Barriers to Student Mobility
Posted on: 08 April 2017 by Alison Smith
Insufficient information on study possibilities outside one’s local area may prevent students from studying away from home.
Barriers to student mobility are not entirely different from barriers preventing individuals from attending post-secondary education in general.
Youth who choose not to go on to post-secondary education cite a variety of reasons for their decision. Roughly, three major “sets” of barriers effect these decisions. These are, in order of increasing importance: information/motivation, financial, and academic.
Insufficient information on study possibilities outside one’s local area may prevent students from studying away from home. With respect to semester or year-abroad opportunities, home and host institutions often do not provide enough information on mobility opportunities and do not assure students that they will receive the necessary support before going abroad, during their studies at foreign institutions and after their return. Many qualified students may fear that they could lose academic standing by taking different credits at another institution.
Lack of adequate financial resources may also be a very important factor in a student’s decision not to leave home in order to attend PSE. The issue of finances reference not only to a shortage of money; it also pertains to student lifestyles (in particular, part-time employment that students are afraid to lose by going elsewhere) and future issues (e.g., students can lose tuition fees paid to their home university if they go to study elsewhere). However, financial support can be provided to minimize the influence of financial barriers, and students can receive funding to cover their expenses from institutions and national or international funds.
Academic barriers to mobility largely consist of two main components — lack of academic qualification and the absence of credit recognition. Post- secondary students face the demand for different academic qualifications required for entry into programs abroad — this is likely less of an issue for those students interested in taking courses or credits only for a short period of time.
The second issue, which will be explored in full later in the paper, is not- transferability of credits. Post-secondary students maybe reluctant to attempt a semester or year away from their home institution if they are not certain they will receive full credit value for their studies.