LEMONOC newsletter

Lemonoc Newsletter

LEMONOC stands for ‘Learning Mobility for Mutual Benefit.’ Our main objective is to improve the quality of learning mobility with the Global South within European higher education institutions.

In practice

The network aims to inspire sustainable and reciprocal Learning mobility. To this purpose, a set of guiding criteria were formulated and integrated in the LEMONOC Matrix. In this section, the mentioned criteria will be made more concrete through a list of examples and best practices.

Peer feedback in Hogeschool Arnhem en Nijmegem (The Netherlands)

During its South mobility at the International Academy of UC Leuven-Limburg, The Hogeschool Arnhem en Nijmegen (HAN) introduced an intriguing concept with respect to student guidance. In HAN’s ‘International Sustainable Development Cooperation’ programme, peer feedback was established through a digital platform.

The peer feedback can be seen as a two-way process where students from different geographical locations ask questions on the digital platform. Initially, fellow students are expected to answer these questions, and not the university coach. Possible questions range from operational questions, which are urgent questions that often require attention from the university coach, to questions regarding students’ experiences, thoughts and difficulties. Students are encouraged to support each other by making corrections and by sharing opinions, suggestions and ideas.

The university coach acts as the watchdog of the process, as students are evaluated on the quality of their feedback. Four types of feedback can be distinguished: evaluative judgements (1); suggestions for improvement (2); explanations (3) and references to theoretical concepts (4) (E. van Popta). Asking students to spell out the type of feedback they give, should help them in improving their feedback skills.

In addition, the research of Nicol, Thomson and Breslin (2013) shows that producing feedback engages students in multiple acts of evaluative judgement concerning the work of their peers and their own endeavours. And even though the questioner does gather some valuable insights through this platform, it is mainly the respondent who engages in extensive learning activity.



The LEMONOC network is part of a broader movement, working on sharing experiences and expertise between the Global North and Global South. This section features a particular initiative, centered around the development of mutual learning.

IUC program VLIR-UOS (Belgium, Flanders)

Lemonoc got the opportunity to interview Professors Eddy Van Driessche and Sonia Beeckmans of VUB (Free university of Brussels). Both are experts in protein chemistry who have worked on animal medicine and food. They also played an active role in several projects of VLIR-UOS. VLIR-UOS is a forum where representatives of higher education institutions collaborate on development and the sharing of information and best practices.

According to Beeckmans, the secret to a successful marriage is ‘starting small and growing tall’. Van Driessche: “At the start, University cooperation provides clear answers to the partners’ questions. It takes a little longer, however, to arrive at a win-win situation in the long run. Is this inherently a bad thing? Personally, I don’t think so. Most things cannot be predicted right from the start. They tend to grow and move in surprising directions.”

The Professor also sees a growing interest from universities in the globalisation trend: “Although researchers have to keep their promotional criteria in mind, we must not forget that it’s such a wonderful experience for young people. It shows them a different perspective on the world, one you cannot experience when staying at home.” “Mutual mobility most certainly facilitates sustainable capacity building”, says Van Driessche: “A recent survey shows that almost all of our alumni are working for a university or government in their native country. It is important to give them these types of opportunities, which are largely the result of university cooperation.”

The Institutional University Cooperation (IUC) programme of VLIR-UOS is responsible for a twelve-year partnership between a university in the developing world and universities or university colleges in Flanders. The aim is to strengthen the local university so that it is better equipped to fulfill its developmental role. This process should not be regarded as being accessory, as it is of crucial importance.

More information; Report: http://www.vliruos.be/media/6371425/vlir-uos_annual_report_2014.pdf


The LEMONOC-team takes great pleasure in sharing experiences, insights and literature. This section talks about the latest conferences, publications and events.


The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad

Frontiers Journal, The Forum on Education Abroad, is a peer-reviewed research journal that focuses on the field of studying abroad. The forum combines interesting insights on learning mobility, mainly in the US, but is also a great source of inspiration for all North-South partnerships. The initiative was born at Boston University in 1994. Since then, sixteen annual journals have been published along with their commissioned articles. The articles include various proposals and submissions, and are the result of a collaboration between several institutions. Every year, key stakeholders meet each other at the Forum’s Annual Conference.

The latest volume offers a bundle of important research on interesting sub-themes in learning mobility such as: the effects of international experience requirements, the assessment of study abroad, student motivation and perceptions regarding the helps and hindrances to language acquisition and the effects of learning mobility on students’ intercultural development, religious faith and global perspectives. In addition, the Journal is searching for evidence-based answers to the following question: ‘why are coaching and guidance necessary for learning mobility?’. The journal also provides valuable insights into more effective interventions. Best practices are alternated with reviews of the current literature.

“For the last two decades, Frontiers has been the sine qua non for professional development in the field of education abroad. The articles are always thought-provoking and relevant to our daily work. They also provide deep insights into areas we grapple with every day. They also bring critical research results to our attention that help us get beyond the anecdotal narratives that have prevailed as our guiding stars for far too long. Reading Frontiers never ceases to energize me and reinvigorates my commitment to add new concepts and ideas to my to-do list!” Kathleen Sideli - Associate Vice President for Overseas Study, Indiana University.

More information: http://frontiersjournal.org/

Announcements, discussions & calls

The Lemonoc-network does not shy away from challenging stakeholders’ comments, potentials and ideas. This section is devoted to all sorts of announcements, discussions, notices and calls.

Lemonoc Workshop & Intervision

Lemonoc has put together a workshop and intervision session for professionals involved in learning mobility to the global South. On 12 May 2016, we offer a selection of sessions by experts on community development and action research. The workshop will be combined with an ‘intervision’ session (a method of inter-collegial learning), where stakeholders discuss some of the issues they are dealing with regarding the learning mobility for mutual benefit.

The workshop and intervision session also aim to work towards a sustainable mutual learning network with partners from the global North and South. The creation of such a platform and network will be discussed during a network session on 13 May 2016.

The participation fee costs are 150 euros, including a dinner on 12 May as well as two lunches. Any additional colleague from your institution will receive a 10% discount.

More information: leen.alaerts@ucll.be

The LEMONOC Seminar

The LEMONOC Seminar has been developed for European higher education institutions that wish to improve their practices in Global South learning mobility, while reflecting upon them. During the seminar we analyse qualitative learning mobility and offer an interactive dialogue between both participants and coaches.

The location of the seminar tends to vary: it can range from a single institution to a more local approach across multiple institutions. The participation fee costs for a one day seminar are 1500 euros (including travel and subsistence).

Ad: the Lemonoc team invites all partners and stakeholders to enrich their programmes through the Lemonocscan, the newsletter and the online research center. On top of that, the Lemonoc team has ameliorated the Lemonoc-seminar. If you are interested in scheduling a customized workshop for your institution, please contact: leen.alaerts@ucll.be

More information: http://lemonoc.eu/

The LEMONOC-project was originally sponsored by the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Commission, 2013-2015. Ultimately, LEMONOC-network aims to become a platform open to all stakeholders in learning mobility who wish to share and discuss trends and challenges.