For students intending to undertake a visit
Students need to be aware of the types of digital activities they may undertake whilst away from their home university so that they can get support before they leave if needed. Much of this needs to be self-help.
1. Assess the range and types of digital services offered by your host university, beginning your search at the International Relations Office, but also visiting the Library, IT or Computing Service, e-Learning service etc websites. If the material is all in a local language use a glossary of IT terms from the internet
(e.g. http://home.online.no/~gjon/multil.htm ; http://lipas.uwasa.fi/termino/collect/ ).
Is there a buddy or mentoring system through instant messaging, email or other digital communications channel? If not, can you find someone there to talk with to help you answer queries about the university?
Assess the extent to which use of ICT is common in the learning, teaching and administration processes of your host university and compare that to what you are accustomed to using (it may be much higher or much lower).
Answer these questions if possible:
- How many computers are available?
- What locations and what opening hours? Any restrictions on use?
- Is there a wireless or fixed network, with locations where you will be?
- Are you provided with email, internet access, filespace, other IT services and software you are accustomed to using?
- What sorts of IT support will be available?
- Does the library have an online catalogue?
- Does the library provide access to the electronic journals and databases you are accustomed to using?
- Can you get login and password before you arrive to allow you to check what is going to be available?
Try to assess the range and types of digital services that you will still be allowed to access from your home university, by visiting the Library, IT or Computing Service, e-Learning service websites. Try to answer these questions:
- Will you need to get special access to be able to use some or all of the digital materials you might need whilst away? Check about availability of virtual private networks or other ways to appear to still be electronically on your home campus.
- Will you still have access to the electronic journals, e-books, databases and search tools you are accustomed to using?
If you are taking a laptop, do you know how to get online through wireless networks? Have you tested that this works at a commercial or free wireless hotspot? Can you access home university materials in this way? Do you know how to maintain your laptop for the period you are away (updates, anti-virus, backup, security etc)?
||For Student Associations & Representatives
At European, national, regional and local (university) level, the student associations have a
responsibility to represent their constituencies within various levels of the higher education
sector. They must play a central role in ensuring understanding of the needs of mobile
students, particularly as the number of these rises, and as virtual mobility takes a stronger
foothold in the educational offerings of universities.
1. Do you have mechanisms in place to ensure good understanding of the actual needs of
mobile students in each country?
2. Are you ensuring that these students have an adequate voice in your representations?
3. Are you working with the various agencies within European Higher Education to ensure
that there is sufficient progress on:
- development of ICT infrastructure for students?
- adoption of ICT-based digital services such as online enrolment, single sign-on,
accommodation reservations via the web?
- reduction of barriers to access to digital academic materials, especially in libraries,
by bona fide students?
- peer support via digital communications to support students in preparation for
- better support for accessibility of language, through course, multilingual websites
4. How ready are you to engage with the virtual mobility (VM) developments in European
- Do you have staff with knowledge of VM developments taking place inside your
university and more widely?
- Are you influencing the development of policies and guidelines in universities for
supporting VM students?