Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, 39 - Roma 0669207671

CSVM - Stimulating european employability through cross sector virtual mobility - Project Card


Stimulating european employability through cross sector virtual mobility (CSVM)

Communitary Program
2006 EC Leonardo Da Vinci Programme
NL/06/B/P/PP - 157622
Duration of project
24 months (1st October 2006 – 30th September 2008)
Scientific Leader
Prof. Maria Amata Garito


First Contracting partner
European Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU)
ESIB – The National Unions of Students in Europe
Estonian E – Universities (EITF)
Universidad Nacional de Educacion a Distancia (UNED)
E – Collegium Foundation
University of Miskolc (NHRDEC)
Università Telematica Internazionale UNINETTUNO

Open University of the Netherlands (OUNL)

Universiteit Maastricht
Maria Curie Sklodowska University (MCSU)


In this project an innovative approach is developed to facilitate distance education students to enter into online working, stimulate their employability, and provide distance educational systems with increased business and market connectivity. A European Web-based Portal, a Clearing House for Virtual Internships, is developed to provide students in distance Higher Education (HE) with the possibility to obtain an international learning experience through Virtual Mobility (VM). Students sign up for a virtual assignment to those organisations that fulfil the criteria of having challenging Virtual Internship descriptions. Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) are encouraged to participate in the project, as inflow of academic knowledge by Virtual Internships can increase their innovative capacity. SMEs generally have mainstream Information and Communication Technology (ICT) at their disposal, enabling coaching and assessment at a distance. Virtual Internships that require support by more complex and advanced ICT applications originate from Large Enterprises. ICT then focuses on Virtual Working Space, Virtual Coaching and Assessment, access to Company Portals, Business Communities, Digital Library Resources, Electronic Newsletters and Webconferencing facilities. Conclusion: a diversity of virtual job offers from different sectors is targeted. Assignments to be executed virtually (examples, non-exhaustive) are: marketing branding, editor assistant, office management support, customer services, media developer, publishing assistant, online journalist, financial administrator, assistant web-manager, research associate, application developer, clinical research analyst, law employee, and statistics officer. The project creates a premier Web-based Portal for standardised submission and placement of European Virtual Internship offers for distance HE. A guide will be developed for the distance educational system to successfully deal with Virtual Internships i.e., their (cross-sector) students and business relations. The CSVM project supports the essence of the Lisbon Strategy and the Copenhagen Declaration through its development of the European labour market and the modernisation of European education and training.
Virtual collaboration has grown in importance ever since the internationalisation of companies. Virtual working has enabled company members to collaborate with each other from different locations. In today’s global and multinational business environment, virtual collaboration holds a position in its own right. Students however lack the so needed experience with online working. For students to gain a first hand experience in online working, Virtual Internships are needed. By Virtual Internships, students enter online working situations and obtain a true working experience. Virtual Internships are an instrument for (particularly) the distance education students to gain practical experience, as moreover, Physical Internships are not so common in distance education. Be there Physical Internships in distance HE, assignments are (frequently) based upon a person’s (existing) working situation which drives the assignment. Moreover, Physical Internships are even barely possibly when the e-study differs from the work done in practice (i.e., not if the person is not willing to give up its current workplace and income). It is obvious that Virtual Internships don’t have this problem. Virtual Internships are actually an innovative way for students and companies to meet. The application of Virtual Internships however is not solely restricted to distant teaching universities. Regular universities may also wish to have the added value of Virtual Internships consolidated in their curricula. For this purpose, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is developed which identifies the opportunities for cooperation between distance teaching universities and regular universities.


