Scenarios for the integration of Virtual Exchange in Higher Education

The report was created by the FRAMES consortium and it describes potential scenarios of integration and accreditation of Virtual Exchange (VE) in Higher Education, including challenges and opportunities, and cases illustrating how VE has been implemented within the educational offer of HEIs. It is aimed at:

  • Higher Education practitioners involved or interested in blended mobility and VE
  • Higher Education teaching and administrative staff in charge of mobility and internationalisation
  • IT professionals with responsibility for supporting teaching and learning innovation
  • Institutional, national and international managers with internationalisation roles and with responsibility for furthering blended mobility 
  • Newcomers who wish to have an overview of how Virtual Exchange can be implemented within the educational offers of Higher education institutions in Europe, and worldwide generally
  • Higher Education and Virtual Exchange international stakeholders

The report is essential reading for anyone interested in exploring the opportunities VE can offer to innovate mobility in higher education. It is the first major output of the FRAMES project, which aims at fostering a harmonised implementation and accreditation of Virtual Exchange as an integral part of blended mobility approaches, among European Higher Education Institutions.

The report begins by introducing the rationale for the project and the methodology for this study, and by delineating the key concepts and definitions associated with Virtual Exchange, providing a clear and succinct introduction for those new to the area. It then describes twelve case studies of integration and accreditation of Virtual Exchange in Higher Education across Europe, aggregated into four categories of VE scenarios, namely:

  1. VE as a preparatory or follow-up activity to physical mobility (blended mobility);
  2. VE as an intertwined component of physical mobility (blended mobility);
  3. VE as a stand-alone learning activity;
  4. VE as a component of a course (traditional or online).

The report shows how VE can offer a more inclusive approach to internationalisation by allowing students who would not take part in a physical mobility programme the opportunity to have an international experience as part of their university studies, and acquire essential transversal skills, such as the ability to work in culturally diverse settings.

The “Scenarios for the integration of Virtual Exchange in Higher Education” report is publicly available here.