european students’ union

2008 Policy Paper “Mobility”

Preamble

ESU was founded in 1982 to promote the educational, economic, cultural, social and political interests of students in Europe. ESU, through its 50 members from 37 countries, currently represents more than 11 million students in Europe.

Introduction

This policy paper deals with mobility, including academic and social aspects. Mobility here refers to a study period taken mainly abroad and returning home afterwards. When talking about student mobility, cultural experiences and individual growth have traditionally been emphasised and these are still among the most important skills to be gained from a study period abroad. However, ESU feels that the academic value of a study period abroad has for a long time been neglected. Issues such as recognition, comparability and language tuition must be determinedly addressed in order to make the exchange period genuinely meaningful for both the individual and the institution.

There are still many problems in access to mobility, such as financial difficulties, administrative obstacles and lack of clear information. Social services are not accessible to all mobile students. Sufficient language tuition and relevant integrative measures coordinated by various actors are key to full academic and social integration. Even though mobility has been on the political agedna for several years and it is one of the main action lines within the Bologna Process, the number of students being internationally mobile remains very low, even though it has been increasing over last years.

Challenges to free movers, horizontal and vertical mobility are diverse and require special attention. Free movers here refer to mobile students not taking part in an organised mobility programme like e.g. Erasmus. Horizontal mobility here refers to non-degree mobility: studying for a short period as an exchange student mainly abroad. Vertical mobility here refers to degree mobility: studying mainly abroad for a full degree.

This policy paper should be taken into consideration when developing or creating new international mobility policies, schemes and programmes.

Added value of internalisation

Mobility is in the strong interest of students. Because of the clear added value of higher education, ESU believes that mobility is a right for all students. ESU opposes policies that restrict mobility to a small group of students. Changes in the operational environment, in all fields of society and also in the labour market mean that students also need to obtain new skills to be able to successfully participate in today’s society after graduation. These new skills can only be achieved in a learning environment, where teachers, students and administrative staff are aware of the international developments and are prepared to take in new information and have academic discussions also in international forums. Presence of foreign teachers, students and staff supports the international atmosphere of higher education institutions (HEI) in a natural way and gives students possibilities to learn to act in a multicultural environment. With the above-mentioned positive developments we refer to the process of internationalisation of higher education. Internationalisation of higher education in this paper does not refer to commodification of education or phenomena connected to it.

Students want skills necessary in living and working in international surroundings, but also a possibility for an academically and culturally meaningful period abroad. This process should be made flexible in such a way that a student could make genuine choices: whether to study abroad or to find the desirable international skills from the home institution. Thus internationalisation of higher education is very much linked to the quality of higher education.

So far mobility has been one of the most visible and central elements of internationalisation of higher education. Mobility should not be restricted to mean the mobility of an individual student. The concept of mobility should encompass incoming and outgoing exchange students, degree students, teachers, researchers and administrative staff: components that are needed for the internationalisation of higher education. Gaining most advantages from mobility should be on the agenda of both the mobile person and the institution; mobility should be seen as a positive academic resource for the institution.

The home institution should also develop tools for ensuring that the international experience of a student can contribute developing more opportunities for mobility for other students and to the development of the institution itself.

With the development of new information and communication technologies, new terms such as e- learning and e-mobility “virtual mobility” have started to be used in HE community.

Even though international experience can, to a certain extent, be created virtually, real (physical) contacts cannot be replaced by virtual interaction. Physical mobility as such has an irreplaceable value. Although ESU does see different ways in which student can be mobile, it does not consider e-mobility to be mobility. The very definition of mobility implies movement of person from one place to another, thus e- mobility does not exist.

Access to mobility

As recent research shows, access to mobility is in most countries more a question of Social, economic and educational background than a question of individual propensity to study abroad.

The richer and better educated parents the student has, the higher are chances for that student to be mobile. Furthermore, chances for getting mobile depend strongly on the economic situation and distribution of wealth in each country. In addition mobile students usually manage to get a job, which is more appropriate to their level of education and provides for higher returns.

Consequently fostering mobility is not only a tool for individual development, but also for social mobility. However the lack of proper mobility support systems for students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds still results in mobility programmes to be only partially effective and be rather reflective of existing social immobility in societies. ESU calls for a social dimension of mobility which could make mobility programmes a real opportunity of development for all and not only for a limited segment of society.

