Manual for NORDTEK contact persons

  1. Introduction

NORDTEK is a network consisting of 30 universities in the Nordic and Baltic countries with advanced engineering programs, architecture programs and research. Activities of the network are funded by member contributions and Nordplus funding. This manual describes the procedures and rules for the Mobility Program and is intended to be helpful for contact persons. However, it is not detailed enough to be suitable informational material for students. The manual is updated on regular basis. It is therefore important for users to suggest additions and changes.

  1. Organization

The NORDTEK network is based on an agreement between technical universities in the Nordic and Baltic Countries. The agreement covers Student and Teacher exchange in engineering and architecture programs between the participating universities. As decided at the Rectors’ Conference, a steering committee prioritizes and decides about the scholarships. The steering committee consists of the NORDTEK Secretary General, the Mobility Program coordinator and the national coordinators. Each member institution appoints a contact person, who is responsible for marketing the network and handling administrative tasks in connection with exchange. Once a year, contact persons meet to address common issues. The suggestions raised during the meeting are brought before the Board of Directors by the Secretary General, for decision. A list of the names and addresses of the contact persons, country coordinators, and those working with administration is kept up-to-date.

  1. Brief description of the program

Sixteen technical universities and institutes of technology in the Nordic countries started the program in 1985. The aim is to enable students to take advantage of the range of specializations available through exchange. The cooperation also involves the need to reduce all specializations in each country. In addition, the student experiences the cultural and social environment in the other country. Since the demand for scholarships exceeds the supply Nordplus has available, a selection process hands out the scholarships. The network arranges student exchange even for those students who do not receive scholarships from NORDTEK. The mobility program applies only to exchange between network members. New members join the network by application.

  1. Information

Material from the participating universities constitutes important information. Most of the educational information is only available on the Internet. The contact persons are responsible for ensuring that the right information is made available and for assisting with questions. Active marketing of the network is important. Marketing can be done in different ways and should be tailored to the conditions at each member institution. Some examples of marketing activities are:

  • The website
  • Information to all students via email
  • Peer group information from former exchange students
  • Internationalization Day
  • Information to the institutions and teachers
  • Information through program guidance
  • Information to the student unions
  • Bulletin boards

Information material and contact information should be presented in a way that students can obtain information about the different educational programs and specializations.

  1. Scholarship amount

All students get the same grant amount irrespectively from where they come and to where they go. The standard amount for each semester is maximum 1480€, according to Nordplus regulations. However, the scholarship amount per student can also be less if the total funding available for scholarships is insufficient.

  1. Application procedure

In addition to the application required by the host institution in order to accept the student for exchange study, the contact person is responsible for submitting the scholarship application to the mobility program coordinator. There are two calls for applications:

  • The Main call with deadline on April 30th. In the Main call scholarships are allocated both for autumn and spring semester. If necessary, all available money will be allocated in this call.
  • The Second call with deadline on October 31st. If NORDTEK has funding left from the Main call or has received new funding for scholarships, a Second call for scholarships for the spring semester can be arranged. The mobility program coordinator is responsible for informing the contact persons about the availability of scholarships for the second call.

Please note that:

  • Students do not receive a scholarship if they have applied to be admitted as a regular student at the host institution.
  • The contact person is responsible for collecting applications at the home institution.
  • The contact person must ensure that the applications are complete with all the necessary information and that the conditions for eligibility for the scholarship are met.
  • Applications must be prioritized in the order determined by the home institution.
  • The applicant’s banking details are submitted to the Mobility coordinator/Coordinating institution by the applicant.
  • The mobility program coordinator must receive applications no later than the deadlines stated above.
  1. Decisions on the allocation of scholarships

The allocation of scholarships is made twice a year. The Main call allocates scholarships for autumn and spring semesters. The Second call allocates possible leftover funding for the spring semester.

Main call:

The allocation of the scholarships in the main call follows the procedure below.

  1. Each member institution is initially guaranteed two semesters of scholarships to distribute to its outgoing students (two students for one semester each or one student for two semesters).
  2. The contact person is responsible for prioritizing its outgoing students in terms of scholarships and that the nominated students meet the eligibility criteria. The contact person makes sure that the scholarship applications are sent to the mobility program coordinator before the deadline and that the applications are prioritized.
  3. After application deadline, the mobility program coordinator collects the information into a status report, which is sent to the steering committee well in time before the steering committee meeting.
  4. At the steering committee meeting, the applications are prioritized according to the principle about two guaranteed scholarships and the order of priority stated below, but not finally allocated.
  5. When the grants from Nordplus and other possible financial resources are decided, the mobility program coordinator reserves scholarships for the guaranteed students and sends an updated status report to the steering committee.
  6. The steering committee decides on the final distribution in a meeting or per capsulam.

