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 nineteen Israeli and European partners. The project's budget, approximately €1,210,055, will be allocated to partners to perform the project objectives. 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: ORT Braude College of Engineering (coordinator), Sapir Academic College, Kaye Academic College of Education, ORT Hermelin Academic College of Engineering and Technology, Beit Berl College, The Max Stern Yezreel Valley College, Shenkar College of Engineering, Design and Art, and Al-Qasemi Academic College of Education. Our partners also include: The National Union of Israeli Students, 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), Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Italy), Centre for higher education development consult (Germany), European Foundation for Management Development (Belgium), Universita Carlo Cattaneo (Italy), and the European Association for International Education (The Netherlands).
IRIS Goals & Objectives
The IRIS project goals are: to foster academic International Relations in Israeli Colleges, to promote education, research and innovation; and to improve the academic quality as well as the status and competitiveness of public colleges vis-à-vis universities and private colleges through the development of internationalism capabilities and culture at the colleges.

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.

The IRIS project Objectives are:
  1. Development of a strategic plan for internationalization of academic colleges, taking into considerations national context, societal interests and the diversification, constraints and priorities of academic colleges in Israel.
  2. Infusing colleges' campuses with an international perspective and encouraging the engagement of faculty, administrators and students in the internationalization agenda.
  3. Development and delivery of training for international relations professionals in the partner colleges.
  4. Establishment of International Relations Offices (IRO) in the partner colleges.
  5. Development of pilot activities by the trained local IRO teams.
  6. Establishment of a network of IROs for advocacy of internationalization programs, the transfer of best practices, and further collaborative initiatives.
Project Scope: Work packages
Project execution will consist of nine work packages: WP1: Requirement analysis and benchmarking; Wp2: Internationalization strategic plan; WP3: Development and delivery of campus internationalization programs for faculty, administrators and students; WP4: Development and delivery of training activities for the qualification of IRO professionals; WP5: Pilot IRO activities; WP6: Quality Assurance; WP7: Dissemination; WP8: Exploitation and Sustainability; and WP9: 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.
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