ESU demands equal chances and equal access to knowledge and education for all, based on personal interest and capacity, including student mobility. Mobile students should be a mirror of the diversity of the student body, additional effort should be made to increase the participation of the non-mobile group. ESU notes that Europe and the World are far behind this goal.

Taking into account the economic growth of the last decades and today’s society’s need for highly educated, democratically and socially skilled citizens, we believe the solution for this goal to be a question of political will to ensure equal access to mobility, regardless of differences in wealth between the nations.

Information and trasparency

In order to reach genuine mobility and increase the options available for possibile programme students and, even more, free movers, the quality, quantity and availability of information for potentially mobile students needs to be enhanced, available in different European languages and constantly updated. This concerns especially four areas: non-academic administrative information (e.g. Visa and residence permit regulations), academic information, student welfare information, and information on social life and culture. It must be assured that information from all relevant sources (e.g. governments, Higher Education Institutions, Quality Assurance Agencies, Student Unions) is freely available and easily accessible also to students without regular access to the Internet and studente with disabilities. For students with disabilities, it must be assured that full and reliable information is available on the studying and living conditions taking into account groups with different needs (e.g. blind students, students in wheelchairs etc.).

Clear information should also be available to all students with regard to the application procedure and timeline. Another very important aspect in granting equal mobility opportunities to everybody is providing students with clear and transparent information on the selection procedures and criteria for the students which will take part in the mobility programmes. Moreover it is of extreme importance to ensure them also transparent information on recognition procedures, which should not be going beyond the powers of the recognition granting body. All administrative, legal, healthcare, social, and academic services should therefore be grouped in at one single place eg, a Mobility Information Center or Mobility Agency. Students should only have to stop by one desk for all procedures which might support their mobility.

Academic value of the study period abroad

Not to undermine the cultural experiences and individual growth often connected to student mobility, students have clear academic goals concerning their study periods abroad. Students aim at gaining international aspects to their own field of study and research, which will enrich the studying and teaching in the home institution.

Mobility is an important tool to take advantage of the diversity of the Higher Education systems. This obviously means that recognised courses should maintain the original denomination irrespective of the fact that they are or not included in the study program at home. .

It is of utmost importance that full recognition of study periods taken abroad are secured in order to make the study period academically meaningful. Information- sharing and trust, course descriptions, quality assurance and transparency are essential when trying to resolve problems of recognition. Recognition should be based on learning outcomes.and workload effectively sustainedby students. That means that all credits obtained by the student should be recognised entirely,irrespective of the number of credits usually awarded for the same course in the home institution.One can also attend the courses which are simply not available in the home institutions. The learning agreement helps the recognition mechanisms since it is an agreement between the home and host institutions and the student. Nevertheless, in the long run this is not an ideal solution.

ESU demands that governments sign and ratify:

Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region, the so-called Lisbon Recognition Convention and that governments, which have already ratified it, take active measures for its correct implementation. Furthermore, better tools and solutions for recognition problems have to be found. Contacts between institutions need to be close, not only to ensure the quality of the education but also to reduce problems of recognition. Adequate and understandable information about the courses should be available to students.

Diploma Supplement (DS) [1] is an instrument for creating transparency, support mobility and promote employability in Europe. ESU insists for an enhanced DS and . demands that all HEIs issue it automatically, free of charge in a widely spoken European language as has been agreed in the Berlin communiqué.

DS could also serve for improved recognition of qualifications to promote vertical mobility by assisting universities in comparing the previous studies of the student. Creating a system of an ECTS-based [2] study points gives ample chances for institutions to review and rearrange the contents of degrees.

Not only the mobility of students has to increase , also the mobility of academic staff (such as assistants and professors) has to be improved. The mobility of academic staff has to run parallel to the mobility of students, complete the idea of student mobility and not replace it. In a lot of countries academic staff mobility still needs to be promoted in a stronger way. In all mobility, further growth in numbers should always mean further progress in quality. Participation of students should be guaranteed regarding mobility programmes. Students should be included in the administration of mobility programmes as well as in designing new programmes and development of existing programmes. ESU also speaks strongly for the possibility of students to build up their degree independently. The needs of foreign students should be taken into consideration when developing curricula. Foreign students have an equal right to participate in the development of their own curricula like other student groups.

In Europe there must not be a situation where degrees cycle completed in some European countries are academically less respected. Access to high quality education in all levels must be an option for all regardless of their country or area of birth. It needs to be stressed that the elitism of universities is unacceptable.

