IRIS – Fostering Academic International Relations in Israeli Colleges to Promote Education, Research and Innovation

The funding of IRIS project – fostering academic international relations in Israeli academic colleges – was approved by the European Commission's EACEA, under the TEMPUS (Trans-European Mobility University Studies) program's fifth call for proposals.

IRIS is a three-year project, 2012-2015, uniting eighteen Israeli and European partners. Israeli partners include peripherally and centrally situated academic institutions, engineering and social sciences colleges, educational training colleges and Arab colleges.
The participating Israeli academic colleges are: Holon Institute of Technology (coordinator), Sapir Academic College, Kaye Academic College of Education, Beit Berl Academic College, The Max Stern Yezreel Valley College, Shenkar College of Engineering and Design, and Al-Qasemi Academic College of Education. Our partners also include: The National Union of Israeli Students, Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Division for Cultural and Scientific Affairs, the Committee of College Presidents, and Tel Aviv University.
Our European partners are: University of Bristol (UK), Warsaw University of Technology (Poland), Pedagogosche Hochschule Karnten (Austria), Universita Carlo Cattaneo (Italy), Centre for higher education development consult (Germany), European centre for strategic management of universities (Belgium), and the European Association for International Education (Holland).
Objective & Goals
The project's objective is promoting international and intercultural policies, skills and culture in Israeli public academic colleges.
Among the project's goals:
  • developing strategic plans for internationalization processes in participating colleges.
  • encouraging international activities among academic and administrative staff and students.
  • creating international liaisons departments in participating colleges.
  • Initiating international academic activities and creating a network of international initiative activities among the Israeli and European partners.
The project's budget, approximately €1,210,055, will be allocated to partners to perform the project objectives. The project consists of:
(i) Acquiring knowledge of internationalization methods and governance; (ii) Introducing internationalization methods and approaches to faculty, administration and students; (iii) Implementing and disseminating project results.
Work packages
Project execution will consist of nine work packages including: Requirement analysis and benchmarking, Internationalization strategic plan, Development and delivery of campus internationalization programs for faculty, administrators and students, Development and delivery of training activities for the qualification of IRO professionals, Pilot IRO activities, Dissemination, Exploitation and Sustainability, Project Management.

Each work package is managed by a supervising manager, and proceeds according to a projected results list that determines the plan's execution and completion. The project consists of detailed and organized work procedures, allocating requisite resources and budget and determining completion schedules. The project will be managed by communication, control and follow-up programs – the various stakeholders will make informed decisions on the basis of these programs.

The successful planning and implementation of IRIS project elements will result in the development and consolidation of a comprehensive program that may be disseminated throughout Israeli public academic colleges in order to improve the higher education system.

Project number 530315-TEMPUS-1-2012-1-IL-TEMPUS-JPGR
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.