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

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Presentation on theme: "Student Mobility in the Western Balkans Stefan Schäfers 2 February 2009."— Presentation transcript:

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 dont consider to go abroad

4 Where did students travel to? (all) AlbaniaB&HMNESerbia YESNOYESNOYESNOYESNO Ex YU92,9%7,1%99,5%0,5%83,6%16,4%79,9%20,1% EU35,7%64,3%82,1%17,9%66,5%33,5%83,2%16,8% USA4,2%95,8%13,9%86,1%5,8%94,2%10,0%90,0%

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 PROBLEMS: Big problem % Small problem % No problem % Long and frustrating procedure in general Cant provide enough money Paperwork (bureaucracy in general) Getting a visa Lack of available information – difficult to get information about new social and university environment No functioning university partner network No/little help from my university regarding the expectations of studying abroad No exchange programmes

7 What would you like to see improved? (intending to study abroad) TO BE IMPROVED To great extent To some extent No need to improve More scholarships 81,416,62,0 Easier to apply for study place abroad, improving procedure 76,021,72,3 Support in getting a visa 74,922,13,0 Availability of information 72,026,81,2 Providing more exchange programmes 73,423,72,9 Making bilateral agreement between Universities 68,829,21,9 Implementing the Bologna 63,830,16,1 Providing administrative help 62,933,14,1 Easier recognition of exams 61,732,26,1

8 Conditions to change students attitude towards studying abroad (not intending to study abroad) CONDITIONS One of the main conditions Important condition Not so important condition No condition at all Good and sufficient scholarship 58,628,49,53,5 Guarantee that exams will be recognized when I come back 53,729,911,05,3 Clear carrier opportunities after coming back 46,934,611,47,1 Easy application procedure 42,139,112,76,0 More accessible visa requirements 41,837,813,86,7 Existing and efficient exchange programme 41,142,710,65,5 Clear support from my University 40,938,612,97,6 More and easily available information through advisory talk with an expert 36,141,714,97,3

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 (%) No, I dont know anything about the programme % I have heard something about the programme but I am not sure what it is % Yes, I have all the information about the Erasmus programme % Erasmus Erasmus mundus Erasmus Erasmus mundus Erasmus Erasmus mundus Albania B&H Montenegro Serbia Total

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 dont 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 universities in 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 Does your country have any bilateral agreements in place with any of the countries of the Western Balkans regarding the admission procedure of their students? Does your country have any Special policies or practices in place regarding the admission procedures of students from Western Balkan? Does your country have any plans to introduce any special policies or practices regarding the facilitated admission procedures for the students from the Western Balkans? Austria No Bulgaria YesNo Czech Republic No Estonia No Germany No Hungary YesNo Latvia No Lithuania No Netherlands No Poland NoYesNo Portugal No Romania No Slovenia Yes No Spain No Sweden No Switzerland No

17 KBF 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


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