Edition 173 - September 2015

Swedish analysis of Erasmus Charter applications

The Swedish Council for Higher Education (UHR) has analysed all 42 applications for the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (ECHE) submitted by Swedish institutions in 2013 to determine how the institutions organise their work with respect to internationalisation in general and mobility in particular. 

Results of the analysis show that Swedish institutions have over 11 000 agreements with foreign institutions in total, and more than 8 000 of these are within Erasmus. The activity is generally higher within the agreements that institutions have with partners in non-Erasmus countries. Most Swedish universities show an imbalance between the number of incoming and outgoing students, with a significantly higher number of incoming students. Although institutions claim that they aim for a greater balance, they have more measures in place to support incoming than outgoing students. 

On the basis of the analysis, the Swedish Council for Higher Education recommends that the questions in future ECHE applications are simplified and clarified in order to obtain comparable answers to the questions. Many of the questions are vague and cover multiple aspects at the same time, while the space for answers is limited. Moreover, there is a lack of definitions and explanations for some of the terms used. This limits the possibilities for comparison and makes it difficult to assess the quality of the applications. With the above reservations on the design of the questions, the ECHE applications should constitute a good basis for self-evaluation as well as monitoring of the internationalisation work in the institutions. 

The report (in Swedish, with a summary in English) can be downloaded here

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