Publisert: 07.mar 2018
Endret: 07.mar 2018
Barriers towards Nordic Mobility and suggestions on how to improve equity in Nordic student mobility
When we compare the output from investigations and experience made from the NNDC expert group with the student voice, we find a quite close correlation in both defining barriers and addressing action to improve mobility.
The barriers revealed in the project are:
- Lack of information and knowledge, both at the systemic level (HEIs and the public sector) and the individual level (counsellors and students)
- Roles and responsibilities between stakeholders supporting mobility are not well defined
- Lack of encouragement at the right level, especially at the HEIs and at funding institutions
- Lack of role models, at all levels
- Lack of overall policy, and there are gaps between policy and practice
- Lack of sufficient funding to cover additional costs
- Health conditions that limited possibilities to spend long time abroad are important individual challenges for mobility
The students and the NNDC expert group have sorted out a lot of key actions to improve mobility.
A: Collaboration between disability/accessibility coordinators and international student services need to be strengthened.
- Create a forum for information sharing and good preparation of international mobility.
- Make a roadmap for accessibility and mobility at a Nordic level.
- Clear up roles and responsibilities – who is doing what in each country (municipalities, HEIs, public welfare, national organisations)
- Bring forward student ambassadors through Nordic information channels
- Ensure that there is an agreement on accessibility and disability support in the general university agreements on student mobility.
- Develop a Nordic “mobility-disability-coordinator” to promote equity in international mobility and advise national and HEIs’ mobility offices.
B: Investigate alternative routes
Some students prefer (due to health conditions, family situation etc.) to participate in short-term mobility in Nordic or European HEIs. This could be addressed through intensive support, e.g. medical care, therapies and 24h assistance are easier to organize and provide for a short term. The ESMHE project believes that the Nordic HEIs and countries have means to negotiate and offer alternative options.
- Rebuild the current criteria for funding international student mobility (by ministries, funding agencies, European Union), which now are limited to a minimum of three months’ study abroad.
- Investigate the challenges in short time exchange studies.
- Develop well supported short-term study periods (in Nordic or European countries) and internationalization at home HEIs
C: Call for more research and investigations
- Use research results in a wider scale: send the online survey used in this study to all Nordic HEIs and interviews of students with disabilities in each country.
- Study how alternative approaches encourage students to participate in Nordic or international mobility.
- Follow up mobile students with disabilities to identify ways how mobility influences their employment and careers.
- Involve students with disabilities in conducting the studies and disseminating findings.