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Student Mobility in the Western Balkans

Student Mobility in the Western Balkans

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Student Mobility in the Western Balkans

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  1. Student Mobility in the Western Balkans Stefan Schäfers 2 February 2009

  2. KBF Activities Student Mobility • SMART VISA Survey • Survey on visa abuse of Western Balkan students • Financial support for a monitoring of the facilitated visa regime in the Western Balkans • Study mission on information availability to the Western Balkan students who whish to study in the EU • Survey on student mobility in the Western Balkans

  3. Survey on student mobility in the Western Balkans • Opinion survey in cooperation with student organisations, CEDEM and University of Novi Sad • Questioning randomly selected students from the main universities in four countries of the region (Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, B&H) • Tripartite questionnaire: • the experience of students who studied abroad • the fears of or challenges for students who are considering to study abroad • the motivation of students who don’t consider to go abroad

  4. Where did students travel to? (all)

  5. Studied abroad or considering to study abroad • In all four countries only 26 students studied abroad • Majority of students from Albania and Montenegro are the most interested in studying abroad • On the other hand, a huge majority of students from B&H and Serbia is not considering to study abroad

  6. Hierarchy of problems that students face regarding the possibility of studying abroad – example Serbia

  7. What would you like to see improved? (intending to study abroad)

  8. Conditions to change students’ attitude towards studying abroad (not intending to study abroad)

  9. What are you planning to do after your studies? (intending to study abroad) • Potential problem of brain drain

  10. Awareness of the Erasmus and Erasmus Mundus programmes (%)

  11. Conclusions (I) • Higher mobility of students from the region than expected • High interest in studying abroad • Huge difference between interested students and students who actually study abroad • Multiple reasons why students don’t study abroad: visas problems are only one of many problems • More important: long and frustrating procedures, paperwork, little help from universities to get through the procedures, lack of money and no functioning university partnerships

  12. Conclusions (II) • Low level of knowledge among students: Erasmus mundus only known by 2,4% of the all students. • What could be done: More scholarships and exchange programmes with easier procedures, recognition of exams, better information availability, easier visa procedures • Risk of brain drain should not be underestimated

  13. Survey on Visa Abuse • Survey Title: “Students from the Western Balkans: The experience of EU countries regarding admission and misuse of procedures” • Initiated by the King Baudouin Foundation in 2006 and implemented in co-operation with the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) • Structured questionnaire for government bodies in 16 EU Member States and Switzerland (focus on statistical data or estimates) • Qualitative research regarding the role of universities in individual admission procedures, their responsibilities for students and their experience regarding government co-operation.

  14. Key Results (I) • Less than 3% of long-term visa or residence permits granted to students from the Western Balkans (11 of 27 EU Member States) • In Slovenia and Bulgaria: 52%, fewer than 3% in Germany and the Netherlands. • Indication that there is currently little or no misuse of visa or residence permits granted to students from the Western Balkans • 16 of the 17 countries surveyed confirmed that students from the Western Balkans do not represent a risk group

  15. Key Results (II) • Only UK and the Netherlands: particular role of universitiesin admission procedures and responsibilities for their students after admission • Immediate effect: greater administrative/financial burden for universities. More control and not less administrative burden as foreseen in Directive/2004/114/EC (Art 19, fast track procedures) • Privileged access to student visas/broader student exchange for students from Western Balkan countries is the exception

  16. Special admission procedures

  17. KBF 2009-2011 Projects • Grants to five universities in the Western Balkans to finance one staff member within the ICO • Grants to universities to produce promotion material/information days/ambassador programmes • Online tool giving an overview of scholarships eligible for students from the Western Balkans • Advise to universities on how to improve their international websites. • Associated partner of Basileus consortium