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Higher education student and staff mobility project
Start date: Jun 1, 2014, End date: Sep 30, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Manchester Metropolitan University is the largest campus-based undergraduate University in the UK with over 4000 staff members and a total student population of more than 37,000, of which 44% of students come from low-income backgrounds. Manchester Metropolitan University applied for funding under Erasmus+ Key Action 103 as a means of supporting the realisation of the student and staff mobility strand of the institutional internationalisation strategy and to enhance international opportunities for staff and students. The project encompassed student mobility for studies and traineeships, teacher mobility and staff training mobility. The University was granted funding for 180 student mobilities (138 study and 42 traineeship) and 17 staff mobilities (16 teaching and 1 training). The University exceeded the overall mobility objectives set for students (albeit with virement between the two student streams) and achieved an actual total student mobility of 188 of which 31% of participants were from disadvantaged backgrounds. Staff mobility fell short of target with 12 staff mobilities. The project included partner universities and enterprises across 15 different countries with France, Spain, the Netherlands, Italy and Germany hosting the largest number of participants. The gender balance for staff mobility was equal with 6 male and 6 female participants, however, for student mobility, 71% of participants were female. The project results boast high levels of overall student and staff satisfaction with the mobility experience and support provided, however, there is a disconnect between the perception of recognition of the experience by the University and the participants. At the point of providing feedback, only 77% of students and 33% of staff felt they received recognition for the mobility period. The University, however, grants recognition for all successfully completed mobility activity with student participants receiving direct recognition through the transfer of credits from the host University. The low levels of perceived recognition for staff could be linked to the indirect nature of recognition and the perceived lack of tangible benefits of teaching exchange on career progression. The project reports a significant positive impact on the learning outcomes of students with high levels of competence development being reported for both studies and traineeships but with a distinct higher level of reported professional competence development amongst traineeship participants. The project has resulted in particular high levels of impact in the areas of competency development to student participants for (1) development of professional networks, (2) cooperation with a partner organisation and (3) learning good practice. Interestingly, the project reports low levels of impact in (1) improvement of ICT skills, (2) engagement with civil society (2) cooperation with players in the labour market. The project has had a positive long-term impact at participant, university, national and international level through: (1) the improvement of student competencies which in turn enhances the future employability of student participants, (2) supporting the long-term development of international academic partnerships through physical mobility of people between institutions which in turn supports the development of joint teaching, international collaboration on research and the sharing of best practice, (3) contributing to the UK National Strategy for Outward Mobility by increasing the number of UK students studying overseas which in turn contributes to the European target of 20% of students studying and working abroad by 2020 and (4) contributing to the consolidation of the European Higher Education Area through exchange of students and scholars which in turn supports mutual understanding between Erasmus+ member states.
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