13.2 MOBILITY IN HIGHER EDUCATION
National priorities for higher education mobility are in line with Education and Training 2020 (ET 2020), Bologna Process and Copenhagen process. The organization and implementation of the higher education mobilities falls under responsibility of the following authorities: Ministry of Education and Science, the Higher Education Institutions and the National Agency for European Education Programmes and Mobility. One of the basic principles of the higher education in the country, set in the Law on Higher Education, is the Promotion of the Academic Mobility of the Teaching Staff and of the Students.
The legal provisions entail for the universities’ senates to adopt Programmes for International Cooperation. Most of the universities in the country established Offices for International Cooperation which are responsible for planning and realization of the international cooperation. Significant part of their activities is related to establishing bilateral and multilateral partnerships and participation in funding schemes and projects for mobility of the teaching staff and of the students has prominent. The universities are especially active in the projects which promote academic exchange between EU and Western Balkans.
The Ministry of Education and Science has appointed staff for promotion of the mobilities of the academic staff and students through several funding schemes: CEEPUS, Erasmus Mundus, Fulbright Scholarship Programme, National scholarship programme BORIS TRAJKOVSKI, the National Scholarship programme for foreign students, and bilateral scholarship programmes with other countries, such as: Russia, China, etc.
Since academic year 2006/2007, Republic of North Macedonia is actively involved in CEEPUS (Central European Exchange Program for University Studies).
The National CEEPUS Office is part of the Ministry of Education and Science. It has been established in 2005 when the country has been formally accepted as member of CEEPUS. The CEEPUS Office is responsible for reception and evaluation of the applications, preparation of the process for awarding scholarships to the selected applicants, reception and evaluation of the mobility reports. Eligible candidates for this mobility scholarship are Postgraduate Students, Graduates, PhD Students and Teachers. The Ministry of Education and Science is awarding the scholarship for the incoming exchange candidates from the state budget.
Republic of North Macedonia participates also in EURAXESS network with its National Centre, delivering information and support services to professional researchers.
In the period 2014-2020, for the participation in the Erasmus + mobility programs, 24 higher education institutions were awarded with ECHE Charter. For the next financial period 2021-2027 Erasmus ECHE Charter was awarded to 23 HEIs.
• 1 Student mobility
For the implementation of the exchange programs and promotion of student mobility, the Law on Higher Education, stipulated that the study programmes of higher education institutions, in the area of compulsory and elective courses, may also contain "mobility windows" where at least one semester will be composed of elective courses, in order exchange and recognition of the study periods abroad to be more easier. At the same time for these courses the language of instruction may also be English.
The largest share of funds spends on students and staff mobilities in the country were provided by the Erasmus+ Programme.
For the period 2014-2020, National Agency for European Education Programmes and Mobility signed 115 contracts with the universities from North Macedonia, for the key action KA 103 Higher education student and staff mobility within programme countries, and 11.432.900 Eur were invested in the mobilities of their staff and students. Within these projects 3.291 students realized mobility between North Macedonia and EU member states and Candidate countries.
In the key actions KA 107 Higher education student and staff mobility between programme and partner countries (Non-EU states) in the period from 2014 until 2020 the National Agency for European Education Programmes and Mobility signed 27 contracts with the Macedonian universities for funding of the mobilities of their staff and students. In the same time period, Erasmus+ Programme invested 220.062 Euro in the mobility with non EU countries. Within these projects 8 students realized mobility between N.Macedonia and Non - EU states.
Within the Erasmus + students are able to realized two types of mobilities: Student Mobility for Studying and Student Mobility for Traineeship (both between institutions from Programme Countries). The first type of mobility lasts usually one or two semesters, whereas the duration of the traineeship mobility in a company may last between 2 and 12 months.
The sending and the receiving institution of the mobility must have signed Inter Institutional Agreement and Learning Agreement. The support for the students is provided at university level by the Offices for International Cooperation and their appointed Erasmus+ Coordinator and by the incumbent staff of the National Agency for European Educational Programmes and Mobility. Recognition of the study period abroad is based on the Certificates of Participation and Transcripts of Records.
• 2 Academic staff mobility
In the Law on Higher Education, is stipulated the sabbatical leave for the academic staff in HEIs on following direction: staff elected to the scientific teaching, vocational teaching, scientific, teaching and associate title, upon its own requests, every five years, may be allowed a paid leave for a duration of one year, or unpaid leave for a duration of up to three years for professional development, that is, research in the appropriate scientific or artistic field, or a residency at an appropriate institution abroad, while its teaching duties shall be reassigned.
Erasmus+ Programme also provides funding for the academic and administrative staff mobilities within the programme countries, as Staff Mobility for Training and Staff Mobility for Teaching. In the period 2014-2020, within KA 103 Higher education student and staff mobility within programme countries, the National Agency financed projects of the universities from North Macedonia which involve these two types of mobilities, enable more than 893 staff mobility at universities across EU member states and Candidate Countries. In the key actions KA 107 Higher education student and staff mobility between programme and partner countries (Non-EU states) in the period from 2014 until 2020, 107 academic staff realized mobility between North Macedonia and Non - EU states.