Education does not necessarily guarantee you a job, or the job you want, but in good times and bad the higher your education level, the less likely you are to be unemployed. The more educated you are, the better prepared you are to reinvent yourself over the course of your career.
Education does not make everyone equal but it can go a long way toward providing equal opportunity. While women achieve more than 60% of university degrees, they still earn less than men in the workplace. Young women are five percentage points more likely than young men to become better educated than their parents (40% compared with 35%), while young men are more likely than young women to have lower educational attainment than their parents (15% compared with 11%).
While more people are completing higher education in OECD countries, children from low income and immigrant backgrounds continue to lag behind in primary and secondary school. Tapping into their talents could bring valuable creativity, skill and innovation to our economies.
The foundation for successful lifelong learning comes before we even start formal education – pre-school programmes really are the gift that keeps on giving. Students at 15 with an extra year of pre-school do better than those without, OECD figures show. This gives pause for thought, particularly in light of the fact that one in five of 15 year old students (19%) in OECD countries lacks basic literacy skills. This makes it all the harder for them to benefit from educational opportunities later in life.
Immigrants are particularly affected. Reading levels for immigrant students are up to a year and a half behind those of native students. This emphasizes the need for affordable programs that help students and workers to break out of the cycle of disadvantage that grips low educated families and impoverished communities. As long as low income equates to a lower education level, societal potential will be lost.
And of course the skills you learn need to be matched to the work available -- The OECD Employment Outlook 2012 shows that those who do find a job often are overqualified for their position. Specialized programs set up by employers and governments provide people with skills to match their jobs throughout their working life. Job-specific training capitalises on a person’s ability to adapt and transforms skills that have become outdated in our fast paced world. Accessible and effective skill training further improves the dexterity of the economy as it responds to crisis.
Data Vizualization Competition
The OECD and visualizing.org have launched a data visualization global competition around Education at a Glance 2012. Your challenge is to visualize the economic costs and returns on education. Your design should encourage comparison across the countries, and should reveal the individual statistics that go into these indicators. Ready? >> Learn more.
Just to give some examples we are looking for proposals such as "Metrics and rankings"; Professional development and training topics for research managers and administrators; IT tools developments; Simplification topics; Ideas and topics regarding the Rules for Participation; Financial models; Horizon 2020; Fundamental research and Societal Challenges and Lead Industry programme's; Models for development and management of research support units within Universities; Legal and ethical Issues; the new DESCA model; ERC, Marie Curie and doctoral training in Europe; Interface between research and innovation; Smart specialization and strengthen research potential in new EU member states; International aspects of European research and Innovation; Issues with connections to "Impact"; etc.
Presentations from the Dublin AC 2012
Patrick Cunningham: Growing the Knowledge Economy: The Irish Perspective
Sean McCarthy: Getting Ready for Horizon 2020
Kathleen Larmett and Denise Walden: Developing Leaders for Research Management: Globalization in the 21st Century
Judith Schallnau: Experiences and Best Practices on Dispute Resolution
Louise Byrne: Guide to MC Financial Issues
Susi Poli Professional Development WG session
Alicia Blaya: IPR for non-FP7 Projects
Maria Grazia Bonanomi: Planning Research Activities
David O'Shea: Guide to Financial Issues in FP7
Simon Kerridge and Keith Jeffery: RMAS: Research Management and Administration System
