Staff Mobility in Higher Education: National Policies and

by user






Staff Mobility in Higher Education: National Policies and
Education, Audiovisual and Culture
Executive Agency
Eurydice and Policy Support
Avenue du Bourget 1 (BOU2)
B-1140 Brussels
Eurydice Overview
Tel. +32 2 299 50 58
Fax +32 2 292 19 71
E-mail: [email protected]
Staff Mobility in
Higher Education
National Policies and Programmes
Promoting staff mobility has become an issue of increasing
importance in European higher education policy. Mobility and
internationalisation are key aspects of the Bologna process, and
staff mobility is integral to the overall objectives. This is
exemplified most recently in the 'Mobility Strategy 2020 for the
European Higher Education Area' adopted by the Ministers of
the European Higher Education Area countries. Yet despite the
political attention to the topic, surprisingly little information
about staff mobility is available at European level.
Cornelia Racké
Bernadette Forsthuber
David Crosier
Wim Vansteenkiste,
Communication and Publications:
+32 2 299 50 58
Part of the reason for the lack of information is conceptual.
What exactly is meant by 'staff' in higher education, and what
forms of mobility are to be considered? At first sight, these may
seem like straightforward issues, but they are not so simple.
The phrase 'academic staff mobility' could, for example, be
categorised by length of time spent outside a country – thus
considering 'short term' or 'longer term' periods spent abroad.
However, it would arguable be far more useful to categorise
mobility by the purposes of periods spent abroad. Thus
academic staff may be mobile to participate in international
conferences, for study visits, for periods of teaching or
and Training
academic exchange, for a sabbatical with a defined objective, etc. Mobility may be
funded by grants and fellowships, or may be supported by an employment contract. A
mobility period may take place as part of continuing professional development. Or
alternatively an institution may be interested in importing academic labour and thus
targeting the international labour market. In European policy discussions, these
questions are yet to be fully answered, and hence there are no general agreements on
what kind of data collection is required to capture relevant information.
This short report therefore aims to provide some information while the policy discussion
continues to define more concrete objectives at European level.
Objectives and scope of the report
The purpose of this short comparative report is to provide an overview of national
policies and measures concerning staff mobility in higher education.
The content is based on data extracted from Topic 13 of Eurypedia (Mobility and
Internationalisation), more specifically from Article 13.2 (Mobility in Higher Education),
focusing on national policies and programmes. The topics to be covered were defined by
the guide to the content as well as an additional list of questions sent to all Eurydice
National Units in October 2012 concerning
national policy goals regarding staff mobility in higher education;
national mobility programmes for higher education staff.
Reflecting the responses received, this short overview report distinguishes between
national, bilateral and regional (governmental) programmes to foster staff mobility in
higher education.
National programmes are organised at national level and one single country is
responsible for funding and coordinating the programme. In the case of Belgium, the
higher education systems of the French Community, the German-speaking Community
and the Flemish Community are treated separately and 'national programmes' or
'national policies' refer to the level of Communities. The same goes for the United
Kingdom, with England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland being treated as distinct
higher education systems.
Bilateral programmes are based on intergovernmental cooperation between two
countries, which both contribute to funding and organising the common programme.
Regional programmes involve more than two countries from one European region. They
can also involve bilateral exchanges but those exchanges then take place in a broader
framework of cooperation among a larger group of countries.
Erasmus and other EU-funded programmes, however, are not covered by this report.
1. National policies
While there seems to be general support for internationalisation of higher education,
including staff mobility, less than half of the countries where data is available have
national policies that explicitly seek to promote staff mobility in higher education.
Figure 1.1: Existence of national policies explicitly aimed at promoting staff mobility in higher education, 2012/13
A national policy:
does not exist
Data not available
Three countries have adopted national policies in combination with quantitative targets:
The Programme on Internationalisation of Higher Education of Lithuania 2011-2012 has the promotion of academic staff mobility as
one of its objectives and identifies as priority countries of destination for academic staff mobility: EU countries, Nordic countries,
Australia, Japan and the US. The quantitative targets set are to have an annual growth of outward academic staff mobility of at least
8 % and to Lithuanian/Baltic centres across Europe of at least 15 %. For inbound mobility, the target is to have a rate of at least 5 %.
In Slovenia, the National Higher Education Programme 2011-2020 envisages higher education teachers, other staff and researchers
to train, teach and carry out research at higher education institutions in other countries. At the same time, the proportion of foreign
nationals among higher education teachers, assistants and researchers at Slovenian higher education institutions should increase
considerably by 2020. For inward mobility as well as doctoral programmes quantitative targets are set: by 2020, at least 10 % of
academic staff should be foreigners and at least 20 % of doctoral candidates should be involved in joint doctoral study programmes.
In Finland, the Ministry of Education and Culture published in 2009 a Strategy for the Internationalisation of Higher Education
Institutions, which underlines the importance of increasing staff mobility and includes the aim that in 2015, 4 000 teachers and
experts of polytechnics will spend a period of at least one week abroad and 4 000 university teachers and researchers will spend at
least two weeks abroad. The corresponding targets for incoming mobility are 3 000 and 4 000 respectively.
Another eleven countries have national policies to achieve specific goals related to staff
mobility in higher education, without setting quantitative targets. Staff mobility tends to
be seen as an element of human resources development and as a way to improve the
quality of higher education and research at national higher education institutions.
National policies therefore are designed to encourage staff of national higher education
institutions to spend some time abroad (and to return to the home country afterwards)
and/or to facilitate the recruitment of highly qualified foreign lecturers and researchers.
In the Czech Republic, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports has included mobility of academic staff of public higher
education institutions as a priority in its Strategic Plan, which envisages programmes to support staff mobility as well as the
establishment of suitable conditions for the permanent employment of foreign experts. The Strategic Plan also contains
recommendations to higher education institutions: they are advised to support two-way international mobility of researchers; for
academic staff, long-term mobility should form part of career progression; for other (administrative) staff, mobility should become a
normal expectation, too. The Strategy for Lifelong Learning in the Czech Republic refers to academic staff mobility as a means to
develop quality in teaching and research. In the context of the National Policy of Research, Development and Innovation of the
Czech Republic, enabling academic staff to do research at major European and world workplaces is seen as a contribution to the
provision of quality human resources for R&D.
In 2008, the German Government adopted a 'Strategy for the Internationalisation of Science and Research', which emphasises the
need to strengthen the international mobility of German scientists and researchers and underlines Germany's aims to attract
excellent researchers from all over the world.
In Spain, the national policy goals regarding staff mobility are defined by the National Plan for Scientific Research, Development and
Technological Innovation overseen by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness and implemented in cooperation with the
Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports. One of the overarching goals is 'to advance internationally as a basis for a qualitative step
forward for the Spanish system of Science and Technology'. For this purpose, an increase in the participation of Spanish researchers
in international programmes and bodies is sought, as is the coordination of agents implementing research, development and
innovation activities in different countries. The 2001 Organic Act on Universities (LOU) and the 2007 Organic Act modifying the
Organic Act on Universities (LOMLOU) established boosting the mobility of students, teachers and researchers within the Spanish,
European and international systems as an essential goal and a priority of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports.
