The COVID pandemic has meant that all European universities have gone through a few months of uncertainty. Our ability to send and receive students made mobility management very complex. It was necessary to continue to offer security and attention at all times while the scenarios continually changed. It was a challenge that has matured and prepared us to be more resilient and proactive in our programs.
During the pandemic, we looked ahead to the future. It was the time to wondered how we could re-motivate so many students who paralyzed their mobility. Above all, because the problems of border closure have created a bit of fear to leave each country. We had very complex cases to solve, and some of them required non-optimal solutions.
At the University of Cádiz, we began mobilities 2021/22 with the surprise of substantial growth in mobility applications. We are around 600 mobilities each semester, which implies an increase close to 20% over the best figures of the past. What can this mean? We believe that, although the pandemic has created well-founded fears, it has also forced us to improve information and support mechanisms for our students. When information and support markedly enhance, it is logical that a feeling of trust appears among students.
Confidence helps you take the step of requesting mobility and organizing a stay in another country.
We are aware of the need to continue improving. For this, the feedback that the students send us is essential. You have to gather opinions and find in them the clues that will lead us to a process of continuous improvement. We are excited about the increase in mobility requests. We must continue promoting mobility as a fundamental part of the training process to enable our students to live and coexist in a fully globalized society.
Nestor Mora (University of Cadiz)