Caroline Ang and Lorna Colquhoun: Breaking Down Silos: The Role of Research Offices in Stimulating Collaboration
Alex Waehry: Organising Research Support Offices, LERU Examples
Olaf Svenningsen: Organising Research Support Offices, Mapping Processes and Tasks
Agatha Kellner and Annika Glauner: How will you re-structure your Support Office for Horizon 2020
Philip Purnell: Sponsored Session, Thompson Reuters
Valerie Thiel and Peter Darroch: Sponsored Session, Elsevier
Roumen Borissov: FET Funding Scheme
Kristel Toom: New Comer's Meeting
Marie Geoghegan-Quinn: Keynote, Horizon 2020 and the New Beginning for the European Research and Innovation System not available yet
Enora Pruvot: Sustainability of European Universities: Impact of Horizon 2020
Sean McCarthy: Giving Impact to your Impact; Impact Writing and Measuring in Fp7 and H2020
Andrea Degen and Dan Nordquist: Social Media: Another Hype or useful Tools to Improve Communication and Exploitation of Results
Yan Zhang and Feng Zhou: Chinese Views on H2020
Peter Hartwich: Workshop: The Participant's Portal
Julia Lane: Measuring Success, STAR METRICS
Alan Mathewson and Cian O'Murchu: Towards an Open and Sustainable ICT Research Infrastructure Strategy
Paul Coughlan and Ruth Kearney: The Innovation Academy at Trinity College Dublin -Facilitating University-Industry Collaboration
Anne Katrin Werenskiold: ERA Working Group: Academic-Industrial Collaboration in H2020
Rafat Mrowka: ERA Working Group: From theory to practice – making money from research
Ciaran Dearle: Smart Specialisation: Stairways to Excellence and the Role of the Future Cohesion Policy
Kathrin Werner and Annika Thies: H2020: The Legal Framework
Jorg Langwaldt: Professional Development of EU Advisers and Administrators in a Network of Four Finnish Universities
Dan Nordquist and Kathleen Larmett: EARMA/ NCURA Fellowship Programme
Emmanuel Babatunde: Enhancing Collaboration between Administrators, Advisers and Researchers
Jan Andersen: Global Collaboration and Professional Development
Katrin Reschwamm: Communication Tools for EU Projects - from Chat to Collaborative Work Spaces
Olaf Svenningsen: Workshop - Registering for NSF/NIH/Grants.go
En las instalaciones de la Universidad Inholland socia del Proyecto TTRALL y coordinadora de la visita de estudios europea se dio inicio a la I parte de las actividades que tendrán lugar hasta el día 26 de septiembre. El coordinador académico del Proyecto Maurizio Betti comentó que esta reunión es un hito en la historia del TRALL, dado que es un momento de reflexión con el propósito de encontrar los nuevos caminos y direccionamiento al proyecto luego de una año y medio de ejecución, con mucha expectativa y reunidos mas de 40 participantes representantes de las universidades socias tanto latinoamericanas como europeas inician las actividades.
La segunda etapa se desarrollada en Bolonia (Italia), Amsterdam (Holanda), Barcelona (España) y Etcharry (Francia), del 23 al 26 de septiembre.
Internationalisation and Quality Asssurance - Connecting European and Global Experiences - “European Quality Labels” and Quality
“European Quality Labels” and Quality Assurance
Dr Achim Hopbach, President of the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) - Managing Director of the German Accreditation Council
The development of quality assurance in European higher education reached a major milestone when ministers of higher education of the Bologna signatory countries met in Berlin in 2003 and agreed on a number of basic principles that paved the way for developing procedures and systems:
[Ministers] also stress that consistent with the principle of institutional autonomy, the primary responsibility for quality assurance in higher education lies with each institution itself and this provides the basis for real accountability of the academic system within the national quality framework.
Based on this principle, they committed themselves to developing and implementing quality assurance systems that would include:
• A definition of the responsibilities of the bodies and institutions involved.
• Evaluation of programmes or institutions, including internal assessment, external
review, participation of students and the publication of results.
• A system of accreditation, certification or comparable procedures.
• International participation, co-operation and networking. (Berlin Communiqué 2003, 3).
