CUD-AGA Erasmus Policy Statement

The University Center of Defense (CUD) at the Spanish Air Force Academy (AGA) began its regular activities in academic year 2010/2011 and is presently working towards enhanced internationalization. The center currently supports cadet exchanges with military training centers in France and the United States. In addition to agreements in the Defense sector, it is planned to establish institutional links with institutions that foster teaching and research lines similar to those of the center’s research and teaching staff. To this end, several professors have already completed research stays in prestigious international centers in the EU (France , Portugal, United Kingdom, …) and abroad (USA, Brazil,…).

In the first phase of internationalization, staff exchange will be promoted. These exchanges will be focused on enhancing teaching and/or research activities by observing good teaching practices implemented at reference centers in the academic sector, guest teaching at foreign institutions, visiting leading companies to update practical knowledge, and collaborating with academic institutions and companies on common research topics.

Currently, due to the particularities of the study program of our students, the development of double degrees with institutions abroad is not considered.

Within the overall objective of internationalization, the following specific objectives have been defined:

  • The development of strategic plans based on teaching staff mobility to improve academic aspects with activities of higher added value for the improvement of teaching.

  • Seeking partners and increasing the visibility of the teaching and research activities of the institution at an international level, attracting academic staff from other institutions.

  • The dissemination of the results of research carried out in languages other than that of the institution (Spanish).

In all exchanges, the criteria of non-discrimination will be met, promoting gender equality, ensuring the integration of staff with disabilities, seeking to improve economic and social cohesion and combating any manifestation of xenophobia and racism. To achieve the required quality and social criteria mentioned:

  • The legislation on mobility will be adapted to the current international regulations.

  • A process of evaluation and continuous improvement of the managers of the programs will be performed.

  • Mobility and management tasks will be academically recognized.

  • The web page with the latest information and current programs will be kept up to date.

  • Means will be provided for the linguistic immersion of the received and sent individuals.

  • Accessibility will be guaranteed to all the facilities of the center and the provision of jobs adapted to the needs of the beneficiaries.

In general, the search for partners, due to the nature of the institution, will focus on technological centers (engineering schools), in particular on aspects related to the dual-use technology sector, as well as other similar institutions that provide teaching related to Armed forces in the EU and foreign countries (USA).

The Erasmus+ program is conceived as an important tool for the search of potential collaborators for projects in which the institution participates. The center is open to joint projects aimed at improving its teaching, educational innovation and research lines. To facilitate the establishment of such projects, the institution has provided financial support to attend international conferences, scientific meetings and stays abroad in order to seek potential collaborators. The institution has also promoted participation in activities of the European Union, such as the COST program. The institution is open to the use of its facilities by the participants of cooperation projects and will promote the necessary actions to facilitate their logistics.

In relation to the expected impact on the modernization of the institution related to the priority areas of the action for higher education institutions:

  1. Increased levels of success of graduates and researchers: Although the employability of students at the center is ensured by their specific relation to the Armed Forces, excellence is required to pursue a successful military career. Additionally, the possibility offered to graduates to pursue a career outside the Armed Forces also requires a quality and up-to-date education. Consequently, professors are encouraged to carry out a process of continuous training, updating their knowledge and adapting to new students. For this, international mobility stays within the Erasmus+ program will be an element of great help, enabling professors to visit leading companies of different sectors (mobility to companies) and acquire new teaching techniques from international higher education institutions.

  2. Improvement of the quality and relevance of higher education. See previous comment.

  3. Encourage mobility and cross-border cooperation. In order to consolidate this point, the actions carried out under the Erasmus+ program will be recognized by the center and the institutions involved through the corresponding official certificates, assuming an international experience for the beneficiaries that will result in the establishment (or reinforcement) of links between the different Institutions.

  4. Reinforce the «knowledge triangle» that relates education, research and innovation. For this point, innovation and research apply to education from two perspectives. On one hand, by broadening (modernizing) the general knowledge about the subject taught (see point 1). On the other hand, researching and innovating in the teaching methods themselves. These two aspects will be pursued in the mobilities and must be justified in the requests and reports of the activity.

  5. Improve governance and funding. Collaborations between institutions are expected to allow the creation of consortia to seek funding in public and private organizations to cover part of the costs of research as well as the implementation of new teaching methodologies.