The bi-annual conference of the European Platform on Learning Mobility (EPLM) took place in Istanbul on 7-9 October 2015. It brought together 102 researchers, practitioners, volunteers, policy makers, institutions and organisations in the youth field working on the topic of learning mobility, as well as representatives of the corporate sector, the European Youth Press, the Orange Magazine and the Coyote Editorial team. The conference was preceded by a meeting of researchers concerned with learning mobilty in the youth field.
The conference was organised in partnership with the Turkish, French, German National Agencies for Erasmus+/Youth in Action. The partnership between the European Commission and the Council of Europe in the field of youth support the platform by providing its technical secretarial.
The focus of the conference was opportunities for all, namely inclusion of those with fewer opportunities in learning mobility projects. It was about mobility as a tool for inclusion, and to consider to which extent the mobility schemes are inclusive.
EFIL was represented by Elisa Briga, Advocacy Coordinator, and Magda Porebska from AFS Poland, an organisation in our network that has considerable experience in involving young people with fewer economic opportunities in international exchanges. Emrah Gursel, former ODC of AFS Turkey was also attending the event.
The whole conference was constructed in a way to establish constructive relations between research, practice and policy. Keynote speeches from research, policy and practice animated the plenary sessions. The conference revolved around six theme tracks: impact (evidence, experience, and testimonies); recognition; motivation for learning mobility; information and guidance on opportunities for learning mobility; quality of learning mobility; support structures. For each subtheme, both perspectives were addressed: learning mobility as a tool for inclusion; and the (level of) inclusiveness of learning mobility schemes. AFS expertise in mobility and our efforts towards inclusion were presented by Elisa Briga in the workshop ‘Quality of learning mobility’.
Moreover, Elisa Briga was part of the ‘Panel on Evidence, experience, and testimonies – two years of EPLM: achievements and vision’, given her involvement with the work of the EPLM since 2010 in different capacities.
The most underlined concept that was discussed from many different angles was the assurance of quality of learning mobility projects by focussing on the before/during/after timeline. This can also be translated into the preparation, implementation and follow-up phases of a learning mobility project, and the importance of supporting the (extra) needs of young people to develop at each of those stages. It was suggested that the expertise and knowledge of each of the three sectors can work closer together to bring added value for both the supported process, and for the learning development of the young person.
The EU-CoE youth partnership is now working on a publication on ‘Learning Mobility and Social Inclusion – Theory, Policy, Practice ‘. Moreover in 2016 the Pool of European youth researchers will work on indicators for quality mobility and the European Commission will work on indicators for quality of youth work.
We hope that EFIL will continue learning and contributing to EPLM, making exchange programmes more inclusive and promoting social inclusion.
More information on the EPLM, and the report of the event (as soon as available) can be found here.
For more information: [email protected]