eu-SUMIT-publication full colour

eu-SUMIT-publication full colour
Enhancing Student Mobility
In A Digital World
Sharing Experiences In
An Enlarged Europe
editors J . haywood - University of Edinburgh,
A. Mettinger - University of Vienna & Unica President
Network of Universities
from the Capitals of Europe
Réseau des Universités
des Capitales de l’Europe
Enhancing Student Mobility
In A Digital World
Sharing Experiences In
An Enlarged Europe
A Word From The Unica President
Arthur Mettinger
Introductory Word Of The Vice-Rector Of The University Of Warsaw
Facts & Figures
Wojciech Tygielski
This publication is the Proceedings of the SUMIT Conference entitled
“Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World: Focusing On An Enlarged
Europe”, University of Warsaw, 11-12th October 2007. The SUMIT Project
(SUpporting Mobility through ICT) was a collaboration between UNICA,
Brussels Education Services, the University of Warsaw, and the University
of Edinburgh. It was part-funded by the European Commission Directorate
General for Education and Culture under its Socrates Programme.
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Jeff Haywood
Role Of ICT Instruments In The Management
Of The Decentralised Erasmus Activities
Dorota Rytwi ´ ska
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World:
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe – Croatian Example
Mirta Baranovic 29
Mobility And It Support At Vidzeme University College
Octobre 2007 - ISBN/EAN: 978-90-9022635-4
Graphic design: [email protected]
Iveta Putnina
Digital Tools In Service Of Mobility –
From Local Case To National Perspectives
Ewa Derkowska-Rybicka
How ICT Is Used By Erasmus Student Network
At The University Of Warsaw.
Anna Laudy
Enhancing Student Mobility By A Web 2.0 Platform:
The Erasmus Student Network Experience
Christof Devriendt, Peter Vanhee, Antonio De Marco, Andrea Pescetti
University Of Warsaw Library E-Resources And
Information Services For The Academic Community
Ewa Kobierska-Maciuszko, Noelia Cantero Gonzálvez
Virtual Orientation And Online Peer Support
For Incoming Exchange Students At Laurea
Raisa Saviaho
The Sumit Project And The Bologna Process
Jolanta Urbanikowa, Noelia Cantero Gonzálvez
Working Group Reports
Denise Haywood
Conclusions And Summary
Jeff Haywood 109
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Tsvetan Bogdanov37
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
Student Mobility At Sofia University: Tendencies And Perpectives
Editors : J. Haywood, A. Mettinger
The editors wish to express their thanks to all who contributed to the Warsaw
A Word From
The Unica President
conference and the production of this book. We especially wish to acknowledge
the contribution of:
As president of the UNICA network I am very proud to introduce the
publication “Enhancing Student Mobility in a Digital World: Sharing
Experiences in an Enlarged Europe”.
In this publication you will find the presentations, the conclusions
and recommendations of the seminar organised October 2007, in the
framework of the “SUMIT”- SUpporting Mobility through ICT-, project.
Measures grant, aims to support the objective of 3,000,000 Erasmus
Students by 2011 through the setting up of a seminar highlighting
and exchanging best practices on virtual aspects related to mobility
during three stages: before, during and after mobility.
As an institutional network of excellence of UNIversities from the
CApital Cities of Europe, UNICA has developed a goal oriented approach
aiming at academic excellence and at being a driving force in the
Special thanks for their contribution to the SUMIT project and the running
development of the Bologna process.
of the Warsaw Conference are acknowledged to UNICA (Arthur Mettinger, Kris
The network provides a forum in which member universities reflect on
Dejonckheere & Sarah de Heusch), Brussels Education Services (Koen Delaere),
the demands of strategic change in research, education and university
University of Warsaw (Dorota Kazinska and Sylwia Salamon) and University of
policy. Therefore I am very happy that UNICA can concretely contribute
Edinburgh (Denise Haywood). We also thank the following chairs of the Workings
to the making of the European Higher Education Area (E.H.E.A.) together
Group for their input: Alina Grzhibouska (University of Latvia), Leszek Rudak (Uni-
with the University of Edinburgh, Brussels Educations Services and the
versity of Warsaw) & Chantal Serman (Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris3).
University of Warsaw, a very active member of the network for many
years and the host of the seminar.
From its start UNICA has aimed to facilitate the integration of universities from Central and Eastern Europe into the E.H.E.A. and counts
many Universities from these countries amongst its members. UNICA
offers a fertile soil to strengthen the links with universities in the
new member states and the candidate countries, which is a key
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
This project, funded by the EC through a Socrates Complementary
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
- Baranovic, Mirta – Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing,
University of Zagreb, Croatia.
- Bogdanov, Tsvetan – International Relations Department,
Sofia St Kliment Ohridisk University, Bulgaria.
- Cantero Gonzálvez, Noelia – Brussels Education Services, Belgium.
- Derkowska-Rybicka, Ewa – International Relations,
Nicolaus Copernicus University, Torun, Poland.
- Devriendt, Christof – Erasmus Student Network, Brussels, Belgium.
- Haywood, Jeff – Information Services, University of Edinburgh,
United Kingdom.
- Kobierska-Maciuszko, Ewa – Central Library, University of Warsaw, Poland.
- L audy, Anna – Erasmus Student Network, University of Warsaw, Poland.
- Putnina, Iveta – International Relations,
Vidzeme University College, Latvia.
- Rytwi ´ska, Dorota – Foundation for the Development of the Education
System, LLP Erasmus National Agency, Poland.
- Saviaho, Raisa – International Relations, Laurea University of Applied
Sciences, Helsinki, Finland
- Wojciech, Tygielski - Research And International Relations,
University Of Warsaw
- Urbanikowa, Jolanta – University of Warsaw, Poland.
factor in balancing the mobility figures for incoming and outgoing
students within the E.H.E.A. The issue of attracting more students
to the new & candidates countries was discussed with enthusiasm
at the Warsaw Seminar, and I am convinced that you will find excellent suggestions and guidelines in the conclusions of this publica-
Introductory Word
Of The Vice-rector
Of The University Of Warsaw
tion. Therefore, I would like to invite you to visit the UNICA website
( where you will find the e- version of the
publication “Enhancing Student Mobility in a Digital World: Sharing
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
Experiences in an enlarged Europe”. We also invite all stakeholders
of the mobility process to post constructive remarks and sugges-
I would like to express my satisfaction that the seminar “Enhancing
tions to [email protected]
student mobility in a digital world: Sharing experiences in an enlarged
active European universities in the field of student mobility and works
disseminated within the 41 UNICA member Universities and sent
hard and successfully on the ICT implementation and development.
to the Socrates National Agencies, other networks and partners.
Mobility which is so often and widely discussed is the key to individual
I would like to express my gratitude to all those who contributed to
development and it also has a profound influence on the changes tak-
the success of this interesting and vibrant seminar. First I would like
ing place in higher education. It influences not only individuals, but
to mention the partners of the project, the University of Warsaw for
also study programs, research, social, cultural and linguistic aspects
the excellent organisation, the University of Edinburgh and Brussels
of education and economy. Without international cooperation, which
Education Services for their extremely valuable contribution and, last
in the XXI century means also both virtual and “traditional” mobility,
but not least, the participants to the seminar, coming from universi-
a university cannot aspire to be an active and important actor in the
ties from all over Poland, EU Members State Countries and Candidate
European higher education and research area.
The Mission and the Strategy of the University of Warsaw (UW),
Mobility allows students to improve their personal skills and to in-
Lisbon and Bologna goals form the base for the University activity.
crease their employability. By creating opportunities and improving
Being aware of the importance of the period 2007-13 for its develop-
the quality of mobility - including ICT - universities offer a unique
ment UW gives priorities to:
platform for students to contribute to the shaping of Europe’s future.
the development of innovative educational products in order to
Prof. Dr. Arthur Mettinger,
meet the growing demands of the market - particularly at cycles 2
Vice-Rector University of Vienna
and 3, post-diploma studies, lifelong and e learning, with stronger
& UNICA President 2004-2007
focus on teaching in foreign languages,
the increase student and staff mobility as a key tool for personal
development, enriching the learning and research experience,
improving knowledge transfer,
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
The results of the SUMIT project and its seminar will be widely
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
Europe” took place at the University of Warsaw, which is one of the most
the promotion of EHEA through active participation in multilateral
projects, thematic networks, joint degrees and initiatives at
regional and international level,
University of Warsaw
facts & figures
the pursuit of the University mission within the society in order
to give wide access to knowledge and acquisition of skills to all
The University of Warsaw (UW)
who are entitled (incl. students from rural areas, disabled persons,
PL WARSZAW01 – Erasmus University Charter 45834 Extended
adults) by increasing the number of open events/lectures;
delivered by experts and/or through Internet courses (Centre for
Open and Multimedia Education),
fostering UW-industry cooperation e.g. by means of the New
1. University of Warsaw in figures
University established in 1816
the improvement of the electronic University System for Study
Public university, the largest in Poland
Support (USOS) ensuring high quality modern management,
•65 462 students (full-time: 30 755, part-time: 25 878, PhD: 2 255 & post-
teaching process and mobility,
diploma: 6 574 ), including over 1400 international students in 2006
the full implementation of comprehensive and efficient QA system
3015 faculty members, including 849 professors
in teaching and research.
studies in 34 fields of arts and sciences
19 faculties and 24 independent research and didactic units
Please find hereafter most basic data on mobility at the University
•12 degree programmes in English in American Studies, Business
of Warsaw, which provides the general overview. However, numbers
(MBA, International MBA, International Business),
don’t count for everything – there is still lots of information on UW
Economics (Development Economics, International Economics,
mobility to be disseminated. E.g. the University of Warsaw has been
European Finance and Banking), European Studies, International
chosen by the European Commission out of a competition of 2.500
higher education institutions taking part in the Erasmus programme
Relations, Philosophy, Political Science and Psychology
•Courses in foreign languages
in 2000-2006 and has been awarded one of 20 Erasmus success stories
in Europe.
Let me please emphasize once again that all the above activities
focused on student and staff mobility and internationalization of
research requires overall development of computer tools and positive
approach to the so-called digital world. I wish all the participants of
the seminar as well as readers of this publication to get inspiration for
the digital development at your institution and workplace.
2. Accreditation
•The State Accreditation Committee and the University Accreditation
Committee attestations of all the study fields
•European Language Label for the Centre of Foreign Language Teaching
and the Chair of Sinology
•USA Federal Student Financial Aid Program – Foreign School
•The best Institution of Higher Education in Poland 2007 according
With kindest regards,
to several press ranking lists (Perspektywy, Polityka,
Wojciech Tygielski
Rzeczpospolita, Wprost)
Vice-rector For Research And International Relations
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
Technologies Centre (CeNT) and the University Technology
Transfer Centre,
3. International cooperation
3.5 > Member of numerous scientific, teaching and managerial associations
and networks, among others:
3.1 > 159 bilateral agreements with universities from 49 countries (2006)
European University Association (EUA), UNICA (Network of Universities
3.2 > Erasmus agreements with 292 partner institutions from 25 countries (2006)
from the Capitals of Europe), HUMANE (Heads of University Management
& Administration Network in Europe)
4. ICT at the University of Warsaw
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
3 2 5
5 5 2
1 2 1
5 7
Czech Republic
The Netherlands
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
3.3 > UW’s experience in Erasmus 1998-2006:
- 4500 outgoing and 1500 incoming students, 650 TS flows, 8,4 million € spent.
- In 2007 the University of Warsaw has been chosen by the European Commission out of 2.500 higher education institutions as one of 20 Erasmus success
stories in Europe taking part in the Erasmus programme in 2000-2006
3.4 > UW’s participation in the EU Framework and Development Programmes
in 2006
- 5 and 6 FP Programmes – 77 projects
- 3 Centres of Excellence in physics (CESSAR, CEMOS) and computer
modelling (MAMBA)
- 3 Networks of Excellence in physics (METAMORPHOSE, NEMO)
and economics (DIME)
- Marie Curie Training Site in Physics
IRK – Internet Registration of Candidates for studies
•ELS – electronic student ID being a student ID, library card and
bus ticket in one
•USOS – University System of Study Support and USOSweb
(website for the system)
•HMS – Human Management System
USNJO – University System of Language Provision
E-learning at COME – Centre for Open and Multimedia Education
VTLS/Virtua Library system
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Enhancing Student
Mobility In A Digital World
Jeff Haywood, Information Services,
University of Edinburgh, UK
The past 10 years have seen substantial changes
in many aspects of European Higher Education,
both as a consequence of policy and practice
decisions by the member states of the EU itself and also as a result of pressures
and developments from beyond Europe.
In the first group of ‘change drivers’ we can identify the political instrumentalist
agenda for change (‘modernisation’) of European HE as a means to ensure that
it adequately supports the vision for a ‘knowledge economy’ able to compete at
the highest levels in the global economy. Resulting from this vision have come
various actions and programmes designed to achieve this goal, through harmonisation of the diversity of degree structures of the individual states (‘Bologna
Process’); establishment of a common Higher Education Area, including a Research Area to coordinate developments and support; creation of a mechanism
to facilitate mobility of students and lifelong learners through a transparent
educational credit scheme (ECTS), and a Supplement to the degree or diploma
that makes clear the knowledge and competences attained in the graduate’s
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Recent developments
in European
Higher Education
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
[email protected]
curriculum (Diploma Supplement). The importance of mobility of learners and
provision by traditional universities, and due to their flexibility and agility
workers in the expanding Europe as a means to ensure that best value is gained
are often at the leading edge of innovation, especially in distance education.
from their skills and for their intrinsic personal development has been repeat-
Cheaper world travel has enabled more independent student mobility in addition
edly emphasised, and support programmes have been put in place and strength-
to the support schemes offered by national governments, and as a consequence
ened to maximise uptake and minimise disincentives and barriers. In higher edu-
the number of students in Europe who hail from beyond its boundaries has
cation the most important of these actions is the Socrates Erasmus Programme
risen substantially, and come to represent a vital income stream for some
begun in 1987. Although the Erasmus Programme is a very important support for
universities and countries. Such students have choices in where to study
exchange students, and has become a ‘shorthand’ name to describe this type of
and so high quality educational and support provision is essential to main-
short-duration, credit-bearing study visit by a student to a university in another
tain recruitment.
An excellent introduction to all these topics, plus links to the EU sources can be found
by themselves or other agencies (so-called ‘freemovers’ [1]).
at the Europe Unit website at:
Recently, the recognition that there will be limits to the extent that these physical
mobility measures can overcome some barriers to student mobility, for example
family commitments, combined study and employment, especially amongst
the increasing percentage of older students, has resulted in an emphasis
Digital technologies
in universities
One of the most obvious changes in higher edu-
also on ‘virtual mobility’ (VM). The EC e-Learning Programme states: “Devel-
cation to an outside observer taking a snapshot
opment of existing instruments, in particular those concerning virtual mobil-
view of universities 20 years ago and today would
ity as a complement and reinforcement for physical mobility (virtual Erasmus);
be the pervasiveness of information and communications technology (ICT).
recognition and validation schemes (based on ECTS); information and guidance
Clearly some universities have embraced ICT more enthusiastically than others,
services, and any other synergies between virtual and traditional models.”
but even in universities with low central and systematic management of ICT, individual faculties and departments have adopted technology in its various forms,
VM takes advantage of developments in e-learning to enable students to take
especially email and websites. All recent surveys agree that uptake is wide-
courses or modules at another university as part of the degree programme in their
spread [2,3,4]. These developments are global and reflect wider changes in the
‘base’ university. Although presently limited in scope as experience of such educa-
permeation of technology throughout almost all aspect of society and everyday
tion is explored by universities and their teaching staff as well as by students,
life. Computers of various types are everywhere, and staff and students spend
it offers a route to expansion of international education in the near future. Most
much of their time working and studying with and through them, as well as using
work is currently at Masters degree level, and the Erasmus Mundus Programme
them for social communications and information gathering. Mobile phones are
directly supports some of this developmental activity.
in extensive use, and many now interface with the internet, bridging the gaps
between the fixed or laptop PC, the network and the mobile user.
