In international context, mobility has
been on the agenda for many years as a
key aspect of the internationalisation
of higher education.
From the start, increased mobility has
been one of the key objectives of the
cooperation in the Bologna Process.
The Bologna Process was initiated by
the European ministers for education
in 1999 with the goal to develop Europe
into a common space for higher education
where the students can move
freely across the boundaries.
Already in the first declaration in 1999,
it was a distinct objective to promote
European mobility for students as well
as for teachers, researchers, and
administrative personnel by taking
away obstacles to mobility.
Later on, it has also become a goal to
promote the development of joint
European courses of study and joint
degrees, which will also contribute to
further the mobility 7.
Quantitative objectives for mobility
were established for the first time with
the declaration from the latest Bologna
Process ministerial meeting in Leuven
and Louvain-la-Neuve in the spring of
2009. In 2020, at least 20% of the graduates
within the European space of
higher education shall have spent a
study period or an internship abroad
as a part of their education 8.
Also for the educational cooperation
in EU, mobility has become an issue
of ever increasing importance. In May
of 2009, the ministers of education
adopted a new strategy framework for
European cooperation in education
until 2020. With this strategy framework,
the EU member states define
common challenges and common
goals for the education sphere in EU.
The new strategy framework is an extension of the present framework
that is in force for 2001-2010.
The strategy framework comprises four
strategic goals one of which is ‘realisation
of lifelong learning and mobility’.
The realisation of the goals will be
measured by common benchmarks.
Some of these benchmarks have
already been set whereas others are
under development. Thus, with the
new strategy framework, the first
steps have been taken to develop a
common European benchmark for
mobility over the next couple of years
beginning with focusing on physical
mobility for higher education between
Lately, the European Commission has
adopted the Green Paper “Promoting
the learning mobility of young people”
in July of 2009. The purpose of the
Green Paper is to open up the debate to
stakeholders and the public about how
to strengthen the opportunities for
learning mobility of young people. The
Commission regards learning mobility
as a means that can contribute overall
to building a knowledge intensive
society, and that mobility therefore
can contribute to strengthening
Europe’s competitiveness and to realizing
the Lisbon Strategy for growth
The purpose of the Green Paper is to
- promote organised learning
- promote learning mobility between
the countries currently participating
in the EU programmes, while at the
same time seek to develop exchanges
with the wider world,
- promote boundary-crossing mobility
between like institutions (schools,
universities, enterprises, etc.) as
well as mobility between different
sectors, for example from an educational
institution to an enterprise,
- focus on physical mobility while also
recognising the value of virtual
7 The meeting of ministers in Bergen, 2005.
8 The 20% is an overall goal for the European space of higher education. The task of developing an
indicator for the goal is a part of the work plan of the Bologna Process in the years to come.