The Italian Ministry also seeks to increase the number of academics with teaching and/or research experience abroad, more
specifically to encourage Italian academics teaching/researching abroad to return to Italian higher education institutions or research
institutes as well as to promote international recruitment of young researchers, researchers and professors. Moreover, the Italian
Ministry aims to promote academic mobility in the context of cooperation agreements with other countries or between individual
higher education institutions and to increase Italian participation in EU research initiatives.
Latvia’s National Development Plan 2014-2020 refers to mobility of academic and research staff and to attracting foreign lecturers as
tools to reach the goal of qualified and internationally competitive higher education personnel. To attract academic staff from abroad
(EU and non-EU countries), the Government’s Action Plan proposes e.g. facilitating the use of foreign languages at public higher
education institutions, easing requirements concerning local language knowledge and simplifying visa and residence permit
procedures. To reach the national policy goal of improving the quality of higher education, mobility of academic staff is supported not
only with regard to an academic or scientific dimension but also for the purposes of professional skills and competences
development, for instance by way of in-service training at enterprises active in the academic’s field of studies.
Poland does not have a national policy yet, but a 'Strategy for the Development of the Human Capital' is being drafted. This
considers mobility as a constant element of staff development. It also envisages increasing the number of Polish academics going to
foreign higher education institutions as well as the number of foreign academics coming to Poland for the purposes of teaching and
research. Similarly, the number of academics who spent part of their academic career at a foreign higher education institution should
be increased.
In Portugal, the Government’s Programme acknowledges the importance of academic staff mobility and lists among its objectives
maintaining mobility programmes and encouraging the internationalization of students and teachers. The Foundation for Science and
Technology, a public institute integrated in the Ministry of Education and Science, supports mobility and international cooperation and
applies 'the degree of internationalization of the team' as one of the selection criteria when funding research projects.
Romania reports that the current educational policy fosters mobility and exchange of students and academic staff at all education
levels as an important contribution to the development of the European dimension in education and of quality education, as well as to
improved networking and opening of the education system. Similarly, Hungary seeks to internationalise higher education and to
achieve an exchange of knowledge by way of staff mobility.
The Slovak Republic has adopted a long-term plan on education, research, development, artistic and other creative activity in the
field of higher education until 2014, which also deals with teacher mobility. When providing funding to higher education institutions,
the Ministry of Education is to 'positively reflect' teacher mobility. Moreover, the Ministry will promote teacher mobility as one of the
conditions for obtaining positions as docent or professor.
In 2008, the Swedish Government adopted the Bill 'Knowledge without borders – higher education in the era of globalisation' in order
to promote the internationalisation of higher education, stressing the importance of teacher mobility. The Bill tasked universities to
increase staff mobility by local initiatives and the Swedish Government also allocated special funds to higher education institutions to
stimulate teacher mobility (2010/11 a total of SEK 20 million). The support included the possibility to finance substitute teachers but
was not extended beyond 2011.
In the White Paper on research published in March 2013, the government of Norway underlines the need to increase both
international and inter-sectoral mobility. Norway appears to be rather attractive for foreign researchers and the Centres of Excellence,
among others, have become important arenas of international collaboration. The persisting challenge is to stimulate Norwegian
researchers to utilize the existing opportunities to go abroad. In particular PhD candidates are encouraged to spend some time
In several higher education systems, promoting internationalisation and increasing
academic staff mobility are acknowledged as important goals but are not connected to
concrete national policies on staff mobility in higher education.
In the Political Declaration of the Government of the French Community of Belgium (2009-2014), the mobility of staff is pointed out
as one of the main elements of internationalisation of higher education.
Similarly, in the Flemish Community of Belgium, internationalisation is considered an important element of the mission of every
higher education institution, which at least indirectly implies increasing staff mobility, as is also reflected by the Frameworks for the
Assessment of Internationalisation developed by the Dutch-Flemish Accreditation Organisation (NVAO). Internationalisation is also
one of the topics to be addressed by the annual reports higher education institutions need to submit to the Flemish authorities.
Estonia refers to the mobility of lecturers as a key element of the higher education strategy with a view to improving quality as well
as international credibility and competitiveness of Estonian higher education.
France reports that promoting the mobility of staff in higher education and the internationalisation of higher education institutions
more generally form part of the strategy for the development of higher education and research. Even though there is no explicit policy
that directly targets the mobility of staff in higher education, France supports staff mobility via other policies promoting the
internationalisation of universities.
In Austria, the 2002 Universities Act lists national and international mobility of students, graduates, and university scientific and
artistic staff as one of the guiding principles to be observed by universities in fulfilling their missions.
Finally, the German-speaking Community of Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, Hungary, the
Netherlands, the United Kingdom (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) and Iceland
explicitly state not to have national policy goals on staff mobility in higher education.
2. National, bilateral and regional programmes
and measures
As indicated in the introduction, in this short overview report, a distinction is made
between national, bilateral and regional (governmental) programmes to foster staff
mobility in higher education in order to get a more detailed picture of the different types
of official programmes available in different countries. This distinction does not imply any
kind of hierarchy or ranking; all three types of programmes have their merits.
National mobility programmes for higher
education staff
Most countries with national policies targeting staff mobility in higher education (see
Figure 1.1) also have national mobility programmes for higher education staff. In total,
about half of the higher education systems participating in this study have national
mobility programmes for higher education staff.
In most cases, such programmes exist to support both inbound and outbound mobility.
Luxembourg distinguishes two main types of staff mobility: (a) short-term mobility of staff employed by the University of Luxembourg
going abroad for a learning experience of a few days, weeks or months within the frame of his/her working contract and (b) long-term
mobility of residents working at foreign universities or foreign higher education staff employed by the University of Luxembourg. With
regard to short-term staff mobility in higher education, Luxembourg does not have any national policy goals or national mobility
programmes. Staff mobility is coordinated by the University itself. The relatively low number of measures for short-term mobility is
explained by the importance of long-term mobility at the University of Luxembourg: about 75 % of the academic staff come from
abroad, so by working at the University of Luxembourg they already experience staff mobility.
Figure 2.1: Existence of national programmes on staff mobility in higher education, 2012/13
A national programme
does not exist
Data not available
Slovenia is a special case in that it has national policy goals and even concrete targets but no national mobility programmes. The
biggest share of academic staff mobility is supported by the EU programme Erasmus. Additional support comes from the regional
programme CEEPUS (Central European Exchange Programme for University Studies), European Economic Area Grants and
bilateral cooperation with the US (Fulbright programme). Next to that, individual exchanges of teachers take place on the basis of
bilateral or multilateral cooperation between higher education institutions.
The funding is usually provided by ministries of education, research or foreign affairs
and/or by research councils/foundations. The administration of the programmes is in
some cases also a task of the relevant ministries but often delegated to an agency.
The length of mobility periods supported by national programmes ranges from a few days
to two years. In most cases, members of staff receive funding to go abroad for a short
period of time, usually just a few days or weeks.