Beyond Europe internationalisation of higher education is also high on the
agenda of all developed countries to gain income and expand influence,
Summarising the major uses of ICT in universities and colleges, we see these
and of importance to developing countries as a route to enhancing national
types of developments becoming more common, and in some cases essentially
skills and knowledge. Commercial education providers are filling gaps in
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
many such visits take place by students outside the Erasmus Programme, funded
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
country within an existing degree programme, it is important to remember that
> Learning and teaching with technology (e-learning);
> Laptop/PC/internet om a variety of locations;
> Digital libraries (e-journals, e-books, online databases & help);
> Lots of sources of digital information, possibly in preference
> Integration of digital databases holding staff,
student and course records;
> Portals as single gateways to digital resources;
> Email as a major or the dominant communications channel;
> Single/reduced sign-on to authenticated systems
to physical sources;
> Chat, email, sms, blog, social network software (eg friendster,
myspace, youtube);
> Mobile phone, usually internet-capable – less commonly ‘smart
phone’ or PDA.
(eg to portal, email, library);
> Secure off-campus access to restricted resources (eg via VPN, proxy);
Care must be taken not to generalise this profile too far. It is clear that older
> Websites as a major or the dominant method of information
students (who make up an increasing fraction of the university population) are
less technology-confident or exploratory, and some young adults are relatively
such a significant level of technology-supported education that the expression
vide high quality information online. They value reliability and predictability in
‘blended learning’ probably describes the experiences of the majority. However,
this respect, and would like their interactions with universities to be fast and
the ability to release education from the constraints of the campus and the time-
seamless, that is without the need to interact with several different agencies
table through the use of technology, whilst maintaining communications as well
and departments to achieve a solution to their ‘request’. In practice, as most of
as distribution of information and learning materials, has enabled increased
us are aware from our experiences in dealing with our own and other universi-
development of distance education by single courses and degree programmes
ties, higher education has some way to go to achieve these goals. In the light
as well as whole universities. These experiences are likely to feed back into and
of the importance being placed on virtual mobility for European students, and
re-shape mainstream on-campus education over time.
the need to understand the experiences of current students in their use of ICT in
their studies, we and others have taken the opportunity of EC funding to explore
some aspects of this area.
The digital
student 2007
Uptake of technology by students, especially
young adults, has outstripped that of almost
all European universities, and ICT is systemati-
cally used by them as an integral part of studying (and socialising) irrespec-
Project – physical
mobility as a proxy
for virtual mobility
As noted above, at present there is very limited
opportunity for experiencing education at anoth-
tive of the use made of it by their university. Recent studies show that there
er university through virtual mobility within Eu-
is substantial commonality in uptake of, and attitudes to, ICT by higher edu-
ropean traditional universities. This is especially true at first degree level where
cation students in developed countries [2,5,6]. We can summarise the young
most student exchange takes place. In addition, the special case nature of the
adult student in Europe in 2007 as a user of:
online courses offered so far tend to be the result of special efforts by the faculty
or department, and by the university.
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
dents are online for substantial periods and would also like universities to pro-
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
technophobic or techno-conservative. Despite this caveat, we know that stuThe majority of students still study in a campus setting, although now with
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
teaching, communications with teachers and administrator have increasingly
student mobility
in a digital world
It is easy to offer up an unbalanced view of the
digital components, and in universities which have progressed furthest along
experiences of students in their visits to other
this ‘digital path’ electronic methods may have surpassed traditional methods
universities by reporting an excess of problems
in some areas of work. Many students now rely on a digital identity to enable
over the successes, and so although there clearly were for many students tech-
them to access materials and services, make heavy use of IT facilities on campus
nology-related problems of various kinds, a balanced summary is appropriate at
and from home or residence, use email for communication with the university
the outset. Most universities were substantial users and providers of good ICT
etc. This use of ICT is not uniform across higher education, with some universities
facilities and support, having made great progress over the past few years in
having made greater progress than others, and the introduction of services and
moving from complete reliance on traditional methods involving paper forms,
facilities is strongly influenced by local finances, culture and needs. Thus whilst
face-to-face interactions, physical visits during opening hours etc to provision of
at one university students may never have used a portal or a web interface to
electronic methods of business and academic processes. Students valued these
access their own record on the student system, select courses for the next se-
efforts and, although for some moving from lo-tech to hi-tech education was a
mester or access reading lists and lecture notes, at another all of this may be
kind of ‘culture shock’, generally wished to see them become widespread along-
done electronically and taken for granted. As a consequence, students transfer-
side high quality personal interactions. They did not see these as mutually exclu-
ring between universities may find marked differences in expectations of them,
sive. The great majority of students enjoyed their visit to another university in a
and for the universities it raises challenges for some to give visiting students fast
different country, learned self-reliance, made local friends etc, even when some
and automatic digital rights/routes/support. Handcrafted solutions will work
aspects could have been managed better.
for small numbers of visitors but break down for larger numbers, and suffer from
some severe drawbacks if they are too slow. In the past a student could physically go to lectures and tutorials without having completed registration or gained
an ID, but she cannot do this in the digital realm due to authentication barriers.
If we do not (or cannot) automate and simplify our services to traditional visit-
The student
Some key messages emerged from the surveys
ing students, virtual mobility on anything other than a very small scale will be
and interviews that we carried out with students
difficult to implement.
who were currently making or had been on study
visits. These were that in general information in host universities for visiting stu-
In the VICTORIOUS Project we explored the experiences of students and universi-
dents was generally not well organised or presented, and was often only in the
ties in their use of digital services and facilities before, during and after a physi-
local language and so rather inaccessible to those who had not yet been able to
cal exchange visit to see how well they both were prepared for the demands that
take language courses (often these courses were just before or in the early phase
substantial virtual mobility would bring. We did this by interviews, surveys,
of a visit). Technical information about IT facilities and services were problem-
investigations via the internet and explorations of the provision and intentions
atic, especially for those with lower IT skills and knowledge. There was too little
at our own universities.
focus on visiting students to enable them to find information of most relevance
to them. Course choice was often hard to navigate. Home universities were also
often less than effective in preparing students for study in another country, and
especially the ICT aspects of this, for even though many students had travelled
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
dents affects all on-campus, traditional study students. The library, learning and
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
The greatly increased reliance on digital technologies by universities and stu-
and used the internet this is different to studying away and for a prolonged period.
Preparation of students prior to visits was generally not well-developed, with
The variation in level of ICT facilities and delays in getting access to them due to
little information about study away from the university, and this despite the
slow processing of IDs was a common negative comment. Students in their home
emergence of distance education on many campuses. However, awareness of
university tend to have a network of peers for support, but may lose this when
the problem was clearly rising, many universities were beginning to experiment
on a visit to another university, and are therefore less well supported than local
with online support to students before they arrived and after they left, and
students overall.
the issues of language support plus targeted information in more than one
language were being addressed.
The sample of universities we surveyed had mostly either started some explora-
poor or slow, and looking back to their home university online services (eg library)
tory work in the area of virtual mobility or were planning for this, and these were
if the local provision was significantly less good than they were accustomed to.
also the universities with good online provision to students of all types already.
They would resort to such methods as sharing passwords etc to ensure that they
We have very limited knowledge of the intentions of those universities that still
could circumvent problems of unresponsiveness of university services.
had some way to go in making digital services routine and widespread.
The university
It was clear that some universities provided very
well for visiting students, making contact at a very
Some recommendations for action
The VICTORIOUS Project developed a set of recommendations for the major stakeholders in the
early stage, giving them IDs, login/passwords, ac-
student exchange process. For universities these
cess to services well in advance. Interestingly international offices appeared to be
included providing good, structured, up-to-date info which is quite straightfor-
rather unaware of the challenges of ICT for visiting students, leaving this area to
ward to carry out; making easier enrolment and registration, ideally pre-arrival;
the IT services, library etc, rather than taking the lead. The other services tended
offering specific training and support for use of digital services and collaborat-
to have little awareness of visiting student issues, feeling that their provision of
ing across internal bureaucratic ‘borders’ between services to ensure a joined-up
information and services was adequate for all students. An example of this is in the
approach and sharing of knowledge.
area of induction, which is often targeted at newly-arrived local students and may
not be offered or considered for those who arrive during a degree programme or
For students and their associations we recommended more thinking about the
may run infrequently and be too late for short-term visitors. It would appear that
planning of visits or virtual participation, and collecting and sharing experiences
libraries not uncommonly have their own ID and authentication management, and
and solutions locally and internationally and making local student associations
these are often based upon physical presence of students to register and may not
more aware of the needs of visiting students.
be very responsive to need.
For the European, national & regional agencies, it would be a great help to inIncoming students were generally better served than outgoing students – there
tending exchange students if there were a single search option for course/pro-
was a degree of ‘out of sight, out of mind’ in operation, particularly for the
gramme information; a single digital identity system for students (and staff) so
support services of the university such as library, IT and student records.
that they could be more easily registered at their host university, coupled with
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
internet cafes etc to gain access to the internet if the university provision was
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
In general students showed great resourcefulness in overcoming barriers, using
easier Internet access across Europe (eg expansion of EduROAM), and finally help
ing to share and disseminate experience and good practice from some of the
to the HE sector to remove current digital barriers.
key players in the student mobility arena. With goodwill and well-focussed
efforts I believe that we can make substantial progress in the coming years.
Taking the next steps the VM-BASE Project
We have been working to take forward some of
the recommendations of the VICTORIOUS Project
either physical or virtual. We are developing a set of materials and resources;
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
> Orientation guidelines for students;
> Codes of good practice in designing pre-selection tests for students;
> Blue print for preliminary courses for students preparing for a physical Erasmus exchange;
> Guidelines on assessment and evaluation tools;
> A study on a Virtual Alumni Association for Erasmus students;
2. S
3. O
4. U
6. S
> A manual on ‘good-practices in e-coaching’;
> A manual with validated procedures and recommendations
for blended mobility activities at institutional, network and
European level.
These will be available towards the end of 2008.
This chapter is based significantly on the findings and discussions that took place
within two EC-funded projects, VICTORIOUS ( and VMBASE ( I wish to acknowledge the contribution
of the members of these projects to my thinking in the area of student mobility and
digital/virtual mobility.
As student physical and virtual mobility increases
across Europe it will be essential that all the
stakeholders in the process (students, student
associations, universities, education agencies and governments) solve the
outstanding and emerging problems that exist to a smooth and effective experience for all. During this SUMIT seminar we are exploring some of the context
of student mobility, with a particular emphasis on expanded Europe, and seek-
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
BASE which is focussed on online support for students before and after a visit,
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
through another EC-funded project called VM-
of the Education System – LLP Erasmus National Agency, Poland
[email protected]
Europe is just celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Erasmus programme
which was launched in 1987. In the period 1995-2006 it was a part of the SOCRATES
programme. Since 2007 it has been implemented under the Lifelong Learning
Programme. Poland joined the programme in 1998. In its first year, 1426 students
from 40 higher education institutions went abroad for a study period. Nowadays
we have more than 200 HEIs holding an Erasmus University Charter and more
than 50,000 ex-Erasmus students. In the period 1998/99 – 2006/07 Poland spent
around 90 million euro for all decentralised activities (student grants included).
Generally Erasmus is perceived by students very positively. There is a great
degree of enthusiasm and high level of demand to have a study period abroad.
From the very beginning of Polish Erasmus the number of flows has been increasing. With no doubts Erasmus has positive influence on development of individual
grant holders and institutions.
Certainly there is no (simple) recipe for an Erasmus success story at a university
or national level. Having the right persons for the job is not enough. To monitor
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Dorota Rytwi´ska, Foundation for the Development
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
Role Of ict Instruments
In The Management
Of The Decentralised
Erasmus Activities
cash flows, observe trends, react properly and in good time, reliable tools are
transferred to each National Agency database. Thus this brand new tool will lead
essential. We also need to know how to use the capacity offered by the tools.
to reorganisation at institutional, national and European level. It may take all of
us some time to get used to the novelty.
Regardless of any centrally-developed IT tools, institutions participating in
a study period. Since that time the number has been growing, to over 150,000 per
Erasmus use their own systems. For example, our Erasmus agency has developed
year. Annually around 2,000 HEIs sign financial agreements summing to a total
an Access database for managing financial agreements with HEIs. We also use
value of 200 million euro. Are the 3 million flows by 2012 feasible or not? As a mat-
on-line tools prepared for collecting data from our HEIs on different activities
ter of fact the main load is borne by HEIs. They need software suiting their needs
– applying for funds, interim and final reporting. The on-line instruments are
and databases gathering information on Erasmus students at all stages – before
also very practical for registration for events, and collecting information from
going abroad, during the stay and after return. Usually the tools don’t have to be
students on their foreign experience. Data from student questionnaires is trans-
highly innovative. However it happens that some of us do not make use of the
ferred to GISE (exchange of information between Erasmus students). Any future
basic potentials offered by a popular software.
Erasmus student looking for first-hand information can visit our web site and
browse the database by a key word such as country, city or host institution, etc.
In Poland e.g. in the year 2005/06 a group of 30 HEIs implementing the biggest
Generally speaking on-line tools save much work and time because data once
number of outgoing flows encompassed 70% of all student outgoing flows and
inputted is transferred to a common database and there is no need to re-write
spent 76% of the total budget. The remaining 30% flows was delivered by 163
the data. However, in the case of GISE, mainly due to free text sections, each
HEIs. In the same year Polish HEIs spent nearly 20 million euro, which is 99.89%
questionnaire is individually accepted by NA staff, which is rather time consum-
of the total budget. There is no answer to the question to what extend the un-
ing but it does let us know student opinion on very many issues connected with
spent money resulted from a “human factor” or maybe “lack of proper tools” was
their Erasmus experience. On-line tools require advance planning and precision.
decisive. The number of persons sent abroad by particular universities varied
A computer programmer must know well in advance the final shape of a given
considerably (from 1 to 793 persons). The major part of participating universities
document in order to meet our expectations.
sent abroad between 1 and 25 students (98 institutions), while only 24 universities sent abroad more than 100 students. All the statistical information should
Next year we are going to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the participation
be easily accessible in a well organized database.
of Poland in the Erasmus Programme. Thinking about the future we hope for
further development of the Programme, so that the distinct value of the Erasmus
As far as plans for the future are concerned so called “LLPLink” should be mentioned. It is a tool being developed for the needs of the Lifelong Learning Programme. LLPLink will be a common information system to handle the needs of
submission, evaluation, selection, contractualisation, management, and reporting for projects under all decentralised actions of the Lifelong Learning Programme. It will run on “local” databases (installed at all National Agencies) and
they will exchange data with a central database of the European Commission.
A specific part of this project is the availability of electronic forms (for applications and reporting) that can be submitted on-line and from which the data is
study period remains an opportunity for students.
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
tics. In the very first days of Erasmus several thousand students went abroad for
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
To understand the scale of Erasmus we should have a quick look at some statis-
Enhancing Student
Mobility In A Digital World:
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged
Europe – Croatian Example
The University of Zagreb is intensively working
on preparations to accept students coming from
foreign universities, in order to be ready for application to the Erasmus programme. University of Zagreb International Co-operation
Office has started negotiations about the building and adaptation of information
systems present at the University, to simplify the communication with potential
incoming students, to enable acceptance and integration of students into local
community and to foster communication with students after the completion
of their exchange visits. An analysis of the existing systems had been performed
and the necessary revisions and enhancements have been identified. It has been
concluded that it was of utmost importance for an incoming student to be included into information systems and services of the hosting university so that he or
she can prepare already at home for the future study and for the sojourn in a
new environment.
