Erasmus Charter for higher education (ECHE)

Konstfack has been awarded the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (ECHE) for the period 2021-2027 by the European Commission, which is a necessary condition for higher education institutions to participate in the Erasmus+ Programme.


Related document

Please find the charter here: Charter 2021-2027.pdf

Erasmus Policy Statement

The overall purpose of a continued collaboration within the Erasmus programs, in- and outside of the EU, is to further deepen the understanding and widen the competence in the subjects of Arts, Crafts and Design in various countries and contexts. After many years of fruitful exchange collaborations, and many valuable experiences for all parties we envisage to further develop and deepen the forms of our international collaboration.
The possibility to collaborate with Higher Education Institutions in- and outside the EU in the Erasmus+ program coincides very well with the Internationalization strategy at Konstfack, the University of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm. Konstfack has chosen to collaborate with the most prominent Art and Design schools in the world. These are selected through a constant dialogue between the International Office, our students, teachers and Professors. Our goal is to collaborate closer with fewer Universities and to focus on different forms of collaboration with HEIs. For us the global commitment is central and based on strategic, long-term and fruitful research and educational collaborations.

International collaboration is a fundamental part of our Education and Research and it is a prerequisite for achieving excellence. Our strategy is to place the incoming exchange students in the ordinary education programs together with the Swedish students. The exchange students are extremely important to the quality of the education. Both through the experiences and perspectives they bring and through the contacts created in the collaboration with our Swedish students. The exchange students become an integrated part of Konstfack’s education and they have a direct impact on the education in all. Konstfack has a high level of higher education graduates.

We will extend the opportunities for students to gain additional skills through studying or training abroad by giving them the chance to go on mobility during the second cycle too. This will boost higher education performance. We will strengthen the knowledge triangle by educating future professionals who through their skills will develop the society. Konstfack’s students, researchers and teachers are also active partners with business, public and voluntary sectors locally, regionally, nationally and globally.

The Erasmus cooperation between Konstfack and all our partners is an indispensable opportunity for all schools to conduct an open investigation between cultures and countries, its visual norms, artistic practices, theories, methods, tacit knowledge and thinking through making processes. Workshops, lectures, exchange of methods, seminars and discussions as well as forms of presentations and examinations will bring new questions and ideas to light in all participating HEIs.

The Erasmus+ programme boosts learning mobility throughout Europe and beyond. It makes a significant contribution to improving personal development and intercultural competences and it strengthens the European identity. It supports EU-wide cooperation between education and training institutions of all levels. It also increases the EU's competitiveness and enhances the promotion of common European values. Our goal is that ALL employees and students should receive international elements/options in their work/education before 2027.

Konstfack is applying to take part in KA1 activities. This time we would also like to apply for the KA2 activity- Partnership for cooperation and exchanges of practices. We plan to have the KA2 activity up and running within a three years period of time. We have many expectations on this, for us, new way of collaborating closer with a few HEIs. This possibility would certainly contribute towards the fulfilment of our institutional strategy. These new collaboration opportunities will be promoted to everyone through information meetings and on Konstfack’s website. The International office together with the programs are responsible for this and the International office will provide relevant support to all those interested in participating in these activities. The support will be provided before, during and after the activity. We will also ensure that cooperation activities lead to sustainable outcomes and that their impact benefits all partners.

The international perspective is a natural part of all education at Konstfack. It reinforces the quality and diversity, and shall include all students, teachers and staff. Internationalization helps to increase our quality and attractiveness. By successfully applying for a continuation of the Erasmus Charter we will be able to provide increased opportunities so that more students are able to study abroad at distinguished partner universities. We work hard to inspire new staff exchanges that will facilitate both teaching and training, both of which are highly important parts of our strategy. An international exchange is a very valuable academic and personal experience not only for teachers and students but also for administrative staff. We are thrilled to see a new commitment to global mobility and the recognition that it deeply enhances the student experience and employability.

We want the Erasmus+ mobility possibilities to be open and available to ALL students and staff. It will provide cross-cultural perspectives for our students and enhance their curricula. For faculty the mobility action will support the creation of networks for cooperative research, the sharing of teaching experiences and joint projects. The participants in the exchange program are given the opportunity to get to know the other country's culture, traditions and language and get completely different knowledge in the subject, then what you would get if not the possibility of a mobility abroad could be offered.

The Erasmus collaboration gives Konstfack an important opportunity to deepen and widen its norm critical and intersectional perspectives and methods used within the education.

To Konstfack participating in the program is a vital part of creating an effective governance and funding mechanism in support of excellence. Our participation in the Erasmus program helps us to finance and maintain the continuity of the cooperation with some of the top international Art and Design HEIs. We have a relatively high number of students participating in international mobility, but we would like to increase that number. Unfortunately, we do have a much lower number of staff participating in Erasmus+ exchanges, therefore we would like to focus on increasing that number, both when it comes to teaching staff and administrative staff. In the coming seven years we are planning to engage even more students and staff in mobility programs.