The staff groups targeted by national mobility programmes are not always differentiated
– some countries simply refer to programmes for academic staff or higher education staff
in general. Where there is differentiation, the two groups mentioned most frequently are
teaching staff and research staff. The third group for which specific programmes exist in
a substantial number of countries are doctoral candidates or early-stage researchers.
However, doctoral candidates might not always be employed by the university but
treated as students, in which case, strictly speaking, their mobility would not count as
staff mobility.
Only a few countries explicitly mention also 'other staff', non-teaching staff,
administrative staff or artists. Financial support for the mobility of administrative staff
seems to come almost exclusively from the Erasmus programme, though.
Figure 2.2: Types of higher education staff targeted by national mobility programmes, 2012/13
Other staff
Doctoral candidates
Source: Eurydice.
No national mobility programmes
Not participating in the study
Mobility of researchers figures prominently and is often financed by national research
councils or foundations, either with special mobility programmes or as part of national
research programmes. In most cases, particular attention is paid to early-stage
researchers (doctoral candidates and/or post-doctoral researchers).
In the French Community of Belgium, the FRS-FNRS (research funding agency of the French Community/Federation WalloniaBrussels) provides a range of instruments supporting researchers’ mobility at different stages of their career, such as long-term
mobility grants, tools for short-term mobility and training abroad. For inbound mobility, there are also long-term mobility grants and
the Ulysses Programme specifically aims at encouraging highly qualified Belgian or foreign researchers currently working abroad to
develop their career at a university in the French Community of Belgium. Moreover, all national grants or fellowships are open to nonresidents provided that they either live in Belgium or promote collaboration between Belgium and their home country. WalloniaBrussels International also provides specific grants to sponsor research activities outside Belgium.
In the Flemish Community of Belgium, the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO Vlaanderen), an independent agency supporting
fundamental research in all disciplines, also provides funding for scientific mobility, both inbound and outbound. Visiting postdoctoral
fellowships enable foreign researchers to do research at Flemish universities; Flemish researchers in turn can receive funding for
short or long stays abroad. Moreover, Flemish research teams can apply for logistic and institutional support for collaboration with
colleagues abroad.
In the Czech Republic, academic staff mobility is usually included in the development programmes announced annually by the
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and often included in grants for specific research projects with the main providers of grants
being the Czech Science Foundation (GACR), the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic and individual ministries.
With the Zhang Heng programme, France offers young researchers (up to the age of 40) the possibility to spend one week in China
to get to know the research undertaken there in the field of contagious diseases. The programme is financed and organised by the
French Embassy in China (in cooperation with the Academy of Sciences of China). The administration has been delegated to the
agency Campus France.
In Lithuania, a national programme offers support for research visits of a maximum of 30 days or for short-term visits of a maximum
of 5 days to participate in international scientific conferences. Target groups are teaching staff, doctoral students, young researchers,
scientists and other researchers from Lithuanian higher education and research institutions. The programme is financed from the
state budget and/or EU funds and organised by the Research Council of Lithuania.
Through the Balassi Institute, the Hungarian Scholarship Board Office offers scholarships to lecturers as well as research fellows
who intend to gain further professional experience at Hungarian higher education institutions or research institutes. There are
scholarships for postgraduate studies or research (3-21 days or 1-10 months), for PhD programmes (36 months), for partial PhD
studies (10 months), for postdoctoral studies or research (1-10 months), and for research stays (3-21 days or 1-10 months). The
latter are available to associate professors or high-ranking academics as well as researchers holding a PhD or an equivalent degree.
In Austria, the Federal Ministry of Science and Research offers scholarships to doctoral candidates to pursue 6 to 12 months of their
studies abroad. Depending on their field of study, foreign graduates can apply for various grants allowing them to do research in
Austria. The programmes are financed and coordinated by the Federal Ministry of Science and Research. The administration has
been delegated to the Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research (OeAD-GmbH). The Austrian
Academy of Sciences and the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) offer scholarships to researchers, too. The Austrian database for
scholarships and research grants (www.grants.at) has been set up to make it easier for students and researchers to look for such
The Foundation for Science and Technology, the main governmental agency for financing research in Portugal, funds doctoral and
post-doctoral fellowships and grants for research both in Portugal and abroad, through annual calls for applications.
The United Kingdom research councils, with Research Councils UK (RCUK) as overarching body, run a number of schemes to
foster international collaboration. They also encourage individual researchers from overseas to undertake research in the UK and for
UK researchers to spend time abroad. Other organisations promoting overseas research partnerships include the Royal Society and
British Academy. The Royal Society is a self-governing fellowship and the National Academy of science in the UK. Its international
Exchanges Scheme supports UK scientists who want to undertake collaboration with scientists overseas through either a one-off visit
or bilateral travel. The British Academy is the UK’s national body for the humanities and social sciences. Its International partnership
and mobility scheme aims to support the development of partnerships between the United Kingdom and other areas of the world
where research excellence would be strengthened by new, innovative initiatives and links.
Norway reports that funding for mobility is embedded in most of the financial instruments of the Norwegian Research Council
(including research programmes, strategic programmes, individual programmes, dedicated mobility programmes). The dedicated
mobility programmes for outgoing mobility of staff at Norwegian higher education institutions target mainly early-stage researchers
and to a lesser extent also more experienced researchers. The Research Council receives its funding from most ministries, most
notably the Ministry of Education and Research, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
A number of countries also report on national programmes to foster teacher mobility,
both inbound and outbound. A special case of teacher mobility that is supported by
several countries (e.g. Estonia, Greece or the Slovak Republic) is mobility for the purpose
of teaching the language and/or culture of a country abroad. Similarly, several countries
provide funding for inward mobility, enabling foreign higher education staff to study the
language and culture of the host country (e.g. Lithuania or Portugal).
In Estonia, the Kristjan Jaak Scholarship programme covers travel and accommodation costs for short-term (3-21 days) studyrelated stays abroad of lecturers up to the age of 35. In the framework of the Programme of Academic Studies of Estonian Language
and Culture Abroad, Estonia has sent lectors to 10 universities abroad and offers financial support for short-term guest lectures by
teachers of Estonian language and culture.
In Lithuania, there is a national programme for supporting teaching visits (2 weeks to 2 months) of foreign lecturers and researchers
to Lithuanian higher education institutions. Teaching should be part of the study programme, course or module(s) with a minimum of
3 ECTS credits and 10 contact hours of work with students per week. The Lithuanian Ministry of Education and Science is in charge
of organising the calls for proposals and of selecting the candidates; the Education Exchanges Support Foundation (an institution
within the jurisdiction of the Ministry) is in charge of the administration of the programme.
Finland reports on a number of programmes supporting teacher mobility: The FIRST programme promotes mobility of higher
education teachers between Finland and Russia. The Asian Network Programme offers funding for the exchange of higher education
teachers between Finland and China, India and South Korea. The North-South-South Higher Education Institution Network
Programme finances teacher exchanges between higher education institutions in Finland and developing countries. In all three
cases, the Centre for International Mobility CIMO is responsible for the administration of the programmes, while Finnish higher
education institutions are in charge of coordinating the networks and running the projects together with their partner institutions. The
programmes are funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture or (in the case of the North-South-South programme) by the
Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
Sweden also has several national programmes to foster staff mobility in higher education. The Linnaeus-Palme programme, for
instance, seeks to stimulate cooperation between higher education institutions in Sweden and in developing countries and provides
funding for mobility of teaching staff (both inbound and outbound, 3-8 weeks). The programme is managed by the Swedish Council
for Higher Education and funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).
