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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 Contents 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. 5 7 Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World Jeff Haywood 13 Role Of ICT Instruments In The Management Of The Decentralised Erasmus Activities Dorota Rytwi ´ ska 25 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 41 Digital Tools In Service Of Mobility – From Local Case To National Perspectives Ewa Derkowska-Rybicka 47 How ICT Is Used By Erasmus Student Network At The University Of Warsaw. Anna Laudy 55 Enhancing Student Mobility By A Web 2.0 Platform: The Erasmus Student Network Experience Christof Devriendt, Peter Vanhee, Antonio De Marco, Andrea Pescetti 65 University Of Warsaw Library E-Resources And Information Services For The Academic Community Ewa Kobierska-Maciuszko, Noelia Cantero Gonzálvez 79 Virtual Orientation And Online Peer Support For Incoming Exchange Students At Laurea Raisa Saviaho 85 The Sumit Project And The Bologna Process Jolanta Urbanikowa, Noelia Cantero Gonzálvez 93 Working Group Reports Denise Haywood 97 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 Acknowledgements 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 (www.unica-network.eu) 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. Countries. 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 www.uw.edu.pl; www.bwz.uw.edu.pl 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 certification •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) 60 52 50 45 40 35 4. ICT at the University of Warsaw 30 24 Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World 10 3 2 5 1 5 5 2 3 7 9 • 1 2 1 5 7 Austria Belgium Bulgaria Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland France Germany Greece Hungary Ireland Italy Lithuania The Netherlands Norway Portugal Romania Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden Switzerland Turkey UK Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe 0 8 14 12 10 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 10 19 15 Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World 20 11 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] 13 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. 14 An excellent introduction to all these topics, plus links to the EU sources can be found by themselves or other agencies (so-called ‘freemovers’ ). at the Europe Unit website at: www.europeunit.ac.uk/home/index.cfm 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 ubiquitous: 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 15 > 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 provision. less technology-confident or exploratory, and some young adults are relatively 16 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- The VICTORIOUS 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 17 Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe teaching, communications with teachers and administrator have increasingly 18 Enhancing 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 perspective 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- 19 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. 20 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 perspective 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 21 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 References 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; 22 > 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; www.eurostudent.eu/abt2/ab21/eurostudent/report2005/ 2. S EUSISS REPORT (2001), www.intermedia.uib.no/seusiss/index.html 3. O BSERVATORY ON BORDERLESS HIGHER EDUCATION, www.obhe.ac.uk/resources/surveys.html 4. U CISA STATISTICS 2005, www.ucisa.ac.uk/activities/stats/stats05.htm 5. DUCAUSE SURVEY OF UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS & ICT 2007, www.connect.educause.edu/library/abstract/theecarstudyofunderg/45075 6. S POTPLUS REPORT 2003, www.spotplus.odl.org/ > 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. Acknowledgements This chapter is based significantly on the findings and discussions that took place within two EC-funded projects, VICTORIOUS (www.victorious-project.org) and VMBASE (www.europace.org/rdvmbase.php). I wish to acknowledge the contribution of the members of these projects to my thinking in the area of student mobility and Conclusions 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, 2. EUROSTUDENT DATA, Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World through another EC-funded project called VM- 23 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 25 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. 26 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- 27 Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World: Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe – Croatian Example Introduction 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 29 Information 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 . 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. 30 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 . 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 , they are presented on the Web (www.isvu.hr), 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- 31 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- 32 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 Incoming student University of Zagreb International Students’ Office Institution and support are present. University of Zagreb provides for the incoming students Communication Links both: the ICT infrastructure developed on the country level, and the local institu- Forums, Chat Alumni tional infrastructure. As an example of this institutional infrastructure, the Fac- Information Contracts ulty of Electrical Engineering and Computing can be mentioned here because its E ducational Programs L earning Agreements 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- CARNet Standardised XML documents electronically signed CARNet Students’ Restaurants SRCE ISVU ISSP 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 AAI @ Edu HR CARNet CARNet Students’ dormitories 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 Library 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 Faculty e-Campus CMS - content - news - repositories - surveys - forums, chat, ... - L earning materials AHyCo - e -Learning systems WebCT Moodle Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe The University of Zagreb is still far from being in- Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World Information systems in higher education on institutional level 33 Conclusions 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- 34 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 References 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 ARANOVIC, M., BORCIC, M., HUNJET, D., KALAFATIC, V., KRANJCEC, D., MESARIC, J., PEH, B. (2003), Iinformation System of Higher Education in RH (in Croatian). Zagreb, www.isvu.hr 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 35 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, 37 “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. 38 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 Development 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 39 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 40 Iveta Putnina, International Relations, with the participation of all LLP Coordinators of the Bulgarian Universities. Vidzeme University College, Latvia. Introduction to Vidzeme University College 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: www.va.lv/en 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 41 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; 42 • 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 internships 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 43 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 system: 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 44 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 resources. 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 45 References 1. ANGRESS, A, MATTHIESEN, G. (2007) University-Enterprise Cooperation: Building on New Challenges From Past Experience, Project Report. www.eu.daad.de/imperia/ md/content/eu/lllp/veranstaltungen/university_enterprise_web.pdf 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 46 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, 47 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 48 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 – achievements 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? Socrates/Erasmus 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. in Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe In October 2004, a fusion of two universities: the Nicolaus Copernicus University 49 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. 50 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 development 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? Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe > Can this be done and in which way? 51 > 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. 52 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 Conclusions 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 53 How Ict Is Used By Erasmus Student Network At The University Of Warsaw [email protected] Introduction 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 55 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 students. 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. Mentor 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 56 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 www.esn.uw.edu.pl, 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 57 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. 