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?
Whether your institution has been providing comprehensive mobility opportunities for students/staff for many years, is an active player in collaboration projects with other institutions/businesses, or is just starting out on the ‘internationalisation path’, the emergence of a new EU programme such as Erasmus+ calls for a period of reflection. Are you truly getting the most out of the opportunities provided by the EU?
The long and successful history of the EU Tempus programme (1990–2013) was recognised during the development of the new generation of EU education cooperation programmes: Erasmus+. Since 1994, more than 87 projects have been funded for a total of over €32 million under the Tempus programme. The programme has had considerable impact on the internationalisation of higher education, enabling long-term intensive inter-university cooperation and demonstrating sustainable achievements.
The spring issue of EAIE Forum magazine explored the implications of the new EU umbrella programme for higher education: Erasmus+. This upcoming series of four blog posts extends the discussion online, looking at where Erasmus+ has come from, what all institutions can and should do as a result of the new changes, and – going one step further – how institutions can ensure their Erasmus students are gaining useful, marketable skills while abroad.
As Europe struggles with unemployment and economic downturn, the focus of the higher education sector should be on creating new knowledge to support innovation and growth. Why, then, is there so much emphasis being put on developing and implementing time- and resource-consuming joint academic programmes? Could it be that academic added value and student learning outcomes can be reached through a joint international curriculum with integrated mobility, ie, through joint study programmes?