As the new year begins, the EUF is excited to unveil eight EU-funded projects aimed at enhancing the higher education landscape for students across Europe. These projects — ErasmusGAP, SET, PADMICA, DACEM, DIEM, HOME2, DETAS, and QualityLink — represent our commitment to improving student mobility and inclusivity within higher education.
Erasmus Gap aims to draw attention to the existing gap among students with realistic opportunities for mobility and those without. Based on robust data from both institutional and European levels, a set of policy recommendations will be produced, describing the changes needed to ensure the implementation of a significantly more inclusive mobility programme.
The Sustainable Erasmus+ Travel (SET) project was designed to support the ongoing transition to a more environmentally sustainable Erasmus+ programme. This will be achieved by analysing the travel patterns of students, including the implementation and use of the green top up, and assessing what tips the balance for students to use more sustainable means of transport. An online competition will be set up for students to showcase the experience of their journey to and from their mobility destination through more sustainable modes of transport. We will produce a digital repository of green competencies gained when travelling sustainably and create a framework for the recognition of such skills.
PADMICA aims to foster intercultural competences among outgoing students to improve the quality of their mobility experience. The project will develop ready-made blended intercultural preparation and debriefing modules, that are rooted in intercultural education theory and have a culture-neutral approach. A train-the-trainer module will also be implemented to enable International Relations Officers/Higher Education Institutions staff to deliver those modules to their students.
The Digitising Academic Catalogues for Enhanced Mobility (DACEM) initiative aims to improve the academic experience for students participating in the Erasmus+ programme. Through an open-source software and cloud platform, DACEM seeks to improve the accessibility, consistency, and transparency of Course Catalogues (CCs) in line with the ECTS Users’ Guide. The project focuses on seamlessly integrating with existing tools while advocating for transparency, accessibility, and recognition in higher education. Furthermore, the project strives to create a more equitable and connected European Education Area by addressing persistent challenges faced by students accessing course information, ultimately enhancing academic mobility.
Diversity and Inclusion in Erasmus+ Implementation (DIEM) aligns with the 2021-2027 priorities of the Erasmus+ programme, aiming to make Erasmus+ accessible to all students. Through rigorous evaluation, data analysis, and policy research, DIEM focuses on identifying barriers hindering access to mobility and proposing effective solutions. The DIEM project will address common hurdles faced by all students, focusing on academic elements like recognition and grading. Its mission focuses on bringing about transformative changes at individual, organisational, and sectoral levels, driving improvements and pioneering new approaches in inclusive mobility.
HOME2 – Home of Mobile Europeans builds upon the legacy of the HOME initiative. Led by Politecnico di Milano, HOME2 aims to create inclusive and supportive housing environments for students across Europe. Recognizing the pivotal role of housing in student well-being and success, this initiative addresses complexities in both university-provided housing and private accommodations. It endeavours to tackle emerging challenges while continuing to champion student-centric housing solutions.
The Digitalising Erasmus Traineeship Application & Support (DETAS) project contributes to increasing the number of students participating in Erasmus+ mobility placements in a more diverse set of labour conditions and improving their experience on the ground. It will increase the visibility of quality internship opportunities for Erasmus+ students in small and medium enterprises through targeted awareness-raising and advocacy efforts. Activities will include a significant overhaul of the erasmusintern.org portal with technically enhanced solutions as well as an intensive advocacy and promotional campaign. Policy recommendations to be developed on a quality framework for internships could potentially be integrated into the next Erasmus+ programme.
QualityLink (Exchanging Quality Data across European Higher Education) aims to improve student choice by furnishing them with all relevant information about courses and micro-credentials from a diversity of sources to allow them to design flexible learning pathways. A set of domains and indicators for course quality, as well as a standard for publishing trusted lists and a unique course identifier, will be produced. A compilation of ‘quality datasets’ will collect information about the courses and micro-credentials, and a web portal will link together these course datasets. A roadmap for further scaling of the standards and the portal will also be part of the work.
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