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There are considerable differences from one Nordic country to the other when it comes to students’ motivations to go abroad with Erasmus+. While some students take part mainly to experience another country, culture and language, others use mobility to access what they perceive as attractive educational opportunities. Academically oriented students seem to be more satisfied with Erasmus+ than those who are primarily motivated by experiencing a new culture or a language. These and other findings are revealed in a recently published report on outgoing Erasmus+ students from the five Nordic countries.
The study was conducted by The Swedish Centre for Studies of the Internationalisation of Higher Education (SIHE) at Uppsala University in cooperation with Erasmus+ National Agencies in all five Nordic countries, among which Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills (HKDIR), Finnish National Agency for Education (EDUFI) and The Icelandic Centre for Research (Rannís) are ACA members. Based on full-population surveys, Ashley Haru and her co-authors explored similarities and differences between students from the Nordic countries, especially in terms of their motivations and experiences. National data was used to understand how it relates to factors such as education systems, mobility patterns, and educational offer domestically as well as national student finance schemes.
The results bring a better understanding of the driving forces for student mobility and students’ experiences while abroad. This will help Nordic National Agencies and higher education institutions to raise interest in student mobility and ensure that the countries fully benefit from the opportunities that Erasmus+ has to offer. In this context, the researchers and agencies organised a webinar on 2 November, bringing together 75 participants from the Nordic higher education sector who received a presentation of the main findings and discussed the implications on student mobility. For those who were not able to attend, both the presentation and the full webinar are distributed online.