Innovative employability guidance for higher education students in the context of European biodiversity management

2015-1-HU01-KA203-013522




Equal Opportunities Policy, Project Transparency and Guidelines for Student Recruitment

 

I. General statements

The joint Partnership (Erasmus+ KA2 2015-1-HU01-KA203-013522) works to provide the delivery of the project for beneficiaries from the nature conservation sector, irrespective of gender, race or physical abilities.

The Partnership will not tolerate discrimination against colleagues, programme participants, or members of  the public on the grounds of age, colour, cultural perspective, disability, ethnic or national origin, sex, sexual orientation or socio-economic status and commits to help diminish discrimination and promote equality and diversity by taking steps to ensure that:

·         All people are treated with dignity and respect, valuing the diversity of all

·         Equality of opportunity and diversity is promoted

·         Actively assist groups and individuals that experience disadvantage in engaging with the activities on offer

·         Services are accessible, appropriate and delivered fairly to all

·         Disabled access is available wherever possible

 

Political independence

Any organisation of the Partnership is not profit orientated participant of the project. The partnership works independently from current politics and parties, will not join to and does not accept any financial support from them.

 

Recruitment

Selection procedures ensure that individuals are treated on the basis of their relevant merits and abilities. Any of the procedures will not include references to non-essential experience or qualifications that might directly or indirectly discriminate against some candidates.

The premises used for interview will be, as far as is practical, made accessible for candidates with disabilities.

Each organisation of the joint partnership has to provide their commitment and comprehensive adherence to equal opportunities as follows.  At a minimum, they will have to ensure that:

1) Recruitment procedures will not involve unlawful or unfair discrimination against applicants with disabilities, or a particular sex, or from particular ethnic or racial groups. A clear distinction is made between essential/minimum requirements and desirable qualifications.

2) Recruitment advice and summary sheets do not contain information and questions which could lead to discrimination.

3) Shortlisting and interviewing panels should include at least one member of each sex. Guidance to interviewing panels is issued prior to interviews so that the Chair and members of the panel are aware of questions, approaches or criteria which may directly or indirectly discriminate against applicants. This information sheet is available for the Chair and members of the panel before the interviews.

During the evaluation phases of this project, all organisations will be required to demonstrate that beneficiaries are interviewed and assessed according to their needs and capacities and that efforts are made to ensure that all groups are fairly represented. Recruitment information, application and scoring forms must be archived and available five years after the project final report is officially approved by the Hungarian Erasmus+ National Agency.

Evidences can be held digitally.

 

Objectivity in assessment

The evaluation of the applicants is based on an objective method and on a previously worked-out system of criteria. All applicants are entitled to get an insight of this assessment if they asked.

 

Funding sources

This project is funded by the Erasmus+ Strategic Partnerships Programme of the European Union with the contribution of the Tempus Public Foundation. Project reference number: 2015-1-HU01-KA203-013522.

 

Transparency

Any details of the project can be found on the www.careersinconservation.elte.hu project website.

 

Environmental sustainability

The Partnership intends to minimise printed paper documentation hence it is accepted to store and archive evidences and documentation digitally. 

 

Implementation of this policy

It shall be the responsibility of the Project Coordinator Organization on behalf of the Partners to ensure that this policy is properly implemented throughout the whole project. The policy will be brought to the attention of all staff and volunteers.

 

II. Practical Implementation of Student Recruitment (SR)

The goal of SR: Students from each partner universities will participate in the international mobilities and they will test and evaluate the learning materials and other project outputs. The partnership has to select such appropriate candidates who can contribute to the successful project implementation. A pool of students (a minimum of 9, ideally 12 in each country) will be recruited from undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD levels. They will participate in the three intensive study programmes. A small number of students will take part in the actual mobilities (different subset of students every time), whereas the rest of the students will follow events virtually (blended mobility).

Risk assessment of SR: The risk of SR is scored as low likelihood with high impact. The mitigation suggests that University partners already have good networks into their student communities with sufficient staff input to allow for the recruitment process (hence low likelihood).  Moreover, a clear and transparent recruitment strategy with widespread advertising indicating the benefits to the student of engaging with the project will reduce the risk that recruitment will be problematic.  While SPEA is the lead partner for this area, all the University partners are equally charged with mitigating this area of risk.

Project Partners have to be prepared to run more than one recruitment session during the project implementation period.

Ideal candidates: Ideal candidates are determined to have careers in the conservation sector and they are willing to actively take steps towards their goals. Good candidates have some previous experiences from some fields of nature conservation and have some knowledge on current conservation issues, policies and tendencies in their home country and internationally. Skills required: good communication, courage to speak in front of smaller (~30 people) audiences, clear expression of opinions and thoughts, ability for friendly debates, proactivity. For non-English speakers good English oral and written communication where knowledge on technical English vocabulary is not a requirement but fluent communication is a prerequisite for participation. Successful candidates must agree with the terms and conditions of this partnership project which will be outlined in a Learning Agreement and has to be signed by them.

Eligibility: Participants will be registered students from the three partner higher education institutes, regardless their nationalities (non-EU students are eligible, too). Undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD students are all allowed to apply for a placement. Ideal candidates can be involved through the entire lifetime of the project (until 31 December 2017)! Successful candidates must be available for virtual mobilities and further consultations during the course of the project implementation.  The project can only cover costs for students who are holding valid student status by one of the three partner universities. Alumni cannot participate.         

Selection Procedure: Participating students will be actively selected through transparent selection procedure. The recruitment will be carried out by local project partners. Although SPEA takes a lead on SR partners in the same country will collaborate to find best candidates.

There can be differences between project partners how they individually proceed the recruitment and selection, as national differences might justify various approaches. Therefore project partners have freedom to apply their best methods to select candidates as long as the methods are transparent, well documented and archived for later audits and are in accordance with the project goals.

Common element of the recruitment procedure to be applied in each partner country:

·         CV-s and motivation letters are requested from the students

·         Face-to face interviews

·         Language to be used English

 

   

The following recruitment strategy is a recommendation:

  • Written application: Selection of the students begins with the submission of a simple application form to the given national partner. The language of the whole selection procedure will be English. The written application will comprise a CV, a motivation letter (length < 2500 character spaces included) and a short application form. See forms attached.
  • In case there is an excess of the number of applicants, applications are scored by two referees independently who are members of the partnership (ideally one person from each partner: ELTE+BOF, UoEx+Ambios, UoEv+SPEA). See Application Scoring Form attached.
  • Candidates are short listed by their total scores gained in the application form. Best consensus candidates will be invited for a face-to face interview, conducted by both project partners in the given country. The language of the interview is English as the successful candidates must be able to comprehend and speak good level of English. The Panel of the interviewing will comprise at least two people (in this case from both genders) but a larger judging panel should be aimed. See Application Scoring Form attached.
  • Candidates are short listed by their total scores gained during the oral interview. Both successful and rejected candidates will receive an email where candidates will be able to see their place on the list. Data are going to be published anonymously, candidates are coded by initials of the full name, gender and date of birth. Rejected candidates can get additional information about their scores in case anyone requests it.

Guarantees from selected candidates:

A Learning Agreement (LA) determines the terms and conditions between the sending organisation and the selected students. The LA is to provide mutual guarantees to the parties i.e. the student will be available during the lifetime of the project at least what electronic communication is concerned. And students will clearly see the learning outcomes and benefits/obligations as well. See LA template in the appendix.