All that glitters is gold? Forced (credit) mobility too? Case study Luxembourg
Responsibility for Internationalisation
Emilia Kmiotek-Meier, University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Single presentation - 30 Minutes
The Intra-European youth mobility is very welcome phenomenon, associated with many advantages, both on individual and EU level. Higher Education has not been spared from this “mobility-hype”. This paper seeks students’ perspective on this issue and asks: How the practice of forced mobility is welcomed by students? Which responsibilities have sending institutions? The question in focus has been researched in the Luxembourgish context. The country has a long tradition to educate students abroad as the first public university of the country was founded 2003, with a rule of a mandatory stay abroad for undergraduates. This paper draws on a comparative study of credit and degree students combining qualitative interviews (N=16) with an online survey (N=431); for this topic focussing mainly on interviews with credit students (N=6). First results show that negative experiences from credits students are linked with the institutionalised nature of the forced stay rather than with the experience itself. Two aspects seem to be central to young people: (1) the forced nature of the stay abroad linked with their lack of understanding regarding the institutional rationale behind it and (2) the reverse transition(s) after the stay abroad in the context of transition(s) to adulthood. Thus, this paper discusses under-researched topics being the shadow sides of credit mobility in the European context and offers some practical solutions for sending institutions, e.g. the timing of the stay abroad.