The joint campaign of EI and the European Students' Union (ESU) for Staff and Student Mobility in Europe is in full gear. Entitled "Let's Go", the campaign is supported by the European Union's Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP) and aims to achieve full freedom of movement for higher education staff and students in Europe.
Earlier in February, the campaign website (www.letsgocampaign.net) was officially launched at the meeting of EI's Higher Education and Research Committee (HERSC). The website contains a wiki section, where visitors can contribute to the knowledge database of the situation of staff and student mobility in each country in Europe. It also contains a Barometer section, which rates each European country on its openness to staff and student mobility. Soon, a quiz section will be put in place to allow visitors to test their knowledge about the Bologna Process and issues concerning the freedom of movement for higher education staff and students in Europe. An online petition is now available for signing. It is the result of a multi-levelled cooperation between EI and ESU members - the first draft of the petition was posted on the wiki and EI's European representatives on higher education and ESU representatives contributed to the editing of the final version through the wiki. The petition will also be presented for signature and support to all governments and stakeholders within the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). Goals of the Let's Go Campaign Since 1999, European ministers responsible for higher education have worked together in the so-called Bologna Process, aiming at creating a European Higher Education Area (EHEA) that will be attractive to European students and researchers, as well as to students and researchers from abroad. One of the objectives is the facilitation of the study/work mobility for students, academic and administrative staff. Despite intensive intergovernmental cooperation and unfulfilled promises, many students and staff continue to experience frustrating delays, costly obstacles, and lost educational or career opportunities. Mobility is important for students and academic staff to gain new skills, to become aware of the importance of international cooperation, and to learn to work in a multicultural environment. The higher education institutions can only develop and further their quality if their academic staff and students are internationally-oriented. European identity can only be developed if people can move across borders freely. For peace and prosperity to develop, society needs highly-educated citizens who are able to interact across cultures. Through this campaign and the support of all higher education staff and student in Europe, both EI and ESU aim to obtain:
- Mobility grants are available for all students, and will cover both tuition and living costs;
- all work periods abroad for staff to be recognized for recruitment and promotion;
- free language courses in every higher education institution for students and staff;
- free visa and residence permits for students and staff in higher education;
- social benefits and pension schemes to be mobile across European borders; and,
- a European Charter for Mobile University Teachers to be developed.
For more information, or to help us by signing the online petition, please visit: www.letsgocampaign.net