The purpose of EKC (Educational Knowledge Centre) is to increase awareness of students on educational issues.
It was created by the Educational Involvement Department (Edu-ID) of the Board of European Students of Technology (BEST).
- Student Mobility
Mobility is defined as the ability and willingness to move or change.
International Student Mobility: We define International Student Mobility as any form of international mobility which takes place within a student's programme of study in higher education. The length of absence can range from a short trip to the full duration of a course of study. In addition to studying in a foreign university, mobility can include a period in a workplace or other non-college environment.
It's necessary to split mobility into two different categories:
- Long-term student mobility: changing school between different phases of university education: bachelor, masters, Ph.D.
This kind of mobility can have different reasons: seeking a better school, economic reasons, social-political reasons (migration)
- short-term mobility: spending some time (varying from some weeks to one semester or one year) in another school as guest student, Erasmus student, guest researcher, trainee etc.
The latter has other reasons and other targets: by undertaking a teaching period abroad, one can meet counterparts at his host institution, get to know other ways of teaching and learning, different university systems, another language - personally enriching experiences, which he will be able to integrate in your courses back home. We will focus on this sort of mobility and we will have a closer look at it in order to understand the conditions under which it arose:
Increased student mobility has been seen as a product of globalisation, both generally (increased global flows of goods, capital, people, ideas) and of higher education (Altbach and Teichler 2001; Kwiek 2001). A subset of this approach relates to "Europeanisation" and the role of mobile, multilingual students/graduates as agents of European integration ? the new Euro-professionals or, as Favell calls them, "Eurostars" (Favell 2004; King 2003). A third interpretative strand places ISM within "youth mobility cultures". Here, "going abroad" (to study, travel, do voluntary work, and so on) is motivated less by traditional economic migration factors (to find a job, better income) and more by experiential goals. At a higher conceptual level this fits with the notion of the "do-it-yourself" biography of the young, post-modern individual (Beck and Beck-Gernsheim 2002).
Resources, sources for further reading:
Benefits and Problems of Student Mobility
Many discussions on benefits and dangers of student mobility have taken place. In today's world of borders getting weaker, especially in economy, industry and technology, mobility is becoming a necessity. The engineer of today must be prepared for an international career, which means working in international and multicultural teams, often changing places and countries of work, adapting to different cultures and ways of thinking. How does student mobility help students of technology prepare for that? There is a growing conviction that one of the most effective means to prepare future graduates for the needs of an increasingly international professional life in a global economy is simply to study and live abroad for some span of time. Studying abroad improves student's communication and social skills, makes him become an independent individual, learn to accept new cultures and generally become more open-minded. Studying in a different university gives an opportunity to discover different learning and exam methods, making thus the student more flexible.
A big problem of student mobility is accessibility. Accessibility is mostly connected to economic and social issues in different parts of Europe, concerning especially the way students are financially supported for studying abroad. Another problem are the student programmes themselves: Old academic structures and outdated curricula act as barriers to students and staff mobility. Therefore, the problem of recognition arises: How is the study period spent abroad recognized in the student's transcription? Another rather obvious obstacle is the language, as few schools offer classes in English, though the number of lessons taught in English and of full programmes offered in English is increasing every year. Finally, some academicians regard mobility as a hazard to the cohesion of the students' curricula.
Resources, sources for further reading:
Report of the BEST Academics and Companies Forum Zagreb 2005
AEGEE (Association des Etats Généraux des Etudiants de l'Europe)
AEGEE is one of the biggest interdisciplinary student associations in Europe; it is represented by 15.000 students, active in 241 academic cities, in 40 countries all around Europe, which presents amazing culture variety. AEGEE is a secular, non-profit organization, not linked to any political party. All projects and activities are based on voluntarily work of its members.
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AIESEC (Association Internationale des Etudiants en Sciences Economiques et Commerciales)
AIESEC is an international, non-political, independent, non-profit organisation run by students and recent graduates of institutions of higher education. Its members are interested in world issues, leadership and management. AIESEC is present in over 1100 universities in over 105 countries and territories.
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EESTEC (Electrical Engineering STudents' European assoCiation)
EESTEC is an organisation of and for electrical engineering students from universities, institutes or schools of technology in Europe that award an engineering degree. The primary aim is to promote and develop international contacts and exchange ideas, as well as to improve the technical knowledge of electrical engineering students. The association also aims to introducing students to the industry and the educational system of other countries. EESTEC is active in over 40 universities, in more than 20 countries all over Europe.
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ESTIEM (European Students of Industrial Engineering and Management)
ESTIEM was created to increase communication and cooperation between students and institutions of technology in Europe within the field of Industrial Engineering and Management (IEM). The IEM concept rests on the integration of technological understanding and management skills. The studies provide analytical capacities, engineering knowledge and practical management experiences, which make IEM students valuable since they are able to do business while understanding the underlying technology. ESTIEM is represented today through its 62 member groups with over 45000 students in 25 countries.
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IAESTE (International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience)
IAESTE provides students at institutions of higher education the opportunity to gain technical experience abroad related to their studies.
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TIME (Top Industrial Managers for Europe)
TIME is a voluntary network of leading Engineering Schools and Faculties and Technical Universities which offer promotion and recognition of academic excellence and relevance to the international labour market in the form of Double Degrees. The fundamental mission of TIME is: "furthering high-level educational programmes for engineers and industrial executives, preparing them to function across national borders in the European Community and in the world". TIME is active in 51 institutions, from 20 different countries worldwide.
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Marie Curie Actions
Marie Curie Actions is a research programme supported by the European Commission. The Marie Curie Actions provide research training, career development and mobility schemes allowing researchers to be truly mobile both internationally and between commercial and non-commercial sectors, at any career stage and of any nationality. It responds to both students and researchers who live worldwide.
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TEMPUS Programme (trans-European mobility scheme for university studies)
TEMPUS is an External Relations Programme of European Commission which supports the modernisation of higher education and creates an area of cooperation in countries surrounding the European Union. TEMPUS aims to strengthen cooperation in higher education between the European Union and its partner countries and enhance understanding between cultures. This project now covers 27 countries in the Western Balkans, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, North Africa and the Middle East.
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Leonardo da Vinci
The Leonardo da Vinci programme is a European funding programme that links policy to practice in the field of vocational education and training (VET). The programme is part of the European Commission's Lifelong Learning Programme and encourages collaboration between organisations involved in vocational training, aiming to improve the quality of training provision, develop the skills and mobility of the workforce, stimulate innovation and enhance the competitiveness of European industry.
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Socrates - ERASMUS
ERASMUS is the European Commission's educational programme for Higher Education students, teachers and insitutions. The ERASMUS programme encourages student and teacher mobility, and promotes transnational cooperation projects among universities across Europe. ERASMUS was introduced in 1987 and since then activates in the European Union countries and the Candidate Country of Turkey.
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ERASMUS MUNDUS programme is a cooperation and mobility programme in the field of higher education which promotes the European Union as a worldwide centre of excellence in learning. The programme supports European top-quality master's courses and enhances the visibility and attractiveness of European higher education in third countries. It also provides EU-funded scholarships for third-country nationals participating in these master's courses, as well as for EU nationals studying at partner universities around the world.
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