Development of the quality of national education should be of more importance to all countries than using a majority of their scarce resources for developing second cycle programmes taught in English. If education is of high quality, there will be enough students on all levels. Development of the European Higher Education Area must not mean mono-lingualism of the world of higher education. [3]

Reduction of economic and administrative obstacles

One of the core reasons for low mobility rates is the insufficient funding for students. Students who are not sure they will be able to fund their living expenses and extra costs caused by their stay abroad are likely not to be mobile. As recent studies verify, students from poorer or less educated family backgrounds are even more deterred by financial insecurities. Financial assistance schemes almost all over Europe are still insufficient to meet the needs. Even when some funds are available, the grants and loans in some cases are not flexible or are given to the students only after the mobility period has already started and, in some cases, only once they come back home.

In some European countries and regions, there are no relevant grant/loan-schemes at all. ESU stresses that students must have the opportunity to study abroad independent of income. Thus, financial support including support for mobility should be family independent This financial support should be sufficient to cover living costs and additional costs caused by academic and mobility-related needs. These include, but are not limited to costs of accommodation, food, study material, cultural and social participation and travelling costs. Grants and loans must be made portable to insure the students financial situation while studying abroad, for both vertical and horizontal mobility. Transferability of grants and loans must be guaranteed from the very start of studies in order not to hinder mobility. Additional grants for mobile students are necessary in order to even out longer study times and starting problems due to getting familiar with language, culture and academic system of the host country. But if all these measures are supposed to be actually effective, mobility grants and loans as well as all financial support schemes related to the mobility period must be awarded and handed out to the mobile students before the start of their mobility period. Thiswould enable also poorer students to be mobile.

ESU calls upon governments, non-governmental and supranational organisations offering financial support also for mobility to move from loan-schemes to grants and reject introducing new loan schemes. Even if there were chances for students to easily pay back loans after the completion of studies, loans deter students from poorer and less educated family backgrounds due to risks and future burdens.

Furthermore, in the mobility context, loans intended to reduce financial gaps due to economic differences that may stipulate brain drain: students returning to economically weaker areas may not be able to pay back loans due to lower wages and thus decide to stay at their host country due to economic reasons.

Additional financial support for mobile students is therefore urgently needed in situations in which students want to study in states or regions with visibly higher costs of living than in their place of origin. New forms of support measures for mobility in circumstances of substantial economic differences between home and host country must be developed and tested, taking into account the experiences of innovative approaches such as CEEPUS [4]. ESU urgently calls upon the signatory states and parties of the Bologna Process to discuss and implement a European mobility fund or mobility system designed to fill the financial gaps caused by differences in living costs and economic capacities in different countries and regions of Europe. All countries party to the Bologna Process should participate in and contribute to this system on a fair basis. It needs to be stressed that when more and equal mobility is wanted, commitments must be made: there is a great need for visible and sustainable investments and support measures by the societies concerned.

ESU calls upon governments to introduce measures ensuring that no student needs to work in order to finance his/her studies. Nevertheless, . Nevertheless, all mobile students that want to should be granted the full right to work equal to domestic students. Students should never have to pay a work permit in order to get a part-time job while studying abroad. Students taking part in an exchange programme should also have the possibility to get a special work visa for students for the time being abroad.

Student unions, HEI ´s or other institutions concerned can help mobile students with finding jobs as well as offering counselling and advice on job possibilities, legal rights and duties. Taking into account that more than 50% of students in Europe are forced to work beside their studies and that mobile students usually face additional financial hardship, working rights play a crucial role in fostering access to mobility and successful completion of studies as long as grants do not cover living and studying expenses.

Another development ESU sees with utmost concern is the increasing introduction of high tuition fees specifically for Non-EU students in EU countries. ESU rejects this development as discrimination based on country of origin, which is drastically limiting accessibility of higher education programmes for Non-EU students. ESU reiterates that higher education is a public good and therefore must remain in public responsibility. This includes adequate funding for higher education, which does not depend on financial contributions from foreign students as »cash-cows.«

ESU still sees substantial obstacles to mobility in excessive, inadequate and unnecessary administrative rules. These include Visa and residence permit regulations for students, restrictions on the right and possibility to work and inadequate admission policies. ESU calls upon the European Commission, European Council, Council of Europe and governments and Higher Education Institutions to take measures in order to reduce these obstacles and guarantee fair and equal treatment of mobile students compared to domestic students. Visa problems must be tackled and bureaucracy issues cannot be an obstacle for mobility. That means that special, easier and faster procedures for student visa should be implemented and that student visa should be provided for free. Moreover, in case of horizontal mobility, it should be a responsibility of the home and host institutions to provide students with all the necessary information on visa and if necessary to act as intermediaries with the embassies.

