Cross-border student and staff mobility as key peace-building instrument among European countries and driver for the circulation of ideas, innovation and graduates is politically enticing. Hence, student and staff mobility in Europe is increasing partially as a result of such mobility promotion and funding instruments as ERASMUS+. Yet, such growth is shown to be unbalanced. The most worrying is that students from underprivileged socio-economic backgrounds are less inclined to partake in student mobility than students from more prosperous socio-economic backgrounds, thereby turning ERASMUS+ into a sort of social selection mechanism. The same studies suggest that the social segregation of certain Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) contributed to the unbalanced mobility pattern and call for more equal mobility uptakes across universities through tailored incentives. Empirical research among the project’s partners indicates that reduced mobility uptake in remote and socially segregated HEIs also corresponds with lesser capacities of International Relations Offices (IROs). This project responds to the European Commission’s commitment to reinforce ERASMUS+ programme “in particular by reaching out to increasing numbers of people with fewer opportunities,” as those served by the type of HEIs mentioned above.
The project, titled “ROAMING – Strengthening International Staff & Student Mobility Offices in the West Balkans,” aims at reducing the unbalanced international mobility uptake of remote and less privileged HEIs in the West Balkans by strengthening the capacity of their International Relations Offices. To this end, we are working to establish a consortium with a mix of experienced and inexperienced Higher Education Institutions from the West Balkans in matters related to ERASMUS+ from Albania, Kosovo* and Montenegro, willing to cooperate with an experienced university from an ERASMUS member country and another university from an associated country, North Macedonia.
The overarching goal of the ROAMING Project is to reduce the unbalanced international mobility uptake of underprivileged students and staff of remote and less privileged HEIs in the West Balkans. ROAMING aims to reach the goal by strengthening the capacity of their International Relations Offices through several means and two main objectives as seen below:
Funding and support
Co-funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.
Underprivileged students, staff and faculty in partner institutions and all other HEI. Underprivileged status includes, but may not be limited to the following categories:
- people from low-income households;
- students from rural areas;
- students and staff from minority ethnic groups or of a migration background;
- students and staff from Roma or Traveller communities;
- students who are the first in their family to pursue tertiary education studies;
- students and staff with disabilities;
- students and staff who are care providers;
- students and staff with religious beliefs;
- LGBT+ students or staff;
- mature students;
- lifelong learners.