Working Group on Mobility 2009-2012
The Bologna Follow-Up Group (BFUG) decided to set up a Working Group on Mobility considering the provisions of the Leuven/Louvain-la-Neuve Communiqué. The main task of the Working Group on Mobility was to draft a mobility strategy “Mobility for Better Learning” by Ministers in 2012.
Terms of reference
Considering the provisions of the Leuven/Louvain-la-Neuve Communiqué, the decision of setting up a separate Working Group (WG) on Mobility was endorsed by the Bologna Follow-Up Group (BFUG) in its meeting in Brussels held on November 30 / December 1, 2009, at the proposal made by the WG “Reporting on the Implementation of the Bologna Process” after its first meeting held in Luxembourg on November 4, 2009. During the same BFUG meeting the Terms of reference (ToR) of the new Mobility WG have been approved by setting the following purposes and / or outcomes for this WG:
- To contribute to the discussions in the working group “Reporting on the Implementation of the Bologna Process” on development of a precise definition of the benchmark mentioned in the Leuven/Louvain-la-Neuve Communiqué;
- To identify problems related to the balance of incoming and outgoing students and identify examples of good practice;
- To assess the structural, legal, financial and other obstacles to mobility of students and staff and to identify possibilities for action for Ministers and stakeholders in order to improve mobility;
- To draft an EHEA Strategy for mobility, for adoption by Ministers in 2012, based on the collection of good practice on mobility and with the purpose of stimulating further efforts in the area of mobility.
Through the same ToR the specific tasks have been defined and it was stated that Germany through Peter Greisler will chair the Mobility WG, as well as that the Chair will participate in meetings of the WG on Reporting on the Implementation of the Bologna Process in order to liaise with stocktaking and data collection. Beyond regular meetings and ongoing consultations of drafts, the work of the group has been accompanied by and benefited from several inputs and relevant mobility seminars organised by different stakeholders, e.g. the DAAD seminar "From Imbalanced to Balanced Mobility in the EHEA – Current Challenges and Perspectives for the Future” in March 2011 and the workshop “Exploring the possibilities of an internet-based admission system for studies in the EHEA”, organised in the course of the Working Group’s work, in November 2011.
The main outcomes of the WG meetings can be consulted on the following pages:
- The Mobility WG had its first meeting in Berlin on January 13, 2010.
- The Mobility WG came together for its second meeting in Berlin on May 12, 2010.
- After the BFUG meeting in Alden Biesen (24-25 August 2010), the Mobility WG had its third meeting in Budapest on November 4, 2010
- The fourth meeting of the Mobility WG took place in Berlin on March 29-30, 2011, in conjunction with the DAAD seminar From Imbalanced to Balanced Mobility in the EHEA – Current Challenges and Perspectives for the Future”.
- The fifth and last meeting was held on August 24, 2011
Mobility strategy 2020 for EHEA
During the BFUG meeting held in Cracow (13-14 October 2011) the Chair of the Mobility WG presented to the BFUG members the draft Mobility strategy 2020 for the EHEA.
The BFUG concluded that the received feedback on the draft Mobility strategy would be integrated and the consolidated version of the draft Mobility strategy and the Mobility WG report will be re-discussed and hopefully endorsed at the next BFUG meeting.
In addition, the Chair of the Mobility WG prepared and attached to this version a written proposal called Line of action regarding the mobility strategy “Mobility for better Learning – mobility strategy 2020 for the European Higher Education Area”.
During the BFUG Board meeting held in Copenhagen on 30 November 2011, the Chair of the Mobility WG suggested that the BFUG should adopt the EHEA mobility strategy and ask the ministers to endorse it in the Bucharest Ministerial Communiqué.
The Board agreed that the EHEA mobility strategy should be adopted by the BFUG and most likely endorsed by the EHEA ministers as an enclosure of the Communiqué.
After this meeting the Chair of the Mobility WG redrafted an updated version by considering the BFUG Board meeting comments as well as other relevant comments received during the time from the Mobility WG’s members.
This new version (of 28 November 2011) was circulated on 13 December 2011 to the attention of the BFUG members.
Conclusions and recommendations
The five meetings of the Working Group on Mobility clearly demonstrate the importance and the different conceptions of mobility in the EHEA. Especially a close cooperation with other BFUG Working Groups and Networks and with the European Commission have been very useful in this context.
The main task of the Working Group on Mobility was to draft a mobility strategy “Mobility for Better Learning” by Ministers in 2012, thereby contributing to the overall goal of successful implementation of the European Higher Education Area by facilitating high quality mobility in higher education at all levels and for everyone as well as ensuring good conditions for mobility:
- The strategy offers a whole array of measures for governmental and institutional actors to further boost mobility. It provides recommendations on how to encourage high quality mobility and on stimulating further efforts in the area of mobility.
- A more precise definition of the benchmark mentioned in the Leuven/Louvain-la-Neuve Communiqué is proposed and efforts to accommodate the issue of the mobility benchmark with the European Commission have been made.
- In addition, the issues of balanced mobility and mobility obstacles have been analysed and assessed by the WG. Examples of good practice in this context have been referred to in the group’s discussions.