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Home / Home / Student mobility in Europe and the BRICS, crossed visions: Next Euro-BRICS online meeting, November 25th

Student mobility in Europe and the BRICS, crossed visions: Next Euro-BRICS online meeting, November 25th

LEAP and its Euro-BRICS working group are pleased to organise the online discussion with the following partners from our network: School of International Relations, University of St Petersburg (Russia); BRICS Youth Expert Society (Moscow, Russia); Universidade Federal de Rio de Janeiro (Brazil); Stellenbosch University (Capetown, South Africa); AEGEE-Europe, (Brussels, Belgium); FEFAP (Sevilla, Spain).


In 1985, European heads of state decided to launch a programme of student exchange among nations of the European communities, with a view to contribute to creating generations of European citizens likely to give flesh to the institutional project of European integration and to provide for the necessary legitimacy and popular support of their project of political union. To this date, the Erasmus project is the most famous and successful programme ever launched by the European level, having enabled nearly 3 million students to put in practice their European dimension.

However had it not been the involvement of European students themselves, the programme would not have seen the light of day.

Today, heads of emerging global powers have decided to gather into a future-bearer club: the BRICS, with the aim to contribute to the invention of the 21st century multipolar world. What started as a high-level political project of global governance reform, is already mobilizing innumerable energies in every field: BRICS civil society initiatives flourish everywhere and it is becoming obvious that the BRICS rapprochement bears seeds of citizen involvement, a good omen of its sustainability and peace-building potential.

The academic field in particular is already largely mobilized around BRICS themes, mostly professors at this early stage, but student mobility is pointing its nose already, with specificities and aims still in the process of being defined.

Meanwhile the Erasmus programme has encountered numerous difficulties in the past few years, including threats of budget decrease. The fact is that the programme has not experienced any significant adaptation to a changing Europe since its creation, thus paving the way to potential downgrading. If, the programme is announced as saved for now, it is a fact that a wide-ranging redefinition (new Europe, new challenges, new Erasmus) and should be conducted which lags to come.

Please read the position paper in advance of this next Euro-BRICS online meeting; Student mobility in Europe and the BRICS: What for ? – A Euro-BRICS perspective Aiming at globalisation, through cultural diversity, based on clear identities



If we combine these challenges facing Europe and the BRICS in the field of student mobility, it appears that a dialogue on this theme, between the two entities, involving professors and student representatives, is promising:

  1. the European experience (including its failings and challenges) is worth being presented to BRICS representatives ;
  2. on this basis, a fruitful dialogue can be established with BRICS academics and students seeking ideas on potentialities and difficulties likely to be met in the process of launching a BRICS student mobility programme ;
  3. such a dialogue is seen as a way to help the Europeans get the necessary perspective on Erasmus’ potential lines of improvement and reform.

Presenting the Erasmus experience with a view to inventing a BRICS programme of student mobility and to improving the European policy of student mobility, such is the three-fold dialogue that LEAP’s Euro-BRICS working group wished to launch this year.



To this purpose, a highly innovating format is organised.

- Foodforthought exchange platform: Prior to and to make the most of the meetings, working documents and position papers will be shared among participants

- Local workshops: Previously held local meetings organized by each partner-organisation will feed the plenary online meeting: ½ day local workshops designed to discuss in common (students, professors and officials) the group’s most accurate input to.

Russia: Friday November 22nd at School of International Relations, University of St. Petersburg
South-Africa: Friday November 22nd at Stellenbosch University
Brazil: Monday November 24th at Universidade Federal de Rio de Janeiro
Brussels: Thursday November 20th at AEGEE headquarters

- Transcontinental online plenary session: On November 25th during two hours, students and professors and experts from both European and BRICS countries will gather online to present their perspectives on the proposed subject.


PROGRAMME Transcontinental online plenary session – Tuesday November 25th

Schedule: To enable global participation in various time zones, the timing of the plenary session will be held between 12:00 – 14.00 CET. Please adapt this European time to your local time zone as indicated below. Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) 09:00 – 11.00, Cape Town (South Africa)  13:00 – 15.00, Moscow (Russia) 14:00 – 16.00, Delhi (India) 16:30 – 18.30, Shanghai (China)  19:00 – 21.00.

Location : We organise a webbased meeting,
 graciously put to our disposal by the European Training Foundation for Political Anticipation (FEFAP).

Main language of the meeting: English


Moderation: Marie-Hélène Caillol and Veronique Swinkels

« Student mobility in Europe and the BRICS, crossed visions ».


11.30 – 11.45 Opening of digital room and welcoming of participants
11.45 – 11.55 Welcome ‘drinks’
11.55 – 12.00 Welcome and practical introduction by moderator Veronique Swinkels
12.00 – 12.05 Introduction « Student mobility in Europe and the BRICS, crossed visions » by Marie-Hélène Caillol, President of LEAP
Euro-BRICS perspectives
12.05 – 12.10 ‘Context of the launching of the Erasmus programme in the 1980s – Commonalities and differences with the BRICS today ‘by Marianne Ranke-Cormier, Secretary General, Prometheus-Europe, Paris, France
12.10 – 12.25 ‘Principles and proposals from Russia for a BRICS programme of student mobility’by Roman Chukov, Chair of BRICS Youth Expert Society and master student at the School of International Relations, University of St. Petersburg.
12.25 – 12.30 ‘Student mobility : aiming at globalisation, through cultural diversity, based on clear identities’by Harald Greib, Vice president LEAP2020, President of Internationaler Rat für Politische Antizipation (IRPA), Germany
12.30 – 12.50 ‘Principles and proposals from Brazil for a BRICS programme of student mobility,’by Alexander Zhebit, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro
‘The mobility experience in student exchanges’by  Clarissa Pimentel Vargas, student of International Relations, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro
12.50 – 13.00 ‘Building XXIst century student mobility on the specific characteristics of today’s « knowledge economy »’by Edouard Husson, Director of EHC, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Paris and the former Dean of ESCP Europe Business School.
13.00 – 13.10 ‘Educating to work on global virtual networks’by Jose Maria Compagni, President FEFAP, Managing Partner Claritic – Open Government Strategies, Associate Professor IE Business School, Spain
13.10 – 13.25  ‘Principles and issues for a BRICS programme of student mobility’ by Michael Kahn, Professor Extraordinaire at Stellenbosch University and Robert Kotze, director Postgraduate & International Office at Stellenbosch University
13.25 – 13.40  ’Impact of the Erasmus programme on European student mobility and proposals for the future’ by Holger Schmitt, Member of the executive board of AEGEE-Europe, the biggest interdisciplinary student organisation in Europe represented in 40 countries
13.40 – 13.55  Debate
13.55 – 14.00 ‘Conclusion and concrete steps forward – The role of students’, by Marie-Hélène Caillol, President LEAP


Times based on CET 12:00 – 14.00, please adapt to your local time zone as mentioned above. 



Objectives of this event are manifold:

  •  Contribute to the conception of a BRICS programme of student mobility and to the upgrading of the European programme of student mobility
  •  Open a new theme of cooperation between Europe and the BRICS
  •  Contribute to consolidate a network of Euro-BRICS universities
  •  Contribute to foster connections between students and student representatives in Europe and the BRICS
  •  Raise decision-makers awareness on the Euro-BRICS axes of rapprochement

The findings of the presentations and discussions that will result from the event will provide the input for strategic recommendations to be forwarded to European and BRICS decision-makers.