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The support of student and academic staff mobility has become a key higher education policy objective for national bodies and higher education institutions throughout Europe. In light of recent developments in the advancement of the Bologna Process and other related EU policy agendas, academic mobility becomes a greater focus of policy attention with each passing year.
While there seems to be general consensus that student and academic staff mobility is intrinsically a positive and desirable thing and that all countries across Europe are working towards more and higher quality mobility, solid evidence of any of these trends has yet to be put forward. Specifically, key gaps in knowledge include the goals of different European countries in academic mobility and the most appropriate means to reach these ends. To address these gaps, the Academic Cooperation Association (ACA), in cooperation with two of its member organisations DAAD and NUFFIC, is poised to embark on a one-year research project entitled Comparative study on European and national-level policies and practices on academic mobility.
The project, co-funded under the Lifelong Learning Programme (call for applications 2009) of the European Commission, will search for proof of convergence among the many mobility policy objectives pursued by different European countries, as well as strive to link the policy discourse to mobility practices and observed mobility trends. The ultimate aim of this study is to foster knowledge and inform the development of future mobility policies and programmes, at both a national and a European level.