Based on these principles, national quality assurance systems and agencies were set up to form the basic model for assessment. When ministers officially launched the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) in 2010, external quality assurance based on this model had been implemented in all Bologna signatory countries, however in unique and diverse ways. Regarding external quality assurance procedures as such, one can say that they are by and large designed and conducted in accordance with ESG part II. (Hopbach 2012)
However, in addition to the national approach to quality assurance, initiatives at European level already existed such as accreditation schemes in the fields of economics (EQUIS) and public administration (EAPAA) and also the Institutional Evaluation Programme (IEP) of the European University Association.12 After 2003, this approach gained momentum when, with financial support of the European Commission, pan-European subject-specific initiatives for quality assurance emerged, often referred to as “European Quality Labels”, the first of which was the Eurobachelor® in chemistry which started in 2003. These approaches caught attention in political debates around 2009 when the “Report on progress in quality assurance in higher education” by the European Commission emphasized their role in fostering a stronger European dimension in quality assurance.
The seminar was dedicated to discussing the nature of these “European Quality Labels” in terms of their aims and objectives, methodological approaches and criteria used in their reviews, and particularly, to analyse their specific contribution to quality assurance in the EHEA. It also focused on “European Quality Labels” in the fields of engineering and science such as the EURO-INF Quality Label in informatics and EURO-AGES in the field of geology which were set up following the most well-known label EUR-ACE® and polifonia which started as an ERASMUS Network for Music in 2004. Recently, some of these initiatives joined together with professional accreditors in the foundation of the European Alliance for Subject Specific and Professional Accreditation and Quality Assurance (EASPA). This report highlights the main discussions and issues that arose from this seminar.
One obvious outcome of the seminar shall be mentioned right at the beginning. It seems rather inappropriate to subsume the aforementioned initiatives and approaches under the uniform heading “quality label”. On the one hand, they share the view that there is a need for a subject-specific approach to quality assurance in Europe as it is put by AEC: “assessing and accrediting institutions and programmes for higher music education must be rooted in a comprehensive understanding of the characteristics of music and the contexts and traditions in which music is created. Without such a rooting, the assessment may be preoccupied with only technical and academic aspects of musical production and ignore the innate unique and artistic characteristics of music.” (AEC 2010, p 6) On the other hand, the labels differ substantially in the implementation as far as purposes, organisational structures and activities are concerned in detail. This has to be borne in mind whenever the labels are mentioned or rather generalizing statements are made in the following.
The principles of quality assurance in the EHEA are laid down in The European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ESG) ministers of the Bologna signatory countries adopted in 2005. The ESG were “designed to be applicable to all higher education institutions and quality assurance agencies in Europe, irrespective of their structure, function and size, and the national system in which they are located.” Based on this very comprehensive claim, the ESG can be considered as the main reference point for the design of quality assurance in the emerging EHEA, be it internal or external quality assurance. (ENQA 2009)
The main purpose of these standards and guidelines was to guarantee professionally conducted quality assurance procedures on a high quality level. The ESG prefer the generic principle to the specific requirement and focus more on what should be done than how it should be achieved. Therefore, the ESG were not meant to explicitly comprise standards for quality of higher education as such (i.e. requirements for HE institutions and the design of programmes). The ESG combine two aspects in particular common standards for professionalism in terms of procedures and agencies which nowadays are not only shared within Europe and the EHEA but more and more worldwide; and the European notion of quality assurance which is in the first instance laid down in the following principles:
• HEIs bare the main responsibility for quality;
• The four stage-model applies: Internal evaluation, external evaluation by peers, publication of reports, follow-up procedure;
• External quality assurance procedures should take into account the effectiveness of the internal quality assurance processes;
• Quality assurance processes, irrespective of the very nature and design of the chosen approach, have to serve the developmental function of quality assurance;
• Stakeholder, especially student involvement is critical in all phases, also in the development of quality assurance processes;
• And quality assurance agencies need to be independent in so far as they must have full autonomy for their procedures and decisions.
