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How can we improve the Stella-Staff mobility programme?

 

The Executive Secretary of the Compostela Group of Universities, Mª Teresa Carballeira Rivera, held a meeting with the coordinator of Stella-Staff Mobility Programme at University of Santiago de Compostela, Pilar Martínez García, and the Labor Wellness coordinator at Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla, Mª del Pilar Trujillo Mellado.

 

During the meeting at the Permanent Secretariat of the Compostela Group of Universities, the coordinator and the beneficiary of the work placement made some suggestions about how to improve the programme. Trujillo Mellado explained that a mobility experience means a considerable investment for a University, especially when it involves a transoceanic travel, and recommended “increasing the duration of the exchange”.


The coordinator of Stella-Staff at University of Santiago de Compostela pointed out that receiving administrative staff through the mobility programme is rewarding but also challenging, because it changes the pace of work. Martínez García considered that in order to extend the exchange to two weeks, “it would be necessary to define a detailed working schedule meeting the particular needs of the participants and also not to concentrate it on a whole week”. Opening another possibility, the Labor Wellness coordinator at Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla (UPAEP) introduced the option of “combining the mobility within different Universities”.


Having heard their suggestions, the Executive Secretary of the Compostela Group of Universities said that the association would study their comments regarding the improvement of Stella-Staff mobility programme. Carballeira Rivera suggested that Universities that are geographically close could collaborate when offering a placement.

 

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An innovative exchange programme


Asked about her motivations to apply for Stella-Staff mobility, Trujillo Mellado said the she has “always been a lively person” and “loves to travel”. “I have been looking for an opportunity like this for years, because mobility programmes are generally available for the academics but not for administrative staff”, she added.


Having worked at the Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla (UPAEP) for the past 25 years, Trujillo Mellado hopes to learn from best practices developed in other Universities. She works for the Labor Wellness department whose aim is to foster the sense of belonging and create a climate of welfare for their partners and their families.


This department has kicked off some successful initiatives like a workshop where the children of the academic and administrative staff get help to do their homework. It has also developed actions like ‘Reto por tu salud’ in order to promote a culture of illness prevention, though the practice of healthy living habits that would contribute to the improvement of the wellness of employees.


Stella for Staff


Since its launch in 2002, Stella offers administrative staff an opportunity to have a work placement experience abroad. This mobility programme is open not only to the Compostela Group of Universities members but also to the mutual member networks.