New ACA publication and seminar on the actual use of portable grants and loans for student mobility
Queenie K.H. Lam & Dansja Oste with Irina Ferencz and Bernd Wächter, Portable grants and loans: An overview and their contribution to outgoing student mobility. ACA Papers on International Cooperation in Education. Bonn: Lemmens, 2013. ISBN 978-3-86856-011-4.
The portability of state grants and loans is considered one of the key elements contributing to the realisation of a European area for lifelong learning. Its centrality at the European Union level is therefore not in doubt. However, not enough is known about the conditions attached to portable grants and loans and their actual use by mobile students. A new ACA publication – Portable grants and loans: An overview and their contribution to outgoing student mobility – seeks to fill this information gap.
Analysis in this book indicates that portable state grants and loans do possess enormous “potential” for supporting outgoing student mobility. Over 25 European countries have allowed such national funds to be used outside their national borders. Among them, some 15 countries reported that their state grants and/or loans can be used, in principle, for both outgoing credit and degree mobility, offering annually at least 1.65 million students the “opportunities” to use such financial aid to study abroad. For degree mobility alone, around 60 500 students took up such opportunities. This number represents a small fraction of all the beneficiaries of student aid in Europe, but covers a substantial share of mobile students in systems that are “open for all”. More...
UK: Student visa fraud uncovered!
You would like to get a student visa for the UK but do not speak sufficient English? No problem, thanks to bogus documents and an amazingly well subverted student visa system your admission is almost guaranteed. A British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) documentary on student visas has unveiled large-scale fraud, involving language exam centres, UK home office approved colleges, private banks and immigration consultancies, namely Studentway Education and Bright Consultant Services.
As the biggest source of non-EU immigration to the UK, student visas account for approximately 200 000 visas issued yearly. An application and an extension of a student visa, however, requires a proof of English proficiency, an educational back record, a bank statement proving sufficient own resources, as well as a written confirmation from a home office approved college. The BBC Panorama documentary showed how all of these requirements can be met with the necessary extra money. A compulsory English proficiency exam with multiple choice answers provided by the examiner plus an English native speaker taking the oral exam instead of you can be available from GBP 500 onwards. Academic back records come as a real bargain for only GBP 250. And a bank statement proving you have more than you ever dreamt of can be purchased for GBP 250 to GBP 280, depending on whether you want to engage in identity theft or forging an official bank statement. A written confirmation of a home office approved college, however, is a bit more expensive with a price of GBP 2 500, but great discounts are offered for only GBP 1 800.
The fraud scandal has obviously spurred immense outrage. In the case of the English proficiency exams, the UK home office has temporarily suspended all English exams run by Educational Testing Service (ETS) related to immigration purposes. ETS, however, has not been directly involved in the fraud scandal, as the two institutions in questions, Eden College International and Universal Training Centre, were independent examination centres. Eden College International and Universal Training Centre likewise have denied any complicity in and prior knowledge of fraud at its institutions. The UK home office has furthermore suspended Leyton College in East London which has also been involved in the fraud scandal. The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) has meanwhile opened investigations concerning the two UK colleges in question.
Youtube - BBC Panorama documentary
Switzerland: The referendum's consequences for higher education and research cooperation
The referendum on the Swiss federal popular initiative Against mass immigration on 9 February showed a voting result of 50.3 % in favour of the initiative; as a result, Swiss participation in the EU framework programmes Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+ is not only at stake but has been for the moment shelved, with far reaching consequences for cooperation in higher education and EU-Swiss relations. The current situation has left many open questions which ACA will try to address.
What are the legal consequences of the referendum outcome?
The proposal for the federal popular initiative was launched by the conservative Swiss People’s Party, aiming for a modification of the Swiss constitution in order to allow for the country to regulate immigration independently by setting up annual immigration contingents. This, however, represents a breach of contract of the agreement on freedom of movement between the Swiss Confederation and the European Union, signed in 1999. The European Union and Switzerland have signed a body of bilateral agreements, which are all equally linked to each other through a so called guillotine clause.
European Commission - Statement
European Commission - Swiss participation in Horizon2020
Swiss federal popular initiative Against mass immigration (in German)
Agreement on freedom of movement between Switzerland and EU/EFTA (in German)
State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation - Swiss participation in Erasmus+ (download)
State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation - Swiss participation in Horizon2020 (download). More...
[OPEN CALL] Communication and Media Internship
The Erasmus Student Network (ESN) is the biggest interdisciplinary student associations in Europe. It was founded on the 16th October 1989 and its aim is to support and develop student mobility. As a European-wide organization, ESN is using multiple channels to maintain an effective internal and external communication with the Network, our partners, associates and stakeholders. ESN offers a Communication and Media Internship for students in higher education to work on our future communication projects in 2014. More...
New Paper on the Recognition of Full Degrees
The Erasmus Student Network released a research paper on the recognition of full degree studies abroad.
One of the the main results is that around 9.0% of students that have taken a full degree abroad encounter problems with the recognition of their degree.
If you would like to read more find the Research Paper by Emanuel Alfranseder (President of ESN AISBL 2012/13) here: http://www.esn.org/content/automatic-recognition-full-degrees.
Social Learning Analytics – Anwendung in einer MOOC-Umgebung
In diesem Beitrag stellen wir als Beispiel ein Werkzeug von Social Learning Analytics (SLA – Analytik des Sozialen Lernens) vor, um Echtzeit-Diskussionen in einer MOOC-Umgebung zu visualisieren.
Praktiker und Forscher können daraus ersehen, wie ein solches SLA-Werkzeug als Plugin in der Praxis einzusetzen und zu verwenden ist.
PDF Document: From-field_36_4. More...
Call for papers for Special Issue on MOOCs
The Universities and Knowledge Society Journal (RUSC) is an open-access e-journal jointly published by the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (Spain) and the University of New England (Australia) that comes out twice a year, in January and July. More...
Nouvelle maîtrise en technologie éducative
Une nouvelle maîtrise en technologie éducative est maintenant offerte par la TÉLUQ (Canada).
Entièrement à distance, cette maîtrise par cumul combine le diplôme d’études supérieures spécialisées en technologie éducative et une formation courte de deuxième cycle. More...
Mark your calendar! ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN returns in 2014 for its 20th edition
Be part of the largest global conference on technology supported learning and training for the corporate, education and public service sectors.
Every year,ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN attracts over 2 000 participants from more than 100 countries world-wide for a comprehensive annual symposium on ICT-enhanced learning and training. More...
Over one in three Spanish universities offer MOOCs, according to new report
Cátedra Telefónica-UPF has just published a report called "MOOCs in Spain," examining the massive open online courses (MOOCs) offered by higher education institutions in Spain. More...