ISEKI_FOOD Conferences, 2nd International ISEKI_FOOD Conference

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Student Mobility - a potential catalyst for research and development cooperation between universities and food industry?
Thomas Berger, Uwe Grupa

Last modified: 2011-05-28


European University-Enterprise mobility programs such as Erasmus and Leonardo Placements have been around for years. They have been aiming to provide students and graduates with an intercultural learning environment, where they can apply knowledge and skills from their studies at enterprises abroad. Enterprises have benefited from the fresh academic a well as cultural background of international students and graduates. Students have gained international experiences, developed key competences and got an insight perspective to the practical work in an enterprise. The proposed presentation aims to explore a future dimension of student mobility as a catalyst of transnational research and development cooperation between universities and enterprises. This new dimension would be of benefit for the learning outcome of students (of food related study programs) participating in mobility programs. The knowledge transfer between universities and enterprises would benefit from it, too. It would require involving students early in research activities at the university or at least facilitating student access to information about ongoing research and development activities and interests. However with that knowledge students can turn into “ambassadors” of their department and can reach in the framework of mobility programs enterprises in Europe, which might be out of reach of the day-to-day business of their home universities. The “ambassador role” could furthermore change the attitude and image of student interns at enterprises from learners (and cheap workforce in the worst case) towards “brokers” or “boundary role persons”. The authors will argue that the potential of student mobility for this purpose has not been fully exploited yet. They will present how the EU2020 strategy and new EU funding programs and priorities can facilitate this new dimension of student mobility. They will discuss the potential role networks such as ISEKI can play to develop and implement the new dimension of student (and graduate) mobility.