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Better mobility for European students

April 25, 2012
Education ministries from 47 countries are meeting to outline the political direction for higher education cooperation and adopt a new European strategy for student mobility.

It will be easier for European students to study or take an internship abroad in another European country.

European countries will make a common strategy for the first time with the concrete aim of creating better conditions for mobility in Europe. In 2020, 20 per cent of European graduates must have either studied or taken work experience abroad.

Higher Education Minister Morten Østergaard will lead the negotiations when the European ministers meet for the ministerial conference in Bucharest on 26 and 27 April. The conference will see them enter into an agreement on the future European higher education cooperation goals of the Bologna Process over the next three years.

The goals, which will be outlined in a communiqué, are expected to focus on three overall themes: quality education for more young people, increased employability and strengthened student mobility.

– Here at home we are already underway with a Danish internationalisation strategy within the education area. Now for the first time, we will adopt a European strategy that gives the students the best opportunities to take part of their education abroad. It is crucial for the economic growth and development of countries that we educate innovative and flexible young people with a global outlook and practical experience in other countries. Therefore it is also crucial that we give students the best possible conditions for going abroad as part of their education, says Morten Østergaard.

The aim of strengthening student mobility will be reached through a number of initiatives that promote students’ opportunities to study abroad. Countries will work to remove barriers to mobility in relation for example to visa regulations, creating better opportunities for work and residence permits, language education, funding of study abroad periods and the assessment of international qualifications.

A new report will also be published at the conference in Bucharest which will give the status of how close European countries are to realising the Bologna targets.

As in previous years, Denmark continues to meet and excel on all key points, such as the use of ECTS, implementation of the three-part grading structure and the development of quality assurance procedures.

About the Bologna Process

The Bologna Process is a cooperation founded by European education ministers in 1999. The aim of the Bologna Process is to create greater comparability and develop a common European area for higher education, where students can freely travel across borders for study and employment (EHEA – European Higher Education Area).

The Bologna Process has provided the framework for a thorough reform of grading structures, the merit system, assessment of educational qualifications and uniform standards for quality assurance of educational programmes.

The European Commission and 47 countries participate in the cooperation, with a number of interest organisations as advising members. Denmark is co-chair of the Bologna Process with Azerbaijan in the first half of 2012, with Romania as vice-chair. The next Bologna ministerial conference will be held in 2015.

For further information please contact:

Chief Adviser Jacob Fuchs, tel: +45 2072 2581, e-mail: jfu@ubst.dk

Press officer Ingeborg Nielsen, tel: +45 2211 0200, e-mail: imen@fivu.dk

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