Another important issue ESU should strive for is the facitilitation of VISA procedures also for short term period abroad of students attending international meetings related to their representation duties.

Special attention needs also to be brought to students with partners and students with children. both regarding visa and working permits for the partner or children as well as regarding financial support and accommodation.

Access to social services

ESU reiterates the need to guarantee equal access for foreign students to all social services offered to domestic students. Furthermore, the special needs of foreign students need to be taken into account, offering special treatment where necessary.

Social services include, among others, adequate and low-cost accommodation, health care, psychological advice and childcare. Specific information and counselling on social services for foreign students, e.g. offered by information centers in different languages, is much needed. The specific needs of students with disabilities must be taken into account by governments, HEI ´s and student unions.

Accomodation is very important aspect of Mobility and has to be taken into account when dealing with mobile students. It is absolutely necessary to be able to provide foreign students with accommodation. Nevertheless, this must not interfere with the national students needs for student housing.

Governments must provide reasonable funding for building additional student housing to secure all students needs.

Governments, HEIs and communities must take specific measures in order to guarantee low-cost, quality accomodation for incoming foreign students. Enlarging the amount of available student housing mustnot lead to “ghettoisation” of foreign students. As experience shows, integrated living with domestic students and/or other citizens is a prerequisite for integration.

Sometimes students encounter unexpected financial difficulties during their stay abroad. These may be caused by circumstances in their family, health problems, psychological difficulties and other usually unforeseen reasons. In order to prevent interruptions or premature ends of mobility terms as well as serious damage to the academic progress of the studies and further difficulties for the individuals, there need to be emergency funds, offering short time grants or loans, depending on the individual situation of the student. The general existence of these funds must be guaranteed by the governments. Administration and distribution of these funds can be taken care of by different organisations including student unions.

Language barriers must be overcome

Language tuition is key to ensuring greater internationalisation of higher education. The process of internationalisation requires components such as cultural experience and individual growth, but even more is achieved by removing language barriers.

Language courses should be provided at the home institution before the student leaves for the study period abroad. However, language tuition should be available throughout the whole study period abroad and it should be seen as an essential element of the study period. In order to avoid selectivity in access to mobility and promote successful integration, language tuition in all periods of study must be free of charge. Moreover, language proficiency tests must also be free of charge.

Language courses should include information or be accompanied by courses on the cultural and historical situation of the country concerned.

Greater use of e.g. English as teaching language might increase horizontal mobility in countries which are situated in small language areas. In the ideal situation studies are provided and taken in the language of the respective country, and this is possible when ample language tuition is provided.

Full academic and social integration

Integration in student, academic and local community is necessary in order to take full advantage of foreign studies. HEI ´s and faculties as well as student representatives in general, student unions and other student organisations [5] are the ones responsible for ensuring the integration. Integration is a two-sided process and requires activity both on the side of the domestic institutions and students and of the mobile students. It is in the responsibility of the mobile students not only to form groups of foreign students but to become members of the student society as a whole. Integration must not be confused with assimilation. Social integration can be reached through measures like counselling, peer mentoring, social events and inclusion in orientation measures for new students. Student unions that offer these integration mechanisms need financial support from society. Academic integration includes taking into account knowledge, experience and methods foreign students are familiar with also in study programmes and classes. Furthermore, sufficient information offered on the academic system and requirements as well as local student culture and activities is necessary. This information e.g. can be offered in multi-language student handbooks produced by student unions in cooperation with the respective HEI.

There cannot be integration of foreign students and a functioning internationalisation of HEI ´s if mobile students are not considered full members of the Higher Education Community. Measures must be taken to ensure the participation of foreign students in student and HEI self-governance and decision-making. This must especially be ensured in all measures specifically concerning mobile students. In order to reach this goal, comparisons of policies concerning foreign student participation and an exchange of good practice should be made. Furthermore, pilot projects in HEI ´s and student unions should be made and financially supported, taking into account the different situations and needs of horizontally and vertically mobile students.

