ul. Władysława Bojarskiego 3, 87-100 Toruń
tel.: +48 56 611 41 10
e-mail: wpia@umk.pl

International Cooperation

One of the activities that could be described as a trademark of the Faculty of Law and Administration of the Nicolaus Copernicus University is undoubtedly the activity in the international dimension, which applies not only to scientific life but also the areas of didactic activity. For many years, the Faculty of Law and Administration has been organising conferences, seminars, and other scientific events with the participation of foreign guests who represent various research centres or who are representatives of the practice (e.g. from the USA, Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic, Lithuania or Hungary). These guests often choose the Faculty of Law and Administration as an attractive place to stay for purposes closely related to conducting research (in the last two years, scientists from Greece and Lithuania have visited the Faculty of Law and Administration of the Nicolaus Copernicus University for such purposes).

Another area in which the Faculty asserts its presence is its role as co-organiser of scientific initiatives that are periodically carried out outside Poland (e.g. conferences and seminars in Rome, Venice, Prague, or Olomouc). However, the most spectacular manifestation of its activity on the international level is undoubtedly the foreign cooperation within the Erasmus + programme, which is based on the achievements of earlier European initiatives promoting education and development in the foreign and international environment (Socrates and Erasmus programmes, respectively). As part of the Erasmus + programme, the Faculty of Law and Administration has already concluded several dozen contracts with other universities in the European Union and beyond, enabling the mobility of students and researchers.

The number of international agreements to which the Faculty of Law and Administration of Nicolaus Copernicus University is a party is systematically increasing and in the current academic year it amounts to 43. Under these agreements, students from various departments are offered over 100 places, often in famous and prestigious universities in Belgium, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, France, Spain, Lithuania, Latvia, Germany, Norway, Portugal, Czech Republic, Romania, Slovenia, Turkey, Hungary and Italy. These agreements allow students of the Faculty of Law and Administration to travel for a selected semester, or even the entire academic year, to partner foreign centres of the Faculty. Many law students take advantage of this opportunity each year, and in terms of the number of recruited applicants the Faculty of Law and Administration has been at the forefront of the Nicolaus Copernicus University for many years. The possibility of shorter trips abroad lasting several days under the contracts concluded by the Faculty of Law and Administration is also used by academic staff who, during their stay at selected universities, not only devote themselves to research but also conduct interesting didactic classes for students of these universities in line with their scientific specialisation (in recent years, thanks to the Erasmus + programme researchers of the Faculty of Law and Administration have been present at universities in Turkey, the Czech Republic and Spain). It is worth noting that the recently signed contracts also cover doctoral students. The Erasmus + programme also allows for interesting student internships in various foreign institutions and enterprises which students of the Faculty are currently keen to take advantage of. Every year, several students participate in foreign internships, e.g. in law offices or in legal departments. After completing their internship, they often reapply for a similar opportunity or establish permanent cooperation with a given entity. Such practices undoubtedly contribute to improving the competences and qualifications of the people who are taking part in them.

The Faculty of Law and Administration is also regularly chosen by foreign students as the place for their semester or one-year course via the Erasmus + programme. Every year, the Faculty hosts a dozen or so students from various countries both within the European Union and outside the EU. Most often these are students from Spain, Italy, France, and the Czech Republic but there are also students from Slovenia, Germany, Latvia, Norway and Turkey. Thanks to the Erasmus + programme, there are also visits by foreign lecturers for whom a stay at the Faculty is an opportunity to establish scientific contacts, implement a research project or deliver lectures for our students.

In addition to cooperation with foreign centres under the Erasmus + programme, the Faculty of Law and Administration also cooperates with foreign academic units outside this programme, carrying out interesting joint research and educational projects. Research workers often receive scholarships to stay abroad from other scholarship programmes, including those implemented by foundations whose statutory tasks include supporting scientific development. Thanks to funds from such programmes, FLA academics have been able to conduct research or classes for students in Italy, Norway, and Kazakhstan, among others. Furthermore, as part of the international activity of the Faculty of Law and Administration, students (as well as academics) often participate in foreign summer schools, moot-court competitions, and international conferences. From the point of view of the development of the Nicolaus Copernicus University and in line with the goal of internationalising the curriculum, it should be noted that the modules offered at the Faculty of Law and Administration include English-language classes available within the Comparative Law School. Some of these activities are also offered as so-called general university lectures. The diversified and attractive range of modules offered at the Faculty attracts Polish and above all foreign students, for whom it was created and is still being optimised. In the current academic year, a new form of classes – the so-called seminar classes – has been made available. These are aimed only at foreign students and are intended to enable them to acquire knowledge of interest (along with grades and ECTS points) in situations where it is not possible to start a given lecture or tutorial due to the small number of applicants.

Here, it is worth mentioning that for several years the Faculty of Law and Administration of the NCU has been cooperating with the Centre of International Legal Studies based in Salzburg (CILS). Thanks to this organisation, the Faculty regularly hosts lecturers from the USA and Canada (practitioners with over 20 years of professional experience). As practitioners and native speakers, these lecturers provide excellent and professional help within the framework of the aforementioned School of Comparative Law, as evidenced by the consistently positive opinions of students, including foreign students, who attend these lectures in large numbers. This initiative has also enabled the Faculty of Law and Administration to establish permanent cooperation with the University of Chicago, resulting in the annual symposia on “Human Rights and a Just Society” (12 such meetings have already taken place). Representatives of the NCU’s Faculty of Law and Administration belong to the councils and editorial boards of foreign scientific journals (e.g. in the Czech Republic or Italy). They are also often members of foreign and international scientific societies (e.g. l’Association Internationale de Droit Pénal) as well as permanent or ad hoc experts from international bodies (e.g. the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe, CCBE;

As part of the implementation of the postulate of further internationalisation of legal education within the Faculty of Law and Administration, there is currently an initiative to acquire teaching and scientific staff for longer stays (minimum one semester) and to create new projects, for instance summer schools in English. The latter would be more open to partners from Eastern European countries (Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan). At present, various instruments are being prepared to further popularise the Faculty abroad (including a special English-language brochure – in both printed and electronic versions – addressed to all individuals visiting the Faculty). In the opinion of those responsible for this area of activity this form of communication will make it possible to reach a wider group of people potentially interested in studying law in Toruń.