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Brussels, 10 April 2014

Funding student mobility - Scholarships, grants and loans


The lack of funding has been regarded as one of the biggest obstacles to student mobility. Many discussions have been conducted on the ways to remove financial obstacles to mobility, in particular for the mobility of socio-economically disadvantaged students. At the same time, a basket of funding instruments is offered by the European Union, national governments and individual higher education institutions, all aiming to support different kinds of student mobility (e.g. credit or degree mobility, incoming or outgoing mobility). These instruments range from the world-renowned ERAMUS grants for short-term mobility, to national scholarships for degree or credit mobility, and to the newly-introduced European student loan guarantee scheme targeting support for European mobile Master’s students. A less visible form of financial support - portable state grants and loans - plays an important role in financing mobile students as well, particularly students from lower social backgrounds.

On 10 April, ACA’s 42nd European Policy Seminar will discuss the roles, priorities and contributions of all the above funding instruments that are available for European students to study in another country within Europe or outside. Updates of new mobility funding instruments and some of the much desired empirical data on the quantitative contribution of different funding instruments will be brought to you by speakers who are centrally involved in the provision of mobility funds or in research on mobility funding issues. Participants of the seminar may expect both intellectual exchanges with the speakers as well as practical examples of specific funding initiatives from them.

Following the ACA European Policy Seminar tradition, the programme of this one-day seminar is structured to feature a multi-perspective look into the topical issue - funding mobility, including not only funding for mobility but also fundraising for mobility.

ACA members and ACA Newsletter subscribers please log in with your username (= institutional e-mail address) and password to get your discount for this event.


Wednesday 9 April



Seminar dinner


Thursday 10 April



Registrations and coffee


Welcome and introduction
Queenie Lam, Project Officer, ACA (Brussels, Belgium)


Is the lack of funding THE mobility obstacle?
Nicolai Netz, Researcher, DZHW (Hannover, Germany)


National mobility scholarships: rationales, approaches and priorities

Moderator: Bernd Wächter, Director, ACA (Brussels, Belgium)

Rait Toompere, Director, Archimedes Foundation (Tallinn, Estonia)
Anne Marie Graham, Head of Programme, Outward Student Mobility, UK HE International Unit (London, UK)
Anette Pieper, Director (Northern Hemisphere), DAAD (Bonn, Germany)


Coffee break


European student loan guarantee for mobile master’s students
Julie Fionda, Policy Officer, European Commission, DG Education and Culture (Brussels, Belgium)


The tip of the iceberg: an overview of portable grants and loans and their actual use
Bernd Wächter, Director, ACA (Brussels, Belgium)


Sandwich lunch


Funding mobility – a worthy cause for fundraising. A ‘foreign’ example.
Ricky Cheng, Vice President for Development, United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia (Hongkong) (online)


Country example of portable grants and loans: Norway
Chris Eidsaunet, Head of Section, Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund (Lånekassen) (Oslo, Norway)


Coffee break


Country example of portable grants and loans: Germany
Danja Oste, Referentin (EU projects), DSW (Berlin, Germany)


Responses from multiple perspectives
Rok Primozic, Chairperson, European Students’ Union (Brussels, Belgium)
Magalie Soenen, Policy Officer, Flemish Ministry of Education and Training – Higher Education Policy (Brussels, Belgium)
Ulrich Teichler, Professor, INCHER (Kassel, Germany)


Wrap-up and goodbye



Queenie Lam

Queenie Lam joined ACA as Project Officer in late 2010. Since then, she has been involved in a number of research projects and the production of ACA events and monthly newsletter. She was recently involved in two ACA-led projects: STiME (on assessing the contribution of national grants and loans to student mobility in Europe) and MOWIN (on mapping “mobility windows” in European higher education), and an Erasmus Mundus project, EduCoach, which strives to develop an online student advising tool for European higher education.

Queenie started her career as Executive Officer at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (2004-08), where she was first involved in the international recruitment of academic staff, and later in the development of international academic partnerships. Before joining ACA, her immediate past position was Research Assistant at the International Centre for Higher Education Research (INCHER) and the International Study Center of the University of Kassel. 

Queenie holds an MA in International Higher Education Research and Development from INCHER, Kassel (2012) and an MPhil in Communication from The Chinese University of Hong Kong (2006).

