Setting the scene

Part One: Setting the scene


“Great discoveries and improvements invariably involve the cooperation of many minds!”

(Alexander Graham Bell)


1.1 LEMONOC: Strengthening quality through mobility and cross-border cooperation

In most Northern countries there has been dramatic growth in the numbers of students, and young people in general, requesting experiential learning experiences internationally. Since the late 1980’s there has been an ever growing interest in, and support for, international mobility of students within Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and , over the last decade, in particular, one observes an increasing interest in Global North-South exchanges. Globalisation, and the subsequent rise of former developing countries as new political and economic powers, has spurred an  interest among young people within Europe to gain more personal and experiential knowledge of a mosaic of countries in the “South”. For the purpose of this document we refer to the “South” as the broad group of countries outside the classic industrialised world, but including developing countries and the BRIC countries.  

 This interest in learning mobility with the Global South countries has been taken up in European educational policies such as Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020. The European Commission has launched the E4A programme for 2014-2020 (COM(2011) 787 final) aiming “to ensure that education and training systems deliver the knowledge and skills needed in an increasingly globalised labour market”. This  promotes learning mobility of students in order to strengthen the EU as an advanced knowledge society, with sustainable economic development, more and better jobs and greater social cohesion. Transnational mobility, by enhancing personal growth and global citizenship, and strengthening students’ future employability, is generally assumed to contribute to strengthening Europe’s competitiveness on the international labour market. It prepares young people in Europe to compete at international level, and to become the social and economic catalysts for innovation and change in a rapidly globalising world. E4A not only  focuses on learning mobility within Europe, but increasingly includes learning mobility beyond European, borders with Southern countries. Better knowledge of societies in the Global South, in combination with the acquisition of “more and better skills” while studying or working abroad, will contribute to the overall goal of the programme.

 There is also an  increasing demand by students. European policy makers who see the labour markets need to engage in learning mobility with Global South countries has resulted in an increased number of very diverse exchange opportunities with varying goals and objectives. As a result learning mobility with the Global South has become an increasingly diverse, evolving, and complex activity, facing the challenge of developing a more structural, qualitative and joint approach to organising transnational exchange programmes for HEI. To develop such an approach there is a need to cooperate multilaterally between HEIs, allowing the streamlining of mobility strategies, the sharing of good practices and the optimizing of existing tools and instruments.

 With this approach to promote learning mobility of students with the Global South, LEMONOC aims to  strengthen a sense of European identity outside its borders and foster social cohesion.

Our main objective is to improve the quality of learning mobility with the Global South within European HEI’s. It aims to optimize and validate the experience for students, and the labour market, aiming to gain better and ‘validated’ matches between the needed skills, knowledge and attitudes for the European knowledge society and the gained competences by international mobility. LEMONOC provides tools and resources that enable stakeholders to assess the opportunities and challenges they are facing, and to further develop the knowledge, skills and competences needed to provide qualitative learning mobility for students.

Therefore LEMONOC facilitates a stronger cooperation among European HEI’s to share knowledge and good practices.

 What makes the LEMONOC-project very innovative is the composition of its partners and its regard croisé in international mobility by integrating perspectives from the Global North and South. While the northern partners looked on the conditions for sending students, the southern partners worked on assessing the capacity that it needs to receive students from abroad.

 More qualitative learning mobility contributes to a more competitive Europe and the development of Europe as an advanced knowledge society on the international labour market, strengthening students future employability through achieving necessary competences such as intercultural awareness and communication, language skills, flexibility, creativity and initiation, etc. More conformity in European exchange policies will also enhance and improve the possibilities to validate the learning outcomes of learning mobility with non-industrialized countries and which will encourage better cooperation between the worlds of education, training and work.


1.2 From Learning Mobility with Non-Industrialized Countries to Learning for mutual Benefits

During the LEMONOC project we changed our name from ‘Learning mobility with non-industrialized countries’ to ‘learning for mutual benefits’. With this change we want to stress the essential need for  mutual benefits  and the need to guarantee the win-win situation for all partners. The sender should try to create benefits for the receiving institution and  should identify the benefits and added value to each partner. Equality should always be the starting point in the partnership process.

Furthermore, both sender and receiver play an equal role in the realization of a qualitative learning mobility programme. They are advised to agree on roles and responsibilities, guidelines, learning outcomes, how to evaluate from both perspectives, and to have a more continuous role throughout the mobility programme.

Finally we want to stimulate HEI’s not only think about North to South mobility but also about South to North mobility.