Higher Education Institutions face high requirements and challenges in today's global world, including internationalisation as a response to globalisation.

Virtual Mobility (VM) has a great potential to contribute to the internationalisation, innovation and inclusion in HE (higher education). While it is feasible to encourage outward and inward student and faculty mobility in HE, the main limitations are the high costs, socio-economic, political and health-related issues. These barriers can be dramatically reduced by adding the virtual component to mobility, thus making mobility accessible to all.

Yet, despite numerous Virtual Mobility initiatives and projects in the past years, the uptake of Virtual Mobility in HE is still low and the possibilities of VM including Virtual Internships/Placements unknown to many educators and students.

Virtual Mobility can develop its potential, provided HE leaders, educators, students and other relevant stakeholders, such as International Offices, know about and can/want to use the opportunities of VM. This means HE institutions, educators and students need the necessary skills, confidence and readiness to initiate and implement VM Actions. The aim of this project is to enhance the VM readiness of HE institutions, educators and students through achievement, assessment and recognition of Virtual Mobility Skills.

The openVM project addresses the need of creating accessible opportunities for achievement of Virtual Mobility Skills to ensure higher uptake of Virtual Mobility in HE in Europe, by supporting HE institutions, educators and students in acquiring, assessing and recognising Virtual Mobility Skills, i. e. key competencies needed to successfully design, implement and participate in VM actions.



To achieve this, openVM applies the principles of Open Education to promote achievement, assessment and recognition of VM Skills. Both VM and OE aim to enhance participation in international knowledge flows, use of digital media, improve teaching and learning by setting international benchmarks, attract and keep talents for the economy and research systems, innovate and build capacity.

Key innovations in openVM are:

  • + Online, Open & Flexible Higher Education approach to promoting the achievement, assessment and credentialing of VM Skills
  • + Innovative pedagogies for achievement of VM Skills, such as Open Learning by Design and Crowd Creation of OERs and MOOCs
  • + Innovative approaches/technologies for assessment and recognition of VM Skills: Evidence-based assessment, Open Credentials (Open Badges, Blockcerts), semantic/machine-readable description of VM Skills with links to competency frameworks
  • + Engaging and effective learner experience in a Personal Learning Environment making use of gamification designs


The main outcomes of the project are:

  • O1: Conceptual Framework and Guidelines for achievement, assessment and recognition of VM Skills in HE
  • O2: Virtual Mobility Learning Hub as a central reference point for VM Skills in Europe
  • O3: Semantic Competency Directory and Matching Tool as Smart Tools supporting learning, assessment and recognition of VM skills
  • O4: E-Assessment Concept and Tool for innovative, open and evidence-based assessment of VM Skills
  • O5: Open Credentials and Gamification for recognition of VM Skills and engaging/effective learner experience
  • O6: OER, MOOC and Pilots for innovative pedagogies for achievement of VM Skills and validation
  • O7: Quality, Dissemination, Sustainability for quality-assurance, broad outreach and sustainability of project results


  • + Increased awareness of Virtual Mobility in HE in Europe
  • + Established Leadership in assessment and recognition of VM Skills
  • + Increased readiness and confidence of educators and students to participate in and implement VM
  • + Sustainable Learning Hub for the continuous development, assessment and recognition of VM Skills
  • + Enhanced transparency about the distribution and level of VM Skills in HE in Europe 



Cineca's main contribution to the project will be through its expertise as a consortium of universities in Italy and its recognised technology expertise including the use of Open Badges in making informally and non formally gained skills visible, developed through the Bestr project.
Open Badges will be used in the openVM project to build and recognise unique learning pathways and achievements of openVM learners: educators and students in HE in Europe.
Cinceca will contribute its expertise in  recognizing and representing Virtual Mobility Skills as Open Badges using the xAPI standard, which has already been applied on a larger scale to enhance integration between Bestr and Cineca's student information system for higher education in Italy.
Data about learning experience and outcomes collected from the Virtual Learning Hub in Output 2 will be used to issue Open Badges recognizing various types and levels of Virtual Mobility Skills as will be designed in Output 5: Open Digital Credentials and Gamification, linking to the existing competency frameworks which will be enhanced with machine-readable, semantic data in Output 3: Competency Directory & Matching Tool.
Open Badges allow higher education institutions and other stakeholders in Virtual Mobility to recognize and value VM Skills, helping educators and students in leveraging their VM Skills for building VM actions, enhancing learning and career pathways and finding collaborators for VM including Virtual Placements. This is how Bestr will contribute to making Open Recognition happen among European universities, educators, students and other stakeholders including companies, helping to bridge the "VM Skills Gap" to the benefit of European higher education and employment systems.

The openVM project aims at promoting and scaling-up VM in HE in Europe through achievement, assessment and recognition of Virtual Mobility Skills of HE educators and students in line with the Bologna and Open Education principles. The key objectives of the openVM project are:


  1. To enhance the uptake of VM in HE by improving VM Skills and in consequence the readiness for VM in HE.
  2. To improve the achievement and recognition of VM Skills of HE institutions, educators and students.
  3. To create a European VM Learning Hub for achievement, assessment and recognition of VM Skills as a central reference point.
  4. To develop a set of innovative tools and methods to enhance achievement, assessment and recognition of VM Skills.
  5. To provide sustainable infrastructure, resources and guidelines for enhancement of VM Skills, design and implementation of VM in HE in Europe.
  6. To provide evidence about how assessment and credentialing of VM Skills contributes to the uptake VM.
data chiusura progetto

Chiara Carlino, [email protected], reference person for the Business Unit Public Administration and Industry

Project Coordinator: Ilona Buchem, [email protected]




Finanziamenti e tempistiche

Project started on September 1st 2017 and lasts 3 years

 ERASMUS+ grant program of the European Union under grant no. 2017-1-DE01-KA203-003494.

Unione Europea