Realising the potential of the international mobility of staff in higher education

Status: Finalised
Period: September 2016–September 2019 

REALISE is a three-year European Strategic Partnership project that aims to improve the implementation and recognition of staff mobility in order to maximise its impact on both individuals and institutions. The project pursues three specific objectives:

1. Identify and develop innovative practices regarding the implementation of the Erasmus+ programme for staff mobility
2. Foster the recognition of mobility in the career development of academic, administrative and technical staff in HEIs
3. Raise institutional awareness about the added value of staff mobility and promote its contribution to HEIs’ internationalisation strategies


Internationalisation is a key element in raising the profile of Higher Education Institutions and in contributing to their modernisation and overall quality of education. At the European level, policies for higher education and related funding instruments have significantly intensified in recent decades. Among the tools available for HEIs, the Erasmus+ Programme is one of the most valuable. If study mobility is seen as its most significant action, staff mobility is also an effective means for internationalising and modernising higher education systems and institutions. Although the potential of staff mobility and its impact on the individual as well as the institution are well recognised, staff mobility remains the 'poor sister' of mobility programmes and faces a series of obstacles which limit the benefits it should bring to individuals and institutions: lack of information, workload, language skills, financial support, lack of incentives and little recognition of a mobility experience in professional development and career progression.


The EAIE is part of the project’s advisory board and in this capacity will be advising the project consortium on the various outputs of the project, its sustainability and relevance to the wider field of internationalisation. The EAIE’s representative on the advisory board is the Vice-Chair of our Expert Community European Programme Management, Unni Kvernhusvik Sagberg.

The main project outcomes are: 

  • A set of survey tools to assess mobility practices in a number of European countries
  • A comparative quantitative and qualitative analysis of staff mobility across Europe
  • A handbook for improved implementation of the Erasmus+ programme for staff mobility
  • A training module on how to improve staff mobility activities in European HEIs
  • Policy recommendations based on national and European policy dialogue

Project partners

  • Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier, France (project coordinator)
  • Linköping University, Sweden
  • Uniwersytet Warszawski, Poland
  • Middlesex University, UK
  • Universitat de Barcelona, Spain
  • Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal
  • Universiteit Gent, Belgium
  • Univerza v Ljubljani, Slovenia
  • Humboldt Universitat zu Berlin, Germany
  • Universita degli Studi di Catania, Italy