Integration can be hampered by a lack of respect for other cultures or worse, xenophobia and racism. Governments, HEI ´s and student unions must address this issue and take all measures possible to create a tolerant and inclusive academic community and introduce means to reduce xenophobia and fight racism. Best practice of dealing with discrimination must be discussed within the community of the HEI as well as between institutions and student unions. Foreign students subject to racist attacks and isolation must be offered institutional help and advice.

Information on the socio-political, cultural and academic background of the different groups of foreign students should be made available in order to realize a mutual understanding and learning experience within the student, Higher Education and local community. Governmental subsidies to support these measures are necessary.

Measures must be taken to guarantee a reintegration of students returning from a stay abroad. Many returning students are faced with financial hardship, accommodation and psychological problems. Some of these problems can be avoided by supportive measures taken prior to the mobility phase. In mobility programmes these issues must be taken into account, e.g. concerning accommodation guarantees. For free movers, special help and advice needs to be designed.

Challenges to horizontal mobility

So far horizontal mobility has been the major mean of mobility for a large number of students all around Europe, and it has clearly been more popular than vertical, so called degree-mobility. , After the introduction of the three-tier degree structure within the Bologna-process, the emphasis between these two modes.is changing. The influence of three-tier degree system on horizontal mobility has to be monitored, but we can already realize that horizontal mobility is becoming hindered. Thus, efficient solutions have to be found. Increasing mobility – inside one’s own higher education institution, nationally and internationally – is one of the central possibilities offered by the Bologna-process. In order to make full use of this possibility the problems of recognition must be solved.

The most visible threat concerning horizontal mobility and the introduction of the three-tier structure is the timing of a short study period abroad. ESU demands that possibilities for mobility should be offered during both first, second and third cycle. This isclearly the responsibility of governments and the higher education institutions. The study period should not automatically lengthen the duration of studies, but as this still seems to be the situation, students should not face the negative consequences because of this. The implementation of the three tier structure should also not hinder the possibility for the student to choose when he or she wants to take part to a mobility programme. .Study periods abroad offer general academic competencies but also strengthen the specialisation of the student in one’s own field of study.

Degree structures,including doctoral studies, should be flexible enough to encompass different skills learnt through different methods as long as they are relevant to the field of study. By bringing new theories and new knowledge back home and by asking questions we also give input to the subject.

The development of the three-tier degree structure should, at its best, create enhanced possibilities for mobility after the completion of the first, second cycle. However, mobility should be regarded as an opportunity, not as a requirement in order to get a high-quality degree. According to ESU a major function of joint degrees should be to stimulate student and teacher mobility. The risk of European master and joint degrees taking a lion’s share from the institutions’ resources must be prevented.

In some fields of study structural changes are needed in order to increase flexibility and making horizontal mobility generally possible. For example, there should be some kind of convergence in the time schedule of HE courses around europe in a way to allow people to be mobile for an entire semester without having to miss a part of the previous semester of study in their home country. Moreover, programmes providing possibilities for horizontal mobility are especially important to allow for increased possibilities for free movers to mobile. Special arrangements also need to be developed for doctoral students, since they have different academic needs that have to be taken into account in the formulation of the programmes. In the framework of the Erasmus programme, it should be possible to establish interinstitutional agreements on an individual needs basis. That means that the programme deadlines and procedures should be more flexible in the case of third cycle students to allow them to design together with their home institution a mobility period which could be really fruitful for their research.

Challenges to vertical mobility

Vertical mobility can also be a mode of the so called free- mover mobility where students individually choose to complete a whole degree in a country different from their country of origin or the country, where they have completed a degree before.

The popularity of vertical mobility is expected to increase after the introduction of the three-tier degree system. The new degree system will also initiate an even stronger development of various second cycle programmes and joint/double degree programmes. While the implementation of the three-tier degree system might solve some of the traditional problems connected to student mobility, such as recognition of degrees, it does not solve the problems in all fields of higher education.

Financing of vertical mobility should be considered to be of equal importance to the financing of horizontal mobility. Students should have the possibility of choosing the type of mobility which suits them and meets their needs.

Geographical coverage

For a number of developing countries and some countries within Europe the very basics needed to develop the higher education are still not fulfilled, and this decreases the possibility for mobility. It is very important to encourage national governments to invest into their higher education since it is through creation of knowledge-based society that these countries will successfully finish the transition and reach stability in both economical and political sense.