Many countries also have national programmes that address both university teachers and
The French Community of Belgium, through Wallonia-Brussels International, offers various funding opportunities to doctoral
students, post-doctoral students and professors/lecturers, including mobility grants or fellowships for a period of one year in a partner
country (e.g. Austria, Bulgaria, China, Egypt, Germany, Israel, Japan, Tunisia, and United States of America). Lately, a new funding
opportunity for staff mobility with Latin America and the French Community has been established. It aims at staff mobility with
Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico and will cover travelling costs of staff towards those countries.
In Germany, various grant programmes exist for both incoming and outgoing mobility of lecturers and other higher education staff
(e.g. for conference/lecture tours, short- and long-term lectureships), predominantly organised by the German Academic Exchange
Service (DAAD) and financed by the Federal Government.
In Greece, IKY (State Scholarships Foundation) grants scholarships to foreign students for postgraduate and postdoctoral studies
and further training in Greece. For the academic year 2012/13, IKY has awarded 25 scholarships for postdoctoral studies and
10 scholarships for further training of teaching staff employed at Greek studies departments of foreign higher education institutions.
In Spain, the main national programme for staff mobility in higher education is the National Programme for Human Resources
Mobility, financed by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport. The programme supports Spanish teaching staff and researchers
spending time at higher education institutions abroad as well as foreign teaching staff and researchers spending a sabbatical at
Spanish higher education institutions. In both cases the programme differentiates between senior teaching staff/researchers and
young PhDs. Depending on the specific sub-programme, mobility periods can last 3 to 24 months.
Though not a dedicated mobility programme, the National Programme for Human Resources Training also provides funding for short
stays (2-6 months) at renowned research institutions in Spain and abroad, targeting trainee research staff. Both programmes are
coordinated, managed and financed by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness and the Ministry of Education, Culture and
Italy brings in an additional aspect as it also has a programme to encourage Italian academics working abroad to return to Italian
higher education institutions. The Rita Levi Montalcini programme targets early-stage researchers and aims to attract Italian and
foreign postdocs working abroad to carry out research projects at Italian higher education institutions.
To foster the international recruitment of researchers and professors, another national programme has been established to co-fund
contracts enabling international researchers or professors based at a higher education institution in another country to teach or do
research at Italian higher education institutions. Moreover, national research programmes offer support for international mobility of
researchers and academics. The programmes are organised, coordinated and financed by the Ministry of Education, University and
Research. More specifically, the Ministry defines funding priorities, allocates resources, decides on eligible activities and participants,
publishes calls and selects beneficiaries.
The Slovak Republic has established a National Scholarship Programme for the Support of Mobility of Students, PhD Students,
University Teachers and Researchers in 2005 to support both incoming and outgoing mobility. Eligible for support for incoming
mobility are university teachers from foreign universities, researchers or artists who are invited by a public, private or state university,
a research organisation eligible to carry out PhD study programmes, or by a non-governmental organisation to a
lecture/research/artistic stay in the Slovak Republic (scholarship period 1 to 12 months). Next to that, the Ministry of Education,
Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic advertises scholarships for accredited study programmes at public universities
as well as for academic stays at public universities of the Slovak Republic or at academic institutes of the Slovak Academy of
Sciences. For those Ministry of Education scholarships only university graduates aged 30 to 50 are eligible. Both programmes are
financed by the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic. The organisation, coordination and
administration of the programmes has been delegated to the Slovak Academic Information Agency (SAIA).
In Sweden, the Visby programme supports teacher exchanges and research collaboration between higher education institutions or
faculties in Sweden and one or several of the Baltic countries, Poland, Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. The programme targets
universities or university colleges that can apply for funding for contact meetings/project planning in one of the eligible countries. It
also targets PhD students, researchers or teachers at higher education institutions who can apply for grants for short-term visits to
actively take part in a conference. A PhD student, researcher or teacher can also be invited by a university or university college for a
study or research visit of two weeks to one month. The Visby Programme is managed by the Swedish Institute and funded by the
Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
Sabbatical/scientific leave
While not necessarily a national programme in the narrow sense of the word, another
way to foster academic staff mobility mentioned by a number of countries is to offer
academic members of staff the possibility to take a sabbatical or a scientific leave
abroad. In most cases, academic members of staff have the possibility to take a
remunerated leave lasting up to 12 months every five to six years. Sabbaticals tend to be
focused on research; in some cases, they can also be used for the purposes of
professional development or teaching at another higher education institution. In the
following, some examples are given of how such sabbaticals are regulated in different
In the French Community of Belgium, most universities offer the possibility to their professors to take sabbatical leaves abroad, in
order to improve their research or teaching skills. In both the French Community of Belgium and in Portugal, the research funding
agencies offer sabbatical leave grants to spend research periods of up to one year at foreign institutions.
Greece reports that professors are entitled to receive fully paid scientific leaves of up to one year for every six years of service, or up
to six months for every three years of service. Professors who during their scientific leave cooperate with higher education institutions
abroad without pay are entitled to their full salary increased by 80 %. After the end of their scientific leave, they are obliged to remain
at their institution for at least three years.
In Spain, legislation allows university professors and researchers to enjoy a licencia de estudios (study leave). The decision on
granting the leave to teach or do research at another institution in the country or abroad is taken by the university that also decides
on the remuneration in connection with the length of the leave. For a leave of less than three months, staff can receive an amount up
to their regular salary; for a leave between three months and one year up to 80 % of the salary, both depending on the scientific and
academic relevance of the work to be done. Periods exceeding one year (accumulated during five years, not taking into account
study leaves shorter than two months) are not remunerated.
In France, members of academic staff (enseignants-chercheurs) also have the possibility to take a sabbatical leave of six to twelve
months every six years for the purposes of research. During the sabbatical leave, which they can also spend abroad, they continue to
receive their regular salary.
In Italy, the legislation also enables professors and researchers to spend a sabbatical abroad (or to go abroad in the framework of an
agreement between higher education institutions). The leave may take up to five years and the salary of Italian professors and
researchers spending a sabbatical abroad is paid by the host country, not by the Italian university or the Ministry of Education,
University and Research.
In Latvia, also every six years, academic members of staff are eligible for six months of paid sabbatical leave intended for scientific
research. Moreover, with the same periodicity, professors, associate professors and assistant professors are eligible for an unpaid
leave of t years to work as guest lecturer at another higher education institution, also abroad.
In Lithuania, according to the Law on Higher Education and Research of 2009, every five years, teaching staff may be released from
their pedagogical work for up to one year to conduct research and to improve their scientific and pedagogical qualifications. The staff
member shall be paid his or her average salary during the said period. The procedures for sabbatical or scientific leave abroad are
determined by the higher education institutions.