The specific meaning of the ESG lies not only in the fact that quality assurance processes are carried out throughout the EHEA based on the same standards. Even more interesting is the fact that the ESG were developed by all relevant stakeholders (EUA, EURASHE, ESU and ENQA; known as the E4 group) and, thus, make actors in the field of quality assurance share the same values and principles, fostering a common understanding. This alludes to a significant feature of the quality assurance in European higher education, which is the key role of stakeholders. (Hopbach 2012)
The most important feature of the “quality labels” refers to their respective backgrounds and purposes. In general, the emergence of many labels is to be seen in the frame of the development of the learning outcomes approach and of qualifications frameworks within the Bologna Process since 2003. Partly linked to the TUNING project, a major purpose of the labels was to add subject-specific learning outcomes or qualification frameworks to the generic approach of the Qualifications Framework of the EHEA. In particular, the Eurobachelor® project in chemistry and Polifonia can be subsumed under this heading. Whereas the quality assurance and/or accreditation function was added to the initial purpose of these labels only after some time other initiatives envisaged the set up of a subject-specific accreditation scheme at European level right from the beginning, such as EUR-ACE® and EURO-INF, both of which go further by linking subject-specific learning outcomes to standards for the design of the respective curricula.
By referring to subject-specific academic standards, the quality labels go beyond the European understanding of quality assurance which refrain from this type of standardisation, based on the principle of autonomy of HEI as stipulated in the Berlin Communiqué. The discussion about the specific purpose of the quality labels culminates
in the perhaps most relevant question which reads as follows: Who shall be responsible for defining academic standards? On the one hand, labels representatives state that this needs to be an integral part of quality assurance and thus the agency has to play a core role. On the other hand, the EHEA has set up a whole quality infrastructure which consists of qualifications frameworks, learning outcomes, and ECTS, etc., with quality assurance as only one part of it, and with different responsibilities, namely the responsibility of autonomous HEI for academic standards and of independent agencies for quality assurance procedures. Regarding common learning outcomes in the EHEA ministers, in the Communiqué of Leuven/Louvain-la-Neuve ministerial meeting in 2004 also emphasized this role of HEI:”Academics, in close cooperation with student and employer representatives, will continue to develop learning outcomes and international reference points for a growing number of subject areas“ (Leuven Louvain-la-Neuve Communiqué 2009, p. 4), without mentioning quality assurance agencies in this respect.
This leads to another important feature of some of the labels, namely the role of professional standards at the European level. The labels, for example, in the engineering sector focus on professional standards in addition to academic standards as criteria for the accreditation decision. By referring to entry qualifications for the labor market, these labels widen the focus and add to their approach elements of professional accreditation. Hence the perspective of the individual is added to the perspective of the programme. In the case for instance of EUR-ACE® this shouldn’t come as a surprise since the membership comprises also statutory bodies with responsibility for professional accreditation and thus for regulating the access to the profession. However, a discussion which is as old as the discussion about learning outcomes gains momentum through this widened focus: The discussion about a comprehensive educational mandate of HEI which goes beyond short term employability compared to a rather focused interest of professional associations which is necessarily oriented towards actual requirements in a certain professional field.
The specific nature of the purposes of the labels is closely linked with the organizational set up which, again, reveals the substantial differences between some of the labels. Mainly three groups of actors involved can be identified: HEI, professional associations/bodies and accreditation agencies. These collaborate in different combinations. Whereas polifonia is an initiative by the Association of European Conservatoires (AEC) and, thus, exclusively, run by HEIs, EUR-ACE® on the other side has only two members coming from academia, one Italian HEI and one association of faculties in Italy, and the rest representing professions or statutory bodies which regulate the professions.
This means that, in accordance with the organizational structure the academic standards might either be defined by representatives coming from academia (polifonia) or rather by professional organizations (EUR-ACE®).
It’s obvious that in the latter case the critical question about the autonomy of HEI for quality in higher education gains even more relevance.
In conclusion, one can say that the principles and purposes of the labels are broader than those of quality assurance and focus on translating the learning outcomes approach to subject specific standards at European level.
