Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice hosted the first Staff Week ever, which was prepared in cooperation with Educa International from 9th October till 11th October 2018. It was focused on the motivation and barriers of the Erasmus+ program. Participants were representatives of Slovak and Czech universities and higher vocational schools.
During the three-day Staff Week, intensive debates were held on Erasmus + themes. The participants exchanged informations and experiences they had gained in implementing this program. After identifying school problems, workshops took place to prepare a draft of measures to be implemented to improve student motivation and activity, thereby raising awareness of this international program.
One part of the program of this event belonged to the graduates of the host university who came to present their organizations and at the same time to discuss the possibility of providing internships for both Czech and Slovak students. Based on joint discussions, we can say that students are not aware of what Erasmus offers them and what benefits they should have in their professional lifes. Nowadays, international experience is highly valued by employers, and Erasmus participants have a large PLUS compared to non-experienced students.
Staff Week was, from my point of view, very inspiring and motivating for all participants. The joint debate concluded that not only public but also private schools are experiencing the same difficulties as the institutions themselves, both in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The biggest problems include low student motivation, badly set credit system between partner schools, low awareness and lack of foreign academics.
In my opinion, it´s the reason why it is very important to organize this type of meetings, because participants can influence each other positively, while at the same time strengthening partnerships between the actors of the two countries. Because the Erasmus+ itself is exactly about that.
Author: Simona Dermeková