In Luxembourg, staff members who have worked for the university for at least seven years or who have served as Rector or as
Dean may demand a scientific leave, being detached from their duties at the university for six months in order to conduct research
abroad. During the leave, they continue to draw their basic salary or receive fifty per cent of their basic annual income and continue
to be covered by Luxembourg’s social security system. The leave needs to be approved by the Board of Governors on proposition of
the Rectorate on the basis of a research project put forward by the candidate.
In Slovenia, the legislation enables higher education teachers to take a sabbatical/scientific leave after each six years of teaching.
During the leave, the teacher is relieved of his/her teaching duties and the leave is paid for. Due to a lack of finances and human
resources, though, this possibility, stated in the legislation and universities’ statutes, is only rarely used.
In Iceland, agreements concerning sabbatical leaves are restricted to researchers (professors, assistant professors, associated
professors and, with stricter rules, adjuncts). Other staff of higher education institutions can apply for leaves for educational
purposes. Academic staff tend to spend their sabbatical leaves abroad, participating in specialised studies or research projects, for
which they may receive additional support.
In Norway, academic staff at universities and university colleges normally can apply for paid sabbatical leaves to enable focused and
coherent periods of research every five, six or seven years; some institutions allow for more frequent sabbatical periods for female
staff than for male staff.
Bilateral and regional programmes
All higher education systems covered by this study have scholarship
on bilateral agreements with other countries. One such programme
them is the well-known Fulbright programme, which offers support
researchers from and to the United States. Many more examples
different countries:
programmes based
that involves all of
for the mobility of
are mentioned by
In the Czech Republic, scholarships based on international agreements are published on the website of the Academic Information
Agency (AIA). Scholarships can be allocated in two ways: Either individual higher education institutions are allocated a certain
number of scholarships and students are selected directly by the higher education institutions or there is a competition with
scholarships for all higher education institutions in the Czech Republic and AIA runs the selection procedure.
In Germany, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) runs, together with partner organisations in different countries,
bilateral exchange and funding programmes to intensify scientific cooperation. In the framework of those programmes, mobility of
early-stage researchers and researchers is supported.
Greece supports mobility periods of an average of 7 days of teaching and research staff, doctoral students and senior administrative
staff in the context of bilateral educational agreements and bilateral cultural exchange programmes with other countries. The
programmes are organised, coordinated and financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Greek embassies abroad, the Ministry of
Education and Religious Affairs, Culture and Sports, and by the State Scholarships Foundation. In addition, the State Scholarships
Foundation and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) run a common exchange programme and provide funding for
research projects to strengthen scientific cooperation between Greece and Germany.
Spain has a bilateral programme with France, to support teacher mobility (1-4 weeks) in the context of joint Master programmes of
French and Spanish universities. Similarly, the ministries of education of Brazil and Spain have signed a cooperation agreement
aimed at developing programmes for the training, professional development and updating of skills of postgraduates and university
teachers of both countries. In accordance with this agreement, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports annually offers subsidies
for an inter-university cooperation project with Brazil.
France also has a number of mobility programmes based on bilateral cooperation with other countries, which are financed and
organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Higher Education and Research. The administration of the
programmes has been delegated to the agency Campus France. Hubert Curien partnerships (PHC), for instance, offer funding for
mobility in the context of common research projects of two research teams, one from France, one from another country.
Italy has several cultural cooperation agreements with other countries that are coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and that
offer support for Italian academics to spend a short period of teaching or research in the respective partner country.
The Latvian Government scholarship programme is based on intergovernmental cooperation agreements, with the Latvian Ministry
of Education and Science usually providing funds for mobility to Latvia and the partner country for mobility from Latvia to that country.
The target groups are defined with each intergovernmental cooperation agreement on a case-by-case basis but tend to be teaching
staff, researchers and doctoral students. The programme is administered by the State Education Development Agency.
Based on international agreements and bilateral exchange programmes, Lithuania offers state scholarships to local and foreign
doctoral students, lecturers and researchers for research visits (up to 10 months) and intensive summer courses (3-4 weeks or 1-3
months) to higher education and research institutions in Lithuania or abroad. The scholarships are financed from the Lithuanian state
budget and organised by the Education Exchanges Support Foundation. Specific bilateral programmes have been agreed with
Belarus and Ukraine to finance research visits lasting up to one month. Those programmes are run by the Research Council of
Lithuania and the corresponding bodies in Belarus and Ukraine.
Austria has bilateral programmes ('Action Programmes') with the Czech Republic, Hungary, and the Slovak Republic on
cooperation in education and science that also offer funding for staff mobility.
Portugal reports on joint programmes ('Integrated Actions') with Spain, Germany and France to promote scientific cooperation
between academics and researchers.
In the Slovak Republic, the Slovak Academic Information Agency (SAIA), with funding from the Ministry of Education, runs the
Academic Mobility Programme. Based on bilateral agreements and direct offers from foreign governments, the agency organises the
selection process for scholarships in 30 countries as well as the admission of foreign scholarship holders to Slovak institutions.
The United Kingdom (Scotland) reports that research links with other countries offer opportunities for staff mobility. The two
examples mentioned are the Scottish Government’s Plan for Engagement in the USA and the Scottish Government’s China Strategy.
Next to bilateral programmes, many higher education systems are also involved in
multilateral/regional cooperation programmes, often also based on bilateral exchanges.
In contrast to national or bilateral mobility programmes, most regional programmes
focus on mobility of teaching staff.
Figure 2.3: Regional mobility programmes, 2012/13
Erasmus Belgica
EEA Grants
Source: Eurydice.
No regional programmes
Not participating in the study
With the EEA Grants and Norway Grants, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway seek to contribute to reducing social and economic
disparities in the European Economic Area (EEA), which unites the three countries with the EU member states in a single market.
Eligible for support are the 12 EU Member States that joined the EU and the EEA in 2004 and 2007, as well as Greece, Spain and
Portugal. Projects often require a partner in one of the donor countries. The EEA Grants are funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and
Norway according to their economic strength (Norway covers around 94 %, Iceland close to 5 % and Liechtenstein just over 1 %).
The Norway Grants are financed entirely by Norway. In the field of higher education, to promote student and staff exchanges with
Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, scholarship programmes have been established with 11 countries.
Another programme similar to the EEA Grants is financed by Switzerland: the Scientific Exchange Programme Sciex-NMSch. It offers
fellowships to doctoral and postdoctoral researchers from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland,
Romania, Slovenia, and the Slovak Republic conducting their research in cooperation with Swiss researchers at Swiss research
institutions. Postdoctoral researchers can spend 6 to 18 months at a Swiss institution, doctoral researchers up to 24 months. Senior
researchers (from one of the EU member states or from Switzerland) involved in the projects as mentors can receive funding for up
to three short-term visits for the purposes of networking among mentors, implementing the joint research project or supporting junior
researchers. The programme is coordinated by the Rectors’ Conference of the Swiss Universities (CRUS).