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
and Computing, University of Zagreb, Croatia.
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
Mirta Baranovic, Faculty of Electrical Engineering
systems related to
higher education
in Croatia
tuition fees paid, their personal schedule, etc. Using this interface, students
can instantly obtain printed certificates for different purposes and students’
The Ministry of science, education and sports of
records in different languages. There is an ATM-like device called Studomat
the Republic of Croatia has initiated and financed
aimed for interaction with students. Using the Studomat, a student can
the development of integral information systems
also apply for examinations, consult the schedules and results of single
related to higher education [2]. They are the Information system of students’
examination phases, select the topics or the mentors for their completion or
nourishment and the Information system of higher education.
graduation theses. The system is integrated with the Information system of
students’ nourishment so that following the enrolment into an academic year, the
1. Information system of students’ nourishment (ISSP)
student’s data and level of rights to subsidised nourishment are transferred.
For communication with other systems in the country, offering corresponding
obtains an identification card, similar to a credit card, entitling him or her to
services like health insurance, subsidised public transportation, etc. certificates
enjoy subsidised nourishment in any contract restaurant. The system contains
are requested on Studomat and printed on the computerised kiosk within the
record of students and their level of rights to subsidised nourishment. A subsys-
higher education institution. Certificates for scholarships and for applications to
tem aimed at restaurants supports menu definitions and it traces the students’
study abroad can equally be obtained in English. After the study completion the
consumption. Restaurants in all the cities with higher education institutions are
student receives diploma supplements in Croatian and in English.
included, so that a student even when out of the current home city can enjoy
subsidised meals.
3. e-Index
e-Index (a smart student card) completely substitutes for the paper booklet
2. Information system of higher education (ISVU)
containing all the important student’s academic data. e-Index can be used for
In 2000 we started the development of the Information system of higher educa-
students’ identification on lectures, to allow them enter the laboratories, librar-
tion with the aim of integration and standardisation of all the data concerning
ies, dormitories or other restricted-access academic premises. It provides the
studies and students’ activities in Croatia [1]. The system’s backbone contains
authorised access to Internet and some data bases; it enables payment of some
the set of curricula of single higher education institutions. Multilingual descrip-
services etc.
tion of curricula is supported [3], they are presented on the Web (,
they can be exported to standardised XML documents and used for various pur-
4. Information infrastructure
poses. The curricula are published on Internet in Croatian and in English. Student
The Croatian Academic Research Network CARNet in co-operation with the Uni-
matriculations, enrolments in academic year or semester and enrolments in sin-
versity Computing Centre (SRCE) provides to all the members of the academic
gle courses are recorded in ISVU. The achieved student’s results are recorded for
community in Croatia access to network infrastructure as a base for a number
each course and finally also the data about completion or graduation theses and
of advanced services. The broadband network offers fast data transfer, stability
respective examinations.
and quality of service. CARNet is a support to the modern concept of lecturing.
Through the ISVU interface aimed at students, they can enrol on educational pro-
cantly helps to demanding research projects and international co-operation. All
grams, to the courses, to review information about their activities and achieve-
the CARNet users can access the Mobile CARNet service featuring advanced tech-
ments which are stored in the database, like grades, status of the enrolled courses,
nologies like HSDPA, UMTS, EDGE and GPRS. Though the project named StuDOM
The system of videoconferencing rooms enables distant learning and it signifi-
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
ishment with the aim to increase the students’ quality of life. Every student
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
1997 saw the start of development of the Information system of students’ nour-
the students in dormitories in Zagreb, Rijeka, Split, Osijek, Zadar and Varaždin
new pages with their own structure, own design and system of user authorisa-
have free Internet access.
tions. Detailed information on any course can be thus provided, course pages
can be organised containing, as a rule, information for students, a forum, and
Authentication and Authorization Infrastructure (AAI) within the system of science
repositories of files and links. All the announcements to students are sent by
and higher education in Croatia ([email protected]) provides electronic identities to control
email after subscription to single pages. All the information can be also ac-
the access to various services. The [email protected] system, developed and maintained
cessed through standards like RSS, RDF, OPML and others. The feature of the
by SRCE, encompasses all the Croatian institutions of science and higher education.
contents of majority of pages is that they are created by more than one person.
Any student, lecturer or employee becomes a potential editor or writer of his or
her part of the information and educational space.
Figure 1. Information flow
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
tegrated. It consists of 33 higher education institu-
tions, where each of them is a separate legal entity,
independent in its management of information infrastructure and correspondingly, as an aftermath, on different institutions different levels of ICT infrastructure
University of Zagreb International
Students’ Office
and support are present. University of Zagreb provides for the incoming students
both: the ICT infrastructure developed on the country level, and the local institu-
Forums, Chat
tional infrastructure. As an example of this institutional infrastructure, the Fac-
ulty of Electrical Engineering and Computing can be mentioned here because its
E ducational
L earning
solutions are transferred to other faculties and therefore it can be expected that in
near future all the University institutions would achieve approximately that level.
The backbone of the institutional infrastructure at the Faculty of Electrical En-
gineering and Computing is e-Campus as an integrative institutional point. Its
purpose is to unite the whole information and e-learning Faculty infrastructure
and to present different sources of information and knowledge as an integrated space. The central part of e-Campus is a contents management system Quilt
CMS. The system is integrated with a few Learning management systems (LMS)
like the Faculty-developed AHyCo, then Moodle, as the currently best Open
Rooms & ICT - infrastructure
Source solution and WebCT as one of the best commercial systems. Through
the new authentication and authorisation infrastructure [email protected] integration with the Library is achieved. The integration with ISVU is solved through
Web services and standardised XML documents. For each course one can create a whole Web (sub)site, with the possibility to open an unlimited number of
- content
- news
- repositories
- surveys
- forums, chat, ...
- L earning
- e -Learning
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
The University of Zagreb is still far from being in-
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
systems in higher
education on
institutional level
System integration
At the students enrolment in a higher education
On the European level, special attention has to
institution in Croatia, ISVU is the first place where
be paid to interoperability among universities,
information on students is stored and after that,
or standards to enable exchange of informa-
it is sent to, or exchanged with all relevant information systems, like the stu-
tion in the same manner, regardless of the universities in question. For that
dents’ subsidised nourishment information system, institutional portal, library,
purpose, electronic documents are to be defined, based on XML as a standard
e-learning system, ICT-resource management system, etc. Compendious infor-
language for data exchange among heterogeneous systems. Communication
mation from a student’s record is transferred from ISVU to the student’s smart
among universities, and accordingly the students’ mobility, will be substan-
card (e-Index).
tially improved and facilitated due to exchange of electronically signed stand-
supplement, etc.), accepted on the European level. Last but not least, the price
and the University of Zagreb, based upon standard electronic documents and
for development of applications to support the students’ mobility through data
the integration of information into the existing information systems.
exchange will decrease significantly because for each necessary function, a
single program or service will suffice; regardless of with how many universities
the exchange proceeds.
ICT support to
students’ mobility
A high quality ICT infrastructure can significantly
improve the students exchange processes. The
communication proceeds through the International Co-operation Office, whereby the main goal after signing of the learning
agreement is to integrate the incoming students. Integration of the system of the
International Co-operation Office with the information systems within Croatia
shall enable a smooth integration of incoming students into the information space
of a certain faculty, equally as it proceeds nowadays with domestic students.
At present, some of the functionalities needed to support students’ mobility are
already implemented in ISVU and in other institutional information systems.
Development of additional functionalities, e.g. multilingual user interfaces for
Studomat, applications aimed for International Office of University of Zagreb
and procedures for exchange of information between the universities are to
be realised.
1. B
Iinformation System of Higher Education in RH (in Croatian). Zagreb,
2.K ALPIC, D., BARANOVIC, M., MORNAR, V., KRAJCAR, S. (2001), Development of an Integral
University management System. Proceedings of International Conference on System
Engineering, Communications and Information Technologies, ICSECIT 2001. Punta Arenas.
3.BARANOVIC, M., ZAKOSEK, S., BRKIC, L. (2001), The Model of Multilingual Student Administration
System. Proceedings of The International Workshop on Global Data Modeling in the New
Millennium. Yokohama, 2001. 24-34.
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
Figure 1 represents the basic information flows between foreign universities
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
ardised documents (curriculum, student record, learning agreement, diploma
Student Mobility At
Sofia University:
Tendencies And Perpectives
Sofia St Kliment Ohridisk University, Bulgaria
[email protected]
A short History
of Sofia University
St. Kliment Ohridski
The Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” is the
first school of higher education in Bulgaria. Its
history is an embodiment and a continuation of
centuries of cultural and educational tradition in our country.
Organized education activities in Bulgaria date back to the second half of the
9th century.
During the period of the National Revival a new idea for opening a School of
Higher Education was born. The authority of the School of Higher Education
grows with the cultural and educational mission it acquires after the Liberation
of 1878. Classes began on October 1, 1888 almost unnoticed by the public. This is
the birthdate of Bulgarian university education. Year by year the Sofia University
turns into an academic and scientific center on the Balkans which is a fully developed academic institution with European prestige. Today the Sofia University
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
International Relations Department,
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
Mr Tsvetan Bogdanov,
“St. Kliment Ohridski” is the largest and most prestigious higher educational and
years from 202 904,00 Euro to 522 250,00 Euro during the current academic
scientific center in the country.
year. Thanks to the successful collaboration with the Finance Department
of Sofia University we succeeded to increase the assimilation of the finances
In the new academic year on October 1, 2007 Sofia University has re-established
according to the finance agreement with the NA from 90,70% in 2002/03 to
the Medical Faculty in the University’s structure.
116,01% in 2005/06 and 137,51% during the current academic year. That exceeded
vastly the planned finances of 379 781,00 Euro for 2006/07 academic year by
two additional transfers, given by the European Commission for education at
Beginning of
Socrates/ Erasmus
Program in
Sofia University
foreign partner universities for students from our university. As a result from
the successful work of the team that administers the Erasmus Programme at
Sofia University is turning into an active equal
Sofia University is the extremely positive trend during the last two academic
partner of the European institutions for higher
years, by attaining of maximum monthly grant at the amount of 500 Euro for
education. The evolution of the European prac-
all of the countries.
academic year is 365, the approved are 216, and the realized student mobilities
are 186. The successfully leaded policy for attracting of foreign students includes
the development of Bachelor and Master Programmes for teaching students in
of Student Mobility
from 1999 to 2007
English and French in different fields if study.
The sociologists like to say: “Where are we?”
Sofia University is in the leading position regarding the number of outgoing Erasmus students,
which is two times more than the other universities in Bulgaria. Only for the
last academic year the results of SU exceed those of some big universities in
Tendencies –
positive initiatives
Bulgaria for their whole period of participation in the Programme from 1999
I would like to note some typical trends for the
to 2007, including students with severe disability or exceptional special needs
last academic years. The first considerable trend
and zero grant student.
is the augmentation of the number of incoming
and outgoing Erasmus students. In 2002/2003 the outgoing students are 67 compared to the current academic year 2006/2007 when the number is 186. During
the years their number grows from 67 to 109, 137 and 144 to 186.
Prospects of growth
in the LLP 2007-2013
Today’s Life Long Learning Programme, with
The other trend is the increase of the number of the incoming Erasmus stu-
is variety of instruments for supporting inter-
dents being 14 in 2002/03 to 70 in 2006/07 academic year. This is five times more
university cooperation, modernization and ex-
foreign students than in the beginning. As a consequence of the increased number
change, and is far more than just a machine for Student Mobility in a Digital
of student mobilities we can note another trend of increase of the financed
World. But students will always be in the heart of the Programme. And its suc-
months of mobility of the National Agency being 493 in 2002/03 to 1044,5 in
cess is due in no small measure to the student association and Erasmus ad-
2006/07 academic year, as the real amount of financing increases during the
ministrative staff in European Universities, whose members strive tirelessly
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
outgoing students. The number of the applicants in the selection only for the last
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
tice in this relation is really impressive. SU starts the Programme in 1999 with 15
to help each new generation of Erasmus students prepare effectively for their
study abroad and to find their way in the new educational and social environment and dimension.
I’m glad to inform you that in this moment in Sofia is taking place a two-
Mobility And IT Support At
Vidzeme University College
Iveta Putnina, International Relations,
with the participation of all LLP Coordinators of the Bulgarian Universities.
Vidzeme University College, Latvia.
Introduction to
Vidzeme University
Vidzeme University College is a regional higher education institution offering professional study programmes at college, bachelor and master levels.
It was established in 1996 and has been a state accredited university since 2001.
As it was founded through the initiative of regional municipalities, it has strong
orientation towards regional development and ensuring all types of education for
local people. At the same time the vision is to develop as one of the most innovative
regional centres for academic education and research in the Baltic Sea area. At the
moment Vidzeme University College offers 7 undergraduate programs in the fields
of Tourism, Business Administration, Information Technologies, Political Science,
Communication and PR and Foreign Languages, 3 postgraduate programs - Tourism
Administration, Public Administration, and Sociotechnical System’s Engineering
as well as distance education in Tourism and Business administration. In year 2007
there are 1360 students, 58 full time lecturers and 75 general staff members. The
general information on the university can be found at its webpage:
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
Programme. This meeting is organized by the Bulgarian National Agency,
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
day National Meeting dedicated to the new aspects of the LLP/Erasmus
The main aim of using intranet is to inform students while they are in home uni-
Statistics on
mobility flows
versity on various opportunities, which are offered by Erasmus program, and
During 2006/2007 there were 38 students who went
to support while they are studying abroad. In Vidzeme University College there
to study abroad in the frame of Erasmus program
have been created two sections for information on international activities:
and 33 students did their internships in foreign
companies. In total 71 student went abroad for educational experience repre-
• News section - online platform for pacing the current announcements about in-
senting 5,3 % of all the university students. The increase in mobility flows has
ternational internships, application procedure, database with companies
been substantial during years 2000 – 2007. In 2000 first students applied for
and their requirements; possibility to change and update information;
• Document section – guidebooks available online for students at different stages
lot depended on applications for Leonardo da Vinci internship projects and
of their mobility, starting from the first step when students are just think-
the opportunity to write projects, which were approved, in general there has
ing about going abroad, preparing for leaving, while working in another
been a tendency for interest in mobility to increase every year.
country, coming back and writing reports. In order to help students to inform about their country the presentations on the university and country
As international internships can be considered as the most challenging activity
are available.
of an international office, in this publication the main attention is paid to issues
related with organisation of practical training abroad. For Vidzeme University
The aim of information on the webapge is to inform the university students about
College this means preparation and coordination of 33 mobile students who
international activities in general and what kind of programmes the university is
gained practical work experience abroad in 2006/2007. The largest part of stu-
participating in, another very important role is to get the feedback from previous
dents went to Spain; the second popular country was Slovenia. Several students
Erasmus or Leonardo da Vinci students on their experience and suggestions. The
went to Greece, Germany, UK, Bulgaria, and Austria. There were one student in
international office has developed the online questionnaire to gather the infor-
the Netherlands, Ireland, Estonia, and France.
mation from the students and to use it for mobility promotion for other students
who are just thinking for going abroad. The questionnaire consists of 37 questions and they represent topics as general information on the placement, preparation before going abroad, the level of internship comparing to internships in
IT support for
Latvia, how this period changed student’s personality, life abroad, respondent’s
Similar activities are applied also to organise
contacts. The answers are compiled in a database and published in the same
studies abroad therefore this information can be
webpage. Everyone can see comments and read about different countries, uni-
generalised to other mobility activities. In order
versities and study programs. The possibility to see all the answers online is very
to inform university students on mobility possibilities the following activities
important for future Erasmus students because they can compare and analyze
are carried out: sending emails and placing advertisements in intranet, using
different options and have personal references from other students. Thus even
posters and flyers, meetings with students, very important source of informa-
reluctant students may get an insight into mobility and get their first motivation
tion is faculty and students who have already been on Erasmus or Leonardo da
to proceed with “personal internationalisation”.