The first target group consists of distance education students. They are learners which do not have access to physical internships whilst actually wishing to enhance their working experience in the field, by means of virtual Internship possibilities. Adding a Virtual Internship experience to their degree is a valuable asset to their Curriculum Vitae (CV). The second target group consists of distance education staff: teachers and content developers within the distance education system. As per inflow of new knowledge from business reports by their students, they are able to generate new and innovative content for e-courses. The third target group: SMEs and Large Enterprises. These organisations are able to capitalise upon the inflow of academic knowledge from Virtual Internships, and increase their innovative capability.
The target sector is the distance education sector. Distance education universities have prioritised the new potential of VM. By means of technology enhanced learning they support the objectives of the Bologna Declaration with regard to mobility and access to competence development and qualifications. By enacting Virtual Internships, their students gain an international working experience whilst simultaneously knowledge transfer between private companies and distance education universities (and their students), is facilitated. Newly derived knowledge, insights and benefits may directly flow into the educational system. Organisations targeted for pilots within the CSVM project, are all organisations that have challenging assignments and state-of-the-art ICT support in place.
The final and potential users of the CSVM project are: universities (i.e., students and staff) and employers (i.e., SMEs and Large Enterprises). Distance education students systematically consult the European Web-based Portal for Virtual Internships. Once assigned, they gain insight into business projects, processes, customers and markets. Distance education staff is provided with a guide to successful CSVM and can embed into their distance education courses, newly derived knowledge from business assignments. Employers can continuously submit Business Assignments/Vacancies to the European Web-based Portal for placement. SMEs and Large Enterprises are project beneficiaries: submitted vacancies are fulfilled remotely, without taking up any physical office space i.e., operating at low expenses (perhaps only student reimbursement).
VM and PM are conceived as serving two different educational concepts within the strand of international mobility.
Both types of mobility have their own promising future in higher education. They complement and reinforce each other in various ways, but often virtual mobility is the most easy or only route for distance students to international mobility.
A needs analysis on Virtual Mobility (VM) was done by the Task Force on VM (TFVM) (EADTU, 2004). Referencing Virtual Mobility, the TFVM concludes that there exists a demand for higher education to adopt new learner-centred measures and learning modes to achieve more internationalisation. The European Higher Education Area (EHEA) would seem well served by VM, and the received view is that incentives for Virtual Mobility will be essential in order to achieve the objectives of the Bologna process. Through the development of new learning environments and new educational models exploiting the full potential of ICT, Virtual Higher Education (VHE) will be one of the most important driving forces in education in the next ten years. The present developments are only a starting point for a wide deployment that will change the nature of higher education. In particular, Virtual Internshipping fills up a blank spot. As Physical Internships are not common in distance education, the virtual analogy provides an important instrument for students in distance education to gain experience and expertise.
Distance education students have limited physical mobility and, accordingly, are rarely involved in Business Internships or Business Assignments. When confronting the need for Business Internships in distance HE, with the constraints of distance HE itself, the concept of Virtual Business Assignments or Virtual Internships is identified. In Virtual Internships, students work remotely on business projects. The concept first gained interest in the USA (Armour, 2002). It is regarded an innovative way for students or pending graduates to get connected with companies (at low costs for both). On the European continent however, the concept does not receive much attention yet. Not in regular HE, because there the physical exchange mobility is much boldly promoted and also subsidised by the EC’s Erasmus programmes (Reichert and Tauch, 2005). And not in distance HE, because there the accent is heavily on catching up on Course Exchange Programmes, in its Virtual form, along with obtaining the associated ECTS exchange recognition (EC, 2005; EADTU, 2004; Silvio, 2003), as opposed to experimenting with new forms of VM. On successfully piloting Virtual Internships, a change incentive is given to national vocational training systems and practices, to include and implement Virtual Internships as a new form of VM; consolidating an added value to the existing portfolio of European strategies for vocational training.
The innovation contributed by the CSVM proposal involves a new form of cooperation between the distance educational sector and the private sector, a form not introduced as such yet in distance HE. Virtual Graduates will act as linking pins between distance education and companies/sectors in which Internships are executed. Reciprocal knowledge transfer between the cooperating parties is stimulated:

  • (1) by internship and academic insight, Virtual raduates contribute to the solving of actual business problems and herewith create business value, and
  • (2) by intermediate progress reports and final academic theses, the return-flow of knowledge to the distance educational system is enforced enabling innovative course/curriculum developments. Modern companies with e-learning infrastructure provide students with their best connections to work remotely, facilitated by Virtual Working Space, access to Company Portals and Electronic Newsletters, Video and Webconferencing facilities, Business Communities, Digital Library Resources, Virtual Coaching and Assessment. Innovative students integrate their Virtual Intership with competency development trainings ‘on site’ at the Virtual Business University or Corporate University, participate in Junior or Professional Corporate Training Programmes, and wherever applicable, attend Virtual Corporate Seminars, Workshops, and/or Corporate e-Courses. The innovation of this proposal lies in this alternative view on Student Apprenticeship. Virtual Student Apprenticeship is a novel experience for students in distance HE and a cost-cutting advantage for employers.



The objective of CSVM is to facilitate distance education students to enter into online working, stimulate their employability, and provide distance educational systems with increased business and market connectivity. The specific aim of the project is to establish a sustainable mechanism for interaction between the business and the distance education sector so as to enhance the inflow of knowledge in distance education and the employability of distance education students on the labour market. The project is to establish a unique European Portal which is to be the access point for Virtual Internships in distance HE.


Final outcome
Intermediate outcomes
Type of result
When they will be available
Target group(s) concerned
Languages in which they will be available
Medium that will be used (e.g. CD-Rom, Internet, etc.)

Final outcome:
1. A web-based Portal for standardised submission and placement of European Virtual Internship offers for distance HE

Intermediate outcomes:
2. T/P/O/E barriers for distinct internship collaboration models
3. Scenarios for Virtual Student Internships
4. Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
5. European Web-based Portal: a requirements’ analysis
6. Theoretic assessment indicators
7. General methodology and main criteria for post-pilot success
8. A guide for the educational system to successfully deal with Virtual Internships
9. CSVM lessons learned
10. Quality assurance manual
11. Promotion and valorisation

Type of result:
AD1 - CSVM Web-based Portal
AD2 - Research report
AD3 - Research report
AD4 - Document
AD5 - Technical report
AD6 - Scientific paper
AD7 - Scientific paper: evaluation method
AD8 - Guide to Virtual Interships
AD9 - Lessons learned report
AD10 - Quality assurance report
AD11 - Promotion and valorisation report and products, i.e.: mechanism for online newsletter registration, project abstracts, news articles, project posters, project leaflets/project flyers, hand-outs, and DVD/CD-ROMs.

