From Virtual Mobility to Virtual Erasmus: Offering Students Courses and Services without Boundaries

From Virtual Mobility to Virtual Erasmus: Offering Students Courses and Services without Boundaries

George Ubachs (European Association of Distance Teaching Universities, The Netherlands) and Christina Brey (European Association of Distance Teaching Universities, The Netherlands)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-358-6.ch013
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Abstract

In higher education, international student mobility has become increasingly important for learners as well as for institutions. But today’s mobility schemes are first and foremost aimed at physical mobility. This approach covers the majority of students, but does, however, not take into account the needs of the lifelong learners who are not mobile due to family or work commitments, or who are constrained by disability, or do not have the financial means for traveling abroad during their academic education. The need to offer all students in higher education the possibility of an international experience and the European strategy of boosting student mobility requires new and alternative mobility concepts in addition to physical mobility. The European Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU) initiated an operational analysis of virtual mobility under the e-move project. Different models of virtual mobility have been developed, analysed and put into practice. This chapter will explore how a particular virtual mobility scheme can be put into practice and what is required from an organisation to implement this model and incorporate it into its own curriculum.
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International Student Mobility In Europe: A Summary

The growing importance of international student mobility is embedded in the context of the changing landscape of higher education worldwide and can eventually be conceived as a result of three developments on a broader societal level. In a globalised world, people’s lives are less-and-less constrained by geographic proximity (Baumann, 2000; Stichweh, 2003). The world has become smaller and travelling as well as meeting people from foreign countries has become a regular routine for many of us. In the process of individualisation, traditions and institutional regulations have eroded and in a “multiple-options society” (Gross, 1994) people can and have to make choices in all spheres of life, including their education, career and professional development (Beck, 2004).

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