Vinci exchange.
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
the increase has been more than triple. Although in some academic years a
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
Erasmus scholarship and in total 22 students went abroad. During eight years
Analysis of Vidzeme
University College
Mobility Strengths
and Weaknesses
As the university has been participating in mobility programs since 1999 when they were introduced
in Latvia the mobility traditions are quite strong.
Future developments
for mobility support
There could be two aspects which matter in
order to develop successful mobility support
Integration of the international mobility in day-to-day activities of the university
should be mentioned as the positive factor which helps in promoting going abroad
for students and faculty. Outgoing mobility is the key strength concerning the in-
> Content;
> Technical solution.
of increasing the numbers of mobility participants. As the university has had coop-
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
eration with some of them for eight years then conclusion on common issues can
be reached very easily. Knowing partners and keeping active contacts determines
the success of mobility substantially.
The discussion of weaknesses in mobility should be started with incoming mobility which similarly to other new EU member states is much lower than outgoing
As to content than the main idea is to give the answers to the questions before they arise, predict the situations, train the students and play simulations, at the same time giving the possibility for students to give their contribution in supporting mobility activities. For the technical part the main task
will be to decide on effective IT systems in order to avoid activities which can
be undone due to technology use for helping with coping with daily tasks,
e.g. document preparation, agreements, reports, updating contacts etc. To
make the decision it is important to evaluate the benefit of each programme
and possibility to interact with other systems.
mobility. During next years the university should motivate the teachers to offer increased number of courses in English in order to motivate other university students
to come for exchange experience. However the negative attitude from the state
and national legislation which protects the national language and requests that
all the study programmes in state universities are provided in Latvian is a needless
burden for universities initiatives to become more international. This fact could
also partly explain the reason of faculty reluctance in changing the proportion of
courses taught in Latvian and English and increasing the role of courses in foreign
languages in the study process. In order to improve the quality of outgoing mobil-
Another factor is human resources needed for implementing international
activities. The task of international office managers is to keep their staff
permanent as much depends on personal contacts, previous arrangements, experience and the way how international activities are organised.
Human resource policy is as important as modern technologies we want
to use. A regional, small university is much more flexible, at the same time
it depends a lot on individuals who often perform a wide range of activities for mobility implementation.
ity definitely there should be higher academic staff involvement in monitoring and
counselling international mobility. The international office can provide the necessary practical arrangements however the academic outcomes from exchanges can
be influenced only by academic staff. Taking into account the experience during
participation in Erasmus and Leonardo da Vinci programs the next step would be
to change the idea of providing information for the students, because the current
situation could be described as reaction on information lack, not providing it
ahead. For a modern international office the last option should be a case.
To sum up, a small university can be an important player in the international mobility field if the benefit of flexibility work out and speed of adapting
new approaches and technologies is higher even with sometimes limited
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
and will be more likely to accept the challenge of exchange studies in partner universities abroad. Trustful partners play also important role to keep the tendency
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
ternational activities. This way students are aware of the possibility to go abroad
1. ANGRESS, A, MATTHIESEN, G. (2007) University-Enterprise Cooperation: Building on
New Challenges From Past Experience, Project Report.
2.KEMENY, G.(2006) GENERATION, Dissemination of Results and Best Practices for Raising
the Profile of Erasmus Mobility, Final Report. Budapest: Tempus Public Foundation, 15-18
Digital Tools In Service Of
Mobility – From Local Case
To National Perspectives
Nicolaus Copernicus
University – international dimension
The Nicolaus Copernicus University was founded
in 1945,but the scientific traditions in
& date
back to the period of the Renaissance when an
Academic Gymnasium was set up in our town. In 1945, thanks to the efforts of
professors from the disestablished Polish universities in Vilnius and Lvov, the
Nicolaus Copernicus University was in a position to inaugurate its activities with
four faculties: the Faculty of Humanities, the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural
Sciences, the Faculty of Law and Economy, and the Faculty of Fine Arts.
Today Nicolaus Copernicus University is the biggest and most comprehensive university in northern Poland. The academic community of the university comprises
over 46,000 people. There are about 37,000 students studying in 15 faculties, 50
departments and over 100 specialisations. Among over 4,000 employees there
are more than 2,000 academic teachers, of whom over 400 are professors. All the
faculties, except for the Faculty of Theology, are entitled to confer doctorate and
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
Nicolaus Copernicus University, Torun, Poland.
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
Ewa Derkowska-Rybicka, International Relations,
postdoctorate degrees. Every year ca. 8,000 students graduate from the University
The number of in-coming students changed from 7 in 1998 to 83 in 2006/07. German,
with diplomas and master’s degrees. In total, this year the University has awarded
French, Spanish and Turkish students are the most numerous. They are well taken
over 120 000 diplomas in higher education.
care of by a network of faculty and departmental co-ordinators and by the International Programmes Office assisted by Erasmus Student Network. The University
Units such as Alliance Francaise, British Council Library, Jean Monet Centre of Eu-
provides: university accommodation, courses of Polish, courses in foreign languag-
ropean Studies, European Documentation Centre, MBA course, Polar Research Sta-
es, mentors, Orientation Weeks, social and a rich integration & cultural programme.
tion at Spitsbergen and 10m diameter radio telescope in the Rep. Of South Africa
The following ICT facilities are available at central university level: web site in Eng-
should also be mentioned when speaking about our international dimension.
lish, an electronic Survival Guide, on-line application form, on-line accommodation
form, contact via e-mail, excel databases, discussion list, on-line evaluation form.
As far as teacher mobility is concerned the interest from our faculties is slightly
Due to such union, one university with two campuses located in respective towns
lower than the opportunities but the tendency is growing. Last year 53 academic
was founded.
teachers went to universities in 14 countries, the most popular of which were
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
French and Lithuanian partner institutions.
The Collegium Medicum in Bydgoszcz has currently about 4,000 students who have
access to the well-equipped student laboratories, Main Library, reading rooms,
Leonardo da Vinci
study rooms and a bookshop. This well-known centre for medical education
10 pilot, thematic and staff mobility projects have been completed within LdV
provides courses at 3 faculties, 7 departments and 6 specialisations.
Programme as well as 3 student mobility projects. These were centrally coordinated by the International Programmes Office. In total 74 students performed
Nicolaus Copernicus University has developed extensive international coopera-
placements abroad in most cases as optional internships with the exception of
tion within nearly 60 agreements of mutual cooperation with foreign institutions.
monuments restoration programme where the placements were compulsory.
Our faculties have been involved in over 130 international cooperation schemes as
The beneficiaries provided certificates from employers and Euro-Pass was not
Tempus (over 40 projects), ESF, NATO, EU Framework Programmes and many other
applied. Two students were received in frames of foreign mobility projects and
research projects. We have participated in SOCRATES/ERASMUS since the very
NCU was acting as intermediary organisation.
beginning in Poland, i.e. 1998/99.
Obstacles & difficulties
Nicolaus Copernicus University belongs to the top 10 Polish Universities that
Mobility –
and difficulties
organise nearly 50% of mobility flows. A question may be asked why we consider
the situation unsatisfactory if the numbers and achievements are so spectacular?
In the years 1998-2006 nearly 1500 students went
Let us consider the number of in-coming students (ca. 80) vs. the number of out-
out and the number was growing continuously
going students (ca. 350) and the number of student places (over 580) in 2007/08.
from 49 to 300 last academic year. As for destination countries, Germany, France,
Italy and Spain are the most popular from 24 partner countries. Studies in Finland,
These numbers show two undesirable effects: not only a gap between the number
Norway and Sweden were also quite popular.
of in-coming and out-going students (which is a typical effect for Polish universi-
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
and the Ludwik Rydygier Medical University in Bydgoszcz took place.
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
In October 2004, a fusion of two universities: the Nicolaus Copernicus University
ties) but also a gap between opportunities available (number of exchange students
iser, serial correspondence generator or deadline reminding system. Commercial
according to Bilateral Agreements) and the number of students interested and re-
products are available and advertised e.g. at the occasion of big international
cruited. This, again seems to be quite typical for universities all over Europe, which
events as EAIE Information Market. This can be a solution rather for new institu-
means that certain “saturation” effect has been achieved and increasing mobility
tions or for those determined to change their hitherto software to new systems.
will not be an easy task at all. As for out-going students, more information should
I would rather recommend continuous development of the existing solu-
be needed and more support at the stage of decision making. Much more can and
tions, customising available software and adapting it to actual needs.
should be done in the area of in-coming students. Solutions should be sought in
order to respond to the following questions: In the perspective of the position and
Also in my personal opinion except for ICT more staff and higher wages will also be
future development of the University – Is it a MUST or a NEED to enhance interna-
most welcome to improve the situation. This can improve the quality of our office
tional mobility. And if so –
work and student service but will have no major direct impact on the number of
exchange students.
Academic administration
> Where are the biggest reserves?
In order to improve the quality of academic organisation an existing tool can be
> What tools should be applied?
recommended – the University Study-Oriented Support System – USOS.
This software has been developed since the TEMPUS project “NET” coordinated by
Mobility – ICT
for further
the University of Warsaw in 199-2001. Several Polish universities adopted the system and nowadays ca. 40 % of international mobility is completed within the instiThree areas of activities can be distinguished in the
tutions participating The system is complex and bilingual – several documents can
field of mobility management: administration at
be printed in English. It requires an ORACLE licence and institutional subscription
organisational level, administration at academic
fee is charged.
level and academic teaching and learning.
Here are the services it offers:
Below I will present the three issues in the context of available ICT tools.
> On-line registration of candidates
Administration & organization
> Management of recruitment process
The task comprise provision of information to home and foreign students, registra-
> Delivery of electronic student ID & library cards
tion of candidates, maintaining contact before and after arrival/departure, match-
> USOS-web that comprises directory of courses-study offer in Polish and
ing with Polish students (ESN), keeping records of visiting students, management
English, including ECTS information, subscription to classes, including
of Erasmus grant.
token system in case of foreign languages and gymnastics
> Support of teaching process – exams, proofs, marks, comments
This is done by the International Programmes Office (IRO or similar units at other
> Provision of Transcript of Records and Diploma Supplement
universities) and simple commonly available ICT tools are used as www, e-mail,
> The system also enables:
discussion lists, spread sheets, databases. What could be improved is e.g. e-organ-
> Control of teachers workload and payments
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
> What are the most serious and urgent tasks?
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Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
> Can this be done and in which way?
> Quality assessment
> Central university platform or faculty platforms
> Directory of European HEIs
> Special platform can be set up, e.g. Erasmus
> Electronic version of diploma works and directory
> Lecture hall reservation
Extensive implementation of MOODLE (or a compatible platform) should be widely
> Location and orientation within campus (when linked to Google-up)
and strongly recommended. It will increase the study offer and make it more attractive for foreign students. It will facilitate communication for academic purposes
The Computer Centre of the University of Warsaw is now working on the devel-
and provide better, open and immediate supervision of the teaching process.
opment of a specialised package “Erasmus recruitment” and it is our hope it
will also be available for other user universities.
Enhancement of international mobility has become
purpose of mobility. Full and correct implementation will improve visibility of the
an urgent task of major importance for universities
study offer, will stimulate the faculties to revise their potential, present it in a com-
in the perspective of the new LLP. Except for the
patible way and submit on time (which means well before the students arrive). This
well known and ever present problem of time (more staff) and money (translation,
will help incoming students prepare their learning agreement. Moreover the neces-
extra courses, additional remuneration of teachers, equipment, motivation bonus,
sary documents can be generated automatically (e.g. transcript of records).
more staff again), ICT tools are indispensable for increasing the number of exchange
Teaching and learning
not equal in every aspect. To the best of my professional experience I dare suggest
In this chapter MOODLE will be presented as an example of a teaching&learning
that mobility factors can be increased by ca. 5% by new ICT in administration, by
platform. It is a cost-free and easy to learn tool which enables application of mod-
10% due to complex digitalisation of student management and by as much as 80%
ern teaching methods so highly appreciated by nowadays students. This makes it
in the area of academic issues, including e-learning and ODL methods.
students and improving the quality of service and teaching. However, ICT impact is
of great value for mobility purpose. At Nicolaus Copernicus University MOODLE is
maintained by the University Centre for Modern Teaching Methods where every
staff member and every student can complete his own project. Software, qualified
staff assistance and technical equipment is made available at no charge. MOODLE
can be used for:
> ODL courses or to support classical class work
> Publication of all kind of educational materials
(sound, video, interactive, transmission)
> Communication (message board, individual students or groups, admission
and subscription, discussion for a, chat in real time, video conferences)
> Assessment (questionnaires, quiz, multiple choice, open questions, time limit,
statistics and full control by the teacher)
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
Polish universities and it is only a matter of how efficiently it can be applied for the
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
As results from the above a very good ICT tool already exists, is available at leading
How Ict Is Used By
Erasmus Student
Network At The University
Of Warsaw
[email protected]
My name is Anna Laudy, I am a fourth year student
of Polish Philology at the University of Warsaw.
I have been an active ESN member for three years
and since June 2007 I have been the president of my section.
In my presentation I would like to show you how ICT is used in ESN UW section,
problems we face everyday, ideas and some solutions.
I would like to tell you briefly how my adventure with ESN started.
One day when I was surfing the Internet I came across the main website of the
University of Warsaw and I read an advertisement searching for Mentors. I had
no idea what the Mentor Programme was. I got curious and that is how I found
the ESN page.
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
at the University of Warsaw,
President of Erasmus Student Network University of Warsaw
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
Anna Laudy, student of Polish Philology
I learnt that the Mentor Programme means helping and assisting foreign
It would be great if we could create and introduce a system which would simplify
the process and save the coordinator’s precious time. Using such sophisticated
technology would enable the coordinator to scan the number of applications
and automatically cross-match the requirements, interests and so on against
the data base. It would produce accurate matches within seconds.
To become a Mentor you are requested to fill in a
Unfortunately we are short of IT students or fans in our section. Most people who
special application form and send it to the Mentor
are involved in ESN projects are language, culture, history, law students who
coordinator. Moreover, you have to write a brief
are not very familiar with IT. Apart from that there is a huge personnel turnover
motivational letter explaining why you want to join the project.
among Mentors. People responsible for different activities usually stay in ESN no
they are enthusiastic enough we can develop if they are not there is no progress.
The goal should be to store the knowledge about ESN performance inside
person, talk to them face to face to assess if they are eligible for the position.
ESN repository and pass it on from generation to generation to make our work
Therefore the Internet is so irreplaceable and the most convenient, fastest way
easier. Lessons learned from experience need to stay in the network in order not
of recruiting new candidates, so it cannot be denied that such an application
to make the same mistake again, we should work more effectively and manage
is the only means to check the student’s suitability and determination to take
the knowledge we have to our benefits.
direct responsibility for the foreign guests and international students community as a whole. Moreover, these are students who know best how the university
I have just tried to present the methods of recruiting Polish students to our
functions and can give exchanged students the most exact information, also
organization. Now I would like to explain how it works with Erasmus.
about unsaid rules.
The Mentor coordinator is given by International Relation Office a list of forThe online registration form for Mentors is on our website, in
eign students. Our coordinator sends each Erasmus information about Mentor
the bookmark Mentor. The prospect candidate has to give such information as:
Programme and invites them to join and take advantage of it. All Erasmus who
name, email, the faculty, the country of origin of the future Erasmus buddy.
express their interest and willingness to participate in ESN by sending an email
to us are accepted.
And, of course, short motivational letter is required. All things considered, one
has to conclude that it is the most efficient way of gathering data.
Unfortunately, there is another side to the issue. We don’t have a special system
which would match suitable Erasmus-Mentor partners.
