Work programme 2009-2012
Conference on Mobility
On 5 and 6 October in Antwerp, a first conference was held as part of the Europe 2020-flagship initiative "Youth on the Move”.
The first conference of the Europe 2020-flagship initiative "Youth on the Move” was organized by the Belgian EU-Presidency jointly with the DG Education and Culture of the European Commission.
The over 400 participants from all over Europe were seeking new possibilities for giving young people the chance to study or complete traineeships abroad.
Studying or doing a traineeship abroad is referred to as learning mobility. The participants concluded that such mobility still remains far from a reality for all. Nevertheless, they agreed that the goal must be upheld.
After all, learning mobility offers a variety of clear advantages. Thanks to foreign experience, young people can better fulfill themselves personally and have better job prospects.
Among the conclusions reached at the conference
- Learning mobility must be accessible for all young people, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
- Teachers play the role of setting an example and therefore, mobility must be encouraged for students who are studying to become teachers.
- There needs to be a ‘culture of internationalization’, within the government as well as various institutions. Only then can an international learning experience become the norm for all.
- The interest in learning mobility also needs to be stimulated in vocational programmes that are situated outside of the educational system.
- There is a need for extra financial support for less affluent students and groups that are currently underrepresented.
- Special student loans should also be made available in order to finance learning mobility.
Flemish Minister for Education Pascal Smet opened the conference together with European Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou. Smet emphasised the importance of learning mobility in educating young people.
As policymakers, it is our responsibility to ensure that young people face their futures with confidence. And with a backpack filled with the right skills. One of the ways to achieve this is to guarantee that, during their education, all students can have the chance to gain experience abroad.
Name of the person attending the event: Ligia Deca
Contribution made: Chair of WG 1 – Incentives to mobility