Temporary schooling abroad is not recognised in many European countries. This means that students often need to attend an additional year of school, once back in their home country. Lack of recognition is a great barrier of access to school exchange programmes and to mobility in general: students and their parents are afraid of “losing a year” and falling behind; teachers and school heads often discourage students’ participation in study abroad programmes, or only allow academically high achieving students to participate, as they are believed to be the only students whose school career will not be negatively impacted.
This is why EFIL and EEE-YFU are launching the campaign #
What recognising the school period spent abroad means?
1. Providing equal access to diverse learning opportunities. Often, the only pupils that are given the opportunity to study abroad are the ones that are already performing well at school. This inequality of access to learning opportunities is a concern for social inclusion in education.
2. Making the European job market a reality, also for families. Parents often have to reconsider professional opportunities in other countries, since their career abroad may have a negative impact on the school path of their children.
3. Supporting schools in the process of internationalisation. Although student mobility is promoted in political discourse, study periods abroad are not yet officially recognised by national law and schools are not supported enough by policy in their internationalisation.
4. Improving the implementation of key competences in school education. The recognition of the school year abroad implies a shift from “traditional” content-based curricula to a competence-based approach, which recognises “real-world learning”.