Mailing List Communication
In The Section
Now a little bit about communication in my section. We use yahoo groups to communicate with
Nowadays, the coordinator must deal with hundreds of application alone. She
each other.
has to go carefully through each application and check the preferences before
choosing the right candidate. This task is time-consuming and tiring.
To provide the information flow we have set up different discussion groups and
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
At first I was taken aback by so many formalities. Later did I realize how important it was. ESN is not a big company so we cannot interview all candidates in
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
longer then a year, so new-comers must learn everything from the beginning. If
mailing lists, dedicated both to Erasmus and Polish students. We offer mailing
They could help us create the ESN sections’ bulletin, a broad monthly bulletin
list for: Mentors, ESN members, Erasmus to take advantage of sharing their
with all kind of information. It could also collect trips and future events indi-
expectations, problems and exchanging different solutions. So both ESN mem-
rectly dealing with ESN matters. Another publication could be the ESN news-
bers and Erasmus can choose either to join the group and check the posts while
letter. This would contain very compact and easy-to-read information on ESN
logging on yahoo site or subscribe on our mailing list and get the posts as email
matters as well as messages from our sponsors, external events that concern
messages directly to their mailbox.
our subscribers, ESNers as well as people interested in receiving news from
our network.
For example, this year one of the most vital problem is accommodation. More
than 300 Erasmus students have arrived to study at the University of Warsaw.
All those initiatives, which I have just mentioned, have already been imple-
The cooperation in finding accommodation and flatmates helps to create and
mented on the international level by the International ESN Board in Brussels.
strengthen Polish-Erasmus society.
and other Polish students who are interested in our projects.
an additional asset in their CV.
The mailing list is also one of the means to inform the students about our upcom-
For example, last year we undertook an interesting initiative and invited
ing events and future projects. Unfortunately, I have noticed that the mailing list
Erasmus to make a film promoting ESN organization among Polish students.
is most popular with the users at the beginning of each term. In midterm there
As we all know, movies are very attractive and eye-catching so such film could
is a rapid decrease in being interested in the information we send. Erasmus stop
tempt students to record their own experience in a host country and broad-
reading our emails, treat them like a spam. Conducting a survey on such behavior
cast it on the Internet. As a consequence, it would increase the use of Inter-
is recommended because it might help to find the reasons of lack of interest.
net by ESNers and strengthen the relations. Our ESN advertisement starring
Australian-Polish and Italian Erasmus is on our site and you can also watch it
Information and invitations to students are mainly sent by mass distribution.
on YouTube.
For those who are not responsive to general information, the logical step is extend special invitations in order to overcome the barriers and get students more
Maybe we should invite incoming students with computer skills to get directly
Talking about ICT usage we cannot forget about
involved in our projects. Such students would enrich our website with issues
Tandem - an innovative method of learning and
vital for Erasmus. As they know better their society from within. They would
teaching languages.
not be just member protagonists of stories they can share and comment on,
but also contribute to a colourful and extremely useful database of Erasmus
Its dual aim is to enable foreign language learning and promote transferable
experience. For all the reasons they would demonstrate how by merging differ-
skills. Tandem learning involves a partnership of two native speakers and both
ent cultures we can create stronger community.
should benefit equally from the exchange.
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
diplomas or certificates in recognition for their involvement, which can be
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Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
In my section we could encourage Erasmus to take part in such projects by giving
There is also a special mailing list called dedicated to Polish ex-Erasmus
Last year I was the Tandem coordinator so I know this issue personally. Once
It would be beneficial for both University of Warsaw students – incoming and
again the Internet is the only tool to recruit the candidates. The future Tandem
outgoing. Polish as well as Erasmus students would have a perfect possibility
partner fills in the online application form.
to learn the basis or to improve the language of the host country before arriving
at the university.
We faced a common mistake – students forgot to give us their email address and
consequently we couldn’t contact them. Therefore recently we have improved
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Collecting Data
From Ex-Erasmus
Polish Students
At the University of Warsaw there is such a pro-
Another obstacle, we often have to deal with, is lack of other required informa-
cedure that each Polish ex-Erasmus student is
tion. For example: preferred language, mother tongue. Our coordinator has to
asked to fill in a survey assessing and estimating
do everything on her own checking each application. On average, there are more
their stay abroad. The main aim of it is to collect information about the host
then 500 applications. You can imagine how time-consuming it is. So once again,
university and what problems can be encountered (language barrier, accom-
as I have mentioned before talking about the Mentor Programme, we don’t have
modation, culture clash, ECTS points recognition). All the surveys are in paper
any special tool which would match two partners automatically.
form and they are kept in the International Relation Office. This is the only
source of information for prospective Polish exchange students besides
Another problem worth mentioning concerns lack of willingness of incoming stu-
official publications.
dents to participate in the project. The vast majority of the candidates are Polish
students. I found there are 3 main reasons of such situation.
In my opinion this method of collecting data is out of date, inefficient and
for most inconvenient. I have been told that there have been some attempts
Firstly, even though the amount of foreign students is increasing every year, it
to implement online survey for coming back students but due to their lack of
is not sufficient to provide each Polish candidate with a Tandem partner. Sec-
involvement and willingness the idea failed.
ondly, the information about Tandem project hasn’t been popularized enough.
We need more publicity. Finally, I have been asked by a few Erasmus students
But now it is high time to change the existing situation and take advantage of IT
whether participation in Tandem is rewarded with ECTS points because at some
tools. I have noticed that there is a great need for such information flow. It would
universities Tandem is recognized as a normal lecture. It is not like this in Poland
be beneficial if my section possessed such data to share it with future Polish
so the fact has discouraged some students.
exchange students.
For all the reasons, we still need to improve the application to make all the procedure more efficient and less time-consuming. Moreover, we should publicize
Tandem especially among incoming students.
With Registration
For Courses
All Erasmus students at different universities
We could also try to implement e-Tandem project, it means Tandem at a distance
claim that they have encountered problems with
using electronic media such as email, Skype, telephone, video conferencing. It’s
registration for chosen courses.
very convenient method of learning – you don’t even need to leave your home.
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
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tion cannot be sent without this data.
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
our form so that the field with the email address is obligatory and the applica-
Previously, it usually began in the first week of October for both Erasmus and
In order to have real and useful information about Erasmus home and destination,
Polish students. Erasmus coordinators helped and supported the incoming stu-
the entire system could be empowered with geo-location technology giving the
dents with choosing the suitable course.
possibility to enter in great detail the home and destination places. It will give
the students the chance to build a community of ex-Erasmus students sharing
Starting from this academic year 2007/2008 the registration at each faculty is
their experience on a common platform. Former Erasmus could be called Erasmus
online and have already begun in June. So Erasmus students had no opportu-
ambassadors to target potential Erasmus students.
nity to subscribe for preferable courses at that time.
The community members will be granted access to the ESN website as a tool for
Of course, the incomers are guaranteed places at each faculty but they can
promoting the ESN image.
register on preferable classes only after arriving at the University of Warsaw.
And there is a problem with PE and foreign languages courses. Since Polish
ESN sections should improve their websites. As I have observed lately there is
students have already subscribed for them in June there are few places left
lack of strong links between the different levels of ESN. Therefore we should:
> adapt the current structure to the new needs.
> foster the creation of similar network in other areas
As I have mentioned before this is the first year when the online subject registration has been introduced. I strongly believe that the system will be adjusted also
Therefore ESN International has already begun to implement a new system called
to Erasmus students’ needs.
“Satelite” which will harmonize resources and distribute information.
ESN UW Future
Plans For Improving
Information Flow
In The Section.
I wonder what more we can do as ESN for the
We should identify emerging trends of ICT sys-
incoming students.
tems that will shape the future of university and
ESN websites.
I think that experience, impressions, problems and difficulties which have been
faced by Erasmus in previous years can be valuable and informative for future
The development of ever more sophisticated techniques for communication
incoming students. ESN UW is considering setting up a special data base which
and surveillance would increase the likelihood of better and more efficient
would store information concerning accommodation – rental, dormitories; tips
performance of our ESN section which could result in much better manag-
on lectures and lecturers; exams, personal comments and advice in order to col-
ing ESN sites on the Internet, more transparency and collaboration among
lect the Erasmus experiences sent by old and new Erasmus people from all over
universities, teachers and students.
Europe. Every account should not only be a simply textual report but designed
as a multimedia presentation giving writers the possibility to attach pictures,
audio and video, run a blog, upload media files.
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
> keep current structures but improve online participation
In my opinion such situation puts foreign students in disadvantageous position.
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
for Erasmus.
Enhancing Student Mobility
By A Web 2.0 Platform:
The Erasmus Student Network Experience
Christof Devriendt,
Erasmus Student Network (ESN), Project Manager, Belgium;
[email protected]
Peter Vanhee,
Erasmus Student Network (ESN), Project Leader, Belgium;
This paper describes the development of a high
quality information platform by the use of Web
2.0 technologies to support and enhance student
mobility in higher education. It discusses the success of social networks and the
role of universities. It describes the current developed projects by the Erasmus
Student Network and how they can be considered as the key-elements in the
creation of this platform. The paper ends with an example-project applied to the
20th anniversary of the Erasmus Program.
The introduction of this paper is fully based on the
outcomes from the Victorious project. The Victorious project, Student Mobility in a digital world,
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Andrea Pescetti,
Erasmus Student Network (ESN), Project Leader, Italy.
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
Antonio De Marco,
Erasmus Student Network (ESN), Project Leader, Italy;
was an inter-university co-operation project partly funded by the European Com-
In this framework and with this purpose, ESN strives for a world in which increas-
mission under the eLearning Program. From January 2005 to February 2007, nine
ingly more young people will be in the condition to access, either by moving or
universities of the Coimbra Group shared their experience and expertise, worked
by staying at home, the opportunities of personal growth offered by an interna-
together to better understand the issues of virtual student mobility in Europe.
tional experience in Higher Education.
Students are now moving physically more than ever to take courses in universi-
This means that prospective and current exchange students have to be provided
ties in other countries, supported in part by schemes such as Erasmus, which
with all the necessary information and tools for
has ambitious targets for expansion. Students are also studying in a more
place-independent mode, using the web, email, internet phones etc to get
access to learning materials, staff and peers, and doing this from a widening
> choosing the destination that fits the most with their interests and
personal development;
range of locations.
> applying properly and in the due time for scholarships and for any
In general, information provision by universities towards visiting students is
> being integrated in the society and the culture of the hosting city,
on the needs of the visiting students.
also by terms of linguistic tools and social opportunities;
> succeeding in the academic aims of their stay
> evaluating their exchange experience and having their evaluation
Most university International Relations Offices consider that they have good
considered and appreciated by the competent institutions, in order
websites, although this is not the view born out by the student data.
to foster and influence the evolution of the exchange programs
and policies;
Several sources of information about student mobility exist, although no single
> helping, in turn, other students to succeed in their exchange study
source has comprehensive coverage for every student. As a consequence, there
and in overcoming the same difficulties and challenges they
is a clear sign that universities need to significantly reconsider their informa-
tion provision strategies. For some universities there needs to be greater clarity
about what the university provides and what it expects students to provide. The
Therefore ESN considers it as a common goal together with universities to create
student organizations can help them in this by providing websites creating a so-
a high quality information platform, where all the Higher Education Institutions
cial network that offers peer-advice, enabling students to share experiences and
support the principle of students helping students. It will allow students to find
providing solutions.
their way to mobility and to internationalization, and all existing and possible
threats and obstacles to mobility are annihilated.
Erasmus Student Network (ESN) is a non-for-profit international student organization. Our mission is to foster student mobility in Higher Education under the
principle of Students Helping Students.
We are 12.000 members from 251 local sections in 34 countries working on a
volunteer base in Higher Education Institutions.
The Role of
Facebook is this year’s big net phenomenon, it
has 30 million users worldwide, but Myspace is
even bigger with 100 million users. The reason of
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
weak. It is hard to find, often in the local language and there is insufficient focus
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
other possible financial support;
this success is easy to understand. It is a simple extension of what people have
always loved to do: talking with each other, advising each other and sharing their
ESN Projects
In what follows we will briefly discuss the current
projects that are developed by ESN and in the
Nowadays students have been empowered by these Web 2.0 technologies. They
next paragraph we will elaborate on how these
can blog, produce and publish videos, share photos and experiences. It enables
projects can become the basic ingredients in developing new information
them to make their own commentary, share information and advise their peers.
provision strategies for universities.
The time has come to empower the students with the tools to contribute. Univer-
The ESN projects are meant to provide a possible solution to the current ESN
sities need to implement online student networks to improve both their internal
on-line situation. Most of the section websites are not well built and they do not
and external communication and to deepen their relation with the student. The
offer enough services for the visiting students and do not fulfill the basic needs
student is eager to participate, willing to contribute as well as to receive.
of the section. Another important point is that the ESN on-line community, in
practice is shared and this in turn produces two main disadvantages:
each other advice and support, and produce meaningful content that is important to them. These networks can provide the tools for the students to become
content producers and close the gaps to fulfill the real needs of the students.
The content does not come from the universities alone, it also comes from the
students themselves, and their peer-to-peer interaction is a major portion of
> sections spend resources to implement the same
range of services for Erasmus students;
> information collected at the local level, useful to the whole
network, is not shared and it is difficult to reach.
the content. This information provision by peers is vital, as many students leave
their normal support network behind when they go study abroad. Most students
rely on their peers to help them make decisions regarding their studies. The collection of data from both universities and students would allow offering both
ESN Satellite Project
formal and informal information to intending visitors. If this is the way that stu-
All ESN sections have, on a different scale, the
dents today are choosing to access their information, then this is a reason why
same basic needs: all of them need to advertise
universities have to give it to them.
their events, to spread information to students,
to let Erasmus students sign up for activities, to give a professional image to
ESN strongly believes that the current developed projects by ESN: ESN Satellite,
potential partners; and almost all of them would like to have a nicer website,
ESN Galaxy and ESN Identity can be considered as the key-elements in the
easier to update and maintain.
creation of this high quality information platform.
Since the needs of every ESN section are similar, re-implementing the same tools in
every website is a loss of time; the final aim, thus, was to build a website template
with a set of instruments and content management tools that is ready to use and
that the sections can download and install in their web spaces in few minutes.
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
Online student networks allow students to communicate with each other, give
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
spite of the ESN spirit, is an isolated community: within it no knowledge and/or
This is the reason why ESN Satellite (Fig. 1) was born, in March 2006: to give
every section the opportunity to use a free, nice website template that ordinary, non-technical section members can update in an extremely intuitive
way. ESN Satellite is packed with features (news with comments, events calendar, partners list, customizable photo gallery, private areas for registered
users, automatically updated news from ESN International) and you have full
control on what you decide to activate for your section. It is also designed to
be completely interoperable with the very popular Drupal content management system: this allows anybody to extend ESN Satellite with new features
by installing one of the hundreds of freely available Drupal modules.
The template is also useful for all the community living inside the ESN network
Figure 1 - Example of ESN Satellite
Having a look around the current ESN websites we can have an idea about what
kinds of tools an ESN web site can contain. Just to point out some of them an ESN
Now, one year after the development started, ESN Satellite has been an astonish-
web site can provide:
ing success: more than 60 sections are adopting it as their default website and
the number of installations is steadily increasing. Moreover, ESN Satellite
> Content Managing System to easily publish and maintain content;
is becoming the standard platform for ESN event websites, regional plat-
> Events System to publish events and easily manage online
forms or other international meetings. ESN has a big community of ESN
> Members/Card Owners Registration;
Satellite administrators who share solutions to common problems and the
ESN Satellite documentation is growing with instructions and tips.
