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Joint International Master Programmes – Lessons learnt from Erasmus Mundus

European Commission. Joint International Master Programmes – Lessons learnt from Erasmus Mundus. 2013. Pages : 47.

The analysis report examines 57 Erasmus Mundus Master Courses (EMMCs) from 2004-2006 under three key aspects:

  • Their contribution to internationalisation and inter-institutional cooperation;
  • The employability prospects of EMMC graduates;
  • The sustainability of these programmes without EU funding

The report finds that EMMCs have significantly contributed to structured cooperation between higher education institutions, knowledge transfer, joint teaching and supervision methods as well as an overall higher degree of internationalisation. Problems concerning the first key aspect have arisen with regard to joint Diploma Supplements (DS) between participating institutions as well as a lack of common e-learning platforms.

The second key aspect presented in the study does not focus on employment figures of recent graduates – which is partially covered by the Erasmus Mundus Students and Alumni Association’s Graduate Impact Survey – but puts stronger emphasis on the provision of necessary skills for employability and the involvement of non-academic organisations within the academic programme. It is rather at this point, where the study identifies room for improvement by ensuring a more prominent development of skills such as entrepreneurship, communication, languages, project proposal writing, course management and publishing. Moreover, the report recommends more ambitious professional internship programmes and stronger cooperation with non-academic organisations in the provision of internships, curriculum development and performance evaluation.

The most central issue for EMMCs and their future stems from the possibly lack of sustainability of these programmes. The report draws attention to the elaboration of business models in order to ensure sustainability of these programmes beyond EU funding.

In light of the new framework programme Erasmus+ and the call for projects launch last December, the next generation of EMMCs has the opportunity to take these recommendations into account.

The report is available here