Students, including those with some kind of impairment precluding them from the opportunity to embark on a real mobility experience, have been surveyed to elaborate on their needs, wishes, and requirements for virtual mobility runs. Results of the survey have been analyzed by TOPCL to ensure an external perspective. TUHH has lead an additional survey based on self-assessment of partner HEIs in PCs.
Our research established that students are well aware of both the Internationalization and the Mobility strategies in their institution, but are still not familiar with the concept of virtual mobility, which needs to be more popularized. Respondents who have already had experience with either physical or virtual mobility are more prone to believe in the benefits of the complementary application of these two forms of mobilities, but strongly doubt that physical mobility flows can be completely replaced by the virtual ones. Nevertheless, majority of them believe that students who take part in the virtual mobility should be treated in the same manner as the ones who pursuit physical mobility. This is especially relevant in terms of ECTS credit certification and transfer practices, programme accreditation and quality assurance. Students share opinion that virtual mobility have positive effects on collaborative learning, institution’s brand and reputation, better ranking and cooperation among institutions and enhancement of communication skills. However, participants in the survey are rather hesitant in their estimations how significant is the role of virtual mobility in the improvement of multicultural dialogue and the process of internationalization of HEIs.
The needs of students with disabilities shall be considered for the successful planning of learning activities and virtual mobility runs. An appropriate system of communication between Disability Offices (representative department/person for students with disabilities) and International Relation Offices at HEIs shall be provided. The system of dissemination of information materials about MILETUS project and individual administrative support for students with disabilities during the virtual mobility runs should be also taken into consideration. The opportunities for the procurement of special assistive technology/software in the framework of the MILETUS project should be considered with project partners. Further investigations in the field of education for people with disabilities and their needs are recommended. The project report can be found here.