Exchange programmes such as Erasmus+ have been extremely popular with students for years. Young people get the chance to discover themselves in an exciting new environment where they meet other languages, cultures and students from many different countries. You learn to stand on your own two feet through an experience you will remember for the rest of your life. Unfortunately, there are certain groups that remain underrepresented in these mobility programmes. SIEM finds out how this works.

Social Inclusion and Engagement in Mobility (SIEM) is a cooperation of European universities, including VUB, and exchange programmes in Europe that is supported by the European Commission. SIEM investigates the stumbling blocks in the system of mobility projects whereby underprivileged students or underrepresented groups make up only seven percent of the participants in initiatives such as Erasmus+. The researchers aim to include these groups in the programmes by surveying students and staff from universities across Europe and beyond.

Based on these findings, SIEM formulates policy recommendations to make mobility programmes more accessible to all. In addition, they draw up guidelines for more inclusive communication with the groups in question. After all, it is of great importance that everyone gets the chance to embark on such a foreign adventure. People who have temporarily studied abroad score better on exams, find a job that suits their educational level more quickly and receive

SIEM also wants to hear your opinions, ideas and/or suggestions on social inclusion of underrepresented groups in mobility programmes and the guidelines and advice they have formulated. Are you interested in social inclusion or are you conducting research in this area? Do you sometimes encounter barriers to an exchange programme or do you want to help ensure that everyone has as great a study abroad experience as you? Then visit the SIEM website and share your feedback on their research report!

Do you want to get involved in this project?

I want to join!
Eugenia Marchetti and Eric Valck

eugenia.marchetti@vub.be - eric.valck@vub.be

Would you like to know more about this project?

Visit the website



- Work or study at the VUB and conduct research on social inclusion or mobility?

- Like to get involved in social inclusion

- Are also confronted with the shortcomings concerning accessibility of mobility programmes?

What's in it for me?

- You will contribute to making European universities socially inclusive

- Exchange programmes create world citizens, so by sending SIEM you also contribute to this!


Do you want to get involved in this project?

I want to join!

Would you like to know more about this project?

Visit the website


Join our Inclusive Mobility Workshop: A Hybrid Training event (Online and in Stuttgart, Germany) in September 2021.


The Social Inclusion and Engagement in Mobility focuses on making mobility programmes more available for young people with fewer opportunities. After elaborate research gathering input from students in general, we aim to gather young people from different backgrounds specifically to discuss :

  • What were the major barriers young people with fewer opportunities from specific groups have to overcome to take part in mobility?
  • How can we bring the topic of an international mobility opportunity closer to their communities? 

During the event, we will think about the benefits that attract students to take part in an international experience and translate this into action items and activities that can be organised to engage with their peers, youth with fewer opportunities on the topic of international student mobility.

About the training

First online meeting beginning of (6 or 7 September) September 2021 for introduction (2 hours)

Hybrid meeting with participants on-site in Stuttgart and/or half online from the 13th to 16th of September 2021:

  • Day 0: 13th of September: arrival by 16h00
  • Day 1: 14th of September: full-day sessions
  • Day 2: 15th of September: full-day sessions
  • Day 3: 16th of September: departure after lunch

Second online meeting in (27 or 28) September 2021 for conclusions and next steps (2 hours)


Stuttgart, Germany


As this targets participants with fewer opportunities, participation is free and will cover accommodation, meals and local transportation during the event.

Travel is reimbursed up to  250 EUR per participant , including all modes of transport from your door to venue and back.*

For who?
We are predominantly looking for people with a profile that connects to a group of students that are underrepresented in mobility, we, therefore, give priority to participants that identify as: 

  • A young person from a lower-than-average income background
  • A young person from an ethnic minority background
  • A young person that grew up in a more rural environment
  • A first-generation student in higher education
  • A young person from the lgbtq+ community

Do you believe that you do not fit in either of these groups of students with fewer opportunities, but are you highly interested in the topic - you can of course still apply.

You will be asked which SIEM partner you are connected to ESN Int., UUKi, EUF, YES-Forum, University of Latvia, Masaryk University, ESN Spain and ESN France. A minimum of 3 participants from each partner will be selected. 

Apply before the 25th of July 2021, at 23h59 CET.
Selection will take place by early august 2021


I want to join!

Research output

See the latest research outputs of the SIEM project!

Inclusive Communication Manual

Download the guide

Guidelines for Inclusive Mobility Promotion

Download the guide

Research report

Read the report