As far as the methodology of external quality assurance in the EHEA is concerned, the principles are laid down in part II of the ESG which start with part I of the ESG that refers to the prime responsibility of the HEI for quality assurance. The other standards refer to procedural principles such as:
• Determination of aims and objectives before the process starts by including HEI (2.2);
• Application of publicly available predefined criteria in case formal decisions are made (2.3);
• Appropriate design of processes ffp (2.4);
• Publication of reports (2.5);
• Predetermined follow-up procedure (2.6);
• Periodicity of reviews (2.7);
• And system-wide analyses reports are produced describing and analysing the general findings. (2.8) (ENQA, 2009)
In general, the quality labels took these principles, as developed since the pilot projects in the mid nineties, as reference point for the design of their quality assurance and accreditation procedures, however to a different degree. They work with self-evaluation and external evaluation with a site visit by peers, and a compulsory follow-up. The Eurobachelor® label in chemistry is partly an exception since in some countries the label is awarded by the responsible committee based exclusively on a report by the HEI without any self-evaluation and also without any peer review and site visits. In other countries, the label is awarded by recognized agencies which do site visits. Also, polifonia has to be distinguished from other labels due to its wider scope. Whereas EURO-AGES, EURO-INF and EUR-ACE® are restricted to accreditation at the programme level, polifonia “offers” a more comprehensive approach with guidelines for internal quality assurance and also guidelines and criteria for external quality assurance at programme and institutional levels. Designing the guidelines in accordance with the ESG the specific contribution of polifonia is rather to be seen in “translating” the regular procedures of quality into a discipline that deviates substantially from other disciplines as far as fundamental features such as programme design, teaching, the learning environment and the whole set-up and profile of the institutions are concerned. To name but one specific feature, polifonia highlights the great variety of musical education which makes it impossible to set up prescriptive standards: “Even if objectivity can be applied to a number of aspects and concepts relating to musical skills, there are ultimately no final solutions or truths in music; there is no single method or route that will attain artistic goals.“ (AEC 2010, 14) Review panels need to be sensitive regarding this specific nature of musical education, which translates in curricular features such as private lessons, more time for self-study, etc. than in other disciplines.
The requirements for accreditation procedures for the purpose of conveying the labels of EURO-AGES, EURO-INF and EUR-ACE® are almost identical. With regard to two core aspects of quality assurance in the EHEA the three of them deviate substantially by neither requiring student involvement at all in the review panels nor foreseeing a
publication of the review reports. Both standards have to be considered obviously as core elements of external quality assurance in the EHEA. Otherwise these labels don’t provide any specific additional feature in their methodology, which would relate to subject specific questions.
One commonality of almost all labels refers to the actual implementation of reviews because they don’t necessarily conduct the reviews by themselves but also certify other bodies to do so. EUR-ACE® has authorized accreditation agencies like ASIIN and the French CTI, professional associations like the Association for Engineering Education in Russia, the Turkish Association for Evaluation and Accreditation of Engineering, and statutory bodies like the Engineering Council in UK, Engineers Ireland, and the Portugese Ordem dos Engenheiros. Eurobachelor® is working with agencies from the academic sector like ASIIN and the University Accreditation Commission from Poland, and also with professional associations like the Italian Chemical Association and the Royal Society of Chemistry for procedures in the UK and Ireland. EURO-INF is working so far with ASIIN. Polifonia does not certify other agencies but rather collaborates with national agencies in the accreditation of priogrammes.
In conclusion, one can say that in terms of methodology, the labels, different from their principles and purposes, don’t make a subject-specific contribution to quality assurance in the EHEA. The specificity of some labels consists rather of shortcomings in terms of application of the ESG.
The seminar and the discussions revealed that:
• European Quality Labels are not monolithic, so it is misleading to talk about “the” labels because of their substantial heterogeneity in terms of purpose, structure and procedures;
• The most important feature of the labels, and maybe the only feature they have in common, is the core role that academic standards, in some cases also professional standards, play. Some of the labels translate this role also into requirements for the design of programmes.
