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Flanders leaves rest of Europe in the dust for quality of student exchange programs

5 April 2017

Based on the European Union's Higher Education Mobility Scoreboard, Flanders has the most advanced educational system when it comes to international mobility of students. Our region scores the highest in five of six categories used in the scoreboard.

The Higher Education Mobility scoreboard includes six indicators in five thematic areas: information and guidance, foreign language preparation, portability of grants and loans, support provided to students with low socioeconomic background, recognition of learning outcomes and qualifications. The six scoreboard indicators are composite indicators combining different criteria relevant to the specific policy field. In five of these six indicators, Flanders attained the highest score. Other educational systems had no more than two or three categories in which they attained the highest score.

Information and guidance on learning mobility

Flanders scores: highest

This indicator examines the extent to which central authorities have taken steps in the direction of accessible, transparent and tailored information and guidance on learning mobility opportunities.

Besides overarching central-level actions (strategies, initiatives, etc.), it considers centralised, publicly-supported web portal(s), the monitoring of personalised services providing guidance and information, as well as the involvement of multipliers.

Foreign language preparation

Flanders scores: third highest

This indicator analyses national approaches to foreign language teaching in schools. It focuses on the duration of compulsory foreign language teaching available to all pupils in full-time education, from pre-primary level until the end of upper secondary education. It considers educational pathways or tracks giving direct access to higher education, including both general and vocational education.

Portability of public grants and loans

Flanders scores: highest

This indicator considers whether the main forms of public student support (public grants and publicly subsidised loans) can be used for short–term study abroad (credit mobility) or for a full degree in another country.

Mobility support provided to students with low socio-economic background

Flanders scores: highest

This indicator focuses on the extent to which support for mobility is targeted to students with a low socio-economic background. It analyses whether education systems set quantitative targets on the participation of such students in mobility programmes, monitor their participation in a comprehensive manner, and provide non-repayable financial support.

Recognition of learning outcomes through ECTS

Flanders scores: highest

Following the commitment of all countries to implement the 2015 ECTS Users' Guide, this indicator takes stock of action to ensure that the main elements of the ECTS system supporting mobility (i.e. awarding and transferring credits, using ECTS supporting documents, having appeals procedures on credit recognition, and using grade distribution tables) are correctly used.

Recognition of qualifications

Flanders scores: highest

The objective of this indicator is to assess national level progress in adapting recognition practice to ensure more automatic recognition of qualifications from other European countries.

The full report Mobility Scoreboard: Higher Education Background Report is available in English on the Eurydice website: http://ec.europa.eu/eurydice

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