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ENPMOB: Comparative study of European and national-level policies and practices on academic mobility


November 2010 - January 2012


Nuffic and DAAD


The ENPMOB project was dedicated to the exploration and analysis of international student (and staff) mobility policies and strategies at the European level and across the 32 countries participating in the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP) of the European Union.

ACA served as project coordinator and worked closely with colleagues from Nuffic and DAAD to realise the project’s goals.

Building on the quantitative foundation laid by another ACA study completed in 2011 – Mapping mobility in European higher education – ENPMOB has aimed to make sense of the concrete set of policy objectives, instruments, responsible actors, monitoring actions and timeline specifications for mobility articulated in the study countries and within the broader European Union (EU) framework.

The findings of the project were published in the series ACA Papers on International Cooperation in Education, under the title European and national policies for academic mobility. Linking rhetoric, practice and mobility trends. The publication provides a substantial contribution to ACA’s body of work focused on international mobility. It includes a macro-level comparison of the mobility policies of the Europe 32 countries and the EU itself. There is also an historical account and analysis of the evolution of EU mobility policies over the past 25 years as well as in-depth presentations of the national mobility policies in eight selected countries – Austria, Cyprus, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Spain and the United Kingdom. A central issue within the study was the question of “convergence” or “divergence”between European and national-level policies for academic mobility. Attention is also paid to the alignment (or lack thereof) between stated policy objectives and the ‘real world’, in the form of discernible mobility trends and the practical application of steering instruments.