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Higher education and universities
The legal text referring to Higher Education and Universities is the decree of 31 March 2004 commonly named “Bologna”, “defining higher education, fostering its integration in the European area of higher education and re-funding universities (Décret définissant l'enseignement supérieur, favorisant son intégration dans l'espace européen de l'enseignement supérieur et refinançant les universités).
Its main axes consist of:
- The integration of all education types of the French-speaking Community within a unique system and a 3-cycles structure ;
- The removal of former grades and diplomas in favour of an harmonised terminology (bachelor, master, complementary master and PhD).
- The definition of terms and conditions of partnerships between institutions within the French-speaking Community or with foreign education institutions (see Eurypedia for more details) ;
- The systematic use of credits based on the European Credit Transfer System.
The Mobility Scoreboard platform for both higher education and initial vocational education and training provides a framework for monitoring progress made by European countries in creating a positive environment supporting learner mobility. Indicators aim to help countries identify actions to remove obstacles to learner mobility. Regarding Higher education specifically, the following report provides information including 6 indicators for learning mobility:
- Information and guidance ;
- Foreign language preparation ;
- Portability of grants and loans ;
- Support provided to students with low socio-economic background ;
- Recognition of learning outcomes ;
- Recognition of qualifications.
The following map gives a brief overview of the indicators in Belgium, by Communities.
Erasmus + The national Agency responsible for the education and training section of Erasmus + is AEF-Europe. The educational context in which Erasmus + takes action is: school education, vocational education training, higher education, adult education and training. According to the AEF-Europe, the budget 2017 for the key action 1 – learning mobility for:
- School sector is 145 1110 euros ;
- Vocational training is 2 525 524 euros;
- Higher education is 8 223 354 euros ;
- Adult education and training is 180 385 euros.
The total budget 2017 for the key action 1 (education and training mobility) is 11 074 373 euros. The budget 2017 for the key action 2 – strategic partnership for:
- School sector is 2 403 363,64 euros ;
- Vocational training is 1 968 615 euros ;
- Higher education is 162 325 euros ;
- Adult education and training is 249 001 euros.
The total budget 2017 for the key action 2 (education and training mobility) is 4 783 304, 64 euros. Besides Erasmus +, the French-speaking Community implements also mobility projects. In Secondary School The programme Schuman offers the possibility to young people from 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade of secondary school to participate to an individual exchange with young people from others regions of Luxembourg or Germany. This is due to an agreement in the framework of the Great Region Sarre-Lorraine-Luxembourg-Rhénanie-Palatinat-French and German-speaking Communities. The objectives are language learning and to get to know the culture of neighbours. The exchange lasts from 2 to 4 weeks. The circular 6035 of 25/01/2017 which informs about the programme was sent to all secondary schools in the French-speaking Community. This programme is not funded. Parents take in charge the transport to the German family. Each hosting family takes in charge the daily fees of the youngster according to the Service of international relations of the Community. In Higher Education The French-Speaking Community subsidises 3 mobility programme earmarked for students from French-speaking Community’s higher education:
- Belgica Erasmus programme
Implemented in 2004, it aims at fostering the learning mobility within the 3 Belgian Communities. It is due to a partnership between the 3 Communities. Students can either study or do an internship in the other Community. The average duration varies from 3 month to an entire academic year.
- Exchange programme for future German language’s teachers
Launched in 2009 by an inter-ministerial agreement based on the ambition to strengthen language learning. The German language student enrols to attend teaching activities in another Belgian Community.
- The Student Mobility Assistance Fund (FAME)
The Student Mobility Assistance Fund provides mobility grants to students who plan to pursue a part of their education cursus abroad. They must receive the approbation from their education institution in order to be eligible for the grant. According to Eurypedia, in 2004 the French Community created a Student Mobility Assistance Fund (FAME), which complements the European subsidies. At each beneficiary institution, at least 50% of the available budget must be used for students who receive a study allowance in the year before their departure. Mobility in this context relates to the European Higher Education Area, but also to the other Communities of Belgium. The French-speaking Community also gives support to the beneficiaries of certain European mobility programmes. The amounts of grants vary between €150 and €400 per month. The decree of 19 May 2004 institutes the Student Mobility Assistance Fund.
- The International Youth Office is the responsible agency for the youth section of Erasmus + ;
- The Youth Department recognises and funds some youth organisations specialised in cross-border mobility. These are recognised as youth services. They must satisfy the criteria and conditions set by decree to be recognised as youth services ;
- The programme Bel’J organises cross-border mobility between the 3 Communities of Belgium. See section 1.8 Cross-border cooperation in youth field.
The AEF-Europe agency and the International Youth Office implement mechanisms to evaluate cross-border mobility programme. AEF-Europe According to the Agency itself, the Agency provides to the European Commission: - An annual work programme which includes the agency’s objectives and indicators ; - An annual report which includes an evaluation on how the objectives and indicators are reached and a qualitative analyse. Participants are asked to provide feedback on their mobility project. There is nothing specific made in the framework of the European Quality Charter for Mobility. As main outcomes of quality assurance, the European Commission provides a feedback in regard to the annual report. International Youth Office According to the International Youth Office itself, it develops mechanisms to monitor and ensure the quality of programmes. The agency respects some quota of project’s visits (during and after the project). The Office makes regular evaluation of projects, asks participant to provide feedback. When the Office identifies specific needs, it organises trainings accordingly.