Past Event

Mobility of students in European higher education

Growth & innovation

Date: Oct 14 - Topic: Digital economy and innovation

Education is central to the growth agenda in Europe. Knowledge and skills are key drivers of productivity growth in advanced economies. Enrolment in tertiary education has increased in recent years, especially in newer EU member countries. The earning premiums for people with higher education are significant.

However, education is not just about the level of attainment, but also about the skills acquired and whether those capabilities are adequate for the job market. Increasing youth unemployment and the growing skill and job gaps in Europe unfortunately suggests that it is not the case. In that regard, mobility can play an important role, as one of a set of measures, by expanding the experiences and perspectives of young people and broadening their mindset about future opportunities.

The importance of both higher education and mobility are reflected in EU policy. Currently, only 10% of students in higher education are mobile. Under the Bologna Process agreement, the mobility of at least 20% of higher-education students should complete some of their studies in another country by 2020.

In this session, we will discuss the opportunities and challenges of mobility for students in higher education as part of the broader issue of addressing the skills and employment gaps in Europe. A recent EIF working paper, “Financing the Mobility of Students in European Higher Education” will be shared which provides an overview of the importance and tendencies of financing higher education and students’ mobility. The analysis investigates problems stemming from unequal access to financing of education and associated costs of mobility and the necessity of policies to correct existing market failures. These and other EU-level policies will be discussed.

The discussion will be moderated by Karen Wilson, Senior Fellow at Bruegel. The meeting will start promptly at 12:00 and run until 13:30. A light lunch will be served until 14:00 to provide time for further discussion and networking.

The event will be live streamed on this page.

Speakers

  • Jordi Curell, Director of Higher Education and International Affairs, Directorate General for Education and Culture, European Commission
  • Michael Gaebel, Head of Higher Education Policy Unit, European University Association (EUA)
  • Marjut Santoni, Deputy Chief Executive, European Investment Fund
  • Elisabeth Gehrke, Chairperson of the European Students’ Union
  • Chair: Karen Wilson, Senior Fellow, Bruegel

About the speakers

Jordi Curell is the director responsible for Higher Education and international affairs in the European Commission, DG Education and Culture. The mission of the directorate includes supporting excellence through structural reform of Higher Education in Europe and the reinforcement of the knowledge triangle. In the context of a global competition for talent, its aim is to make Europe more attractive for students, scholars and researchers and to respond to the need for skills that are crucial for an inclusive knowledge-based economy. This aim is achieved through policies and programmes such as Erasmus, Erasmus Mundus and Marie Curie Actions, aiming to promote international and intersectoral mobility and partnerships, as well as to support international cooperation (including capacity building) and also to stimulate European integration through excellence in European Studies throughout the world in implementing and developing the Jean Monnet programme The directorate also supports the long-term development of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a showcase for tackling societal challenges and for boosting Europe’s innovation capacity.

Michael Gaebel is the head of the Higher Education Policy Unit, at the European University Association (EUA). The Unit focuses on issues related to higher education learning and teaching, including the Bologna Process, lifelong learning, e-learning and MOOCs, internationalisation and global dialogue. When he first joined the organisation in 2006, he was in charge of developing EUA’s international strategy and global exchange and cooperation. Before joining EUA, Michael worked for more than a decade in higher education cooperation and development in the Middle East, the former Soviet Union and Asia. From 2002 to 2006, he was the European Co-Director of the ASEAN-EU University Network Programme (AUNP) in Bangkok. Michael graduated with a Masters in Middle Eastern Studies and German Literature and Linguistics from the Freie University Berlin, Germany.

Marjut Santoni has been the Deputy Chief Executive of the EIF since 1 August 2013. Previously, she was in the European Commission, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (1996 – July 2013) holding various roles in the field of SME and infrastructure financing as well as sovereign lending. Prior to joining EIF, Marjut Santoni dealt with the strategic design and implementation of financial instruments for infrastructure and climate change policies, which also included the management of the Euratom loan facility in the nuclear sector. From 2008 until 2010 the balance of payments lending to non-euro countries or macro financial assistance lending to third countries also fell under her responsibilities. From 2001 until June 2007, she was advisor to Commission’s members on the EIF Board of Directors. Earlier, she was in the Internal audit department of Dresdner Bank in Frankfurt am Main (1992-1995) and before that Loan officer in the credit department of Dresdner Bank, Cologne and Leipzig (1991-1992).

Elisabeth Gehrke is currently Chairperson of the European Students’ Union. Elisabeth is originally from Sweden where she studied Gender Studies at Lund University. She has held both local and national mandates, including being vice-chair of the Lund university student union association and the National Unions of students in Sweden. She has been on all levels of governance at Lund University, including being an integrated member of the University leadership during her local mandate and a member of the Lund university board for two years. On behalf of ESU she co-chairs the Bologna Follow-Up Group on Social Dimension and Life-long learning.The European Students’ Union (ESU) is the umbrella organisation of 47 National Unions of Students (NUS) from 39 countries. The aim of ESU is to represent and promote the educational, social, economic and cultural interests of students at the European level towards all relevant bodies and in particular the European Union, Bologna Follow Up Group, Council of Europe and UNESCO. Through its members, ESU represents over 15 million students in Europe

Practical details

  • Venue: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels
  • Time: Tuesday, 14 October 2014, 12.00-14.00. Lunch will be served at 13.30.
  • Contact: Matilda Sevón, Events Manager – [email protected]

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