• In terms of methodology and design of the quality assurance procedures, no subject-specific feature applies which would add to the European approach in quality assurance. However, the labels from the engineering and informatics sectors fall short in terms of compliance with the ESG due to lack of student members on the review panels and lack of publication of reports.
• These outcomes demonstrate that most of the labels don’t make a subject-specific contribution to quality assurance as such. They should rather be called as a means to link subject-specific learning outcomes at the European level to quality assurance. This counts particularly for those labels that also apply professional standards and thus link academic accreditation of programmes to regulating access to the profession.
• The discussion revealed that the definition of subject-specific learning outcomes by agencies other than representing academia and also partly in collaboration with professional associations creates substantial tensions with “traditional” quality assurance according to the European standards which emphasize that the primary responsibility for quality rests with the individual HEI whereas standardization only applies for the level and scope of the qualifications through the Qualifications Framework of the EHEA.
AEC (2010), Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Higher Music Education http://www.bologna-and-music.org/home.asp?id=1704&lang=en (Accessed 13 March 2012)
Berlin Communiqué 2003, http://www.ehea.info/Uploads/Declarations/Berlin_Communique1.pdf (Accessed 13 March 2012)
ECTNA Good Practice Advice for evaluation of the Applications for the Chemistry Eurobachelor® Label http://ectn-assoc.cpe.fr/chemistry-eurolabels/doc/officials/Off_EBL101130_Eurobachelor_GPAdviceEvalAppl_201102V1.pdf (Accesser 13 March 2012)
ENQA (2009) Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area, Helsinki http://www.enqa.eu/files/ESG_3edition%20%282%29.pdf (Accessed 13 March 2012)
EUR-ACE Framework Standards for the Accreditation of Engineering Programmes (2008) http://www.enaee.eu/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/EUR-ACE_Framework-Standards_2008-11-0511.pdf (Accessed 13 March 2012)
EURO-AGES Qualifications Framewor and Accreditation Criteria for Geology Study-Progranmes in Europe (2011) http://www.euro-ages.eu/pages/final-results.php (Accessed 13 March 2012)
EURO-INF Framework Standards and Accreditation Criteria for Informatics Degree Programmes (2011) http://www.eqanie.eu/pages/quality-label.php (Accessed 13 March 2012)
Hopbach, A. (2012), External quality assurance between European consensus and national agendas, in: Curaj, A., et al. (eds.), European Higher Education at the Crossroads: Between the Bologna Process and National Reforms, Heidelberg et al.
Leuven_Louvain-la Neuve_Communiqué 2009, http://www.ehea.info/Uploads/Declarations/Leuven_Louvain-la-Neuve_Communiqu%C3%A9_April_2009.pdf (Accessed 13 March 2012)
True to the student-focused principles upon which the QS methodology was founded in 2004, half of the overall weighting is attributed to the views of academics (40%) and employers (10%). These surveys have grown significantly again this year showing that academics and employer worldwide are keen to participate in what they view as an important evaluation process. Both surveys remain the largest of their type ever undertaken, and the 2012/13 rankings include responses from over 48,000 academics and 26,000 employers.
For more information write to: email@example.com.
The event was aimed to inform wider audience about the EUROSTUDENT survey and its network (www.eurostudent.eu). Giving the importance of the meeting, the Minister of Education and Science of the Republic of Armenia Dr. Armen Ashotyan gave an opening speech.
The Initiative Group for the implementation of the fifth wave of EUROSTUDENT survey in NIS countries includes 26 experts from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine, Austria and Germany, most of these experts have been able to take active part in the workshop in Yerevan.
During the several working sessions of the workshops, they have discussed the technical and methodological aspects of EUROSTUDENT surveys in EU and eventually NIS countries.
