Currently only 1% of the European student population is participating in international academic mobility and the only way in which the ambitions of the Bologna process and the Lifelong Learning Programme can be realised is through a supplement scheme to the physical mobility models. This supplement is Virtual Erasmus. Several projects on virtual mobility have shown its benefit as a supplement to physical mobility. In the European project EPICS these initiatives on virtual mobility have been gathered together to build mainstream, institutional scheme of virtual mobility, Virtual Erasmus.
The benefits of Virtual Mobility
Virtual Mobility will not only contribute to the original vision of the Erasmus programme on a truly European scale, it will also deliver a new flexibility and breadth to the ambition. Next it can offer more varied modes of study which can be shorter, time specific and place independent, more personalised and more specialised opportunities for the student. It can provide different dimensions of mobility, including the creation of virtual learning communities, virtual projects, the involvement of many universities simultaneously in a project or course and the facilitation of international collaborative learning and teaching.
European Portal for International Courses and Services
Like the physical Erasmus we can expect the dynamic in VM to come from university staff. In a dedicated WP on expanding VM, we will combine existing networks of VM and stimulate faculties to organise pilots of exchange in VM within bi-lateral or multi-lateral networks. To institutionalise mainstream provision of VM we will develop the supporting infrastructure of a European Portal for International Courses and Services (EPICS). All existing offerings from the VM projects and new international offered courses will be included in EPICS.