The development of international cooperation is one of the main priorities of the University of Economics in Bratislava. The main organizational and administrative component in this area is the Department of Foreign Relations, which is part of the UE BA Rectorate. The Department of Foreign Relations at the Faculty of International Relations, as part of the FIR Dean´s office, provides administrative and organizational implementation of international mobility programs and projects in which the University of Economics in Bratislava is actively involved at the faculty coordination level. The Department, in its practical work, focuses mainly on:
- international programs and projects aimed at:
- mobility of students in the framework of semester exchanges,
- support for teachers ' and staff mobilities;
- providing information on other learning opportunities abroad;
- mediation of tenders sent by foreign institutions and organizations,
- sending information about previous summer schools,
- cooperation in the framework of bilateral treaties and other inter-university cooperation and internationalization of education.
FIR activity in the field of internationalization
The internationalization of the activities of the University of Economics in Bratislava (hereinafter referred to as the EU) and the Faculty of International Relations (hereinafter referred to as FIR) is a key area for the development of the University and its faculties in the context of the Slovakia´s accession to the European Union, as well as in terms of their future development. International cooperation is significant not only in the overall context of its development, but also particularly in terms of its educational and scientific research activities. Development of foreign relations at the Faculty is an essential part of shaping its international position, by bringing incentives for the development of its educational and scientific activities. International cooperation of the Faculty should be primarily directed to the EU countries, while, in view of the nature of teaching, scientific and research activities, appropriate relations should also be developed with institutes in other parts of Europe and the world. The acquisition of important international contacts also contributes to strengthening the position of the Faculty in Slovakia with its academic and other institutions dealing with issues of international relations. The dominant objectives of the UEBA internationalization process are mainly considered to be the strengthening international position of the UE in Bratislava in international organizations; internationalization of all UE activities in Bratislava (educational, research, management and administrative activities), by developing existing activities, programs and projects that are in line with the Bologna Process and new activities, projects, programs that the UE will develop (TEMPUS, ALPHA) and to destinations outside Europe within the ERASMUS Mundus, etc., university´s admission to prestigious CEMS and PIM clubs and permanent preparation for re-international evaluation.
In accordance with art. 37 the Statute of the Faculty of International Relations of the University of Economics in Bratislava is the FIR authorized to act in the field of cooperation with foreign universities, as well as with other legal and natural persons in the area in which it operates on the basis of contracts that The University of Economics in Bratislava concluded as a legal entity with those entities.
The FIR activity in the field of internationalization is implemented in accordance with internal conceptual documents, in particular in line with the long-term objective of the development of FIR. The main orientations and tasks in the field of foreign relations of the University of Economics in Bratislava in relation to the accession of Slovakia to the EU, approved by the College of Rector UEBA in February 2004, the concept of development of external relations at FIR concluded on the 22.9.2006 by the Scientific Committee of the Faculty and the evaluation of activities and updating the main orientations and tasks of the FIR in the field of international relations concluded at the FIR on the 28.9.2007 by the Scientific Committee, which direct the process of internationalization of the FIR to the field of education, in particular by a more intense engagement into international programs both in student (including doctoral) and teacher mobility based on bilateral and multilateral agreements and in the field of internationalization in Research and Development in order to obtain EU funding and an effective engagement in international science and research projects. The strategic direction of the Faculty is to support initiatives aimed at participation in international lifelong learning projects (LLP) supported and funded by the European Commission.
The goal of the faculty management is increasing the degree of internationalization of education and, by using new forms of teaching and its continuous updating, preparing faculty graduates to succeed in a multicultural environment at the European and global level; creating assumptions to increase a higher interest of students from abroad in study visits at the Faculty and achieving the two-way student mobility; stimulating interest in more extensive involvement of science-teaching staff in teaching mobility with their experience in the FIR teaching process and encouraging the participation of foreign host professors in teaching; stimulating the teaching of subjects from the area of international relations in foreign languages; stimulating the participation of teachers and departments in international research projects and tasks.
The main emphasis in developing international cooperation and external relations at FIR is on the systematic process, which is intended to contribute to the development of pedagogical and scientific research activities of the Faculty. After evaluating the lessons learnt from the pedagogical activity of the Faculty, an increased attention is given to the interdependence of studies with foreign universities. International cooperation and foreign relations of the Faculty are based on participation in the efforts of the University to obtain membership in prestigious international clubs of economic universities.
The academic level of governance in the field of internationalization is determined by the line of relations of the vice-rector for foreign relations and the vice-deans for foreign relations at the faculties of the University. The vice-rector for international relations is responsible for designing a strategy and a concept of foreign relations and for fulfilling all the tasks which result from it. He/she is responsible for all the sections in the field of the IR and for the fulfilment of all the strategic and operational activities carried out by those departments. In regard to other faculties, the vice-rector for IR coordinates, directs and methodically manages the vice-deans for the IR at the faculties so that the strategic and operational objectives of the university in the field of foreign relations are fulfilled. At the level of the faculties, the main mission of the vice-deans for international relations is to develop the IR at the faculties in accordance with the strategic goals of the University. In performing this main objective, the vice-rector sets conditions, assumptions and provides support. At the academic level of governance, this is the implementation of a foreign strategy and a concept at the university level and the level of its faculties. At the same time, it also covers the direct provision of foreign relations, which relate mainly to the mobility of students (outgoing students, incoming students), teachers' mobilities, teaching in foreign languages, admission of foreign teachers at the University. The vice-deans for international relations by providing the roles of both the UE and other faculties work closely together with the university departments, in particular with the International Mobility Department (IMD) and the International Cooperation Department (ICD). Administrative activities linked to the implementation of the FIR internationalization section is provided by the Department for foreign relations as part of the FIR Dean´s office.
By defining the priorities in the field of internationalization, the Faculty also builds on internationalization, inter alia, assuming that study programs of the Faculty with their content correspond to the ongoing processes of internationalization and globalization, and for their good management, not only sufficient linguistic training is indispensable, but also the experience of studying abroad and the knowledge of the regions, which include potential employment opportunities for the graduates.
FIR activities in the field of foreign relations, including the implementation of projects and programs, are provided in cooperation with university departments and focus primarily on international projects and programs organized by the UE, activities resulting from bilateral agreements, cooperation in teaching specialized subjects in foreign languages and in their own activities.
The Faculty uses all available but limited opportunities to implement student and teacher mobility projects. The number of students and teachers participating in LLP Erasmus is increasing every year and, as for the student mobility, which is around 13% of all students who spend part of their study at foreign universities each year.
The stable position was maintained by the Faculty even in the conduct of international mobilities, the number of doctoral candidates and teachers who participate in foreign scientific conferences and the same number of foreign teachers has increased, particularly those who attend scientific and research study visits at the Faculty, but also the guest lectures from abroad. In terms of cooperation with foreign entities, the Faculty focuses on cooperation in particular with the partner institutions in the Czech Republic, Poland and Ukraine. There is a long-term and permanent cooperation with the Representative office of Taiwan in Slovakia. The cooperation focuses on mobility exchanges, participation in international conferences and publication activities. More detailed information on the activity of the Faculty in the field of internationalization can be found in the regular annual activity reports on the Faculty.