According to the Mission and Development Strategy of the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice, which declares building “extensive, permanent and effective international relations, strengthening the prestige of the Academy”, the Academy participates actively in the international exchange with other higher education institutions within the Erasmus programme. Criteria employed to choose our partners are varied. Part of the contacts is initiated at the level of authorities of the Academy – we cooperate with important and strategic institutions of bordering and nearby countries. However, most of the contacts are directly entered into by teachers and students as a consequence of their specific needs. The Academy actively and effectively supports the participants of the Erasmus programme.
The geographic location of our partners does not play the key role in building the strategy of international Erasmus exchange development. Bilateral cooperation network includes many higher education institutions in Europe. It reflects the needs of students and teachers participating in the Erasmus programme.
The main aim of participation in the student and teacher exchange programme is to enrich experience and to support the process of shaping the artistic identity – by sharing own knowledge and skills as well as drawing from knowledge and skills of the partners. These objectives concern all study cycles wherein each following cycle involves the exchange at a more sophisticated and specialised level. Mobility groups refer to all study programmes offered by the Academy – vocal and instrumental studies, jazz and stage music, musical education, conducting, composition and theory of music – both in the aspect of student and teacher exchange.
We expect that the participation of students and teachers in the Erasmus programme will positively infuence the entire institution – as evidenced by the changes observed from the beginning of our participation in the project. The international exchange shapes the artistic and social identity of the programme participants, thus contributing to building European bonds. Equally important is the obviousimprovement of the education quality – by enriching the study offer with different approach, characteristic for other academic cultures, maintaining the highest substantial standards. Undoubtedly, it results in better occupational adaptability within the changing social conditions in Europe.
The Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice undertakes a broad-based information action designed to increase teachers’ activity in the international cooperation. Clear organisational structure, with workers responsible for the formal and legal aspects of the Erasmus programme enables wide availability of the programme for all academic staff.