Current mobility research projects


Social inclusion and engagement in mobility (SIEM) project 

March 2021 update: the research report has now been published on the SIEM website.

Improving access to outward mobility programmes across the UK was a key aim of the Go International Stand Out campaign. Since 2016, the team at UUKi have been working on research and projects to better support all students to access international opportunities. UUKi launched the Widening Participation in Outward Mobility Project in 2018 to support the sector in these efforts.

Social inclusion is a priority for the next Erasmus programme, but very little research is available on the accessibility of the programme and what measures could be put in place to improve access and participation. Students from less advantaged backgrounds that go abroad tend to get better degrees and better jobs and yet while they stand to gain the most from this experience these students are underrepresented in mobility.

In response to this, a collaborative cross-European partnership established the Social Inclusion and Engagement in Mobility (SIEM) project. The partnership is led by ESN and partners include UUKi, the European University Foundation, the YES ForumVrije Universiteit Brussel (BE)University of Vigo (ES)Masaryk University (CZ)University of Latvia (LV)ESN Spain (ES) and ESN France (FR).


This project is an important step towards making international mobility opportunities more inclusive, enabling students from all backgrounds to study, work or volunteer abroad. The project has three aims: 

  • Widening participation: Increase the participation of underrepresented groups in the Erasmus programme in order to make international student mobility more inclusive.
  • Community engagement: Encourage Erasmus students and student organisations to organise volunteer initiatives which reach out to the local community in order to increase intercultural exchange.
  • Peer-to-Peer interaction: Increase the interaction between international students and local communities of underrepresented groups to increase the visibility of international student mobility.

UUKi's role

UUKi are delivering the research for the SIEM project. This includes conducting student and staff surveys, study visits and the delivery of focus groups to better understand what works when supporting students to access international experiences.

Student and staff surveys were circulated across Europe between February and July 2020. The research report is now available on the SIEM website.

For more information, please visit the SIEM website.

Co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union


Impact of short-term mobility 

In recent years, there has been growth in the number of reported instances of short-term mobility undertaken by UK students. This is partly the result of more robust reporting but also signals a growing appetite for short-term programmes. 

The UUKi Mobility Management survey (2018) found that short-term mobility was a growth area for universities and a key priority.  

This project is aimed at identifying and sharing good practice in short-term mobility programmes and will produce research to understand the impact and benefits and to identify models of good practice that will inform a digital toolkit to support universities. 


There is limited evidence at a national level which examines the relative impacts of mobilities of different durations.  

UUKi took a first step to expand the evidence base in this area by publishing findings in Gone International: rising aspirations (2019) which found that:  

  • Short-term options of four weeks or less now account for 21% of all reported mobility, or 1 in 5 mobilities, compared with 15.3% for the previous year’s cohort.  

  • There were 2,270 students in the 2016-17 graduating cohort that were reported as undertaking a single period of mobility that was short-term.  

  • Graduates who participated in short-term mobility programmes had an unemployment rate of 2.3% compared with 4.2% for non-mobile peers.  

  • 86.7% of graduates who participated in a short-term mobility were in a graduate job six months after graduating compared to o 73.2% of non-mobile graduates.  

As universities continue to develop new mobility offers and expand provision, UUKi is keen to support the sector by providing insights into the impact of short-term programmes, as well as good models of mobility to adopt.  

Project goals 

This project is an important step toward making international mobility opportunities more inclusive, enabling students from all backgrounds to study, work or volunteer abroad. The project will take a primarily qualitative approach and focus on three discreet areas:  

  1. the impact of short-term mobility on students,  

  1. student progression from short-term to long-term mobility activities, and 

  1. good practice for delivering short-term programmes. 

Through a series of focus groups, surveys, institutional data analysis and case studies, UUKi aims to map current participation and impacts and to present models and case studies for good practice in this area.  

How can I get involved?  

The project aims to work with universities across the UK to gather data and examples of good practice. The selected project institutions will commit to: 

  • Providing anonymised data to enable analysis on student attainment pre and post-mobility, progression from short-term to longer-term mobility, and impact of short-term mobility (via surveys and focus groups), and; 
  • Providing case studies, good practice and guidance on how to deliver impactful short-term programmes based on their experience of programme delivery.

The call for project institutions closed on May 30 2020. The results of the project will be published in Summer 2021.

If you have any questions, please contact the Outward Mobility Team on 

With thanks to our supporters 


Internationalisation at home 

UUKi are delivering a project aimed at sharing good practice in Internationalisation at Home (IAH) activities. Over the course of the Go International: Stand Out campaign, universities across the UK have developed and delivered diverse programmes of activities to support more students than ever before to access international opportunities. These have included mobility and traditional student exchange, but also programmes aimed at increasing international learning on campus, providing global experiences in a UK setting.   

Project goals 

“Internationalisation at Home is the purposeful integration of international and intercultural dimensions into the formal and informal curriculum of all students within domestic learning environments”. Beelen and Jones, 2017.  

The scope of this project is broad, and UUKi are interested in all the ways in which universities are celebrating their campus diversity and offering international opportunities to students and staff in the UK. The project invited examples of activities across a number of areas including but not limited to online collaboration, mentoring and volunteering programmes, intercultural events, international campus engagement, buddy schemes, blended mobility, and virtual mobility.

This project will showcase ways in which universities are creating international opportunities in the UK. The project will provide:

  • Good practice examples of internationalisation at home activities 
  • Student perspectives on the impact of internationalisation at home activities 
Through case studies of good practice and a series of student interviews, UUKi aims to present models and case studies for universities to use in their own institutions to further open up international opportunities for all. 

The findings of the project will be published throughout the Spring semester of the 2020-21 academic year.


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