> Local Infocentre to upload and share useful documents;
> Housing and Hospitality System to help Erasmus students to find
a place or simply hospitality in other ESN members’ house;
> Job Offers System to help Erasmus to find a job in the host country;
> Buddy System to implement the Students Helping Students ESN
ESN Galaxy Project
Every ESN Satellite website mainly contains two
kind of information:
> Mailing Lists to reach ESN members;
> Forums, Photo Gallery, Chat, etc… to empower the sense
of community through ESN website members.
Community Information: every kind of content that makes the community
stronger (forums, guestbook, photos, etc…);
Helpful Information: useful information with helping purpose (housing system,
job offer, info about the host city, etc… ).
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National Platforms, Fun(d)raisers Coordination, Alumni Community, etc…
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like Working Groups, Organizational Committees of International Events or
A significant part of the helpful information could be really useful also outside
The ESN Galaxy (Fig.2) was born out of the following vision: creating a real net-
the local context: just think about an ESN member looking for a house in a new
work, with a fast and automated information flow between sections using a
city or a group of ESNrs that wants to have some information about ESN events
graphical, intuitive representation of the entire Erasmus Student Network.
of a city they are planning to go to.
The ESN Galaxy ( website displays a map of Europe (using
A way to achieve this is to share this kind of information by collecting it at the
Google maps) with balloons for every section in the Galaxy (potentially every
local level. In this way the local sections become a source of helpful and use-
ESN section): by clicking on a balloon you browse through the upcoming events
ful information for the whole network in sharing events, house and job offers,
of that section, links to “more information” pages, local news, local partners and
mentors and so forth.
contact details.
All the collected information will be kept, in a centralized way, in the ESN Galaxy
Moreover, it is absolutely effortless for a section to join the ESN Galaxy: all ESN
databases with several strong benefits for the entire network, such as:
Satellite installations can be enabled to automatically transmit news, events
for the whole network;
> it will be possible to have an European wide search through
no need of work but the initial registration. Even non- Satellite websites can be
configured to appear in the ESN Galaxy as long as you make specific RSS/iCal
feeds available.
the ESN resources;
> information collected could be used for statistic purposes;
The ESN Galaxy enables also better and more effective communication from
> having a huge amount of useful information could help in searching
the international to the local level: ESN Satellite can optionally be enabled to
for sponsorship/partnership.
automatically display a box with the latest news from ESN International, so
that information about important ESN projects like the ESN Survey can appear
on a dedicated box on the section homepage without any intervention from
the section.
ESN Identity Project
The third project, ESN Identity, is to empower
the sense of community by making the network
stronger. Now, in fact, the different ESN online
communities are like islands in the ocean. If it is important to share useful helping information it is, maybe, even more crucial to foster the contact among the
members of the network.
Figure 2 - The ESN Galaxy
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> local websites become a source of knowledge and information
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and partners to the ESN Galaxy, so everything will appear there with absolutely
To allow this, an ESN member needs to be able to access all the websites of
the network with the same username and password, if the local administrator
allows it, with an improvement of the sense of community.
Having access to all the network websites with the same authentication codes
means to move the first steps into the creation of a unique personal identity
within the network (Fig. 3).
Figure 3 – Personal Profile
Figure 4 – Where are you
Extremely fine-grained access control policies will allow every entity within the
According to the role within ESN Identity ESN members also get access to the ESN
ESN Identity to access exactly what is needed by its role: a section president, for
Supernova (Fig. 5) website. This is a pan-European website which aim is to make
instance, will be able to change contact details of his own section but not to see
the work of ESN International transparent, presenting the international board, the
details or members of other sections.
national representatives, the working groups and the webteam. Members of those
files and to manage working groups.
ent online Satellites with his username and password; his role will automatically
be recognized by the system and he will be given privileges to perform actions on
this Satellite as his role permits (most actions will be directly implemented, some
actions will need approval by the relevant responsible persons in ESN).
This project will make ESN stronger by using the potential that can be found
inside the network: the sections and their members. It will allow members within
the network to actively contribute to the knowledge and information within
the Network.
What is ESN? Such a short a question, yet up to now it was so difficult to answer.
You could answer; it is a huge network: dozens of countries, hundreds of sections,
thousands of members; but honestly numbers are far insufficient to describe it.
Words can already enjoy a much greater success: volunteers, students helping
students, national representatives, fostering mobility; but still not enough to
convey the meaning. Today, thanks to the ESN identity project, it is possible to
tell the external world what ESN is in concrete, beyond numbers and words, because all sections and all members belong to the ESN Galaxy. Every single individual receives his unique balloon within the ESN Galaxy (Fig. 4). It shows the world
that ESN is about sections and about members, not represented by a number but
by Satellites and Unique Individual profiles.
Figure 5 – ESN Supernova
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The main idea behind ESN Identity is that everyone in ESN can access the differ-
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
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Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
bodies receive the possibility to blog on their work within the network, to share
20th Erasmus Project
In the year 2007 Erasmus Program celebrates its
20th Anniversary. By this celebration ESN wanted
to show the importance of the academic mobility
to all the European citizens and demonstrate that by the meeting of other cultures
we can create a better Europe for the future.
The main activities of the event were:
Figure 6 – Example of Experiences on Website and ESN Galaxy
According to the words of Ján Figel’, European Commissioner in charge of Education, our goal should be to have this kind of platform where you would be able to
> Erasmus conferences everywhere
consult over 3 million experiences by 2011.
> mobility bus visiting the organized conferences
The Vision
A high quality information platform: dream or
I. To promote Erasmus and exchange to local students and to encourage more
students to go abroad
reality? We strongly believe that with the rise
of the new technologies and the developed
projects by ESN we are getting very close to reality. It should be a common
II. To make the European citizens understand the importance of mobility and of
Erasmus scheme
goal of a strong group of universities and a strong student organization,
such as ESN, to make it reality. The described tools allow universities to create their own information platform, fulfilling all needs of incoming students
III. To create a cultural exchange of stories and experiences between students
(using Satellite technology) and offering both formal and informal informa-
from different backgrounds (different countries, cultures, socio-economic
tion. These technologies also allow the creation of a more efficient way of
background, physical ability, gender etc) by publishing some of their stories
information and knowledge sharing and a systematic development of e.g. a
on a online platform.
central database of courses (using Galaxy technology). Moreover these technologies also enable the students to share their experiences and advice their
To support these aims of the project ESN made a website, where former Erasmus
peers (see 20th anniversary project).
students could upload their personal living story (Fig. 6). They could share their
experience with others, by writing their Erasmus story, uploading videos and pic-
The main lesson for universities is: students are eager to participate and willing
tures. In a second phase these experiences where used to promote Erasmus by
to contribute. A modern University should not only be the creator of information
creating a platform where everybody could read these stories by going to the
but also the facilitator and mediator of information. Universities need to create
ESN Galaxy. Every experience was given a unique identity and balloon inside the
the environment where students are stimulated to contribute with their own
ESN Galaxy.
information and knowledge. Students must be treated as co-information providers. If we build them a platform from which they will benefit, they will use it.
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
The main aims of the project were:
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Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
> website project to share Erasmus and exchange experiences
We need to offer them the technologies to fulfil their needs and to provide
solutions to their not yet known problems.
Universities that will have a high quality information platform and universities
that will be supported by a strong community of actively contributing students
will be the ones being most successful in attracting new students in the future.
After all the “word of mouth” is still the most trusted and powerful source of
University Of Warsaw
Library E-resources And
Information Services For
The Academic Community
3. ESN Supernova website
4. Drupal website
University of Warsaw, Poland
Noelia Cantero Gonzálvez,
Brussels Education Services, Belgium
6.White paper; Enabling the Social Company by Steve Outing; ENTHUSIASTGROUP,
7.Tim O’Reilly: “What Is Web 2.0 - Design Patterns and Business
Models for the Next Generation of Software”, available at
8.The Enterprise 2.0 Conference: Web 2.0 Continues Its Move to The Workplace;
Dion Hinchcliffe’s Web 2.0 Blog;
University of
Warsaw Library:
Basic Information
The University Library is one of the three largest
collections of scholarly books in Poland. Not only
does it function as the University’s main library,
but also as a public library. It contains domestic and foreign works from each of
the disciplines of the arts and sciences studied and taught at the University, with
collections in the humanities and social sciences most thoroughly represented.
The Library numbers approximately 2,400,000 volumes, including more than
1,500,000 books, 600,000 volumes of periodicals, early imprints, manuscripts,
graphics, musical scores, maps, and microfilms. As a whole the Library regularly
serves more than 100,000 readers, with more than 1,100,000 items accessed and
lent annually.
The Library was established at the founding of the University of Warsaw in 1817,
acquiring such collections as those of the Warsaw Lyceum, the private libraries
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
2. ESN Galaxy website
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Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
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Ewa Kobierska-Maciuszko’s presentation,
1. ESN institutional website
of King Stanisław Poniatowski and Stanisław Kostka Potocki, as well as libraries
from suppressed monasteries.
a bibliographic utility serving ca. 60 research libraries. The University online
catalogue is a WWW-searchable pool of one million records from the main
library and selected departmental libraries. Their number is supposed to increase.
The collection of rossica is extremely valuable and is one of the largest in the
world. The Library likewise possesses a large collection of Polish and foreign
The University Library ensures network access to approximately 50 CD-ROM
periodicals, newspapers, and administrative documents, with an especially im-
databases. Extensive access to full-text journals by leading publishers is being
pressive collection of the Warsaw press and underground periodicals from years
organized in various consortial settings to become operational in 2000. The
Library’s Reference Center is responsible also for several other networked or
local sources of information for and about the University.
Since the late fall of 1999, the Library occupies a state-of-the art building at the
distance of two blocks from the main campus, at the Powisle district where it
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
the University of Warsaw. Its over 40,000 square meters are able to house over
University of
Warsaw Library’s
new buildingbasic information:
- Total area: 61.000 sq meters
- Library area: 41.510 sq meters
4,000,000 items, of which approximately 200,000 are now on open stacks. There
- Overground levels: 4
is room for over 2,000,000 items on open stacks, and the shelf arrangement sys-
- Underground levels: 2
tem is Library of Congress Call Numbers.
- Storage capacity: 4.000.000 vol.
- Seats for readers: 1.000
The Library currently occupies four overground levels of the building: level 0,
- Library staff: 270
inaccessible to users, contains closed stack, acquisition, and a conservation
- Computer network: Windows 2003/XP/NT, Linux
lab; level 1 - Reference Department and Circulation Desk; level 2 - main Reading
- Library system: VTLS/Virtua
Room and Current Periodicals and Microforms Reading Room; and level 3 - spe-
- Library system server: SUN Fire v490 Solaris 10
cial collections. Most of the levels’ 1 and 2 surface is open stacks; individual
study cells, seminar and exhibition rooms are at various locations. The Library
is equipped to provide working place for 1,000 simultaneous users, and the
computer system allows 256 simultaneous sessions.
Technologies in
the Library:
Computer Room
The Library’s façade, inviting scholars with giant copper plates with fragments
In the Computer Room patrons may use comput-
of great writings in various alphabets, has already become one of the city’s
ers with text editors, our online catalogue and
Ultranet databases.
In 1992, thanks to a grant from the Mellon Foudation, the Library purchased,
Works may be printed, saved on diskette, or sent by e-mail.
together with several other Polish academic libraries, an automated integrated library system (VTLS). Since then, the Library has coordinated shared
cataloguing in Poland, and its Center for National Union Catalogue acted as
Connection to the Internet with portable computers
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struction of a new library was begun in 1995, financed by the Foundation of
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
is supposed to play the role of the anchor of the emerging new campus. Con-
As of October 14, 2002, the Library offer its patrons the possibility of connections
ers. It is available to those with a valid library card and a telephone connection
with the Internet via portable computers. Computers may be used on designated
with Internet.
stands in the area Philosophy. Psychology. Religion. Education. With these connections patrons may use, for example, full-text journal databases (with access
Upon registering, RAS users will receive an individual login and password. Patrons
to about 20,000 journals), to which the Library subscribes.
are temporarily connected to the University of Warsaw Library Net; they can use
electronic resources to which the Library subscribes.
Electronic Resources:
Available only from the University of Warsaw net computers (identification
through computer’s IP), the Library offers periodicals from different fields: both
natural and applied sciences; mathematics; economics, sociology, psychology,
Information literacy at the University of Warsaw Library:
online list of titles they can access at UWL. Users can quickly find and link to jour-
nals, searching by keyword or browsing an alphabetical list by title or subject.
The following online training courses are offered and can be consulted online:
Digital Resources:
This historical part of the University of Warsaw Library collection contains approximately 300,000 items of different origins, publication forms, and of great
> How to use library and Information Technologies facilities (training for beginners):
artistic value. Within this collection are true treasures of Polish and European
cultural heritage. These constitute our Library’s initial holdings, when it was
> How to use e-journals (training for graduate students):
founded in 1817, as the Royal University of Warsaw Library. Naturally, the trau-
matic history of our country, city, and University has left a profound mark on our
Library collection. Today our collections of early imprints, prints, manuscripts,
maps, music, and ephemera comprise the unique source of knowledge used by
The Library’s policy regarding information technologies follows the guidelines
researches from every branch of science and humanistics.
adopted at European and international levels:
Selected items from the Library collection, scanned and recorded on CD-ROMs,
> Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities:
are available in the Current Periodicals and Microforms Reading Room. Some of
them are also available online, in the ULTRANET or in the Internet. All CD-ROMs
are available in our online shop.
> IFLA’s three pillars and World Summit on the Information Society Declaration
of Principles:
Remote Access Service
As of February 1, 2002, the Library offers Remote Access Service (RAS) to employees and students of The University of Warsaw. This service provides access
to the University of Warsaw Library’s electronic resources from home comput-
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
bases are also available. A-to-Z service gives library patrons one comprehensive
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and other social sciences; medicine; culture; and others. Different Internet data-
Laurea University of Applied Sciences, Finland
[email protected]
Good orientation to the host country, its culture
and host Higher Education Institution (HEI) ensures a successful exchange period for the visiting student. This article introduces the virtual orientation and guidance Laurea
provides together with the students’ union LAUREAMKO for incoming exchange
students. The development from only orientation to online peer support and
guidance is described together with first experiences and findings for challenges
and further development. It all aims towards a well orientated exchange student
and successful student exchanges at Laurea.
Previous orientation
The orientation and guidance provided for incoming students concentrated previously on informa-
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Raisa Saviaho, International Relations,
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
Virtual Orientation And
Online Peer Support
For Incoming Exchange
Students At Laurea
tion at the web pages and in welcoming letters, personal advice given usually
by e-mail, and the tutoring and orientation that took place once the exchange
Welcome to Finland
student had arrived to Finland. A supportive e-learning study unit on Finnish lan-
The development started with renewing Laurea’s
guage, culture and society was also available. Despite of the study unit’s avail-
external web pages with new information
ability to exchange student online prior to their arrival, it was not used much.
for incoming exchange students. The existing
Reason for this might have been its study orientated outlook and difficulties
e-learning study unit on Finnish language, culture and society, which was
with recognition of study points at home HEI.
located at an online e-learning platform called Optima, was chosen to host
discussion forums and internal information. Using an existing e-learning tool not
The orientation did not include interaction apart from the personal advice,
only made the development easier, but also helps exchange students to learn
which was mostly between a single exchange student and a student tutor, or
how to use Optima, which they will need in their studies at Laurea.
The orientation and guidance workspace for incoming exchange students is
international coordinators at the same time, creating excess workload. More
called Welcome to Finland. It is a password protected workspace that students
importantly, the advice shared was only known by the two communicators and
are given access to with a visitor login and password. Exchange students receive
exchange students could not learn from each other.
Aiming for better
Although no major problems were experienced
with the previous orientation, Laurea wanted to
provide better service for incoming exchange students and try to reform students’ expectations to better match the reality they
are facing upon arriving to Finland. The overall target of the development is well
orientated incoming exchange students and a successful learning experience
for both the student and Laurea. This translates to shorter adjustment time for
the students, especially with practicalities that consume much of the student’s
concentration and energy, and is therefore anticipated to result better academic
performance /1.
