What is it?
"Learning mobility" consists of going abroad to study or undertake training. EU Ministers have agreed to double the proportion of higher education students completing a study or training period abroad to 20% by 2020 and support for mobility is a core focus of the EU programme for education and training; Erasmus+.
Why is it needed?
Going abroad to study or train helps people develop their professional, social and intercultural skills and increase their employability.
The recognition of academic qualifications gained abroad, however, is still too difficult; the portability of grants and loans is restricted and obstacles hinder the free movement of researchers within the EU.
Developing new forms of cross-border cooperation will also help to improve the quality of higher education.
What has been done so far?
The European Higher Education Area (Bologna Process) has brought about far-reaching changes which make it easier to study and train abroad: the bachelor-master-doctorate structure and advances in quality assurance have facilitated student and staff mobility and strengthened institutions and systems.
In parallel to setting the 20% mobility target, in 2011, EU education ministers adopted a Council Recommendation on promoting learning mobility, in which they committed to creating a more positive environment for learning mobility. This Recommendation seeks to improve the provision of information and guidance about mobility, increase the recognition of academic qualifications, and improve the portability of student support.
The use of European mobility and quality assurance tools such as ECTS, the Diploma Supplement and the European Quality Assurance Register facilitates mutual trust, academic recognition, and mobility.
The Erasmus+ programme provides direct support to people wishing to study or train abroad and to projects which support cross-border cooperation between higher education institutions.