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Student mobility

Reply to Recommendation | Doc. 13855 | 15 July 2015

Committee of Ministers
Adopted at the 1233rd meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies (8-9 July 2015). 2015 - Fourth part-session
Reply to Recommendation
: Recommendation 2066 (2015)
1. The Committee of Ministers has carefully examined Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 2066 (2015) on “Student mobility” and brought it to the attention of the governments of member States. It has also forwarded it to the Steering Committee for Educational Policy and Practice (CDPPE), the Joint Council on Youth (CMJ) and the Partial Agreement on Youth Mobility through the Youth Card, for information and possible comments.
2. The Council of Europe plays an important role in the field of higher education, both at the level of the CDPPE, which has recently set up an ad hoc working group on higher education issues, and at the level of the Bologna process, to which the Organisation is making an active contribution. In this context and in particular with regard to measures fostering student mobility, it should also be mentioned that the 9th Ministerial Conference of the Bologna Process, which took place on 14 and 15 May 2015 in Yerevan at the same time as the 4th Bologna Policy Forum, adopted guidelines for the portability of grants and loans. The Council of Europe also contributes to youth mobility through the activities of its Partial Agreement on Youth Mobility through the Youth Card.
3. Whilst it is not currently foreseen to develop guidelines to remove obstacles to student mobility, including those regarding visas, social cover and residence and work permits, the Committee of Ministers encourages member States to draw on the Assembly’s proposals when drawing up public policies in this field.
4. The Committee of Ministers recognises the importance of the action of ENIC-NARIC centres and networks and welcomes the fact that the ENIC network, which is served jointly by the Council of Europe and UNESCO, in the framework of the Lisbon Recognition Convention (ETS No. 165), co-operates closely with the NARIC network of the European Commission in improving the recognition of qualifications throughout Europe, as well as between Europe and other regions of the world. The fair recognition of qualifications is indeed essential to academic mobility. The Committee of Ministers also wishes to draw the Assembly’s attention to the establishment of the new Pan-European Platform on Ethics, Transparency and Integrity in Education (ETINED), which will be launched at the Prague Forum in October 2015. This platform will address the problem of diploma mills, online qualifications and transnational educational schemes.
5. With regard to the Assembly’s recommendation to consider a revision of the Convention on the European Agreement on Continued Payment of Scholarships to Students Studying Abroad (ETS No. 69), the Committee of Ministers can inform the Assembly that the CDPPE, through its newly established ad hoc working group on higher education policy, will examine the advisability of such a revision to see how it could be updated so as to correspond to current needs in terms of student and staff mobility. If such a review were to be envisaged, the Committee of Ministers considers that the youth sector bodies could be associated with this work.