The Initiative Group agreed on the following:
- Yerevan Communiqué (see attached), addressed to all actual and potential supporters of EUROSTUDENT survey in NIS countries was adopted.
- Second meeting of the Initiative Group will be held on 20 October 2012 in Moscow.
By Philipp Friedrich. Much has changed in the last ten years since Austrian universities were reformed by the Universities Act 2002. The idea behind this law was to prepare Austrian universities for a global future where a changing environment forces universities to flexibly respond to new developments and demands, where the international dimension of science becomes more and more important and where funding of education becomes unstable and unpredictable due to public spending cuts. How can the Austrian universities act and succeed under these circumstances? How will they be able to deal with issues like massification, the implementation of the Bologna reform, while simultaneously guaranteeing high quality and performance in research, teaching and learning? Less political interference, economic benchmarks and university autonomy are seen as a possible solution to these challenges.
The most challenging issue in the recent years has been the massification at Austrian universities, especially through a growing number of foreign students. Austrian universities are attractive for (European) students because they do not increase tuition fees in general and provide free choice and access to higher education.
The International Student Mobility Charter was developed in response to the significant increase in the number of students moving abroad to study and their ensuing need for improved rights and welfare.
This need was accentuated recently when more than 2000 students faced potential removal from the UK after the London Metropolitan University had its licence to teach and recruit students from outside the EU revoked. The students involved were required to find an alternative institution to sponsor them; failing this, they were told that they would have to leave the UK.
Gudrun Paulsdottir, outgoing President of the European Association for International Education highlights the issue: “With this constant increase in the mobile student population, the increasing need for qualified and educated people all over the world, and the lack of funding available for higher education on a national level, there is also an increase in incidence where students, higher education institutions and countries suffer from decisions made by partners, their governments or other external stakeholders.”
According to UNESCO, by 2025 the number of international students is expected to rise to 8 million. With such a large number of students moving abroad to study, there is a definite need for governments, education institutions, and international agencies to endorse and support a charter outlining the rights of international students.
The International Student Mobility Charter covers concerns such as equity of treatment, integration of international students, portability and continuity of funding, visas and formal requirements, quality assurance of institutions, and other important issues affecting mobile students. Developed by a working group of international higher education associations which was led by the EAIE, the charter is aimed at fostering greater endorsement from key stakeholders in international education with the overarching objective of keeping students safe and protected during their study abroad periods. A network of higher education associations officially agreed the charter during the 2012 EAIE Conference.
The EAIE encourages other institutions and associations to endorse this charter. The entire charter can be downloaded from the EAIE website.
International Student Mobility Charter
In 2010 more than 4 million students were studying outside their home countries.
According to UNESCO this number may rise to 8 million international higher education students by 2025. This globally mobile population of mainly young people seeking education represents an investment in crucial assets for sending countries, assets that are essential for future development, prosperity and welfare, when students return home with increased knowledge and skills prepared for global citizenship. For receiving countries, these students bring cultural and intellectual diversity to the institutions and the countries they visit, often representing also a source of revenue for those institutions and communities, and in some cases a source of skilled migrants’ post-education experience.
Consequently, it should be in the interest of any country to facilitate mobility in higher education. This implies that every country and higher education institution needs to recognize the complexity of mobility and have a framework of support for both incoming and outgoing students.
At the same time there is a need to secure international students’ rights and welfare. In some countries and communities, international students have suffered from discrimination on grounds of race, religion and culture, gender and have been confronted with circumstances on and off campuses, which pose a threat to their safety, dignity and security.
The demand for knowledge is global. All countries and cultures are in need of an increased level of knowledge, for many different reasons. This is a call to institutions of education, cities, regions and countries to recognize this need and to make efforts to facilitate knowledge mobility, in particular knowledge mobility linked to the global movement of students.
While respecting the integrity of education institutions, taking account of their diverse strategies and academic and national cultures and their roles in their communities, we call on governments and education institutions, as well as international agencies and associations of international education, to endorse, support and promote the following:
1. Equity of treatment
The civil and human rights of international students must be understood and protected, and measures taken by governments and higher education institutions to safeguard against discrimination.