Picture 1. The front page of Welcome to Finland workspace at Optima
Other important objectives for the improved orientation are minimising the
e-learning platform.
overlapping work of personal advice, ensuring good quality information also
during holidays, and introducing the incoming exchange students among each
other and with local student tutors. The last of these is very much sought after
by exchange students themselves /2.
T hematic interviews with current exchange students at Laurea,
Saviaho, September 2007 and Maiworm & Teichler, 2002.
Feedback from visiting students to Laurea from academic year
2006-200, Garam, 2003 and Krupnik and Krzaklewksa, 2006.
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
questions were asked by different exchange students from student tutors and
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
an exchange student and one of Laurea’s international coordinators. Same
their personal logins and passwords upon their arrival to Finland. The picture
made the availability for personal advice challenging. A shared platform allows
below features the opening page of Welcome to Finland.
wider participation and is cost affective as it balances and decreases workload
thus releasing resources. The online orientation and guidance is also more varied
Welcome to Finland workspace has been divided into sections according to the
when more people are contributing to the discussion. Below Figure 1 presents
main practical issues of interest to incoming exchange students:
the different orientation and guidance phases for exchange students coming
to study at Laurea. The virtual orientation and guidance is most important prior
> Accommodation; information on rental options, times, rent,
handling keys, housing rules etc.
to the physical exchange, but use of the workspace is encouraged throughout
the exchange.
> Tutoring, orientation and student benefits; information on tutoring
and tutor students, arrival days, orientation
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
of previous years’ exchange students, discussion among the
arriving students
These sections include information on the issue and a discussion forum that
everyone can use to ask and answer questions. The discussion forums enable
students to view messages posted by others and receive much more varied and
detailed information this way. Linguistic and intercultural preparation is also
Thinking of going on an exchange;
Information available at home
institution and at
Application and acceptance
important /3, and the workspace includes a broad section on Finland with information on Finnish culture, society and language, quizzes, links to internet pages
-> Access to ’Welcome to Finland’
Continuing using ’Welcome to
Finland’; sharing it with spring
terms’ incoming students
Orientation week and camp
Face-to-face tutoring
(by student tutors and god families)
Arrival days
and a service guide for international students in Finland.
By providing an online platform for sharing information and getting to know one
another, a virtual community can be created prior to the physical mobility. This
is a completely new interactive element in the orientation at Laurea. The com-
Using ’Welcome to Finland’ to orientate
for the exchange, receive guidance and get
to know tutors and other incoming students
munity offers peer support among the ’exchange students to be’ and the Finnish
tutors, and creates a feeling of being welcomed. Feeling welcomed and receiving
support prior to the exchange can influence the incoming exchange students’
Figure 1: Example of incoming student mobility process to Laurea
motivation and approach towards the experience positively and relief the anxi-
when the exchange period is autumn term.
ety of facing the unknown /4.
Welcome to Finland acts also as an archive, fulfilling the object of ensuring
correct and good quality information for all incoming exchange students at all
times. Previously the differing times of summer holidays within Europe have
T empus Public Foundation, 2006.
Thematic interviews with current exchange students at Laurea,
Saviaho, September 2007.
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
> Experiences of former exchange students; advice and experiences
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
week, student benefits in Finland etc.
Preliminary results
Future development
The new virtual orientation and guidance has
Welcome to Finland -virtual orientation and guid-
been in use since spring 2007, and has been suc-
ance is being developed based on the experienc-
cessful so far. Exchange students have given posi-
es and feedback so far. Changes are made to the
tive feedback on the Welcome to Finland workspace. Especially the vast infor-
workspace layout to make it more user-friendly, and information on studies and
mation, open communication and discussion forums have received recognition.
study methods at Laurea will be added. Increasing the involvement of student
“A LOT of information” and “discussion is good, especially getting in touch with
tutors and international coordinators is encouraged, for example student tutors
others coming to Finland and with flatmates” are some of the comments from
are asked to write introductions of them selves and to participate in giving guid-
interviewed exchange students. In the discussion forums students have noticed
ance to incoming students.
that they are not alone with their questions. Receiving answers and support has
given them a welcomed feeling /5.
Guidance from previous year’s students to next year’s students is an important
trymen and other exchange students /7. Current exchange students have been
ICT and language skills, previous experience of different e-learning tools and in-
requested to write about their experiences and give recommendations for the new
ternet, and view on chatting culture. The interactivity of virtual orientation de-
exchange students from the point of view of their own culture, and also in their
pends on the activity and interest of the students themselves. A portion of all
native language. Continuance is formed by using the same workspace, thus allow-
incoming exchange students have been active users, similarly to the way only a
ing the new incoming students to view previous discussion and to learn from it.
percentage of all students are active students. Inactivity can also be explained
by so called ‘digital culture shock’, which refers to the difference between home
and host HEI in using digital tools such as e-learning platforms, electronic enrolment and other online applications. Some interviewed students, who had vis-
ited Welcome to Finland but had not used it much, explained their inactivity: “we
The development in Laurea’s virtual orientation
have nothing like this [at home HEI]”. Cultural differences exist also in credibility
and online peer support ‘Welcome to Finland’ has
of guidance. To some students ‘spoken’ information or individual advice is more
proven to have been successful in reaching its
reliable than written general information, and they look for confirmation with
goals so far. Despite of this, there is still room for improvement and challenges
questions “Do these instructions / rules apply to me as well?” /6.
to face, thus the development work will continue. The virtual orientation and
peer support are however here to stay, and will most likely become more popu-
Challenges lay also on the other side of orientation and guidance, as the ICT skills
lar and an area for further cooperation between Laurea and its international
and previous experience in using online tools of the people giving guidance
partner institutions.
influence the quality of virtual orientation. A feeling of ‘owning the workspace’ is crucial to user activity, because if you do not feel a workspace (that has
been created by someone else) is for you to use, you do not tend to use it. Challenges with the technical application of Optima system, its layout and usability,
and with the use of visitor login also create room for improvement.
Thematic interviews with current exchange students at Laurea,
Saviaho, September 2007.
Thematic interviews with current exchange students at Laurea,
Saviaho, September 2007.
Garam, 2003, Krupnik and Krzaklewksa, 2006 and Amillo 2005.
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
The challenges of virtual orientation and guidance are connected to students’
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Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
development area as exchange students tend to seek for advice from their coun-
1. M
AIWORM, W. AND TEICHLER, U. (2002) The Students’ Experience, Erasmus in the Socrates
Programme, Findings of an Evaluation Study, ACA Papers on International Coopertation
in Education.
The Sumit Project
And The Bologna Process
2.GARAM, I. (2003) Advanced and unusual. Finland as seen by international students and
trainees. Occasional Paper, 1/2003, Centre for international Mobility CIMO
3.KRUPNIK, S. AND KRZAKLEWKSA, E. (2006) Exchange students’ rights. Results of Erasmus
Student Network Survey 2006, Erasmus Student Network
4.TEMPUS PUBLIC FOUNDATION (2006) Generation – Dissemination of results and best
practices for raising the profile of Erasmus Mobility, Final report,
University of Warsaw, Poland
Noelia Cantero Gonzálvez,
Brussels Education Services, Belgium
The SUMIT conference’s /8 title ‘Enhancing Student Mobility in a Digital World
– Sharing Experiences in an Enlarged Europe’ contains words that are in the
cornerstone of the Bologna Process and that should make us reflect upon:
> Student mobility; ICT; Enlarged Europe; Experience; Sharing; Enhancement.
The Bologna Process promotes the preparation of graduates for the European
and International labour markets. It enhances academic and professional mobility, the recognition of qualifications, skills and competences and personal development. It also educates for and promotes a clear European citizenship, which
involves a European identity and the participation in democratic processes.
Student mobility is at the heart of the European policies in the field of Education
and it has opened the door to the development of new concepts and provisions.
It implies internationalisation strategies, innovation and modernisation in insti8/
The SUMIT conference was held at the University of Warsaw in Warsaw
(Poland) on October 11-12, 2007.
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
Jolanta Urbanikowa’s presentation,
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
Facilitating student learning through study abroad and international projects – ITiCSE 2005
working group reports,
tutions and in processes; it also encompasses curricular reform and quality of
> Promote Erasmus as a vehicle for quality mobility in different
provision. Trust and recognition are highly encouraged. Quality is another key
aspects: recognition (wider use of ECTS), mobility arrangements,
element when discussing about mobility. It ensures that mobility fits a purpose
proper documentation, linguistic support, social and cultural
and it also promotes mobility as a driver of change and not as a mere fact.
support, information and communication
> Digital world: it is not a remedy but an essential support instrument
It is important to underline that student mobility doesn’t affect the education sector in exclusivity. It promotes European ideals, it responds clearly
to Euro-scepticism. It can also pave the way for institutional reforms. It sees
as it supports:
> Identification and mapping of what is already available at Higher
Education level.
Europe as a place to work and develop careers and creates an open, flexible,
> Stocktaking of grass roots initiatives.
mobile, multilingual and multicultural workforce.
> Incorporation into the system.
> Empowerment of all students and staff.
omy in the world’ (Lisbon European Council 23-24 March 2000) the Commission
> Dissemination of good practices: as for example in the University of
promotes, among the concrete objectives of education and training systems
Warsaw and regarding ICT provisions /10:
‘Increasing mobility and exchanges’ with a view to opening up education and
> University Study-Oriented Support System (USOS)
training systems to the world . As mentioned in the last Erasmus Student and
> Centre for Open and Multimedia Education (COME)
Teacher Mobility Reports (data from the Socrates National Agencies), to achieve
> University System of Language Provision (USNJO)
the objective of 3 million Erasmus students by 2012 mobility will have to increase
> University Library
an average of 8 % annually. It is an objective that can certainly be attained, how-
> Internationalisation at home and virtual mobility.
ever experience shows that mobility, as an instrument, hasn’t reached its full
potential in supporting the Lisbon and Bologna objectives and a few challenges
The SUMIT project provides, in an enlarged Europe, the right forum for discus-
remain to be solved:
sion of relevant issues as the access to information, pre-exchange of ICT services,
linguistic support, post-exchange ICT supported services, mobility as an element
Funding (average Erasmus grant is 200 EUR).
> Imbalance between incoming and outgoing students: while
of internationalisation strategy, social networking software to serve academic
community, the role of the university library, etc.
UK, Ireland and Spain register a higher number of incoming
than outgoing students (for various reasons), countries in
Central and Eastern Europe experience the opposite trend.
> Despite the growing number of mobile students, it represents
only a minority of the total student population in Europe.
Some actions that could be implemented include:
> Increase the funding support not only at European level but also
as regards the contributions from the national authorities.
ommunication from the Commission on the Work Programme for the
follow-up of the Report on the Concrete Objectives of Education and
Training Systems COM (2001) 501 final and Commission Staff working
paper: ‘Progress towards the Lisbon objectives in Education and
Training’ (2005).
Further information about the University of Warsaw and its ICT support
services can be found in another chapter on this same publication.
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
In order to become ‘the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based econ-
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
> Quality enhancement and assurance.
Working Group Reports
During the SUMIT Conference, four Working Groups discussed
topics relevant to the subject of ICT in student mobility.
The Group discussed these topics: If a student
is still deciding at which university and country
to visit, what are the most effective ways to enable them to gain access to such information? Can the 12 new EU countries
use ICT-based methods to make themselves more attractive to intending visit students? How might IRO websites and online services help in this process?
What sorts of information should be provided and how (eg websites, through
online communities, via past visitors) and in what language(s)?
----> Contributed by Denise Haywood, University of Edinburgh, UK
The group first identified the problems in student mobility facing the new
member states of Europe. These included particularly lack of reputation of
their countries and/or cities as suitable locations to visit, finding partners in
an already mature Erasmus ‘market’, and language issues.
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Working Group 1:
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
This chapter contains short reports from those discussions.
Creating a reputation: The view of all the participants from the new or acces-
them can act as ‘ambassadors’ for your university. To encourage this one has
sion states of the EU were that developing a reputation as a good university to
to ‘reward’ them in some way, and methods suggested included giving small
visit was difficult. It was felt that students tended to choose the country, then
amounts of credits towards their studies, contributing to travel costs etc.
the city, then the university and lastly the course and so for small universities
outside their capital cities in these countries it was difficult to be attractive to
Language: It was suggested that students who spend one year on a visit often
students. They had to seek students from wherever they could, and try to offer
spend the first semester learning the language (having had little or no knowledge
something different, such as courses that were interdisciplinary and not likely to
of it before arrival) and the second semester being able to study in it. Thus they
be available in other universities.
may be tactical and take more technical subjects which they can understand
in English. Helping students make these choices, offering ‘crash’ courses in the
local language in the summer, or using ICT with ‘strong’ partner universities to
negative as well as positive aspects, as it adds to the problem of the disappear-
establish an electronic buddy or mentoring programme and/or access to self-
ance of diversity in European languages, and especially those spoken only by
tutoring language courses online were all possible methods of increasing the
relatively small numbers of people (eg Croatian, Latvian). It also may impact on
number of students who might choose to study in the local language.
cultural diversity as a consequence.
Finding partners: In the 20 years of the Erasmus programme a rich network of
One risk that all the universities worried about was creating enclaves of Eras-
university partnerships has been established, and many universities are not
mus and other visiting students, isolated from the mainstream of the university
seeking new partners. This is especially true in those countries and cities that are
and its local students. They felt that this was against the spirit of Erasmus, and
very attractive to students. Thus for new entrants to the Programme, it is hard to
also would not lead to good stories and experiences being taken back to the
make enough good partnerships, even though their universities may be well-es-
students’ home universities.
tablished and of excellent quality. Ways of finding partners were discussed, and
included using face-to-face contacts and working through the contacts of the
All participants felt that students returning with good experiences to talk about
academic staff of the university to make openings that could be expanded later.
was essential to a steady flow of visiting students each year. Newer methods to
It was felt that in this area ICT had little to offer, as personal influence was more
increase this flow could be developed on the internet, for example by asking vis-
powerful. Joining university networks could also be helpful.
iting students to write short stories or descriptions of their experiences in their
own language and posting these on the university website. High ‘Googlability’
was essential as most students use search engines to find information about
potential visit locations. Student stories are more ‘believable’ than International
Office publicity.
Working Group 2:
This Working Group focussed on the student
experience immediately before the visit. Once
The development of online communities such as the developing ESN Satellite
a student has selected a university to visit: What
website meant that one had to be aware of where these internet communities
(IT) services should the university provide before the actual visit begins? Can the
were and made sure one had the right sorts of materials represented there. Cul-
university help the student prepare for the visit? Are there any services accessible
tivating good relationships with these associations means that the students in
by the network that would make student’s participation in new activities easier?
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
An effective method of encouraging students to visit is to offer courses in English, and teachers of English are usually eager to help to do this. However, it has
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
more easily in the local language than courses with discourse, or take courses
----> Contributed by Dr Leszek Rudak,University of Warsaw, Poland
buildings, main works of art, top ten pop music hits, etc.;
> actual political information, describing the system of the
On-line services
state, the ruling party, and the head of state, at least.
Let us consider a few proposals of services that the hosting university can offer
to foreign students before they knock at its door. It is neither a full nor a closed
4. A photo gallery of “VIPs” of the hosting university
list of possibilities. It is just a couple of examples of on-line services.
This photo gallery may include photos of the Rector, Deans, Professors, Lecturers,
Miss and/or Mister of the University (if any), people (officials, students) that will
1. On-line registration, on-line library registration, university computer
take care of visiting students, etc.
