the framework of various European and international programs.

Choosing our European Partners
We take extra care when choosing our European partners: companies, schools, universities, organizations and foundations. Our goal is to work together, in line with common values, in order to develop our students’ skills and sense of belonging to the European community. This is how we proceed:

  1. Finding partners
    we send our teachers to various European countries in order to meet other European teachers and representatives from companies or European organizations so as to present our academic programs and to specify our students’ requirements in terms of work placements or classes.
    our educational community participates in meetings and organizes conferences to establish contacts in France.
    we carry out Internet researches and we communicate via email, Skype, social media…
  2. We select our partners based on strict criteria which are specific to each degree program.
  3. We then sign conventions with the selected partner organisations in order to plan our students’ placements abroad and to welcome foreign students in the best possible conditions.
  4. We establish direct contacts between the teachers in charge of the program in France and in the host countries (tutors or teachers) in order to integrate each student individually and to ensure regular follow-up during the placement abroad (in a company or an educational establishment).
The Choice of Geographical Areas

The choice of geographical areas offered for our students’ international placements is determined by specific pedagogical objectives.

  1. Our main priority is to favour European destinations which allow students to improve their skills in English: Malta, the United Kingdom and Ireland.
    - Our goals: To offer our students the chance to become fluent in English and give
    them a real advantage in the job market.
    Our target: students who have limited skills in English, who will be able to
    improve their English more effectively in an English-speaking country.
  1. Developing mobility to Spain : Spanish is a popular language among our students in the Lycée Guillaume Apollinaire and our goal is to foster that trend by setting up work placements and partnerships with schools and universities in Spain. We are planning to open a European department in the Lycée.
  1. Mobility within the whole European Union. All European countries can welcome our students within the framework of the ERASMUS Charter either for work placements in European companies or to do part of their studies there. The objective, other than to practice their English, is to develop a European citizenship and their economic sense of belonging. In 2013, some students did their work placements in Portugal and we plan to set up a mobility program to Romania.
  1. Mobility outside the European Union: Since 2012, some students have been able to do work placements or to attend a dual curriculum course in two universities in Quebec thanks to the Lycée’s partnerships. Other countries outside the European Union could welcome exchange students when new cooperation projects have been set up.

Our objectives are as follows:
- Improving our students’ skills in foreign languages
- Developing the European identity of students and staff
- Developing the spirit of international cooperation in the Lycée
- A higher quality of teaching
- Better qualifications for our students.

Our main target groups
The partnership with the CEGEPs in Quebec is targeted at students studying for a higher education diploma in accounting and organizational management as well as those studying for a higher education diploma in business unit management owing to the fact that the curriculums are related.
The work placement mobility programs are currently aimed at students coming from the 4 higher-education programs in the Lycée (accounting and organizational management, business unit management, business assistant in small and medium-sized companies, negotiation and customer relations) and we are planning to develop study-abroad programs with European schools in the coming years for those four training programs.
Teachers are encouraged to ask for a mobility program because the direct contact is by far the most efficient way of setting up projects which are adapted to our students’ needs – this is a guarantee of continuity and efficiency.
“Developing a spirit of international cooperation and dynamism” is one of the major elements of our school project for 2013-2016. Hence, opening up to the world is a priority for our establishment.

Existing projects

A project of cooperation with Germany for secondary-school and sixth form students
Partnerships with two universities in Quebec for the higher education department of the school (CEGEP de l’Apocathière et Rimouski)
Partnerships with organizations: the KPMG foundation currently offers scholarships to 6 of our students in Quebec (including two for a dual-course program in Quebec).

Projects which are currently being set up :
- Partnerships with universities in Great Britain and Romania;
- Partnerships with companies: Working Hospices in the UK, Repotel Paris;
- Partnerships with organizations: 100000 Entrepreneurs, Rencontres Entreprises-Enseignants ;
- Cooperation with Knowledge and Innovation Communities in Malta and Great Britain.

Future projects:
- Encouraging entrepreneurship: we are hoping to put into place a module concerning the setting up of businesses on a European level. This is to be achieved in partnership with associations specialising in teaching people how to set up new businesses (e.g.: students will take part in a Europe-wide competition with the Association « Entreprendre Pour Apprendre »)
- Increasing the employability of our students. In order to do this, we will be putting into place workshops focusing on recruitment methods in Europe. These will include a workshop on writing CVs and cover letters in English, Spanish and maybe other languages depending on the languages of the countries with which our students are involved. Here is an example of a workshop that could be offered: « The welcome for short-term placement students » chaired by teachers and business representatives from different countries.
- Forging links through sport and music. The Lycée is renowned as a centre of excellence for the teaching of dance and music. The idea is to develop a European-focused project concentrating on dance and music, supported by the music department of the lycée (110 student musicians, a symphony orchestra and a choir).
- Increasing the number of students who continue their studies when leaving our higher-education department.
The assessment of our establishment this year has brought to our attention the need to encourage our students (35% of which come from lower income families) to be more ambitious. Whilst 85% of students obtain their diploma at the end of High School, too few students pass with merit or distinction. Furthermore, certain students choose two-year higher education courses rather than university because they are scared of committing themselves to long years of study. In engaging with the Erasmus program, our objective is to open up the perspectives for the young people in our care, and to give them the means to get better qualifications through the possibility of studying in different countries.
- Maintaining the momentum of the strategy. This will be achieved through the teachers’ constant efforts to contribute to and improve the students’ skills in foreign languages (language classes organised around linguistic proficiency, use of Information Technology, one-to-one support for students whose mother tongue is neither French nor English, language certification, Europass…).
- Promoting innovative pedagogical practices - inspired from the experience acquired by members of staff during time spent in different educational establishments abroad (organisation, evaluation, recognition and validation of experience and foreign diplomas).
- Diversifing business partnerships in order to increase the employability of our students. Placements abroad allow our students to compare professional organisation and practices in companies abroad with their experiences in France. We will also be organising presentations and seminars for our students with managers and directors of European companies or of French companies abroad (we are in contact with a number of companies at the International Market at Rungis). In September / October 2013 in collaboration with the association Rencontres Entreprises Enseignants we organised a seminar for all the teachers in both the High School and the Higher Education departments. The subject was “Entrepreneurship: Working Towards New Pedagogical Approaches” and the seminar focussed a lot on Entrepreneurship within the European Union.
- Reinforcing equal opportunities by:
Applying strict criteria when allocating grants to help our students go abroad. This will allow all students to have access to the placements abroad.

Fighting against the elements which can hamper our students’ ambitions, by improving communications and reinforcing a relationship based on trust between the school and families.

- Improving the school climate by developing pedagogical practices which allow a better knowledge of foreign cultures and by encouraging, through various means, the development of a real sense of what it means to be a European citizen.

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