ECIU offers a variety of different exchange programmes to both academic and administrative staff members: a staff mobility programme, a research programme and a leadership programme.
Why go on vacation when work is so much more fun? Within ECIU, supporting staff can go on exchange to other universities.
There is even a special Staff Mobility Programme, including local coordinators who can help you out. The programme aims at increasing the mobility among administrative members of staff.
According to Lise Thorup-Pedersen, programme coordinator (Aalborg University), staff exchange gives you the best of both worlds. ‘It’s a great way to get to know people and practices outside of your own university bubble. More often than not, staff exchange can lead to revelations for both guests and hosts. When you’re visiting another university, you can learn from their best practices. But they can also learn from you as a guest. In a way, it’s a moment for everyone involved to reflect on what they are doing.’
ECIU launched in February 2018 a Research Mobility Fund, aiming to increase collaboration amongst its researchers. This mobility fund is an incentive for early career researchers to explore and deepen collaboration within the ECIU network.
Asta Pundziene, Vice Rector for Research and Professor at Kaunas University of Technology, is one of the initiators. ‘Spreading of diverse knowledge and experience is most of the time a stimulus for innovation. Innovation is within the DNA of ECIU, and as well as in each member university. We perceive the Researcher Mobility Fund as an excellent tool to accelerate knowledge and experience diffusion among the researchers, especially those of early career, resulting with joint research activities that leads to their career advancement as well as breakthrough innovations.’
One of ECIU's flagship programmes is the Leadership Development Programme. It offers university employees a chance to work on pressing issues that their university faces in an international setting. The programme runs for 13 years and has more than 250 alumni.
Harry de Boer and Jon File of the UT’s Center for Higher Education Policy Studies (CHEPS) are the instigators and head lecturers of the Leadership Development Programme.
‘It is like a travelling circus, in the positive sense of the word,’ they say. ‘Every host university selects a project that it wishes to discuss,’ De Boer explains. ‘A university is a complex organisation. Our goal is to bring people closer together. During the LDP, the head of finance will meet a professor of electronics, for example. What connects them all is their interest in leadership at the university. These are people with potential and curiosity.’
The fact that the collaboration that takes place during the LDP is both intense and fruitful is evident from the reunions that are regularly held. ‘Two or three groups still meet up often,’ De Boer says. ‘Those people all became close friends. ECIU strives to build a community and bring universities into contact with each other. The Leadership Development Programme contributes to that goal, which makes it one of the ECIU’s showpieces.’