CEEPUS, the 'Central European Exchange Program for University Studies' (CEEPUS) was founded in 1994. Participating countries
are: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Austria, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia (see Figure 2.3) as well as
Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Kosovo with a
special status. The programme is coordinated by the Central CEEPUS Office. Responsible for implementation at national level are
the National CEEPUS Offices that are often integrated in existing agencies. A special characteristic of CEEPUS is that there is no
transfer of funds but each country pays for incoming students and teachers. Teacher mobility mainly takes place within networks of
higher education institutions established under the umbrella of CEEPUS. Mobility periods can last from 5 days to 10 months and may
include research and conference participation as additional activities but the focus is on teaching and scholarship holders need to
spend at least 6 hours per 5 work days teaching or supervising at the host institution.
The CEI University Network (CEI UniNet) is a contribution of the Central European Initiative to foster cooperation among higher
education institutions in Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe through the mobility of students and teaching staff. The countries
participating in the network are: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Italy, Hungary, Austria, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and
Slovakia (see Figure 2.3) as well as Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, the former Yugoslav
Republic of Macedonia and Ukraine. Teacher mobility takes place in the context of joint PhD or Master programmes, financed
through annual calls for proposals. Funding is also available for summer schools, seminars and workshops, if they include a teaching
element, a minimum duration of one week and an awarding certificate.
To foster cooperation and exchanges in the field of higher education, the Nordic Council of Ministers has established the Nordplus
Higher Education programme, which also promotes the mobility of academic staff among the participating countries (Denmark,
Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, Sweden, Iceland and Norway). To be eligible for funding, at least three institutions (of which at
least two higher education institutions) from three countries need to establish a network or partnership and appoint a coordinating
institution, which is responsible for the application, managing the funds and writing the final report. Independent of their nationality,
individual teachers employed by Nordic and Baltic higher education institutions can then receive funding for a mobility period
involving at least 8 hours of teaching/working at one or several of the partner institutions.
Though not promoting international mobility, Erasmus Belgica is still worth mentioning, as it provides funding for mobility between
the three Belgian Communities. The programme is modelled after the EU programme Erasmus and works on the basis of bilateral
agreements between participating university colleges and universities of different Belgian Communities. Participating lecturers
receive a fixed amount per day up to a maximum of five days to attend or give lessons at another Belgian higher education institution.
3. Participation rates and monitoring
Data on participation in mobility programmes is usually collected by the authority that is
in charge of administrating the programme. Where such data has been made available,
information on actual participation rates is included here. In some cases, the same
authority is also in charge of monitoring the implementation and/or impact of the
programme, in other cases this task is given to a separate agency. In most cases,
however, the impact of mobility programmes is not monitored systematically.
In the Flemish Community of Belgium, the Research Foundation collects data on participation in their mobility programmes. In
2011, they gave close to 1 000 scholarships to Flemish researchers, 195 of which for long-term mobility, and funded 19 visiting
postdoctoral fellowships.
For Germany, statistics on the international mobility of scientists and researchers are included in the publication Wissenschaft
weltoffen edited by the German Academic Exchange Service and the HIS-Institute for Higher Education Research on an annual basis
(www.wissenschaft-weltoffen.de). In 2010, various funding organisations provided funding to 30 781 foreign academics and
researchers in Germany as well as 8 083 German academics and researchers abroad.
In Greece, the Department of Inter-University Relations collects statistical figures and data on higher education staff mobility in the
framework of educational agreements and programmes. Between 2007 and 2012, they counted 273 visits of Greek scientists to
36 countries and 67 visits of scientists from 14 other countries to Greece. The State Scholarships Foundation collects data on its
exchange programme with the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), counting 567 individuals who visited Germany as
members of research teams between 2000 and 2012.
In Spain, data on the participation in the two national mobility programmes are collected and published by the Ministry of Economy
and Competiveness (http://www.idi.mineco.gob.es/portal/site/MICINN/menuitem.7eeac5cd345b4f34f09dfd1001432ea0/?vgnextoi
d=7141f1f53c82d210VgnVCM1000001d04140aRCRD) and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport (http://www.mecd.gob.es/
Id=0901e72b81230a74). In 2010, the National Programme for Human Resources Mobility (the one targeting specifically staff mobility
in higher education) awarded 4 464 grants.
In Italy, data collection is coordinated by the Ministry of Education, University and Research. Information is available from individual
academics on their personal pages coordinated by the Ministry and via reporting tools of the different initiatives.
In Latvia, the State Education Development Agency collects information on the implementation of the mobility programmes the
agency is in charge of. For the academic year 2012/13, the Latvian Government scholarship programme, for instance, received
11 applications for research fellowships.
In Hungary, the Balassi Institute collects data on participation rates in their mobility programmes: with bilateral programmes, Eötvös
State Scholarship and scholarships to Collegium Hungaricum in Vienna approximately 290 researchers going to about 40 countries
were supported in 2011/12 and 220 in 2012/13. The figures for incoming mobility were 115 in 2011/12 and 100 in 2012/13.
In the Slovak Republic, the agency in charge of running the national mobility programmes, the Slovak Academic Information Agency
(SAIA), prepares annual reports on those programmes, which include information on yearly participation rates per programme, not
differentiating between staff and students. According to the lists of approved scholarships and grants for each programme, 226 postdoctorates, doctoral candidates, teachers, researchers and other staff participated in outgoing mobility programmes run by SAIA
during the academic year 2011/12.
In Finland, the Centre for International Mobility CIMO produces yearly statistics on international mobility.
The Swedish Higher Education Authority collects data on staff mobility in higher education and publishes it in an online database (in
Swedish only). The data includes information on the higher education institution, the type of employment, the mobility destination,
etc. Detailed reports on staff mobility are produced by the respective higher education institutions. On behalf of the Swedish Council
for Higher Education, the higher education institutions also collect participant reports, which are analysed by the agency.
In Norway, the Research Council in charge of running several of the national mobility programmes, prepares annual reports on those
programmes. These reports include information on yearly participation rates. Application numbers are stable. All institutions report
mobility of staff to 'The Database on Statistics on Higher Education (DBH)' managed by the Norwegian Social Science Data Services
(NSD). The database has open access (Norwegian only).
Beyond collecting data on participation rates, there is little monitoring of national
programmes related to staff mobility in higher education. Several countries where such
programmes exist, explicitly state that the impact of national mobility programmes on
higher education staff is not monitored (e.g. Italy, Latvia, Slovak Republic). If there is
any monitoring at all, it is either done by the authorities in charge of administrating the
programmes or by external agencies.
In the Flemish Community of Belgium, the Departments of International Relations and Education and Training as well as Research
Foundation Flanders are responsible for monitoring the programmes but there is no specific impact assessment concerning
academic staff mobility.
In the Czech Republic as well as in Austria, higher education institutions submit annual reports on their activities, which also need
to cover involvement in international educational or research programmes and academic staff mobility.
In Germany, international exchange programmes are evaluated by independent agencies or experts.
In Spain, the Ministry of Economy and Competiveness monitors the National Programme for Human Resources Mobility as well as
the National Programme for Human Resources Training through its Monitoring and Evaluation Integrated System (SISE), developed
to analyse (and improve) the governance of public programmes in the area of research, development and innovation
In France, monitoring the internationalisation of higher education institutions, including international partnerships and the provision of
scholarships for mobility of researchers, forms part of the general evaluation of each higher education institution in the context of
quality assurance by the Evaluation Agency for Research and Higher Education AERES.
