The Mobility Project aims at promoting and building long-lasting relationships of student and staff exchange between NICE partners.
Our Mobility Project team has engaged in a lot of more informal research, in preparation of a shared mobility framework for NICE. The research has shown that there is a lot of interest in promoting and building long-lasting relationships of student and staff exchange between NICE partners. Nevertheless, we have also come to realize that there are massive structural hindrances, which stand in the way of a binding agreement for the entire network. The exchange of students between different partners’ faculties is strongly inhibited by language barriers: Only very few degree programmes offer courses in English, which isn’t surprising, when we take into consideration the high level of specialization of courses in career guidance and counselling, and the important role that practical training in counselling takes in our discipline. Furthermore, international collaboration structures in terms of joint research programmes and joint training initiatives are missing. Therefore, the first outcome of our activities is the insight that we need to promote mobility in our network through other means, than through a shared mobility framework. An agreement plainly does not fit the actual challenges.
The Mobility Project requires a change in strategy. During the closed part of the upcoming network conference in Canterbury, the responsible team will present several proposals, on how we can increase mobility in our network. On the one hand, the team will present some practical tools to enhance mobility, e.g. existing quality criteria, which have been published by the European Commission, as well as good practices for bilateral mobility agreements. One goal of the team is to publish newsletter articles on innovative mobility schemes existing in our network, e.g. internationalization strategies for degree programmes. On the other hand, we need to support each other in offering courses in English, or other widely spoken languages, and organize more joint learning experiences, e.g. in the form of international summer schools, joint PhD training and international research activities, and online seminars that are open for several partners. Based on this insight, we will work towards joint mobility projects, e.g. Erasmus Intensive Programmes, and the Steering Committee is currently investigating the option of realizing joint online courses.
Dr Jan Woldendorp, Saxion, Netherlands
Monika Kukyte, Heidelberg University, Germany