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Ambitious goals for Flemish action plan on student mobility

On 6 September, the Flemish regional government approved a strategic action plan on student mobility for the period 2013-2020. The action plan Brains on the move was proposed by Flemish Minister of Education Pascal Smet and aims at achieving a 33 % student mobility rate of Flemish students by 2020.

The Flemish government estimates that currently 12.5 % of students from Flanders gain study abroad experience. The action plan follows a broad definition of study abroad stays and aims at including short time mobility programmes, summer schools, internship programmes and generally any sort of stay abroad for the purpose of studies.

The action plan foresees following aspects:

  • the  implementation of a new registration system to collect data related to study abroad stays;
  • the launch of a communication and recruitment campaign as well as an information platform;
  • the inclusion of mobility windows within study programmes;
  • the attribution of mobility grants directly to students;
  • an increased annual budget of EUR 4.2 million by 2020; and
  • in addition to student mobility within Europe a stronger focus on worldwide student mobility through the ASEM-DUO Fellowship Programme with Asian countries, internship programmes in cooperation with the Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars and through other bilateral agreements between Flanders and partner countries

Although the action plan’s focus largely remains on outgoing mobility, incoming mobility is also mentioned as a priority objective. In comparison to the European Union’s aim of achieving a 20 % student mobility rate the Flemish action plan is, indeed, very ambitious. Raf Devos, Deputy Cabinet Minister for Education, Youth and Equality and Magalie Soenen, from the Department of Education and Training will present the action plan Brains on the move on five occasions throughout Flanders during October and November.

Flemish Ministry of Education and Traning (in Dutch)

Registration for Presentation of the Flemish action plan (in Dutch)