In Finland, the North-South-South Higher Education Institution Network Programme was evaluated in 2009 and another study from
2012 examined the impact of intensive courses organised in the context of Erasmus, Nordplus, FIRST and the North-South-South
Norway reports that all programmes and financial instruments are evaluated on a regular basis. There is no direct monitoring of the
dedicated mobility programmes concerning the effects of mobility. There are attempts to evaluate the effects of mobility in relation to
scientific merit, but it is difficult to establish a clear correlation.
The remaining countries with national programmes have not provided any information on
whether or not those programmes are monitored in any way. On the whole, systematic
monitoring of the impact of national programmes related to staff mobility in higher
education seems to be the exception rather than the rule.
4. Salary, financial compensation and social
security arrangements
This section shows how salary, financial compensation (allowances for accommodation,
travel expenses, the cost of living, etc.) and social security arrangements (e.g. pension,
health insurance) are addressed within national as well as bilateral or regional mobility
programmes. In most cases, such arrangements are directly included in the national
programmes or covered otherwise by national regulations. The question of pensions,
however, is addressed only by a small number of countries.
National mobility programmes
For outbound mobility, the Flemish Community of Belgium has two types of regulation concerning salary and social security: (1) If
an academic member of staff takes up a position at a higher education institution abroad and that institution reimburses the
remuneration to the Flemish home institution, the member of staff is still considered in service of the home institution and keeps all
seniority and pension rights. (2) If the member of staff receives remuneration only and directly from the host institution abroad without
any involvement of the Flemish home institution, he or she is considered to have a separate job for which no seniority and pension
rights can be accumulated at the home institution.
In Germany, to do justice to the special situation of mobile scientists with fixed-term employment contracts, the Pension Institution of
the Federal Republic and the Länder (VBL) introduced the possibility of exempting researchers employed at universities or research
institutions from VBL compulsory insurance contributions (as 60 contribution months are required before benefits can be claimed).
Instead, the researcher can register with a voluntary (capital-funded) insurance scheme, which excludes certain components (e.g.
parental leave), but offers the insured person flexibility and the immediate, contractually agreed non-forfeiture of claims. With this
instrument the VBL has established a gateway for young mobile scientists on fixed-term contracts from Germany and abroad to
preserve their entitlements.
In Spain, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport covers accident insurance and for scholarship holders not coming from
EU/EEA countries or Switzerland also health insurance. The National Programme for Human Resources Mobility supports Spanish
teaching staff and researchers spending time at higher education institutions abroad with EUR 1 800 to EUR 3 100 per month as well
as foreign teaching staff and researchers spending a sabbatical at Spanish higher education institutions with around EUR 2 000 to
EUR 2 450 per month (depending on seniority). In addition, up to EUR 3 450 per person may be granted for travel and
accommodation expenses.
The support offered by France in the context of the Zhang Heng programme takes the form of grants that cover the travel costs and
include a per diem for expenses during the week in China.
In Italy, institutional autonomy also applies to human resources management (in a framework that is set nationally). By consequence,
salary, financial compensation and social security arrangements are dealt with at the institutional level. Similarly, in Finland it is also
up to the higher education institutions to allocate the necessary resources from the funding they have available.
Latvia reports that different financial and social security arrangements (e.g. whether health insurance is included or not) exist for
different mobility programmes, depending on the underlying intergovernmental agreement.
For incoming mobility, the Lithuanian national programme for teaching visits allocates a lump sum per individual visit, the amount of
which depends on the qualifications of the invited lecturer. In the case of short-term visits abroad, the higher education institution
continues to pay the salary and the funding provided by the programme covers additional expenses, such as travel and subsistence
costs. In other cases, members of staff receive state scholarships. For mobility periods up to one year, higher education institution
teachers receive the average amount of their monthly salary throughout the mobility period. For research visits, allocated funds may
be used to cover travel, accommodation, visa or insurance costs, international conference fees, the costs of copying and use of
archival documents as well as costs related to the participation in scientific expeditions.
In Hungary, scholarships awarded by the Hungarian Scholarship Board Office are not subject to income tax. The same holds for
Estonia and scholarships received under the Kristjan Jaak programme (covering travel and accommodation costs of young lecturers
spending 3-21 days abroad). When lectors are sent abroad in the framework of the Programme of Academic Studies of Estonian
Language and Culture Abroad, the state of Estonia pays salaries, travel expenses as well as national taxes.
In Austria, grants offered by the main funding agencies provide social security coverage. Some programmes (e.g. fellowship
programmes for doctoral candidates and postdocs administered by the Austrian Academy of Sciences) offer fixed-term contracts with
full social coverage or with self-insurance. Anyone receiving a grant from the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) is financed via an
employment contract, which includes social insurance (contributions to pension funds, health and accident insurance, parental leave,
etc.). This applies to doctoral students and incoming scholars as well. The FWF had already begun to avoid funding researchers by
means of stipends even before it signed the ‘European Charter for Researchers’ and the ‘Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of
Researchers’ in 2006. The only exception are stipends for researchers going abroad. In this case, there is no employment contract
and only pension cover is provided.
In the Slovak Republic, holders of the Ministry of Education scholarships (incoming mobility) receive EUR 550 per month and
college accommodation as well as dining hall catering at the receiving organisation. Scholarships of the National Scholarship
Programme (the second programme supporting incoming mobility) range from EUR 670 to EUR 1 000 per month (depending on
seniority) and are meant to cover living costs (accommodation, boarding, etc.) during the study, research, lecture or artistic stay at
Slovak universities, research or non-governmental organisations. For outgoing mobility, university teachers and researchers from the
Slovak Academy of Sciences who have their permanent residence in the Slovak Republic can apply for a travel grant covering travel
costs related to their study or research stay abroad, which must last a minimum of one month.
Sweden reports that higher education institution staff continue to receive their salary and pension scheme during the mobility period,
along with insurance from the respective higher education institution. Moreover, they have all mobility-related costs covered,
including travel and accommodation expenses, and receive a food allowance. Participants of the Linnaeus-Palme programme can
get additional funding for a two-week language course before the actual start of the programme.
In Norway, three types of funding can be distinguished: (a) a full salary under the condition that the candidate is mobile and spends
all the time abroad; (b) funding to cover direct costs related to mobility in addition to a full salary; (c) funding to cover direct costs
related to mobility without salary support. All funding to cover direct costs is doubled from EUR 2 000 to EUR 4 000 per month if the
mobile researcher is accompanied by his or her immediate family. None of the funding schemes compensate for potential loss of
health and pension coverage.
Bilateral and regional programmes
Spain provides for bilateral programmes the following details: In the context of Franco-Spanish Master programmes, teacher mobility
is supported with a maximum of EUR 1 200 per week and a maximum of EUR 500 to cover travel costs. The bilateral programme
between Spain and Brazil foresees three types of subsidies: (1) During the period they spend in Brazil, research staff in pre-doctoral
training can receive a monthly allowance of EUR 550, complementing the remuneration paid under their contract in Spain, as well as
up to EUR 2 500 to cover the costs of departure and installation. (2) Researchers with post-PhD contracts can also receive a one-off
payment of EUR 2 500 as well as a monthly grant of EUR 1 800. (3) For teachers and PhDs with civil servant status or employed on
a contractual basis, the financial support is limited to the reimbursement of documented expenses.
