Against the backdrop of an increasingly heterogeneous student body and, at the same time, rapidly changing demands on the part of the labour market, it is essential that all students - even those with limited mobility - are given the opportunity to have a mobility experience.
Broad spectrum of mobility formats - Curricular integration and further development
It is recommended that non-traditional and innovative forms of mobility be placed on an equal footing with traditional forms and be valued, and that international and culturally reflective learning and teaching thus be perceived as a necessity and obligation in the university's self-image. In doing so, the needs of underrepresented student groups must be taken into account. Adequate curricular options should be created for these groups, thus preventing a prolongation of studies or a significantly increased workload in subsequent semesters. The development and communication of good practice examples for different disciplines is suggested. In addition to the recommendations regarding >> innovative, non-traditional mobility formats, the recommendations presented below were also developed with a special focus on underrepresented student groups:
- Development of low-threshold (short) mobility offers according to the diversity of the student body, also in the sense of an incentive for more and/or longer mobilities - Involvement of diversity management experts for the integration of suitable mobility windows and mobility options for underrepresented student groups
- Increased use of blended learning including virtual mobility and the creation of transparent and fair assessment and recognition structures. Furthermore, comprehensive information on content, method and assessment criteria in the sense of the greatest possible transparency.
- Increased use of (international) evening lectures and creation of the necessary framework conditions to better reconcile work and care obligations
- Consideration of the individual situation of students with special needs through differentiated regulation and recognition of the number of ECTS credits to be earned during mobility
- Sustainable (financial) technical and spatial equipment to support non-traditional and innovative mobilities such as virtual mobility, especially for underrepresented student groups
Optimisation of the data situation and the key figures with regard to underrepresented student groups
It is recommended to collect data on mobilities and factors promoting and hindering mobility in relation to underrepresented student groups and to undertake interpretation and analysis together with higher education institutions as needed. This should also include the systematic collection and distribution of good practice examples. The reception of statistical data on mobilities of underrepresented student groups (e.g. from the Student Social Survey) or the use of this data to develop concrete measures at higher education institutions should be supported by expertise and knowledge exchange. Human resources should be created at higher education institutions that enable these data to be interpreted accordingly and conclusions to be drawn that lead to the development of concrete measures. All measures taken in this context should be in line with the General Data Protection Regulation.
- Improving and simplifying the statistical recording of underrepresented students and their mobilities, as well as factors that hinder/promote mobility and dissemination (e.g. table volumes for higher education institutions from the student social survey). Use of the data to be jointly analysed for the development of measures at institutional level.
- Preparation of mobility experience reports that do justice to the diversity of the student body and include information on institutional support structures at the host universities
- Involvement of underrepresented student groups in the development of mobility-promoting measures based on a needs analysis (what do people need, want) and evaluation of existing measures.
- Recognition and presentation of individual efforts of higher education institutions in terms of good practice and benchmarking by making visible lighthouse projects of individual institutions and examples of good practice, e.g. via an online platform.
Capacity and knowledge building and adequate communication for the mobility of underrepresented student groups
A knowledge-based capacity building and exchange of experiences of all involved university staff on the mobility of underrepresented student groups is recommended. Often no distinction was/is made between diverse groups and/or only individual solutions with little potential were found, on the basis of which it is not possible to develop generalisable processes.
In order to promote the examination of existing evidence, it is necessary to plan sufficient (human) resources within the universities. Knowledge about educational biographies and mobility affinities of underrepresented student groups supports the creation of institutional structures and communication processes as well as the development of measures that are suitable to promote and increase the mobility of these student groups.
Furthermore, a review of the lines of communication within the university, between universities and with employers, authorities and support/service institutions is recommended. This also applies to the design of corresponding processes and their integration into institutional quality management.ent.
- Bundling and networking of expertise available within the university and anchored in various places, especially between those responsible for internationalisation, equality and diversity as well as contact persons for people with disabilities (e.g. via the "uniability" network); networking of university researchers in national and international networks (e.g. Austrian Network for University Research).
