International mobility, either physical or virtual, or a combination of the two (blended mobility), is an integral part of all degree programmes at ATHENA. This involves a much deeper appropriation and integration of virtual mobility and blended mobility solutions.
ATHENA’s embedded mobility setting is grounded on several initiatives, including:
- Inter-institutional mobility window scheme as a baseline for systematic international mobility based on competence clusters
- Teachers training for mobility, capacity building for teachers, how to teach online, how to deliver online/virtual courses, blended education and blended mobility
- Promote blended mobility as a way to increase international exposure overcoming common barriers to mobility
- Promote volunteering and extracurricular activities linked to the local community to introduce foreign students to local culture, bring added value to the local community and raise awareness to our international dimension
- Promote access to linguistic support and language courses for ATHENA students and staff
- Simplified administration of staff and students’ mobility
- Online courses prepared for virtual mobility
Blended Mobility is a way to increase international exposure during studies by overcoming common barriers to mobility while reducing the carbon footprint in comparison to traditional Erasmus mobility for studies. We are expanding BlendEd, the blended mobility paradigm we have been running since 2008 and take it to the next level.
BlendEd is a project course unit where an international multidisciplinary team of students develops a solution during a semester for a challenge proposed by a company. The students meet face-to-face during one week at the start of the course and another week at the end. In between these meeting, students work at their home institutions cooperating at a distance. This project course unit is engaging ATHENA in a disruptive and effective pedagogical approach that is a flagship characteristic of ATHENA.
2. Mobility windows
ATHENA is developing an inter-institutional mobility window scheme as a baseline for systematic international mobility. A mobility window is a period of time reserved for student mobility that is integrated into the study programme. Our mobility window scheme takes Competence Clusters into account; a certain student might be enrolled in courses from different universities at the same mobility window.
3. Virtual Classrooms
The virtual classrooms at each partner university are equipped to support virtual mobility. Virtual classes allow students at a certain moment in different countries to interact with each other in a friendly environment and, like in a real class, exchange opinions, questions, doubts, comments, discuss the course of study; in a few words, communicate freely among themselves.
4. Link to R&I
Synergies between Education and Research play a key role in Higher Education. At ATHENA we promote these synergies through several initiatives including the settlement of multidisciplinary teams of students aimed to develop solutions for challenges posted by companies, the involvement of students in the organization of scientific events and the inclusion of a special section to publish master students best theses in the ATHENA annual research book.