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Is YUFE for you?

21.06.2021. / news / YUFE Alliance

Wondering if YUFE is for you? Curious how studies at one of the first models of a European University look like? Are they enjoyable and rewarding? Read about the experiences of YUFE’s first students and find out for yourself!

Thanks to YUFE I could go to the hospital in Poland in the morning and then take classes in the UK in the afternoon. It allows you to experience different cultures from an academic standpoint without leaving your own home, says Klaudyna Grzelakowska, a medical student from the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń (NCU), Poland, one of the first students to take part in the YUFE Student Journey, where academic and language courses were offered to students from 10 partner universities. Participating in the YUFE Student Journey means students can enrich their academic degree programme with academic courses and language courses offered by 10 different partner universities in the YUFE Alliance. With this first group of students, YUFE had a chance to test its approach and effectiveness. The goal was to have students create their own learning paths. From what those first students have told us this was achieved. In surveys to gauge how students enjoyed the YUFE courses 90% of students were satisfied with their first experience.

Designed for Students by Students
At YUFE, you can take advantage of various opportunities during your Student Journey such as academic courses, language courses and from mid-June 2021 also civic engagement – and professional training activities. To reward students’ commitment the YUFE Star System was created. There are four areas of expertise that could be acknowledged with a Star: mobility, language skills, professional capability, and civic engagement. This innovative procedure was designed for the  recognitions of activities with specific and personalised learning goals that go beyond academic education in a European University setting. As students are also the co-creators of the alliance, it was crucial from the very beginning to design sufficient opportunities that would meet their needs. Some students are interested in getting involved in the two-year programme, whilst others are only interested in enriching their studies with additional academic courses or a single Star. YUFE is able to deliver both these options.

As another participant of the YUFE Student Journey, Alicja Bućko, student of management at NCU added: Taking part in long-term educational programmes abroad had always been impossible for me due to other commitments and work. I thought that this was an ideal opportunity to broaden my experience and increase my qualifications. Above all, I hoped to learn a new perspective and to work with students from different countries and cultures. In addition, the very broad offer of the YUFE programme allowed me to find courses that coincided with my interests and professional plans.

The variety of choice
As Alicja said, the offer is broad indeed. Not only in terms of subjects, but also forms. Both students, who shared with us their experiences, pointed out how unique each lecturers’ approach was. Some of the courses were conducted in a more traditional way. For others, external experts were invited to explore the whole spectrum of a topic. Some had a shape of a dispute in which students actively participated. Having a class full of people from different countries with diverse backgrounds was very beneficial for students lecturers alike.

As Professor Jeremy Krikler from Essex, who led a module in the Introduction Offer in which Klaudyna participated, stated: Klaudyna (NCU) made a wonderful contribution to the module (Pandemics: Lessons from History), not merely because she was such a talented and engaged student, but also because – with her medical background – she brought a scientific expertise to our historical study of pandemics.

These are some of the highlights of doing courses with YUFE to enrich your main studies programme. Student can pursue their other interests adding unique value to the class. It is not a surprise that almost 90% of lecturers were happy to have a YUFE student in their classes.

Mobility across Europe
It has always been important to YUFE that as many people as possible can study abroad. That is why different kinds of mobility were envisioned, physical, virtual and blended. The first will be launched at the beginning of the next academic year. The second one perfectly matched the needs that arose during the Covid-19 pandemic. You can learn from Klaudyna that the possibility to do the module virtually and not physically was actually an advantage. It allowed me to keep studying at my university and attend the Essex classes simultaneously, so it didn’t spoil my experience but rather altered it.

This was a common opinion among YUFE Student Journey participants but there were other advantages of virtual mobility including having the opportunity to study in more than one place despite the pandemic and having lower costs.

Exciting Journey
YUFE is still testing its Student Journey, yet the process couldn’t be more exciting. As Alicja stresses: Taking part in courses offered by YUFE is an ideal opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and get to know the perspective of other people who often have different experiences and beliefs from our own.

Have the survey results and students’ testimonies appealed to you? You can engage in YUFE too. Explore the student portal catalogue and check for yourself what suits you best. A next call for enrolment onto the YUFE Student Journey will be opened in fall 2021. Don’t forget to follow our social media channels, to find out what else we have on offer! And watch this space as a lot more will be happening soon…

If you want to read more about students’ impressions go to the University of Essex website where a full interview with Klaudyna is published and to Nicolaus Copernicus University’s portal to explore Alicja’s adventure on the Introduction Offer.

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