Bildung - Forschung - Entwicklung

Transnational Mobility in Bachelor and Master Programmes


The borderless mobility of students in the European Higher Education Area is one of the political aims of the Bologna Process. The Ministers responsible for Higher Education in the 45 signatory Bologna countries agreed that this ambitious goal can only be reached by removing existing obstacles to mobility and by creating a common "architecture" for European higher education systems with a readable and comparable degree structure.

In Order to get a clearer and empirical picture of the effects of Bachelor and Master programmes an student mobility, the DAAD commissioned the Centre for Research an Higher Education and Work at the University of Kassel and the Association of Empirical Studies in Kassel to carry out a study in eleven Bologna countries: Austria, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Norway, The Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

The study intended in a first step to give a comparative overview about the implementation of the two-tiered study structure at the national (legal) level of the participating countries and at the level of universities. Based on this overview national characteristics with regard to the handling of student mobility were elaborated.

In a second step, the study aimed to investigate curricular characteristics of good practice study programmes such as the typical point in time to make a stay abroad, the duration of programmes, the degree of curricular integration of study abroad periods, and possible barriers to student mobility in the two-tiered system. Closely connected are questions of recognition of study achievements abroad, i.e. which measures and instruments are used for the recognition.

In a third step, the studies purpose was to identify good or innovative solutions for general problems of student mobility, i.e. the curricular integration of periods abroad, the recognition of study achievements, measures to enhance voluntary student mobility, the choice of cooperation partners etc.

The study used two different methods which have been integrated as far as possible for the report. Firstly, a written questionnaire was sent to a representative sample of higher education institutions in each of the countries included. With this "institutional" questionnaire the ERASMUS coordinators were addressed and asked to answer it. At the same time ERAS¬MUS coordinators received a second questionnaire, the "programme" questionnaire", and were asked to send it to those members of academic staff responsible for Bachelor and Master programmes which could in their opinion serve as examples of good practice for student mobility in our study. Due to time constraints, the original design of the study, namely to identify in a second step two examples of good practice in each country and carry out in-depth interviews with those responsible for these good practice programmes, had to be changed. The 22 examples of good practice (two from each of the eleven countries included in the study) had to be identified parallel to the questionnaire phase and were therefore selected independently from the sample of programme questionnaires. The typology of models of good practice and statistical information in chapter 5 has been developed from the programme questionnaire sample.


Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD)

Zeitraum: 2005 - 2006


Centre for Research on Higher Education and Work


Bürger, S.; Günther, M.; Kehm, B.; Maiworm, F. and Schelewsky, A.: International Study on Transnational Mobility in Bachelor and Master Programmes. In: DAAD (Ed.): Transnational Mobility in Bachelor and Master Programmes. Bonn 2006.


Friedhelm Maiworm (e-Mail:; phone: +49-561-72975-44)