Higher education in European countries
The internationalization of higher education has become a reality for many, with a systematic increase in both shorter-term student mobility and full-degree mobility in many parts of the world. This plays a key role in enhancing intercultural competencies and understanding, and ultimately enhances the quality of higher education through the introduction of global perspectives in curricula.
As an umbrella organization for 47 national unions of students in 39 countries, the European Students’ Union (ESU) represents over 11 million students in Europe. Internationalization is a main area in our work in representing and promoting students’ social, economic and cultural interests.
Key internationalization issues for ESU involve balancing student mobility flows, making mobility a real possibility for all students through improved access strategies, implementing full portability of student financial support and increasing the amount of financial support given to mobile students, as well as guaranteeing the fair and equal treatment of international students.
The last point is often linked with a principle discussion about the motivations and financing of the internationalization of higher education. Fundamental to all of our work is the active engagement and recognition of students as essential stakeholders in the governance of higher education.
Global responsibility and student mobility
A real commitment to balancing student mobility flows is vital for ensuring a long-term, sustainable internationalization of higher education. The European Students’ Union is strongly opposed to the removal of a country’s most talented knowledge communities. Governments and institutions must take responsibility for reducing the risks of brain drain, both within the European community and outside of it.