“Working with Altissia has been a new and interesting experience because it provides a whole new world of possibilities for the students in the process of learning new languages, which will help them in their professional lives.”
Industrial University of Santander (UIS)
The UIS is a public university that aims to train citizens as integral, ethical, political and innovative professionals.
About the Industrial University of Santander
UIS promotes scientific, technological and social innovation, research, artistic creation and culture, and builds collaborative processes and social trust for the anticipation of opportunities, the recognition of challenges and the construction of solutions for people’s needs and for the environment.
By 2030, UIS aims to be recognised on the national and international scene as an intellectual, ethical and diverse community that educates people to face the challenges of the world, is open to new ways of thinking, and manages knowledge for the advancement and transformation of society and culture to improve quality of life.
One of the objectives set out by Hernán Porras Diaz, Rector of UIS, is to ensure that all UIS students are fluent in a second language when they graduate by 2025.
Proficiency in a foreign language is considered a comparative advantage of the university; it is a point that positions UIS on the international scene and opens doors for its students to both postgraduate programmes and the professional world. This also attracts international students and ensures a smooth communication process for them with the administrative and teaching staff.
With this as a driving force, the university is planning to start teaching regular classes in other languages, for different disciplines and across all faculties, which means that the whole university community needs to prepare for this.
Why Altissia ?
Various language solutions were assessed by different organisations, including the Language Institute, the Language School and the Foreign Relations Office.
UIS wanted to ensure that the chosen solution would be user-friendly, intuitive and fit for complete beginners. Another criterion was that the solution should offer several languages and real-life content. With the aforementioned criteria, the implementation model and the programme-based approach taken into account, Altissia was considered the most suitable option.
Altissia offered an “E-Learning For All” programme (ELFA) to the whole university, deployed across the 9 campuses and made available to students, teachers, administrative staff, and graduates.
Altissia has deployed:
The Language Course Platform
In 22 languages
The Language Assessment
For UIS language teachers
Including a dedicated landing page, communication plan and motivational strategy
The project focuses on different audiences who each have their own objectives. The postgraduate and doctoral students, for example, rely on Altissia’s language assessment to prepare for international certifications. In the case of language teachers, Altissia’s content is used in a blended fashion, to reinforce and complement the content seen in class.
With the help of their Language Institute and the Language School, UIS has also started to offer a Spanish blended learning programme to its international students.
Throughout the first years of the project, the most popular languages have been English, French, Portuguese, German and Italian.
Every member of the university has the opportunity to access the platform, and some priority audiences have also been defined, including postgraduate students, teachers and international students.
UIS has been able to see tangible results from their language strategy:
- The university continues to consolidate its position as one of the leading universities in Colombia, with above average results in the Saber Pro exam
- Their mobility programme has expanded
- The communication process between the administrative staff, the teachers and the international students has improved
- Postgraduate students have expressed great satisfaction with the opportunity to train for their international certifications and the number of certifications obtained each year continues to increase
- Karolyne Dayan Silva Otalora - UIS Foreign Relations Office
“Altissia has been a great investment by the university. It is an important support tool in the language learning process and has allowed us to raise awareness in students to improve their level in a foreign language; this, in order to create new research and development paths for the university community, not only in Latin America, but in non-Spanish-speaking countries.”Laura Alejandra Prada Vesga - UIS Foreign Relations Office
“The generation, dissemination and application of knowledge takes place, in essence, in an international environment; therefore, the members of our academic community must interact with peers from different countries and cultures. Our Foreign Relations Office is aware of the importance of having a platform that promotes the development of skills, not only in English as a second language, but in multiple languages. Altissia has become a key ally for this great purpose.”Carlos Enrique Vecino Arenas - Director of the UIS Foreign Relations Office