FRAMES final event: 30 March 2023 in Siena and online

On 30 March 2023, we are organising our FRAMES final event Framing Virtual Exchange and Blended Mobility in Higher Education: looking ahead”, which will be hosted by the University of Siena on 30 March 2023. You can find the final agenda and further information on the meeting, such as how to register, at this link.

There is still room available in case you wish to join us in Siena, we would all be very glad to welcome you there!

We are also glad to inform you that the morning working sessions on 30 March will be streamed online to allow a broader participation among those who, unfortunately, will not be able to join us in Siena. 

Please find here the link to register and join us online on 30 March 2023 for the Opening session and the Keynote speech, scheduled from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm (CEST).

SAVE THE DATE: FRAMES final conference

Framing Virtual Exchange and Blended Mobility in Higher Education

Date: 30 March 2023 


University of Siena

Aula Magna Storica, Rectorate

Via Banchi di Sotto, 55 – Siena, Italy


On 30 March 2023, FRAMES is organising its final event onsite at the University of Siena in Italy. The theme of the event is “Framing Virtual Exchange and Blended Mobility in Higher Education”.

During the event, we will look back on the past two years of FRAMES, an EU-funded project working on the integration and accreditation of blended mobility and Virtual Exchange (VE) in Higher Education, and we will look ahead at the wider role and value of VE integration within the Higher Education context.

The keynote speaker will be Francesca Helm, a leading expert in the field, who will share insights on the impact of Virtual Exchange on student learning and engagement. The event will include panel discussions and working groups on various topics related to strategic coordination, resources, quality, accreditation, recognition and sustainability of Virtual Exchange and blended mobility, as well as opportunities for networking and sharing of experiences among attendees.

The event addresses academic staff interested in VE, officers in charge of mobility and internationalisation, IT staff, as well as top management, senior staff with internationalisation roles, and anyone interested in exploring the opportunities VE can offer to innovate mobility in Higher Education.

The one-day event will be held at the University of Siena (Italy) on 30 March 2023 starting at 10:00 am, with registration opening at 9:30 am. The event will end at 5:00 pm followed by a farewell cocktail at the Rectorate.

The programme of the event will follow shortly on the event website at

FRAMES 2022 Year in Review: thank you for making 2022 so special!

2022 has been a year to remember for FRAMES. Together with our partners and community, we have mobilised change by training and inspiring educators to embrace and adopt Virtual Exchange, facilitating the integration and accreditation of Virtual Exchange in Higher Education throughout Europe and beyond. This year we have:

We have also had insightful discussions with our FRAMES colleagues, during our monthly meetings and continuous exchanges, and we finally met in person in Rome in May 2022!

We are grateful to the many educators, experts, VE practitioners and everyone who has contributed to our activities along the year. Now it is time for Higher Education Institutions to mainstream Virtual Exchange into their institutionalised mobility activities.

At the beginning of 2023 we will launch a call for contributions, in the form of a consultation, to provide feedback and contribute to enriching the FRAMES Strategic Framework, aimed at supporting the adoption of Blended Mobility and Virtual Exchange as a regular practice within the international activities of Higher Education Institutions across Europe.

Also, we invite you to save-the-date for the FRAMES closing event, which will take place on February 28th, 2023 at the University of Siena (Italy). Stay tuned!

We very much appreciate your engagement with FRAMES during 2022, and we are looking forward to cooperating with you all in 2023 and beyond!

Digital Fair of possibilities: using FRAMES to improve your VE experience within your HEI

As part of the online conference “Digitalisation. Education. Connection. Education.” organised by Technische Universität Braunschweig on November 30 – December 2, 2022, FRAMES was featured in the Digital Fair of Possibilities with a contribution by Sara Pittarello focused on how to use FRAMES to improve Virtual exchange experiences in Higher Education.

If you missed the digital fair, or would like to watch our contribution again, this is the link:

Toolkit for Integrating Virtual Exchange in Higher Education: access it now

Virtual Exchange as an educational practice has been shown to work as a complementary component of physical exchange programmes, allowing more students to benefit from meaningful international and intercultural experiences as part of their higher education. Now it is time for Higher Education Institutions to mainstream this approach into their institutionalised mobility activities. 

To support educational professionals with this mission, the FRAMES consortium is happy to present the ‘Toolkit for Integrating Virtual Exchange in Higher Education’. This one-stop-shop provides key information, inspiration, tools and case examples of the approaches that Higher Education Institutions can take to integrate and accredit Virtual Exchange.

Whether you are an administrative officer curious to explore what Virtual Exchange integration can bring to your institution, or a teacher willing to find ways to accredit and sustain your Virtual Exchange activities in the curriculum; this product will help you with essential tools, activities and best practices. Visit this webpage to download the digital or the printer-friendly version of the toolkit, and explore additional multimedia assets like the FRAMES podcast 

The toolkit has been externally reviewed by Professor Anna Turula, Head of the Technology Enhanced Language Education Department at the Pedagogical University of Krakow, who said:

“The Toolkit … has every chance of serving the purpose it was designed for and to live up to the expectations of both the project authors and prospective users. [T]he Toolkit is a good, effective means of devising ways for integration and accreditation of virtual exchange in the institution of the user.”  