Nicolai Netz

Nicolai Netz studied modern languages, cultural science, political science as well as economics at the Universities of Bonn, Florence and Maastricht. In 2008, he graduated from the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance with a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Human Development. After a short stay at the German Research Institute for Public Administration in Speyer, he joined the DZHW (formerly HIS-HF) in Hannover as a researcher. At the DZHW, he has mainly been working on national student and graduate surveys (German Social Survey, DZHW Graduate Survey) and on international comparative projects examining the mobility of students in Europe (EUROSTUDENT IV, Steeplechase, EURODATA II). Nicolai is currently pursuing a doctorate at Humboldt University Berlin. His research examines the access to and outcomes of international mobility during the studies.

Bernd Wächter

Bernd Wächter is the Director of the Academic Cooperation Association (ACA). He studied at the universities of Hull (UK), Giessen and Marburg (Germany). His career has been focused on international higher education. He worked for the University of Kassel, the British Council, and the Fachhochschule Darmstadt, before joining The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) as the head of their EU division. He subsequently became the director for Higher Education (Erasmus) in the Brussels Socrates Office. In 1998, he took up his present post as ACA Director.

Bernd Wächter has published and lectured widely on international higher education. He is the editor of the ACA Papers on International Cooperation in Education. He has been the team leader of ACA’s research projects and speaks frequently at major governmental and stakeholder conferences, in Europe and beyond, on the issue of mobility and internationalisation.  

Bernd Wächter has two children. He is married to Thora Magnusdottir, a delightful lady from Iceland.

Rait Toompere

Rait was among the founders of the Archimedes Foundation, which is now one of the biggest foundations in Estonia. The Archimedes Foundation was established by the Estonian government in 1997 with the objective of coordinating and implementing different international and national programmes and projects in the fields of training, education, youth activities, research, technological development and innovation. The foundation implements EU cooperation programmes as well as activities financed by national and structural funds. Accreditation and evaluation of higher education is also an important task of the foundation.

Rait graduated from the University of Tartu, where he studied history and art history. He has written more than 100 publications in the field of art. His two main research interests are 20th century architecture and city planning and postmodernism and post-WWII art.

He has ten years of experience as a part-time lecturer at the University of Tartu. His earlier posts have been as a consultant to the Estonian Artists Union and the President of the Tartu Artists Society.

During the beginning of 90´s he was also Deputy Mayor of Tartu responsible for education, culture and social affairs. His mission in the late 80`s and early 90`s was to restore artistic life and art high education in Tartu to how it used to be before the Soviet occupation.

Anne Marie Graham

Anne Marie Graham is the Head of Programme, Outward Student Mobility at the UK Higher Education International Unit. She leads on the implementation of the UK Strategy for Outward Mobility, which aims to increase the proportion of UK domiciled students accessing international opportunities during their studies. Anne Marie has worked on a range of projects in UK and European higher education in the fields of languages, communication and intercultural skills. She is the author of several research reports, including labour market intelligence for the British Academy, the University Council of Modern Languages and Skills CfA, and a review of public service interpreting and translation training in higher education for HEFCE’s Routes into Languages.  In addition to her work in the higher education sector, Anne Marie has over 10 years’ commercial management experience in the language services industry.

Anette Pieper

Anette Pieper was appointed Director of the Northern Hemisphere Department at DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) in September 2012. Her professional experience includes five years as director of the DAAD’s regional offices in Costa Rica and Mexico as well as eight years of heading several divisions at the DAAD main office in Bonn, Germany. In 2011/ 2012, she worked as a consultant for higher education at the UNESCO in Paris. Before joining the DAAD in 1992, she was assistant director of a scholarship program at Bergen Community College in the United States for four years.

Anette Pieper holds a PhD in French literature and is the author of several articles on internationalisation and development cooperation in higher education.

Julie Fionda

Julie Fionda is a British official working in the European Commission since 2002. She has a background in economics and is currently policy officer with responsibility for the EU agenda for the modernisation of higher education. Julie also works on initiatives linked to graduate employability and the higher education labour market and on the development of a European student loan guarantee ‘Erasmus Masters’. Earlier roles in the European Commission have included the negotiation and management of European Social Fund programmes and co-operation between Member States in the framework of peer learning and benchmarking.

Prior to joining the European Commission, Julie worked in the UK administration on regional development and social inclusion initiatives and began her career in the education sector, working on corporate development and planning.

Ricky Cheng

Ricky Cheng joined the United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia (Untied Board) as Vice President for Development in October 2010.  A CPA from California by trade and holds an Executive MBA degree, Ricky has over 30 years of broad based experience working in the US, Hong Kong and in mainland China.  In his role with the United Board, Mr. Cheng and his team have strengthened the support from the community of benefactors for the United Board’s mission and programs, through frequent communications and engagements with donors and friends.  Prior to joining the United Board, Mr. Cheng was the Director who established the Office of Institutional Advancement in The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) in 2003.  His responsibility covered all areas of advancement, including major gifts, annual programs, planned gifts and stewardship.  Mr. Cheng was instrumental in assisting the University in securing close to US$500 million in donations and government matching grants for CUHK during his tenure.