2. Inter- cultural competences
In order to improve the quality of education and the integration of international students in the respective host country, the inter-cultural competences of faculty and staff at every level of service and education must be welldeveloped and actively applied. Such competences include recognition of one’s own cultural and national perspectives, an awareness and respect for other perspectives, and the ability to communicate successfully across cultural differences. With the same aim to enhance competences, mobile students should be given intercultural preparation and have access to advice on intercultural awareness as well as support with reintegration when they return home.
3. Integration of international students
When admitted to an education institution, international students are automatically also admitted to a country, a new community and its different culture. International students’ integration and interaction with the academic as well as the wider community needs to be actively facilitated to maximize the value for all stakeholders.
4. Opportunity to complete studies
International students should enjoy the same opportunities to complete their education, taking into account the same rules and regulations that are valid for local and national students.
5. Portability and continuity of funding
National student loans and grants should always be portable. Students on grants that cover tuition and expenses while studying abroad should be provided with safeguards against arbitrary withdrawal of their funding.
6. Student status
A student’s status in both host and home countries should be protected with safeguards against arbitrary withdrawal of study rights or temporary visitor rights.
7. Visas and formal requirements
In order to promote global student mobility and in compliance with national security priorities, transparent visa application procedures and swift processing of student visa applications are needed in all countries.
Information on study and research opportunities, facilities and all aspects about entering and living in a respective host country should be open and easily accessible to all education seekers and other stakeholders. Students, their families, grant and student loan agencies, home institutions and schools and governments should all have easy access to relevant, adequate and accurate information, in order that students and sponsors can make informed choices and have realistic expectations.
9. Student rights support
In order to ensure quality in the provision of services for international students and to protect their rights, an independent authority both in their home and host country should be available on a local, regional or national level to which students can turn for a resolution of their legitimate problems, disputes or concerns or, if necessary, for legal advice pertaining to their studies, status and welfare.
10. Quality assurance
In order to benefit from global knowledge capacity, well-developed national and institutional quality assurance systems need to be in place. Institutions of higher education should meet agreed standards of accreditation in all aspects of their activities. Quality assurance systems should include all dimensions of international higher education - administrative, academic, extra-curricular programs and support as well as social care.
What is the conference about?
SocialErasmus is an internal project of ESN, which aims to involve international students in social and volunteering activities in their host country.
Through our project activities, based on three pillars: Education, Charity and Environment, we promote a social attitude and provide an opportunity for international students to get closer to the local community while at the same time, combining formal and informal education with cultural experiences. SocialErasmus is the flagship project of ESN for 2012 and in the framework of the 25th anniversary of the Erasmus programme it is our way of emphasizing the importance of social inclusion.
The final conference marks the end of this years flagship project and aims to present the results from the past year, the outcome of the SocialErasmus week held on occasion of the festivities of the 25th anniversary of the Erasmus programme and to promote the importance of social inclusion of international students.
Who is attending the conference?
We will welcome National Coordinators from 36 countries, founders of the project, partners and supporters.
In the morning we will have a panel session introducing the project and discussing the importance of social integration. In the afternoon we will welcome guest speakers talking about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Active Citizenship.
Vingt ans après Maastricht, où en est-on de la création d'un marché du travail européen intégré? Quels freins persistent? Quelles opportunités? Le travail en Europe est-il «mobile»? La mobilité des travailleurs est-elle une réponse aux problèmes du marché de travail européen? Chômage, pénurie de main-d'œuvre dans certains secteurs…Comment les programmes européens d'éducation peuvent-ils répondre aux attentes des entreprises en période de crise?
Prendre connaissance du programme et des modalités de participation.
Pour plus d'information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
S'inscrire à l'événement. Date limite d'inscription: 30/11/2012.