The Toolkit has been created in the framework of the FRAMES project, a Strategic Partnership funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union spanning over 2 years (March 2021 – February 2023). The project is implemented by a consortium composed of UNIMED – Mediterranean Universities Union (coordinator), UNICollaboration, Sharing Perspectives Foundation, Universitat de Girona, University of Limerick, and Università di Siena.

FRAMES at IVEC2022: Developing an action plan for integrating Virtual Exchange in Higher Education

We are delighted to announce that FRAMES will be present at IVEC2022 in Valencia, with a workshop focusing on the process of integrating Virtual Exchange at strategy level within Higher Education institutions.

So if you happen to be attending IVEC, join us foe a hands-on session during which you will hear about our recently launched Toolkit, and discuss with colleagues from other institutions how Virtual Exchange can contribute to your University’s mission and vision.

When: Friday, October 28th 2022 at 11:30-13:00 (Workshop 5 | Breakout 5)

Presenters: Ana Beaven (UNICollaboration), Marta Giralt (University of Limerick), and Sara Pittarello (UNICollabotation).

More about the IVEC conference can be consulted here.

Our research article for the special issue of the Journal of International Students is out!

This special issue of the Journal of International Students, Virtual Exchange: Evidence and Analysis to Advance the Field, co-editors Melissa Whatley and Taylor C. Woodman and international teams of researchers explore the complex realities and provide new directions for the rapidly growing field of virtual exchange and its continually evolving models and modalities.

Our FRAMES-related paper Scenarios for the Integration of Virtual Exchange in Higher Educationdescribes the results of the analysis carried out within FRAMES which collected and analysed Virtual Exchange (VE) case studies building upon desk research and through an open survey, so as to identify and describe various scenarios of accredited VEs. By using a qualitative methodology based on pattern matching analysis, collected cases were aggregated into four scenarios to be potentially used by a variety of European Higher Education Institutions (HEIs): VE as a preparatory or follow-up activity to physical mobility (blended mobility); VE as an intertwined component of physical mobility (blended mobility); VE as a stand-alone learning activity; VE as a component of a course. The main conclusions and recommendations revolve around the need to expand the number of potential scenarios across all disciplines and contexts and the urge to  train  academic  as  well  as administrative  staff  to facilitate the integration of VE in HEIs.

The open access article is available here.

The JIS Special Issue is available here

Published: 2022-09-09


We are glad to announce that FRAMES will be represented in one of the sessions in the 32nd Annual EAIE Conference, which will take place on 13-16 September in Barcelona.

Alicia Betts, University of Girona, Sara Pittarello, UNICollaboration, and Anna Pratesi, University of Siena, will be speaker at the session titled “Integration and accreditation of blended mobility and virtual exchange: from theory to practice“, scheduled on Thursday, 15 September 2022 at 15:30-16:30.

The Annual EAIE Conference and Exhibition is Europe’s largest international education event, it is a forum for networking and exchanging ideas between peers. This year’s conference theme is ‘The future in full colour’.

More about the session and the EAIE conference can be consulted here.

Open Badges have just been issued and awarded to the successful participants in the Online Training on Virtual Exchange and blended mobility integration

More than 240 people registered to attend the online training, which was held between 2nd and 29th May 2022, and ca. 120 participants from all over the world were actively engaged throughout the course, sharing their experience and ideas about how to potentially integrate and accredit Virtual Exchange within their HEIs. Participants were both academic and administrative staff covering different positions and playing various roles at university level and represented various units and departments, and not only the central administration.

The very last assignment saw participants committed to draft individual/collective Action Plans on how to integrate VE within their institution in the next few years, and as many as 30 of them have submitted their Action Plans which are being revised by the course trainers in these weeks, so as to provide them with feedback.

The lively engagement and active contributions by most of the participants have led the FRAMES team to create a mailing list, to satisfy their request to keep in touch after the course lifetime.

SAVE-THE-DATE: Training on Virtual Exchange and blended mobility integration

Save the Date: May 2 to May 29 2022 (4 weeks)

We are happy to announce the upcoming ‘FRAMES Collaborative online Training on Virtual Exchange and blended mobility integration’. This training is of specific interest for IRO staff and related offices (mobility officers, educational offer, career offices), IT staff, management and educational leaders as well as academic staff of any interested HEI. The training course aims to develop the participants’ capacity to design, implement, assess and multiply relevant mobility schemes enriched by Virtual Exchange (VE). As such, this training course does not focus on VE project design, but rather on the opportunities linked to the integration and accreditation of this innovative pedagogy in the curriculum and within the institutional strategies.

The innovative feature of the training consists in its experiential, connectivist and project-based approach, whereby expert trainers from UNICollaboration and Sharing Perspectives Foundation will support participants  as they work collaboratively on tasks and activities that will be both asynchronous (fora, materials to read and watch, and weekly tasks) and synchronous (weekly meetings via Zoom – 2 options per week). Supported by the trainers, participants collaborate with their colleagues to develop a hands-on  action  plan for the  successful integration and accreditation of VE at your institution.

More information about the training course and how to participate is available here

We encourage you to share this information with any interested colleagues.