Chris Eidsaunet

Chris Eidsaunet has been working at The Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund (Lånekassen) since 2000. He became Head of Section for the Studies Abroad Section in 2007. He is a member of ASIN, which is an association working with coordinating the regulations and cooperation regarding student funding within the Nordic countries.

Danja Oste

Danja Oste served as Head of International Relations of the Deutsches Studentenwerk, DSW (German National Association for Student Affairs) from 1999 to 2011, when she assumed the position of Special Assistant to the Secretary General of the DSW. In her new responsibility she is primarily focusing on European Affairs and EU Projects. Prior to assuming her role in Student Affairs, Danja Oste worked as project manager at the College of Europe/Belgium (1995-1998) and as research assistant to a deputy (1993). Danja Oste holds a Master of Arts Degree in “Political Science, French and Spanish literature” from the University of Bonn (Germany) and a Master of Arts Degree in “European Administrative and Political Studies” from the College of Europe (Belgium).

Rok Primožič

Rok Primozic is the Chairperson of the European Students’ Union, ESU, which is the umbrella organisation of 47 national unions of students from 39 European countries. He has a Bachelor in Law from University in Ljubljana and is currently studying Educational Sciences at a Masters level in VUB Brussels. He has been a student representative for more than 5 years already, starting in Slovenia, where he served among others also as the acting president of Slovenian Student Union (ŠOS). He was a member of ESU’s Executive Committee in 2011/12 and a Vice-Chairperson in 2012/13. Rok’s main areas of work are public responsibility and financing of Higher Education as well as mobility and internationalisation.

Magalie Soenen

Magalie Soenen holds a master and teacher training degree in Geography from Ghent University, Belgium. After graduation she started working at the university as policy officer in quality assurance and internationalisation. Nine years later she moved to Brussels to become the general coordinator at EPOS vzw, the Flemish Agency for the European Life Long Learning Programme. Since 2009 she works in the Higher Education Policy Unit of the Flemish Ministry of Education of Training. She represents Flanders in the Bologna Follow Up Group and many of its working groups, takes care of the coordination of the Flemish Bologna Experts and is member of several boards of directors (e.g. Fulbright, Flanders Knowledge Area) and other committees.
Her main job the last couple of years has been to develop and recently also implement a new Flemish policy concerning internationalisation and mobility in higher education.

Ulrich Teichler

Ulrich Teichler is now Emeritus Professor at the International Centre for Higher Education Research (INCHER-Kassel), University of Kassel (Germany), where served as a full professor – from 1978 to 2013.He was also the Director of INCHER-Kassel for 16 years.

Born in 1942, Prof Teichler has a diploma and doctoral degree in sociology. He was a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Educational Research in Berlin, and has done extensive research in Japan, The Netherlands, and the US. Prof Teichler has been a part-time or visiting professor at Northwestern University, the College of Europe, Hiroshima University, and the Open University (UK). His research focuses on higher education and the world of work, comparison of higher education systems, and international mobility. He has authored or co-authored more than 1,000 publications.

Prof Teichler is a member of the International Academy of Education and the Academia Europea. He has been the president or chair of many international research networks, including the Consortium of Higher Education Researchers and EAIR (where he is also a distinguished member). Prof Teichler has received the Comenius Prize of UNESCO and Dr. h.c. of the University of Turku.


Federation of Enterprises in Belgium asbl/vzw
Rue Ravenstein 4
B – 1000 Brussels (Belgium)
Tel: +32 2 515 08 11
Fax: +32 2 515 09 15
E-mail: info(at)



Is the lack of funding THE mobility obstacle?

pdf Nicolai Netz (1.6 MB)

National mobility scholarships: rationales, approaches and priorities

pdf Rait Toompere (1.4 MB)

pdf Anne Marie Graham (634 KB)

pdf Anette Pieper (843 KB)

European student loan guarantee for mobile master’s students

pdf Julie Fionda (232 KB)

The tip of the iceberg: an overview of portable grants and loans and their actual use

pdf Bernd Waechter 01 (412 KB)

Country example of portable grants and loans: Norway

pdf Chris Eidsaunet (1.1 MB)

Country example of portable grants and loans: Germany
pdf        Danja Oste 01 (248 KB)