The IEREST focus groups
Work package 2 is drawing to an end. The virtual focus groups in September 2013 made up the final round of data collection of target groups’ needs. The most prominent and intriguing results from the student questionnaire were presented for comment to the participating teachers, officers, and students. In each case this sparked a stimulating exchange on how the IEREST intercultural paths could address both practical and more fundamental needs as experienced by each of the three target groups.
The higher education officer focus group
The following week, Basil Vassilicos (University of Leuven) and Ana Beaven (University of Bologna) chaired a focus group with six HE officers, to discuss IEREST from their professional point of view. It was clear that International Offices play a key role in setting up international exchange programmes and in improving the experiences of students. To them, study abroad helps develop general academic skills, language skills, transferrable skills and employability. Another issue that was discussed was the necessary steps that the IEREST team would need to take in order for universities to consider including the Intercultural Paths in their offerings.