Despite the European Union (EU) promoting the positive impact of learning mobility on youth, there are still serious barriers when it comes to the recognition of learning periods abroad in Europe. This means that often students need to attend one or more additional year(s) of school, once back in their home country.
Since 2016, the European Federation for Intercultural Learning (EFIL)—the umbrella organization for AFS in Europe—has been working to advance on the recognition of learning periods abroad through the #RecogniseStudyAbroad campaign, partnering with like-minded organizations to place the issue on the EU agenda. The campaign contributed to the achievement of the first big result in this field, the adoption of the 2018 Council Recommendation on promoting automatic mutual recognition of qualifications and learning periods abroad, which calls for the first time on Member states to make progress on recognition of outcomes of learning periods abroad at secondary school level.
In the period 2020-2021, EFIL worked to support the European Commission in helping Member States to advance automatic recognition through the Expert Network on Recognition of outcomes of learning periods abroad in general secondary school. Now all the outcomes from the project are finally out! You can find them at the European School Education Platform.
You will find tools targeting specifically policymakers involved in regulating individual pupil mobility and its recognition in the EU:
- an analysis of EU Member States’ national policies on recognition procedures. It is the first of its kind to gather this level of detail on long-term individual pupil mobility across Europe, and includes country-specific recommendations.
- a proposed framework for recognition designed by all involved partners and stakeholders. This includes 5 key principles.
You will also find resources and tools targeting school education professionals, pupils and their parents:
- a training model to support schools and teachers in assessing transversal competences developed by pupils during their learning mobility
- information packs for each country including information for pupils going abroad and for pupils hosted there.
These outcomes are the result of the precious contribution of an ad-hoc network led by EFIL consisting of 25 expert stakeholders from 15 EU countries, including representatives of Ministries of Education, pupil exchange organizations, parents, teachers and teacher education institutions, school heads representatives.
If you would like to contribute to advancing recognition of learning periods abroad in your own country, EFIL is offering a Training for Teacher Trainers aimed at providing a group of trainers with the tools to empower teachers in their own countries to recognise outcomes of learning periods abroad. Developing teachers’ skills in defining and assessing the competencies gained by pupils during their time abroad is crucial for enabling and promoting pupil mobility, so the training is a great opportunity for those who want to be part of the change and contribute to the promotion of individual pupil mobility and its recognition!