The globalization of higher education and the accompanying mobility of higher education is increasing. The number of international students worldwide is projected to be 7 million by 2020. The globalization of higher education has brought about changes that have resulted in a shift in focus on how to offer higher education to students from different countries as a well-marketed product. The economic aspect is also important for the development of higher education mobility, but the need for a highly qualified workforce is seen as the main reason.
Under the Lisbon Strategy, the European Union must become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world. Higher education mobility is seen as a process of mutual enrichment for both the sending and receiving countries. Reasons to attract students to their countries of destination include English as the language of instruction, the diversity of academic curricula and the quality of academic offerings. Study mobility pursues a variety of objectives - to establish an international strategic alliance between different Member States and regions, to strengthen mutual understanding, to create and share new knowledge, to train highly qualified professionals and to improve academic quality.
Various studies emphasize the added value of study mobility for the student in developing social, linguistic, intercultural and other skills, as well as for academic staff, the university and society at large, thus providing an opportunity to meet the needs of the labor market. In addition to supporting the labor market, study mobility encourages people to think in a new way and creates a wealth of opportunities for cultural development, including the development of language skills and new learning methods.
Study mobility is an opportunity for students to study abroad to acquire valuable skills and broaden their horizons. The benefits of mobility are widely recognized. EU countries have agreed to double the proportion of students who spend a period of study or training abroad, to reach 20% by 2020. Support for learning mobility remains a central theme of the European Union's education and training program.
Importance of mobility and cooperation in higher education
Going abroad to help students develop their professional, social and intercultural skills and increase their employability. Students who have traveled abroad are more likely to find work within a year of graduating. According to a number of impact studies, nine out of ten employers are looking for workers with cross-sectoral skills - problem solving, teamwork, curiosity - just the students who are moving abroad to acquire these skills. Impact studies have found that collaborative projects such as Smagrinet help to better prepare for the digital transition of most participating universities.
Mobility and cross-border cooperation can also help reduce skills shortages by promoting the specific skills needed in today's labor market. One example of such cooperation is the internship program offered at Smagrinet, which aims to enable students to gain hands-on digital experience in energy. The development of new forms of cross-border cooperation will certainly also help to improve the quality of higher education.
Impact of the Smagrinet – International Mobility Programme on Europe
The impact of the Smagrinet has been huge - not just for the student himself, but for the European economy as a whole. Smagrinet helps to create a strong link between university and employers through high-quality teaching and a modern higher education system, trying to solve the problems of suitability of workers of different origins in the new labor market. In addition, our education program gives students the confidence and capacity to work in vacancies abroad and fears that they will be absorbed into working life in a new country.
Smagrinet will also provide teachers with the opportunity to compare higher education systems at foreign universities and bring home the best ideas to those students who cannot study abroad.
The study trip briefly shakes the student who is going to study or practice abroad - forcing us to leave the comfort zone. However, the student who is going to study will give good feedback because he or she will honestly say what he or she thinks about the local teachers and the learning environment. It helps us understand the level at which we are teaching and learning quality. He also tells us how tolerant we are of foreign cultures. This kind of feedback, which is virtually free, is invaluable.