The universities’ offer
serious problem – apart from the internal infrastructure of the university (if the
The majority of the universities keep pages in a foreign language in its web por-
university does not have a system of electronic registration for its own students
tals - above all, in English (though there are universities having part of the serv-
it will obviously not offer it to foreign students either) – which is identification.
ice in Chinese, too). However, only few of them have special pages for foreign
2. Virtual tours
assigned to student exchange depends on the number of students visiting the
A virtual tour of the university campus available to students before their visit
institution: the bigger this number, the greater the interest in such students, of
is one of the most attractive proposals the university can offer to its guests.
course. In each case a web portal is only a place where the student can find the
Certainly, it will be easier to move around the campus if one can see it earlier in
information – but to do so, he must become acquainted with it. And so a new
the “virtual world”.
problem arises: how to make students interested in the information about the
students. Web pages are of “general” purposes mainly. The scope of the portal
university, the town and the country before the visit?
3. General, language and culture „survival kits”, political information
“Survival kits” is a name for short e-courses, presentations, sets of texts and
Some universities offer on-line registration. These are mainly large universities
illustrations containing useful information.
that have an electronic system for the registration of their own students. Usually they offer a version of the registration adapted to foreign students (usually
These include:
in English). However, many universities do not have a separate English version
well adapted to foreign student’s needs. The registration of exchange students
> general survival kit, containing: bank holiday days, typical shop
is being made by hand on the base of applications on paper forms, then. An IRO
opening hours, police uniforms, important phone numbers, tickets
worker enters data into the electronic system. Registration is being made in
for public transportation - kinds and prices, measurements, etc.;
many universities only after the student arrives at the given place.
> language survival kit with: main words and phrases (thank
you, good morning, where am I?, show me the way to the
Additional electronic services (outside on-line registration and basic informa-
university, please, etc.), names of foods (bread, apple, salt,
tion contained in the website) for foreign students, such as language courses
etc.), units of measurement (metre, pound, pint, etc.);
or virtual tours on the campus were introduced in few colleges only. The uni-
> culture survival kit, including: history of the country, historical
heroes, artists (actors, painters, writers, etc.), historical
versity is also offering access to its electronic resources mostly only after the
student physically appears at the university.
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
On-line registration is most important here. However, this service gives rise to a
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
network access, e-learning environment access
The problems
----> Contributed by Noelia Cantero Gonzálvez, Brussels Education Services, Belgium
Most often the reason given for a small number of on-line services offered to exchange students before their visit is the lack of IRO staff. Probably the problems
The discussion started with a presentation by Chantal Serman from Paris 3 Uni-
with financing the preparation and maintenance of such services are hidden here.
versity in France about a blog supported by the University Department of Communication. Through this tool, students who are or have been abroad can post
Second, no less important reason, is the language barrier, e.g. registration
and comments their experiences. She explained that on September 2006 there
on-line, library training course, campus maps are all prepared in the national
were 17.000 students enrolled at Paris 3, out of which 5.000 were international
language only, so a student from the different country cannot use it (some-
students. The University has over 220 partners being 130 from Europe. Accord-
times it is the consequence of law regulations in the country). The language
ing to a survey carried out by the Erasmus Student Network, the three main con-
barrier is a most serious problem in student exchange at every stage, not only
cerns when dealing with mobility are recognition of study periods, provision of
just before the visit.
information and financial restrictions. Mobility recognition and financing are
ten decentralised. This results in spreading duties related to foreign students
ing students before, during and after the period abroad and promote initiatives
among different units and then proper co-ordination is missing.
which are design by and for students. The interactive blog presented is meant
to provide authentic student’s experience at the host institution. Students ap-
The problem of time is the last essential reason for incomplete electronic serv-
preciate the honesty in personal perspectives, practical advices and helpful
ices provided to students visiting the university, which I want to mention. This
financial, academic and cultural information. The blog is easy and free to use:
problem concerns the universities from countries, which are new members of the
European Union. Student exchange involving these colleges only started about
3-4 years ago and only recently concerns a large number of students. Hence the
For the time being the blog is monitored by a Paris 3 or foreign student with the
need of offering online services for foreign students appeared relatively recent-
support of a Department of communication’s staff member.
ly. Time for carrying all the ideas out was very short. Many services are still in the
phase of testing or designing and they will certainly come into existence soon.
In Finland, there is no such centralised support service. It is up to each individual
student to create his or her own blog. However there are some initiatives trying
to promote more lively forms that students will fill out when they are back from
their period abroad. Student organisations as the Erasmus Student Network are
the ones in charge of supporting initiatives as blogs in Poland.
Working Group 3:
This Working Group considered the following
questions: After the visit to another university,
The contact with the Erasmus visiting students once they are back at home var-
what might students reasonably expect to be
ies from one place to another and it very much depends on the organization and
provided by means of ICT? Continuing information such as that offered to
structure of the institution. At Krakow university international students are inte-
alumni, electronic transcripts supplied automatically, electronic transfer of
grated in the overall system and they don’t depend on the international relations
credits, continuing access to some university services to enable them to look
office but on the Vice-Rector for student affairs. It has been proven a better way
back academically at their period of study visit etc?
to integrate foreign students. A similar situation is true in the case of Laurea’s
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
improve the quality of the information provided, both for outgoing and incom-
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
to be tackled at national and international levels, however universities should
The next reason is the organisation of the university. Large universities are of-
University of Applied Sciences where there are international representatives in
all the faculties and the central administration is staffed with 20 people only.
Working Group 4:
As for the kind of contact that is provided, some universities send newsletters,
This Working Group discussed: How might a uni-
include them in mailing lists and/or invite them to different events that can
versity fit the ERASMUS mobility programme
be organised.
into its global international approach and policy?
What is the interaction between student mobility and global international
Despite problems like lack of motivation, participants agreed that it is very
policy? Do the institutions of higher education have several strategies for mobil-
important to keep in contact with the foreign students once they are back at
ity/ How do the Universities fit the Erasmus programme into the larger mobility
their home institutions:
scheme? What is the relation between student mobility and mobility in general?
A/ For the Hosting institution: The student who goes back home becomes a
----> Contributed by Alina Grzhibovska, University of Latvia, Latvia
natural Ambassador of the institution abroad, he/she promotes its brand and
by representatives from Bulgaria, Denmark, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Slovenia
B/ For the foreign student: for personal (contact with friends) and professional
and Croatia. Some universities had an internationalization strategy even before
(further research, undertaking other studies) reasons.
joining the Socrates program, but some consider that to have an action plan is
even more important than a strategy. In Latvia, for example, the number
It is mentioned that in order to keep the contact, an offer with different services
of both incoming and outgoing students increases by 30 % yearly. PhD students
should be presented to the students before they leave. However, what could this
are encouraged to be more active than BA students as the benefits of doctoral
offer mean? What should universities include in this ‘after mobility’ package?
students’ mobility are greater for the university.
Participants agreed to put together in the next coming months a small research
Socrates/Erasmus is not the only way to increase student mobility. Bilateral
project to identify what student expectations towards the hosting institutions
agreements play still an important role and this type of cooperation between
are once they have gone. A survey consisting of 5 to 10 simple questions could be
universities is very beneficial. An example of this is UNICA. Exchanges between
drafted and passed it on to foreign students before they leave. This survey would
network members can also contribute to the internationalization of the insti-
reveal real student needs. The research project should involve not only universi-
tutions of higher education. National and international exchange programs
ties but also student organisations as Erasmus Student Network. It should take
play an important role.
into account examples of mobility within the countries signatories of the Bologna process and not only those participating in the Erasmus programme.
An interesting case was discussed by the University of Zagreb. As Croatia is
not yet part of the Erasmus mobility scheme the University of Zagreb has to
Participants will study the possibility of submitting such a proposal under the
use other programs and ventures to increase student mobility and interna-
Lifelong Learning Programme and present its preliminary results at the follow-
tionalization. It has signed many bilateral agreements with foreign institu-
ing EAIE conference.
tions of higher education which allows its students to study abroad. It also
allocates some funds to support students going on exchange. The University of Zagreb actively participates in the CEPUS program and also makes
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
Different examples of international approach in higher education were presented
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
is a key element for its marketing and internationalisation strategies.
use of cooperation within networks such as UNICA or University Rectors’
student to come and study at his/her home institution.
> offering more programs in foreign languages
> focusing on the incoming students as they will go back
Student mobility is often seen as the best measure of internationalization.
home and share their experiences with other students
> individual approach to incoming students (easily accessible
Universities are trying to increase the numbers of foreign lecturers.
information, orientation program, mentor/buddy system)
Sending PhD students on Erasmus or other exchange programs can be more
Another important issue is how does the Erasmus (or other mobility) experience
beneficial to the University than sending BA students. PhD students already
help in the search for a job?
Erasmus students seen as more open minded, independent and willing to learn
PhD students’ mobility is lower than that of BA and MA students due to several
Switzerland as an example of student mobility within one country. Students
factors. Firstly PhD students have to publish a certain number of articles and
are encouraged to study (for part of their degree program) at an institution of
professional works which makes it difficult to move to another country. Secondly,
higher education in the canton which has a different main official language. This
most PhD students have certain teaching obligations.
allows the students to expand their horizons and gain a better understating
of the structure and functioning of the country. There are some problems with
Student mobility cannot be discussed only in terms of students going abroad
the recognition of study programs in different cantons and offered in different
for part time studies but also for full degree programs. A market approach
to full degree programs in foreign languages is clearly visible as most of these
programs generate income for the University.
What factors affect student’s decision in whether to choose the capital city or
a smaller town to study in?
Foreign students studying at a University which participates in the Erasmus
program can take part in this program. The conditions for their participation
vary from country to country. In Poland and in Latvia there are special programs
and funds for students form Belarus. In Estonia the government allocates funds
for the education of Estonians living abroad.
Ways to encourage foreign students to come:
> students going abroad are the ambassadors of their university, city
> In smaller towns students expect personal approach, smaller
living expenses and less accommodation problems.
> In capital cities students expect better access to facilities,
wider choice of entertainment and study opportunities.
How to motivate lecturers to teach in a foreign language?
> larger payment
and country so they are encouraged to promote their university
> going abroad opportunities
and convince foreign students to come. An interesting idea from
> teaching in a foreign language taken into consideration when
one of the Polish institutions of higher education is that each
outgoing student should encourage at least one foreign
deciding on promotions.
> combination of local staff and foreign guest lecturers
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
University (ex. to conduct research)
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
know what they are interested in and have different reasons to go to another
> video conferencing
> checking lecturers’ language abilities
Conclusions and summary
Lecturers age might be a problem with the foreign language teaching as some
older professors might not be interested in teaching in a foreign language. PhD
students should be given the possibility to teach classes in foreign languages.
Jeff Haywood, Information Services,
University of Edinburgh, UK
In some countries lecturers have a high proficiency of English but sometimes
[email protected]
they don’t feel secure enough to teach in that language.
Classes offered in foreign languages are seen as more dynamic by the local students. The presence of foreign students makes the classes more appealing for
Major obstacles for student mobility:
> students work so they do not want or can not move abroad for a
semester or a year
> in some countries as many as 75% of all students are paying
students so during their studies many of them work.
In the conference we heard about many excellent examples of ways to use
technology to support student visits to universities in other countries. Student
mobility is an important element of European higher education, and it is excellent that so many European universities are using ICT to enhance the quality of
experience of their visiting students. There are three major areas for action:
Raising awareness: We need to do as much as possible to raise awareness in all
the ‘actors’ of the possibilities that ICT is opening up. There are various ways
in which we can do this, for example through conferences, seminars and newsletters of university networks (such as UNICA, Coimbra Group, and Santander),
professional associations (eg the European Association for International Education for Internal Relations Offices), local, and national student associations
(such as ESN, ESIB) and government education agencies, especially those closely
concerned with mobility (eg national Erasmus and Leonardo da Vinci Agencies).
As so much development and innovation in universities is dependent upon the
actions of the teachers and their Faculties, it is vital that we raise their awareness of the opportunities and the examples of good practice that exist.
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
students to travel and take part in exchange programs.
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
local students. Taking part in classes with foreign students can encourage local
Quality of services: We need to critically examine our universities and their serv-
to enable students to access facilities (including the internet) at other Europe-
ices through the eyes of both our incoming and our outgoing visiting students.
an universities without the need to register physically at them; and simpler
For our incoming students we need to be sure that the information we offer them
methods to find suitable courses in other European universities. Some progress is
online is good and fit for purpose, enabling them to see information about sev-
being made with these at high levels, but national governments need to strongly
eral aspects of university life – the courses and modules they are permitted to
encourage their universities to participate in them as soon as they are workable.
take, if they can matriculate and choose courses online in advance of their arriv-
Eduroam, which can provide an easy-to-use wireless network across European
al, the means of access to libraries and IT facilities, what software and hardware
HE, is an excellent example of this sort of development. It works well in many
is available and what they will need to provide for themselves etc. The University
universities but has not been implemented yet at the majority.
I am sure that the quality of discussion and presentations at the SUMIT confer-
and relevant – they may also need to present some information in more than
ence, hosted by the University of Warsaw, reinforced our commitment to work
just the local language. Some of this information flow can be well supported by
together to enhance the quality of experience of all those students who wish
means of electronic buddy systems etc that make use of ICT for communications
travel between our universities to gain wider experience of European academic
between students and/or teaching and administrative staff.
and social life.
Just as incoming students need to be supported, so do outgoing students. They
have to be ready to study for a long period away from their home university supports, possibly in settings that offer much more or much less use of technology.
Attention to this area can reduce the stress of the early weeks of the visit.
Language support: Language remains a problem area for exchange and visiting students. Some excellent progress is being made in the use of ICT to enable
students to acquire or practice elementary skills in the local language of their
host university. Universities could help their incoming students by making use
of these, or pointing them towards external websites that contain teaching and
self-assessment materials. The less widely-spoken European languages may require most attention of universities in these countries are to attract substantial
numbers of visiting students. The buddy system may be one method of helping
students through a friendly peer tutor.
European & national actions: Being creative within individual universities is not
difficult – there are many examples of innovation to copy or adapt. However,
some activities can only be facilitated through national or European level actions. Examples of these are: methods to transfer credits for study automatically
between universities, which requires standards to operate to; a single identity
---> e-version of this book on
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
ing from it to the various services websites. These sites need to be in harmony
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World
Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe
website is where most students begin their search for a university to visit, mov-
Enhancing Student Mobility
In A Digital World
Sharing Experiences In
An Enlarged Europe
Mobility allows students to improve their personal skills and employability. By creating opportunities and improving the quality of mobility
universities offer a unique platform where students gain experience
and contribute to the making of Europe. The SUMIT project (Supporting Mobility through Information and communication Technologies)
aims to support the objective of 3.000.000 Erasmus students by 2011
in an enlarged Europe. It also envisages showing universities in the
targeted countries how ICT can be used to enhance the quality of the
student and university experience of exchange, which, eventually, will
lead to increased numbers of mobile students. In the following pages,
the reader will learn about many excellent examples of ways to use
technology to support student visits to universities in other countries.
The present publication also contains conclusions and recommendations
for future practice.
Authors: Mirta Baranovic, Tsvetan Bogdanov, Noelia Cantero Gonzálvez, Antonio
De Marco, Ewa Derkowska-Rybicka, Christof Devriendt, Denise Haywood, Jeff Haywood,
Anna Laudy, Ewa Kobierska-Maciuszko, Andrea Pescetti, Iveta Putnina, Dorota Rytwi´ska,
Peter Vanhee, Raisa Saviaho, Wojciech Tygielski
an inititative of :
our partners :
Réseau des Universités
des Capitales de l’Europe
“This project has been funded with support
from the European Commission. This publication communication reflects the views only
of the author, and the Commission cannot
be held responsible for any use which may be
made of the information contained therein.”
ISBN/EAN : 978-90-9022635-4
Network of Universities
from the Capitals of Europe
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