In France, financial support usually takes the form of grants that cover travel costs and that may also include a per diem for
expenses during the stay abroad.
In the case of Lithuanian state scholarships based on bilateral agreements, Lithuanian doctoral candidates receive around EUR 750
per month, researchers and lecturers around EUR 1 130. They also have their health insurance as well as travel costs covered.
Foreign citizens coming to Lithuania receive a monthly scholarship of around EUR 750.
For short study visits or meetings with colleagues from the partner country, the Action Austria-Slovakia offers scholarships of
EUR 90 per day (for a maximum of 3 days). Post-docs can receive scholarships of EUR 1 500 per month for research stays of 3 to 6
months. The scholarship also covers the costs for accident and health insurance as well as accommodation. Travel expenses are to
be covered by the researchers themselves. The Action Austria-Czech Republic offers, among others, one-month-grants for
university lecturers. With the grant of EUR 1 040, recipients need to cover the costs for insurance and accommodation, both of which
can be provided by the OeAD-GmbH at preferential rates. The same holds for grants for postdoctoral studies, with a monthly rate of
EUR 1 200 granted to postdocs for a period of 6 months. Similar arrangements exist for the Action Austria-Hungary.
Romania reports that during periods of mobility, academic staff receive their remuneration from the Romanian state or the host
country, depending on the duration and type of the activity as well as on the specific agreement on which it is based.
Fellowships of the Swiss programme Sciex-NMSch include an annual salary or CHF 50 000 for doctoral candidates (CHF 55 000 in
the second year) and CHF 80 000 for postdoctoral researchers, as well as social taxes, which are to be paid by the employer
(according to Swiss rules) and additional allowances for travelling or participation in conferences amounting to a maximum of
CHF 2 500. For short-term visits, mentors can receive up to 3 times a maximum of CHF 2 500 per visit. Costs related to the work of
the fellow that are not covered by the Sciex Fellowship need to be covered by the Swiss host institution.
For teacher mobility in the context of CEEPUS, Slovenia reports that it does not have an impact on the teachers’ salary and social
security arrangements. They continue to receive the usual pay and social security. In addition to that, they receive a grant from the
host country to cover the mobility costs. Teachers from other countries coming to Slovenia also may benefit from free
accommodation in the Home of Postgraduates or similar other locations.
Nordplus scholarships for teacher mobility amount to a maximum of EUR 355/week plus a travel grant. Each network decides on the
exact amount of the scholarship, depending on the means available.
5. Reward mechanisms
Mechanisms to reward members of staff for participating in mobility programmes exist
only in a small number of countries. Where they exist, reward mechanisms
predominantly are integrated in national or institutional systems of career progression.
Several countries (e.g. Italy, Slovenia and the Slovak Republic) report that the decision
on reward mechanisms is up to each higher education institution. Italy adds that where
they are granted by higher education institutions, rewards tend to take the form of
financial benefits or a reduction of workload on other activities. In Slovenia, teachers at
higher education institutions tend to be rewarded with 'points in the promotion process'.
The strategic plan of the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports also
recommends to higher education institutions that long-term mobility be part of career
progression for academic staff.
In Spain, participation of university teaching staff in mobility programmes can be rewarded in the context of regular evaluations:
Every five years, an evaluation of the teaching activity by the university can lead to an 'additional remuneration for teaching merits'.
Every six years, the National Commission for the Evaluation of Research Activity (CNEAI) carries out an evaluation of the research
activity, which can result in 'additional remuneration for research productivity'. Both evaluations also take into account
accomplishments at universities or research institutions abroad. Moreover, participation in mobility programmes is also taken into
account in the context of the 'National Accreditation' that university teachers need, to be eligible for accessing the university teaching
bodies as career civil servant teachers. The National Agency for Quality Assessment and Accreditation (ANECA) has developed a
merit scale for the evaluation, which explicitly includes merits related to different forms of international mobility.
In France, professors who have worked in that capacity at least two years abroad – or at least one year in another EU/EEA country –
are granted, upon request, an additional year of seniority to be taken into account for advancement in step. The same holds for
researchers who have spent at least two years at a higher education or research institution, a public authority, a public or private
enterprise abroad.
In Latvia, academic personnel has to go through a re-election procedure (with an open competition) every six years. Legally justified
quality criteria for the career development of academic staff are currently being developed, with mobility being one criterion to be
taken into account.
When sending teaching staff abroad for the purpose of teaching or training, higher education institutions in Lithuania are expected to
recognise the teaching or study visit in one way or another, for example as continuing professional development. Moreover,
depending on the specific regulations of each higher education institution, researchers and teachers may be paid, in addition to their
official salary, a premium for the dissemination of their educational experience abroad or for their participation in international
This short comparative report reveals that in most countries for which data is available,
staff mobility is considered an important element of the internationalisation of higher
education. National policies that explicitly seek to promote staff mobility in higher
education exist in less than half of the countries, though, and in only three countries in
combination with quantitative targets.
Most countries with national policies also have national programmes in place to foster
staff mobility in higher education. In total, such programmes exist in about half of the
higher education systems covered by this report. In the Nordic region, in Belgium and
especially in Central and Eastern Europe several regional mobility programmes have been
established that also target higher education staff. Of the higher education systems
covered by this study, roughly two thirds are involved in regional mobility programmes.
Last but not least, all countries have mobility programmes based on bilateral agreements
with other countries, be that other European or non-European countries. While not
covered by this report, the responses received from countries show that there is also a
strong reliance on European mobility programmes and/or cooperation between individual
higher education institutions.
Where national programmes exist, organisation and financing is mainly the task of
national ministries (education, research and/or foreign affairs) or research councils. The
day-to-day running is often delegated to special agencies. In most cases, the authorities
in charge of the administration also collect data on the participation in mobility
programmes. Systematic monitoring of the impact of those programmes is, however,
missing in most countries.
Mobility periods supported by national, regional or bilateral programmes range from a
few days to several months, in some cases up to two years. Most common are mobility
periods of just a couple of days or weeks.
While national mobility programmes most often target researchers and early-stage
researchers and in second place also teachers; bilateral and regional programmes tend to
focus on teacher mobility. Funding for the mobility of administrative staff seems to come
almost exclusively from the Erasmus programme. The arrangements on salary, financial
compensation or social security differ from country to country, often even from
programme to programme. In most cases such arrangements are directly included in the
national, regional or bilateral programmes but they can also be dealt with at institutional
level. Common are funds to cover travel and accommodation costs, a monthly
scholarship or salary and also health insurance. The question of pensions, however, is
addressed only in a few cases.
Only a small number of countries report on the existence of reward mechanisms, which
then tend to be integrated in national or institutional systems of career progression.
ISBN 978-92-9201-466-7
© EACEA, 2013.
Fly UP