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Every European should have an opportunity to study abroad. How can the EU ensure this? What’s your take?

15 Feb 2023

Every European should have an opportunity to study abroad. How can the EU ensure this? What’s your take?

The European Commission plans to take action to enable all learners, educators and staff to move more easily to study and work abroad for a certain period of time. It will be a key step towards an objective of the European Education Area of making learning periods abroad for everyone a norm, rather than an exception.

To inform future action, the European Commission wishes to gather citizens’ and stakeholder’s opinions on key obstacles and incentives to learning mobility. This will allow the European Commission to prioritise removing obstacles and creating incentives which are seen as the most relevant by citizens and stakeholders.

In addition, the European Commission would like to know your views on how to make learning mobilities greener, how to better build on digital tools (to gain full benefits offered by flexible learning formats combining physical and virtual learning and the use of digital platforms), as well as how learning mobility could be more inclusive, participatory and balanced.

The European Commission launched the call for evidence and the public consultation, which is open to every citizen and every organisation in Europe. 

Please follow this link to provide your views.

The public consultation questionnaire and the call for evidence was co-developed by the European Commission and PPMI in the context of the study on ‘Supporting learning mobility: progress, obstacles and way forward’. The call for evidence allows you to provide information in the form of free text of any length and structure, while the public consultation questionnaire mostly asks closed questions.

Contributions are particularly welcome from learners, educators, staff, representatives of education and training institutions in all levels of education, whether formal, non-formal or informal, youth workers, apprentices, sport staff, and from organisations sending and receiving internationally mobile learners and staff, including employers. Inputs from decision-makers, stakeholder organisations and researchers would be also very valuable.

Why is this important?

While learning mobility activities have proven to be highly valuable experiences for people in gaining knowledge, skills and competences needed for personal, educational, and professional development, as well as civic engagement and social inclusion, only 15% of young people in Europe have undertaken studies, training or apprenticeships in another EU country due to a broad range of obstacles.

The obstacles include lack of financial means, lack of opportunities matching interests, insufficient foreign language skills, barriers to recognition of skills and competences acquired abroad, among many others. One of the main objectives of the action the European Commission intends to take will be to mitigate or to remove obstacles to learning mobility. The new initiative will also seek to reinforce the existing and create new incentives to make learning periods abroad an experience accessible to all learners and educators.

Learning mobility is a strong driver for enhancing the quality of education and training institutions and of organisations and stakeholders involved in non-formal and informal learning contexts and youth work.

Cross-border experiences also actively contribute to positive attitudes about the EU and to the development of a European identity.

In the words of Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth: “Learning mobility strengthens the sense of togetherness and inspires us to appreciate the diversity of the European Union; it allows us to meet new people, make friends and, most significantly, to learn and progress. We believe it should be made easier for learners to know about opportunities and moving easily between education systems in different countries. This public consultation is an opportunity to listen to all involved stakeholders and make the European Education Area a reality.”