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Realising the potential of the international mobility of staff in higher education
Start date: 01 Sep 2016, End date: 31 Aug 2019 PROJECT  ONGOING 

Internationalisation is a key element in raising Higher Education Institutions profile and in contributing to their modernisation. It enhances creativity and innovation in all activities and services they provide. At European level, policies for Higher Education and their resulting initiatives have significantly intensified over the last years. Among the tools available for EHEIs, the Erasmus+ Programme is one of the most valuable. If study mobility is seen as its most significant action, staff mobility is also an effective means for internationalising and modernising higher education systems and institutionsThe 2014 Erasmus Impact Study concluded that the target that 20% of students should be mobile during their studies by 2020 could not be achieved without the internationalisation at home of HEIs. This process depends on the experience and knowledge of academic and non-academic mobile staff, “it is therefore of the utmost importance that staff mobility is included among the top priorities of the internationalisation strategies of HEIs”. The 2012-2015 report of the BFUG Working Group for Mobility&Internationalisation, also recommends “to enhance staff mobility in the European Higher Education Area”, to better promote it, to create a supporting environment for staff mobility and to encourage its quality and appreciation. Finally, in its 2012 Strategy Mobility for Better Learning, the EHEA Ministerial Conference exhorted EHEIs “to give fair and formal recognition for competences gained abroad, to offer attractive incentives”Indeed, if its potential impact is very high and well recognised, staff mobility remains the “poor sister” of mobility programmes and faces a series of obstacles which limit the benefits it should bring to individuals and institutions: lack of information, workload, language skills, financial support, rare incentives and weak recognition of mobility experience in professional developmentDespite a diversity of contexts and situations, all REALISE partners representing 10 universities from 10 different countries came to the same conclusion that significant efforts and structural change must be made in improving the implementation and recognition of staff mobility. Before possibly looking to other types of mobility, they agreed to start with the Erasmus+ programme which offers a common field of study, where similar concepts and practices can be understood, and a substantial number of activities be analysedREALISE therefore aims at improving the implementation and recognition of staff mobility, in order to maximise its impact on both individuals and institutions. To this end, the project pursues 3 SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES:1-Identify and develop innovative practices regarding the implementation of the Erasmus+ programme for staff mobility2-Foster the recognition of mobility in the career development of academic, administrative and technical staff in HEIs3-Raise institutional awareness about the added value of staff mobility and promote its contribution to HEIs’ internationalisation strategiesREALISE is a 3-year project organised around 4 core Activities which integrate all the components required to achieve its objectives: A.1 Development: collect data and map practices on staff mobility activities, identify challenges and obstacles, develop innovative practices in the field >Months 1-14A.2 Test: test and evaluate the new practices, improve them accordingly in order to be transferable and disseminated >Months 14-30A.3 Exploitation: exploit the results in view to transfer them and disseminate them broadly, organise a large event to inform stakeholders about the results and engage discussion for further developments >Months 30-36A.4 Consultation & Policy dialogue: engage in discussion with relevant authorities and stakeholders in order to support the project developments and pave the way for policy recommendations and new perspectives >Months 3-36To this end, REALISE will deliver new and innovative outputs-A set of survey tools-A European comparative analysis of staff mobility across Europe-A Handbook for the implementation of the Erasmus+ programme for staff mobility-A Training module on how to improve staff mobility activities-The conclusions of the policy dialogue at different levelsTo broaden its impact REALISE will involve other universities (Associated partners) in the project activities, starting with the survey, as well as local, national and European stakeholders (Rectors’ Conferences, networks)The project expects the partners’ practices in the implementation and management of the Erasmus+ programme for staff mobility to be durably improved, especially the recognition and promotion of mobility in professional development. These improvements must contribute to the modernisation and internationalisation of the participating organisations. At its level, REALISE will also favour the adoption of some of the recommendations made by the BFUG WG M&I in its 2012-2015 report
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