Read UNICA’s report on “Improving staff (training) mobility in Europe”, based on findings from the UNICA hosted platform staffmobility.eu
16 February 2021 | From UNICA
Publication presents conclusions of almost 10 years of activity of the website staffmobility.eu, while suggesting future improvements.
In 2013, UNICA coordinated a project that transformed the landscape of Erasmus staff trainings. The project IMOTION (Integration and Promotion of Staff Training Courses at Universities across Europe) aimed at coordinating the multiple sources of information concerning opportunities for staff training. Hence, the website staffmobility.eu was born and rapidly became a success among HEIs, who could now promote their staff trainings, and among HEIs’ staff, who could easily find an opportunity that would fit their professional development needs.
It’s been almost ten years since this powerful tool was introduced, and much has changed in the Higher Education area in general, and in the practices within the training mobility culture, in particular. Having this in mind, UNICA decided to access staffmobility.eu as the first step towards the improvement of this essential tool. Some of the findings that call for an enhancement of the website include new trends in digitalization, the pursuit of improved quality in mobility opportunities, the need for an improved system to collect and analyse the website’s data, and the demand to access the opportunities on a larger scale beyond the personal experience.
Ultimately, the report concludes that staffmobility.eu is well regarded by many in the sector as a ground-breaking concept that, to this day, leads the promotion and uptake of staff training weeks.
Take-aways from the report:
“The 2018 Erasmus report states that 99% of staff were satisfied or very satisfied with their Erasmus+ experience abroad and the participant reports demonstrate that the activity contributed greatly to a sense of shared European identity and being open minded to working abroad.” (page 9)
“It is possible to surmise that the exponential growth of staff training weeks and the promotion of these through IMOTION since 2014 had led to this increase.” (page 13)
“Undertaking job shadowing in another country is more of a challenge, but is particularly valuable for younger staff. It can be used as a staff development opportunity and to create or strengthen certain abilities. It has the benefit of adding an intercultural dimension which institutions are trying to instill in their students.” (page 23)
“The data on the activity and engagement of visitors to the platform confirms that the popularity of staffmobility.eu has constantly grown over the years: (…) the number of visitors, new visitors, and sessions shows a significant increase between 2017 and 2019.” (page 25)
“For the next Erasmus programme it will be useful, in order to increase the quality of both teaching and training mobility to include virtual mobility as a selection criteria.” (page 34)
The future in motion
With room for improvement, IMOTION has proved to be a successful project with great potential for sustainability. In fact, the report (page 31) also introduces some of the initiatives in the pipeline linked to staff training mobility and teaching exchanges under Erasmus.
Among these is the TWE+ (Teaching with Erasmus Plus) project, in which UNICA participates as a partner. With the aim to create an online “marketplace” for teaching staff in order to facilitate, encourage, and promote teacher mobility across Europe, this project draws from important rationales that sustained the IMOTION project, proving that, even almost a decade later, staffmobility.eu is still an impactful tool whose full potential is still to be unveiled.