The other side of mobility

Stockholm, 12-14 June 2005


International mobility is a concern of long standing, and innumerable conferences have already been devoted to it. In order not to duplicate earlier events, ACA approached the issue from a new perspective. The other side of mobility did not deal with the technicalities of exchange and mobility. It tried to identify the impacts of mobility on the mobile person. This “other side” of mobility, which should actually be the first concern of all internationalist, had been astonishingly rarely addressed prioir to the ACA conference. This is why there is little systematic knowledge, anecdotal evidence and a few studies apart, on what international mobility really does to the mobile persons. Does it contribute, as is always assumed but rarely demonstrated, to academic enhancement? Does it increase intercultural understanding and lead to a widening of horizons? Does it contribute to peace and understanding?

In pursuing these and many other questions, the conference focused on the mobility of students and academics, but it did not restrict itself to mobility for learning and teaching. It encompassed also other forms of temporary and lasting mobility, such as, for example, labour migration, or mobility induced by personal motives and by force.