Mobility and Cooperation

EU Ministers have agreed to double the proportion of higher education students completing a study or training period abroad to 20% by 2020. Support for mobility remains a core focus of Erasmus+, the European Union's programme for education and training.

What is it?

"Learning mobility" is an opportunity for students to develop valuable skills and expand their horizons by going abroad to study or undertake training. The great benefits of mobility are widely recognised. A survey among young Europeans (between 15 to 30 years) shows that more than 90% of them consider it important to have opportunities for mobility experiences.

EU Ministers have agreed to double the proportion of higher education students completing a study or training period abroad to 20% by 2020. Support for mobility remains a core focus of Erasmus+, the European Union's programme for education and training.

If you are a student ready to seize the opportunity to study or train abroad, start your journey by downloading the Erasmus+ Mobile App – your step-by-step guide for before, during and after mobility.

Why is it needed?

Going abroad to study or train helps people develop their professional, social and intercultural skills and increase their employability. Mobile higher education students are more likely to have found a job one year after graduation compared to their non-mobile counterparts; 93% of mobile higher education students say they appreciate the value of other cultures more after their mobility; 84% improve their language skills; and 80% feel that their problem-solving ability improved after their mobility. According to the Erasmus Impact Study, 9 out of 10 employers are looking for transversal skills (problem-solving, team work, curiosity) when recruiting – the very same ones that student gets from an educational experience abroad.

Mobility and cross-border cooperation can also help bridge the skills gap by boosting specific skills needed for the modern labour market. An example of such cooperation is "The Digital Opportunity traineeship initiative" which aims to give students of all disciplines the opportunity to get hands on practical digital experiences.

Developing new forms of cross-border cooperation will also help to improve the quality of higher education and help facilitate recognition of academic qualifications gained abroad.

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: both the bachelor-master-doctorate structure and advances in quality assurance have facilitated student and staff mobility and strengthened institutions and systems.

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.

However, there is still more to be done to ensure learning mobility opportunities for all. For this reason, the Commission has published a proposal for a Council Recommendation on promoting automatic mutual recognition of diplomas and the outcomes of learning periods abroad. The Commission is also developing the concept of a European Student Card, which will facilitate exchange of student information, and the creation of networks of European Universities, which will aim at increasing competitiveness, quality and excellence in teaching, research and innovation.