Europe's largest international higher education conference moved online this year, between October 14-16, under the name of EAIE 2020 Community Exchange.
The event brought together, as every year, higher education institutions, national agencies, student service providers and many other participants, as well as representatives of the Erasmus Student Network - the only student organisation present at the event. The programme engaged speakers from 30 countries around the world, +30 hours of timely content, break-out discussions, exhibitions, keynotes, opportunities to network through different digital formats.
The Erasmus Student Network representatives had the pleasure to facilitate 6 different sessions. Our contribution focused on showcasing ESN’s projects and services supporting more digital, inclusive and accessible exchange programmes.
During the “Download, click, go abroad! Meet the new Erasmus+ mobile app” session, Kaspars Ābelnīca, the Web Project Administrator of the Erasmus Student Network, presented the challenges currently faced by students while planning and conducting an exchange abroad and how the newly revamped Erasmus+ App comes with solutions right from your pocket. Together with the European Commission and the European University Foundation, we showcased how, with only a few taps, the #ErasmusApp guides students in their choice of university and courses, allowing them to easily sign and monitor online learning agreements and share tips with other Erasmus students. The new version of the app will be launched in the months to come.
Kostis Giannidis, President of the Erasmus Student Network, took part in the “Emergency financial support for degree and credit mobility students. Approaches and outcomes” session, discussing the financial hardships and uncertainties encountered by the international mobile students in 2020. Developed together with Trinity College Dublin and Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, the session explored several perspectives on needs and responses in this area.
One of the highlights during this year’s EAIE was the “Erasmus 2021-2027: blended mobility for more inclusion and innovation in your university” session, held by the European Commission together with the Erasmus Student Network and the University of Antwerp. The next Erasmus programme comes with more flexible mobility formats, including blended mobility: the combination of short-term physical mobility with a virtual component. Kostis Giannidis from ESN showcased the opportunities that the new formats bring for the internationally-minded youth.
Addressing the “Employability of international students and graduates”, Sabina Achim, the Communication Manager of ESN, together with the European University Foundation, showcased two platforms relevant for the international and mobile youth. ErasmusIntern.org is ESN’s platform bringing together internship providers and students seeking an internship opportunity abroad, since 2014. ErasmusJobs aims to bridge the skills gap and enhance the transition from education to the labour market. By 2022, the project will develop the first portal for jobs for the Erasmus Generation.
HOME (Home Of Mobile Europeans) is an EU project dedicated to providing international students and trainees with quality accommodation options, paying particular attention to disadvantaged groups. Moderating the session “Project HOME presents: Student Accommodation Quality Labels”, Sabina Achim, together with the European University Foundation and the International Union of Property Owners, presented the results of the project and the ongoing implementation of these features with the EWP platform and the Erasmus+ App, for the benefit of international students.
As a solution to the challenges of international students with disabilities, ESN’s President Kostis Giannidis, together with the Support Centre Inclusive Higher Education (SIHO) presented the key aspects of inclusive mobility and the one-stop-shop platform where everything is to be found on the topic for national authorities, practitioners, and students with disabilities - the InclusiveMobility.eu platform.
EAIE was once again a very inspiring and valuable experience. Next autumn, the EAIE will be again on the move, travelling up north to the city of Gothenburg - and ESN will not be missing among the participants. More information about the upcoming edition and the submissions of proposals can be found here.
Do you recognise the ESN representatives?
For the participants of the event, the sessions are available to watch until November 1st on the event’s platform.