Over the past decades, international student mobility (ISM) in higher education has expanded rapidly. This growth has sparked a considerable interest in ISM within different disciplines, research communities, and circles of practitioners and policy makers. However, there is surprisingly little connection and exchange among researchers across these spheres. This Action responds to the pressing need for systematic interdisciplinary and international exchange of knowledge on theoretical frameworks, research methodologies, findings, and best practice examples, and for translating scientific findings into recommendations for ISM practice. It is organised around five working groups, four of them addressing themes in need of scientific development, and a fifth one bringing together recommendations for practice: 1) Global ISM flows and trends at the macro-level; 2) Social inequalities in access to and during ISM; 3) The social and cultural integration of international students in their host countries; 4) The impact of ISM on graduates’ careers and 5) Connecting research and practice.
„The project starts now in October and ends in 2025. We have Action Leadership Positions from more than 30 countries and from universities, national higher education agencies and European think tanks,“ added Eero Loonurm, who has been involved in higher education internationalisation for nearly 15 years.
„Projects of COST are excellent, flexible and open opportunities for establishing international and interdisciplinary cooperation between researchers and practiotioners. From Estonia, usually there have been researchers actively participating in COST projects, now it is a pleasure to see Estonian Education and Youth Board in a COST project as well,“ commented Katrin Kello, the COST Estonian national coordinator from the Estonian Research Council.
The European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) is a funding organisation for the creation of research networks, called COST Actions. These networks offer an open space for collaboration among scientists across Europe (and beyond) and thereby give impetus to research advancements and innovation.
COST is bottom up, this means that researchers can create a network – based on their own research interests and ideas – by submitting a proposal to the COST Open Call. The proposal can be in any science field. COST Actions are highly interdisciplinary and open. It is possible to join ongoing Actions, which therefore keep expanding over the funding period of four years. They are multi-stakeholder, often involving the private sector, policymakers as well as civil society.
Since 1971, COST receives EU funding under the various research and innovation framework programmes, such as Horizon 2020.
Head of Higher Education International Marketing
Estonian Education and Youth Board
Tallinn University School of Governance, Law and Society