ESU strongly believes that the decision of where to study for the study period abroad must be an independent decision of the individual student, however ESU is very concerned with high differentiation in the number of mobile students between different countries. This differentiation is most obvious between the East and West Europe and South and North European countries. More effort should be made to ensure that the present mobility programmes are truly about equality with members participating on a balanced basis as much as possible. Prejudice concerning quality and recognition in South East Europe still exists and should be efficiently addressed by a better information flow and finding an in depth answer to what the East offers in an academic sense.

Countries in South East Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States should be promoted regionally rather than individually. This should be on higher education institutions and national unions of students to coordinate rather than solely the governments. There is a need for more mobility programmes for South East and Eastern Europe, which allow a greater access to mobility from these countries.

Genuine equality amongst the members of present mobility programmes must be promoted.

Main principles for any kind of mobility cooperation with developing countries should be solidarity and reciprocity. Programmes with developing countries and some European countries are highly selective, one-way-oriented and limited to second cycle programmes. ESU stresses the importance of institutional cooperation and infrastructural support to compose programmes in a way to entice two-way student and teacher mobility. There should be a sufficient number of programmes to increase mobility between developing countries and Europe. A way of recognizing the study period spent in third countries has to be found in order to foster mobility to these countries.

Policy monitoring, benchmarking and comparative studies

In order to achieve progress in the area of mobility, policy monitoring, data collection, benchmarking [7] and comparative studies on mobility as such, the academic and social situation of students are necessary. Governments, HEI ´s and student unions must exchange information on introduction and success of measures taken and set benchmarks. Comparative studies on student welfare and mobility arrangements must be made on a regular level. Comparative empirical data and analysis on the social situation of students must be produced and made available to all relevant actors and the public on a regular basis. The qualitative improvement and extension of the Euro Student Report to all Bologna-signatory countries is an important measure to be taken. A European database must be produced containing easily accessible information on the policies and conditions of all individual HEI ´s concerning the different groups of students with disabilities.

 

Conclusions

The academic value of a study period abroad must be one of the most significant incentives for deciding to study abroad. Full recognition of study periods taken abroad must be secured in order to make the study period academically meaningful.

ESU demands that governments sign and ratify the Lisbon convention of recognition. Furthermore, better tools and solutions for recognition problems have to be found. Access to high quality education in all levels must be an option for all regardless of their citizenship, country, area of birth, or socio-economic background. This includes equal treatment regarding tuition fees of both EU and Non-EU students in all European countries alike.

One of the core reasons for low mobility rates is the insufficient funding for students and this needs to be seriously addressed. ESU sees substantial obstacles to mobility on one hand in the influence of economic and educational background of a student and on the other hand in excessive and unnecessary administrative rules. Thus ESU urgently calls upon the signatory states and parties of the Bologna Process to discuss and implement a European mobility fund or mobility system. ESU reiterates the need to guarantee equal access for foreign students to all social services offered to domestic students. Administrative obstacles such as visa, working and residence permits for students must be overcome.

Problems of recognition, financing, information-sharing and language barriers must be determinedly addressed in the context of both horizontal and vertical mobility.

The introduction of the three-tier degree structure must not hinder horizontal mobility. Mobility must be a genuine option, not a requirement, and degree structures must allow students to be able to choose when to study abroad. Students should not face the negative consequences if a study period abroad prolongs studies. Development of the quality of national education should be of more importance to all countries than using a majority of their scarce resources to developing second cycle programmes taught in English.

Participation of students especially in the design of new programmes and development of existing programmes must be secured. The needs of foreign students should also be taken into consideration when developing curricula. There cannot be integration of foreign students and a functioning internationalisation of HEI ´s if mobile students are not considered full members of the Higher Education Community. Sufficient language tuition is another key to integration.

In some countries the foundations for development of the higher education system are almost non-existent and thus decrease the possibility for mobility. Because of this, it is of utmost importance to encourage governments to invest into their higher education. Selectivity in the programmes with the developing and some European countries has to be minimised. Main principles for any kind of mobility cooperation with developing countries should be solidarity and reciprocity. ESU stresses the importance of institutional cooperation and infrastructural support to develop balanced two-way mobility between all regions. Monitoring and comparative studies on mobility, academic and social situation of students are necessary.

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