Every year Canada welcomes its doors to hundreds of new international students. What compels people to go abroad to study? When I came to Canada from the United States as an international student myself in 2005, I felt drawn to this community of diverse individuals. I felt compelled throughout my university degree and now in my career to find what draws us together and then, in turn, why we all came to Canada.
Imagine moving to a new country. Maybe you have escaped from your home country in fear of what could happen to you. In your home country you were an engineer, philologist or maybe a geologist. You are knowledgeable and eager to contribute to the economy and society in your new country. Yet the chaotic situation in the country you are coming from makes it very difficult to get the proper documentation for what you are actually qualified to do.
As international mobility has evolved from the pre-Erasmus era right up until present day Erasmus+, different exchange formats have emerged, not only within the European Union, but also with higher education institutions on other continents. One of the most interesting set-ups is where students obtain a common degree provided by several institutions – Joint Masters Degrees (formerly known as Erasmus Mundus Masters), or two degrees given by two institutions – Double Degrees.
One-third of all African scientists live and work in developed countries, according to a statement released by NASAC, entitled ‘Brain Drain in Africa’. This figure represents a significant loss of economic potential for the continent, especially in today’s global society where scientific and technological knowledge drive development. Higher education throughout Africa must be revitalised as universities affected by decades of brain drain now find themselves severely disadvantaged.
Smaller countries have a special place in the international higher education system, with a great capacity to defy the expectations of most experts and many dominant theories of international higher education. Despite being small, the countries with populations of less than 10 million make up a remarkable part of Europe and they contribute much to the internationalisation of European higher education.
Transnational education (TNE) has been garnering more attention in recent years; however, as Jason Lane and Kevin Kinser point out in their article in summer Forum magazine, TNE is not a new concept. In 1858, the University of London created a validation model for students at colleges outside of the UK to sit for exams. If they passed, they were awarded a University of London degree. Furthermore, in the 1920s, a number of institutions began to explore the use of international branch campuses in Paris and Bologna.
The EU is now able to use budgets earmarked for cooperation with Partner Countries that were not available when Erasmus+ was launched in 2013, meaning that the upcoming Call for Erasmus+ projects in September 2014 will incorporate some brand new elements. This blog post aims to provide you with an insight into these new elements, helping you stay informed ahead of the Call.
International internships are gaining greater importance in the international higher education arena. Traditional international internships, where the learner travels to a company abroad, are not always feasible for all students due to financial, geographical, social or other reasons. Virtual mobility, or ICT-supported international collaboration in a learning context, offers an alternative, but how can you ensure the student is getting the most out of the experience?
As higher education has become a globalised industry, it should be easier to embrace more creative partnerships with businesses that must compete in a global economy. Finding the right points of intersection for students requires institutions to do a better job of assisting students to interpret and articulate the value of their international experiences to employers. Institutions need to take a much more pro-active and purposeful approach to how they advise students who participate in education abroad.
The recently approved Erasmus+ programme is expected to offer the opportunity of a period of international mobility to over four million Europeans in the seven years between 2014 and 2020. Studying or gaining a traineeship experience abroad are conceived as essential for young people to develop the personal, academic, professional and intercultural skills and competences required in a knowledge-based global economy. However, does immersion in diversity really open up opportunities for intercultural learning?