Second call:

The allocation of the scholarships in the second call follows the procedure below.

  1. The contact person is responsible for prioritizing applicants in terms of scholarships and that the nominated students meet the eligibility criteria. The contact person makes sure that the scholarship applications are sent to the mobility program coordinator before the deadline and that the applications are prioritized.
  2. The mobility program coordinator collects the information into a status report, which is sent to the steering committee well in time before the steering committee meeting.
  3. Available funding for scholarships should be distributed as scholarships at a steering committee meeting according to the order of priority stated below. The scholarship rate should be the same as in the main call.

The order of priority is:

  • Two scholarships to each member institution.
  • Universities not using their guaranteed places in the main call will be prioritized up to their number of guaranteed places (only applies in the Second call).
  • To Finland from Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.
  • In relation to the number of applications per home institution.

The mobility program coordinator notifies each contact person at his/her respective institution of the decision. It is the responsibility of the contact person to ensure that applicants are informed of the decision.

  1. Conditions for scholarships
  • Prior to exchange, a study plan for full-time study must be drawn up and approved by the home institution. Only students who are permanently enrolled at the institution in a degree program can receive a scholarship.
  • Scholarships are not granted for studies in a country that the applicant is a citizen of and has his/her high school diploma (gymnasieexamen) or its equivalent from. The scholarships are intended for studies in engineering programs. This also applies to students in an engineering program in the Bologna 3 + 2 model. To follow courses at bachelor’s level the student must have completed at least two years of studies within engineering (i.e. 120 ECTS) by the beginning of his/her exchange term. To follow courses at master’s level, the student must have completed what compares to three years of university studies within a relevant engineering programme (i.e. 180 ECTS) by the beginning of his/her exchange term.
  • The scholarship can be granted for one or two semesters. The student must submit a new application if they wish to extend their study time from one to two semesters.
  • An important element of exchange is to learn about the other country’s culture and traditions. Therefore, in the exchange period, the scholarship recipient must live in the country for which the scholarship was granted.
  • The exchange period must be an approved part of the degree program at the home institution.
  • The scholarship is also subject to the minimum requirements for acceptable academic performance. During the half-year or year covered by the scholarship, students who have not been involved in instruction at the host institution and whose academic performance is not adequate are required to pay back the scholarship.
  • If the stay is cancelled prematurely or cut short, the corresponding part of the scholarship is to be paid back.
  1. Reception of students
  • On arrival at the host institution, the student should meet the local contact person who signs a certificate confirming the arrival. Student then sends the certificate with other documents required for the grant payment to the Mobility coordinator by email.
  • The scholarship is deposited in the bank account indicated by the student.
  • If a student is granted a scholarship but does not arrive at the host institution, the scholarship goes to NORDTEK.
  • Students pay student union fees when necessary to get a program ID, a student union ID or the like, and to receive student union benefits. The contact person provides information to arriving students.
  • The host institution assists students in finding suitable housing. It is not the responsibility of the institution to arrange housing for any accompanying family.
  • The contact person/host institution is responsible for submitting a transcript of records of courses completed by the student. The document must be of similar quality to other course and degree documents at the institution.
  • Due to a insufficient language proficiency, students may have difficulties in benefiting from the instruction at the host institution. It is therefore important that the home institution offers language courses in order to improve language proficiency if needed.
  • In accordance with the requirements for exchange at the home institution, the student writes a report. It must be submitted to the contact person at the home institution. The report must contain a brief description of the exchange. The purpose is to get knowledge about the exchange system and to provide a basis for improvements, and to offer valuable experience for prospective exchange students.

 

  1. Travel grants for teachers

NORDTEK offers teachers the opportunity to apply for travel funds for establishing cooperation between partner institutions. The application is sent to the mobility program coordinator and must contain a brief description of the purpose of the trip to the prospective host institution and length of stay. The compensation is EUR 355 per week and a travel allowance of EUR 330.

  1. Contact persons’ meeting

Each year, a meeting with all the contact persons and representatives of the steering committee is held in conjunction with the Rectors’ Meeting in June. The meeting provides an important forum for the exchange of information and for discussing issues that may arise. The Nordic and Baltic countries take turns hosting the meeting and conference.

  1. Self-management

Each contact person should have his/her own checklist that describes the procedures used at the home institution. This is especially important when a new contact person takes over.