- Promote cooperation with non-university research institutions, NGOs, NPOs, agencies, specialised university networks and international university associations in European know-how transfer and capacity projects
- Use of international continuing education formats for higher education staff with student contact, such as topic-specific summer schools, peer-to-peer conferences with international experts from larger European universities or international agencies.
- Sensitisation and structurally anchored further training of teachers (e.g. in the form of target agreements and recognition for career progression) with regard to their diversity competences and corresponding methodological and didactic skills - Collection and distribution of international good practice examples at universities, taking into account existing projects and their results (e.g. use of the European Platform for Inclusive Mobility / Mobility of Persons with Disabilities https://www.mapped.eu)
- Review and, if necessary, further development or realignment of existing internal university responsibilities as well as exchange and coordination channels with the aim of bundling existing expertise - Targeted and rapid communication of possible mobility formats to the defined underrepresented student groups for long-term and binding preparation and thus more planning security
- Development of concrete checklists, stakeholder lists and processes for mobilities of underrepresented student groups - also in exchange with other universities
- Information on existing possibilities of using educational leave for stays abroad and entitlement to unemployment benefits also during study-related stays abroad
- Identify relevant internal and external stakeholder groups for heterogeneity-sensitive mobility promotion and create opportunities for the active participation of underrepresented student groups.
- Examine the creation of an online counselling centre responsible for counselling/support of persons with impairments.
- Communication of mobility topics incl. testimonials of underrepresented student groups or integration of these topics in existing databases (e.g. https://www.mapped.eu) also in the sense of encouraging and motivating.
- Optimisation of information flows within existing higher education networks/alliances (e.g. "Entwicklungsverbünde Lehramt")
- Development of a catalogue of measures to promote the mobility of student teachers
- Involvement of local student representatives of the sending and receiving higher education institutions as a low-threshold contact point on site with clearly defined persons in charge and information carriers within the student representatives for a quick and effective exchange regarding the challenges in the context of mobility.
- Promotion of internal university peer-to-peer networks as a central information and support network for questions regarding the mobility of underrepresented student groups.
- Diversity training for ambassadors and buddies to promote the mobility of underrepresented student groups
- Provide selected testimonials from former interns with disabilities abroad as motivation and support in the search for specific internships (e.g. for people with disabilities) abroad with the aim of building an "inclusive internship exchange" (highlighting international companies that have been particularly inclusive and context-sensitive to the needs of this group), e.g. at https://www.mapped.eu
- Integration of the receiving institution (e.g. via the Career Centre) in the placement of part-time jobs for mobile part-time students.
- Consideration of the topic "mobility of underrepresented student groups" in higher education partnership agreements and bilateral agreements, if necessary also in the sense of ensuring dedicated (Erasmus) places for students from underrepresented student groups within the framework of these partnership agreements.
Optimising financial and legal frameworks for underrepresented student groups
It is recommended that the current funding and incentive systems as well as the legal framework be reviewed and adapted with regard to the needs of underrepresented student groups. This applies in particular to the relatively higher mobility costs for these groups in general. Furthermore, it is suggested to ensure that information about this is accessible to diverse student groups in a target group-oriented manner.
- Reviewing and, if necessary, expanding the current funding structures based on international comparisons (e.g. funding models DAAD, Nuffic etc. as well as institutional funding programmes of higher education institutions in the European Higher Education Area), for the sending as well as the receiving organisations, but above all for outgoing students, in particular with regard to the funding of mobilities of persons with disabilities (e.g. in the case of the need for on-site assistance).
- Consideration of the requirements and needs of underrepresented student groups in the (further) development and tendering of new and existing mobility support programmes
- Development and provision of a cross-university and cross-sectoral, compact overview ("Funding Finder") to quickly and reliably find funding opportunities for the mobility of underrepresented student groups.
As a basis for the formulation of the HMIS 2030, the proposals for recommendations, including the respective measures, developed in the >>subject area groups of the >> HMS-Mobility forum, the participatory process for the further development of the HMS 2016 into the HMIS 2030, on the topic of "Mobility of underrepresented student groups" were bundled and processed thematically.
They are documented here in this form as valuable results of the professional discussion process and reflect the views of the higher education experts represented in the thematic field groups.