Students and Academics: perceptions and experiences of mobility

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Higher Education Institutions are engaging in multiple strategies to provide students with global competencies aligned with professional requirements and heightened citizenship expectations. At the celebration of its 30th anniversary, Erasmus is
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  Students and Academics: perceptions and experiences of mobility Margarida M. Pinheiro 1  | Belem Barbosa 2  | Cláudia Amaral Santos 3  | Sandra Filipe 2  | Dora Simões 4  | Gonçalo Paiva Dias 2   1 CIDTFF - Research Group 2 - Science, teaching, learning and society, University of Aveiro 2 GOVCOPP; 3 CLLC; 4 CIC.DIGITAL, University of Aveiro Students, tourism and employability skills Our results take account of evidence on how traveling opportunities are an intrinsic part of Erasmus students’ mobility. In turn, the extended contact with a different language and culture transform mobility students into perfect ambassadors of the host country, contributing meaningfully to the promotion of their mobility destinations. In general, this research provides evidence coherent with existing literature, including the studies of María Cubillo, et al. [2] and Rodríguez, et al. [3]: Erasmus students normally receive family and friends and recommend the destination; they travel around their host country, normally in a group, which is an exceptional opportunity to getting familiar with other nationalities in a multi-cultural context. The conclusions of the research are therefore twofold: not only do our results confirm an essential connection between mobility and travel - the second possibly operating as the key trigger in the process of choosing the host institution - but also highpoint broader issues at institutional level. The way mobility students of today live Erasmus will echo itself unavoidably in Europe's HEI future learning paradigms. In fact, HEI can take advantage from the perceptions of mobility students regarding the decision process and their notion of what it is to be an Erasmus by dedicating a closer analysis to their activities as knowledge and learning providers in such a way as to accommodate academic success and class attendance with complementary attractive aspects that would strengthen the academic mobility experience as a whole. Moreover, these skills are viewed as fundamental for the participants’ future professional careers Part of this study was presented at the INTED2017 and published as Filipe, Sandra; Barbosa, Belem; Santos, Cláudia Amaral; Pinheiro, Margarida M.; Simões, Dora; Dias, Gonçalo Paiva (2017). Study and travel: students’ perceptions on the importance of tourism in mobility. In INTED2017, Proceedings of the 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference, (pp. 9346-9354). Valencia: IATED Academy. ISBN: 978-84-617-8491-2. Academics and mobility experiences Although staff mobility only accounted for 7-10% of the budget in 2013-2014, it has evidenced a consistent increase in teaching assignments. The aims and outcomes registered in our study do not mention benefits for the students of the home institution, neither improvements on teaching methodologies or curricula. The central contribution mainly among mobility champions seems to be limited to the involvement in international research projects and knowledge development on peers’ research. It was observed that teaching mobility covers diversified profiles (e.g., gender, seniority, and fields of study), with one third outgoing teachers having participated in more than one mobility program during that period. A deeper analysis on the mobility champions reveals both individual and team initiatives and that mobility attracts more intermediate and senior teachers. Accordingly, our results demonstrate the importance of long time relationships with international partners to foster the participation in mobility programs. Generally, this paper highlights the research opportunities regarding teachers’ mobility that are still underexplored and the need to develop more effective strategies to make the most of the outcomes of programs such Erasmus+ for all direct and indirect beneficiaries. Part of this study was presented at the WCLTA2016, and published as Pinheiro, M. M., Barbosa, B., Santos, C., Filipe, S., Simões, D., & Dias, G. P. (2016, October 27-29). HEI teaching mobility: Looking for dynamics in a seven-year period. Fig. 1  –   Once Erasmus, Always Erasmus Fig. 2  –   Teacher’s  course during mobility Abstract Higher Education Institutions are engaging in multiple strategies to provide students with global competencies aligned with professional requirements and heightened citizenship expectations [1]. At the celebration of its 30th anniversary, Erasmus is recognized as the most successful exchange program ever implemented. Although literature provides interesting contributions on mobility phenomenon, it also contains alerts for the need of assessing its qualitative impacts, including the benefits and values created with such programs. Even if students’ mobility is an essential aspect to consider, teachers ’ mobility is also another facet of internationalization. The qualitative studies that are presented contain different perspectives: on the one hand, perceptions obtained from focus groups with Erasmus’ students who spent at least one semester in the University of Aveiro in the Fall/Winter semester 2016; on the other hand, teachers’ experiences deriving from a sample of academics that in 2009-2016 engaged in mobility assignments under the Erasmus program. References [1] Jon, J.-E. (2013). “Realizing Internationalization at Home in Korean Higher Education: Promoting Domestic Students’ Interaction with International Students and Intercultural Competence”. Journal of Studies in International Education, 17(4), 455  – 470. [2] J. María Cubillo, J. Sánchez, and J. Cerviño (2006), “International students' decision-making process," International Journal of Educational Management, 20, 101-115. [3] X. A. Rodríguez, F. Martínez-Roget, and E. Pawlowska (2012). "Academic tourism demand in Galicia, Spain," Tourism Management, 33, 1584.
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