58 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 involved. TANDEM 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 Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World 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 esn.news dedicated to Polish ex-Erasmus 59 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 60 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. Problems 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 Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe 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- 61 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: 62 > 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. Conclusions 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. 63 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; Abstract 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. Introduction 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; 65 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, 66 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- experienced. 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 Universities 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; 67 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 experiences. 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 68 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 69 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 70 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 subscription; > 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 principle; 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… ). Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe National Platforms, Fun(d)raisers Coordination, Alumni Community, etc… Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe like Working Groups, Organizational Committees of International Events or 71 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 (www.galaxy.esn.org) 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 72 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 Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe > local websites become a source of knowledge and information Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe and partners to the ESN Galaxy, so everything will appear there with absolutely 73 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 74 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 Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe The main idea behind ESN Identity is that everyone in ESN can access the differ- Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe bodies receive the possibility to blog on their work within the network, to share 75 Example: 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 76 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: Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe > website project to share Erasmus and exchange experiences 77 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 information! University Of Warsaw Library E-resources And Information Services For The Academic Community References 78 3. www.supernova.esn.org ESN Supernova website 4. www.drupal.org Drupal website University of Warsaw, Poland Noelia Cantero Gonzálvez, Brussels Education Services, Belgium 5.Final Report of the VICTORIOUS Project: STUDENT MOBILITY IN A DIGITAL WORLD; www.coimbra-group.eu/victorious/ 6.White paper; Enabling the Social Company by Steve Outing; ENTHUSIASTGROUP, www.enthusiastgroup.com/ 7.Tim O’Reilly: “What Is Web 2.0 - Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software”, available at www.oreilly.com/pub/a/oreilly/tim/news/2005/09/30/what-is-web-20.html 8.The Enterprise 2.0 Conference: Web 2.0 Continues Its Move to The Workplace; Dion Hinchcliffe’s Web 2.0 Blog; www.web2.socialcomputingmagazine.com/ 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. www.galaxy.esn.org ESN Galaxy website Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe Ewa Kobierska-Maciuszko’s presentation, 1. www.esn.org ESN institutional website 79 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 1939-1945. 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 80 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. Information 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 landmarks. 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 Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe 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- 81 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 References natural and applied sciences; mathematics; economics, sociology, psychology, 82 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- > www.buw.uw.edu.pl 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): www.moodle.come.uw.edu.pl/course/category.php?id=14 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- www.buw.uw.edu.pl/en/index.php?option=com_content&task= matic history of our country, city, and University has left a profound mark on our view&id=117&Itemid=85 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 www.oa.mpg.de/openaccess-berlin/berlindeclaration.html 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: www.ifla.org/III/ThreePillars-compact.pdf 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- > LIBER: www.libereurope.eu/what Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe bases are also available. A-to-Z service gives library patrons one comprehensive Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe and other social sciences; medicine; culture; and others. Different Internet data- 83 Laurea University of Applied Sciences, Finland [email protected] Introduction 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 85 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. 86 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. 2/ Feedback from visiting students to Laurea from academic year 2006-200, Garam, 2003 and Krupnik and Krzaklewksa, 2006. 1/ 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 87 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 88 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 SPRING Giving feedback Thinking of going on an exchange; Information available at home institution and at www.laurea.fi 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. AUTUMN 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 3/ 4/ 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 Joining Laurea’s Erasmus Alumni Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World week, student benefits in Finland etc. 89 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 90 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- Summary 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. 6/ Thematic interviews with current exchange students at Laurea, Saviaho, September 2007. 7/ Garam, 2003, Krupnik and Krzaklewksa, 2006 and Amillo et.al. 2005. 5/ Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe The challenges of virtual orientation and guidance are connected to students’ Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World Enhancing Student Mobility In A Digital World Sharing Experiences In An Enlarged Europe development area as exchange students tend to seek for advice from their coun- 91 References 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 www.cimo.fi 3.KRUPNIK, S. AND KRZAKLEWKSA, E. (2006) Exchange students’ rights. Results of Erasmus Student Network Survey 2006, Erasmus Student Network www.esn.org 4.TEMPUS PUBLIC FOUNDATION (2006) Generation – Dissemination of results and best practices for raising the profile of Erasmus Mobility, Final report, www.english.tpf.hu/pages/books/index.php?page_id=15&books_id=1. 92 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 5.AMILLO, JUNE, FULLER, URSULA, LAXER, CARY, MCCRACKEN, W. MICHAEL & MERTZ, JOSEPH (2005) Facilitating student learning through study abroad and international projects – ITiCSE 2005 working group reports, www.delivery.acm.org/10.1145/1120000/1113892/p139-fuller.pdf?key1= 1113892&key2=6715667711&coll=GUIDE&dl=GUIDE&CFID=15151515&CFTOKEN=6184618 93 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. 94 > 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. /9 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 C 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). 10/ Further information about the University of Warsaw and its ICT support services can be found in another chapter on this same publication. 9/ 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. 95 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. 97 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 98 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 99 ----> 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. 100 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 101 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 102 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 www.erasmusblog.com. 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- 103 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 104 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. 105 use of cooperation within networks such as UNICA or University Rectors’ student to come and study at his/her home institution. Conference. > 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? 106 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 languages. 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 107 > 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 108 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 109 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. 110 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 www.unica-network.eu 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- 111 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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Rodway-Dyer, S. Dunne, E. Newcombe, M. (2009) Audio and screen visual feedback to support student learning, in Davis, H. Creanor, L. McPherson, M. Rennie, F. (eds.) In dreams begins responsibility choice, evidence, and change, Conference Proceedings, Association for Learning Technology, pp. 61-69.
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