With this new Erasmus collaboration, we will be able to increase our international activities. For student exchange our plan is to get back to the mobility figures we had before Covid-19 to start with and try to increase these figures some more after we have achieved that. We are aiming to be able to increase the number of students going for a mobility period as part of their studies at Konstfack during this seven year period. Hopefully we can increase the numbers steadily each year by being able to offer more mobility windows within each study program at Konstfack so that each program offers at least two options. We plan to further increase staff and teacher mobility, since the figures at Konstfack are low. With more diversity and flexibility in the new Erasmus program we expect to increase staff and teacher mobility with 20% during the coming program period. Covid-19 has affected on the amounts of in- and out-going student mobility. We can see that the interest itself has not dropped, but the opportunities have deteriorated since many HEIs closed their mobility options for the Fall 2020.

Global issues are present and relevant questions for our institution: concepts such as environment, justice, economy, consumption, desires and lifestyles on a global scale are processed and given shape in the local as well as international context in which our students and teachers are present through exhibitions, publications and other public forms. In addition, Konstfack constitutes per se an international and multicultural environment as the institution recruit teachers from different international contexts and countries.

At Konstfack the exchange students will follow the courses the program offers during the specific semester of exchange (at the moment during the First cycle, second or third year). It will also be possible to make an individual study plan under supervision. The student must follow the courses and presentations in order to receive a transcript of records and credits at the end of the semester. 30 ECTS corresponds to 30HP in Sweden, which is equivalent to a semester of full-time studies.

The administration and operation of the mobility activities have functioned very satisfactory up till now and we expect this to continue in the future. The selection of participants, exchange of documentation and coordination of students’ academic programs have been carried out professionally by the international administrators from respective organizations. Course information in English is found on our website for the incoming exchange students and the International office will assist the outgoing students in finding relevant course information on the receiving institution’s website. All this to be able to prepare for the Learning agreements. The selection procedures are fair, transparent, coherent and documented. To facilitate for students with fewer opportunities we arrange pre-financing of the student grant in advance and give the students extra financial support from our means for Organizational Support when needed.

The international coordinators at the host institution have the responsibility to provide the students with necessary introductory information such as information on accommodation, residence permits/visas, learning agreements, credits/transcript of records, language courses, what to do in case of emergency etc. The exchange students will get the same support as all other students. There will be welcome sessions to introduce the students to the University and the campus. The same facilities are available and open for the incoming exchange students as for all other students, e.g. access to workshops and libraries, membership in Student Unions, access to student health services etc. All exchange students will have insurance and both incoming and outgoing from Konstfack are covered by the Swedish State Insurance by Kammarkollegiet.

The international coordinators are in contact with the exchange students on a regular basis, before, during and after their mobility. They organize activities, outings and small gatherings with the exchange students to follow them along the way and also to listen to ideas or complaints which can lead to necessary actions of improvement.

Evaluations of the exchange program will be made on regular basis by asking the students, teachers and staff to write reports and through discussions with advisors, international coordinators and other staff members. Konstfack already has procedures to evaluate and outgoing student exchanges. These evaluations are used in various ways, for example, to modify the course program for incoming students. At Konstfack both incoming and outgoing students will fill in reports to be published on the Intranet and web. The result from these reports forms the basis for future improvements. They will also fill in the Erasmus+ report.

Staff exchanges will be organized according to their proposal and coordination with the respective sending and receiving institution and the department. (teaching/workshop/lecture/training)

At Konstfack an Internal selection committee consisting of teachers from each program will be in charge of the selection of students. The selection committee will use the same criteria as in the general application process.

The selection of participants, exchange of documentation, and coordination of students’ academic programs has all been carried out previously in a professional manner by teaching and administrative staff from both HEIs.

The International Offices will coordinate the mobility program for students and ensure communication, transfer of information, joint projects and all administrative actions including the transmission of ECTS authorizations. This is an open and transparent process.

The support mechanism for students is coordinated by the International Office at Konstfack and also with Department Advisors and the Student Unions. The faculty and staff mobility is supported by respective program coordinators.

In the coming program period we look forward to start working with blended mobility. During the Covid-19 pandemic we all have had to quickly adjust to studying, teaching, learning and sharing knowledge through various digital platforms and we have realized all possible future options that this way of communicating has. This experience will definitely facilitate a transfer towards blended mobility options. All our programs will in different ways be available for blended mobility, since it will be a physical mobility with a virtual component. This option will certainly boost innovation in learning and teaching. The ECHE principles apply equally to blended mobility participants as to any other type of mobility.