When they will be available:
AD1 - Phased delivery
AD2 + AD3 + AD4: Deliverable of WP 1
AD5 - Deliverable of WP 2
AD6 - Deliverable of WP 3
AD7 - Deliverable of WP 4
AD8 + AD9 - Deliverable of WP 5
AD10 - Deliverable of WP 6
AD11 - Deliverable of WP 7

Target group(s) concerned:
AD1 - Staff and students of distance HE, and private sector offering Virtual Internships
AD2 - Management of distance HE
AD3 - Internship coaches, staff and management of distance HE
AD4 - Distance education universities and regular universities
AD5 - Web-application developer
AD6 + AD7 + AD9 + AD10+ AD11: All partners of the projects
AD8 - Staff of distance HE

Languages in which they will be available:
English is used for all AD.

Medium that will be used (e.g. CD-Rom, Internet, etc.):
AD1 Internet For all the others AD internet enabled download document

The CSVM valorisation plan contains an active approach towards its beneficiaries. It also includes components to ensure that the users will be consulted during the life span of the project. The plan explains how during and after the end of the project, the results will be promoted and valorised. Promotion and valorisation strategies on the European, national, regional and local level are described. Responsibilities are depicted. It further describes how the objectives stated in this plan are to be reached, and which external organisations provide support to the project. The Chambers of Commmerce in Limburg - the Netherlands, have declared their commitment to support the project and to send out relevant information on the project to their members. The cooperation of the Chambers of Commerce ensures that the business community is targeted more profoundly. On project start-up, the CSVM project will air its own project website. The promoter (EADTU) publishes project information and progress. The website is a showcase for the EADTU network and all of its participants. Automatic submission and publication of internships on the actual Internship Portal will be provided for:

  • internship vacancies stemming from employers (pending check)
  • internship calls from students (pending check). The portal shall be free of charge: a small (cost-covering) fee is required (only) on actual full filment of a vacancy, otherwise not. No succes, no pay. Commercialisation is not foreseen yet.
  • Serve the positioning of the key-actors, partners and/or newcomers in the respective field of expertise;
  • Inform the general public, business and the academic community about the existence of the project
  • Collaborate with existing (European) e-learning portals for promoting the CSVM Web-based Portal
  • Be a main voice to get Virtual Internships to become a structural part of curricula in distance HE
  • Implement direct links and transfer mechanisms with nine existing EADTU Academic Networks
  • Implement sustainability by synergising with major EADTU Task Forces on Virtual Mobility
  • Interact with related EC funded projects which EADTU coordinates or wherein EADTU participates as partner
  • Further develop the project results in different and upcoming EC funded projects
  • Enable the further development, expansion and/or integration of additional products and services for the Portal
  • Sustain placements of Internships by a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between participating universities and newcomers
  • Sustain website and placements by integration of the Portal into the “Grand Portal” on Virtual Mobility (currently under development)
  • Position the European CSVM Web-based Portal as the premier entry for Virtual Internships in distance HE, by promotion of the project initiative through the extensive and multi-layered European network of EADTU, covering the European Union and the Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC)
  • Promote the CSVM Web-based Portal at national and European employer and student member organisations and arrange info placements on their websites
  • Systematically involve and target professional (SME) business networks and intermediary bodies (e.g., Chambers of Commerce) to influence the business community more profoundly.
  • Retention of employers and their job placements throug high-quality care and info-letter subscriptions
  • Retention of students by continuous promotion of vacancy offers, both on the university level as well as on the overarching EADTU level
  • Promote and strengthen the role of the national authorities in transferring information and products
  • Sustain placements and publicity by mirroring the Portal at sites of national and European agencies



In the short term the expected impact of the project shall be that students in distance HE will be better equipped to counter the needs of the labour market, whenever asked for experience in the field. On job application in an open and European labour market, students in distance HE are immediately able to show their internship records to employers and have the companies they worked for act as a reference. Improved European career opportunities may emerge by supplementing student diplomas (certificates). The expected impact is in the increase in student employment chances, as students active in the CSVM project have obtained relevant experience in real-life business projects, processes, customers and markets.
In the long term the full educational potential of ICT will be exploited to act on the needs of students to study and work in an international context. VM would both increase the possibility to internationalise the curriculum and give access to an international experience for students who are not able to be internationally mobile for reasons of work, family or any other reason. Virtual Internships may be embedded as a structured component into curricula of distance HE. Virtual Student Apprenticeships shall act as a ‘need to have’ experience for students and shall be just one of the components within a much larger VM framework. Further, a long term and retentive relationship between the market sector and the distance education sector is expected as Virtual Internships provide for the systematic and reciprocal flow of knowledge between both parties. Additionally, business and academic insights obtained from cooperation with the private sector, are expected to lead to a more responsive innovation of courses and curricula within distance HE.
The most tangible result to be integrated is the European Web-based Portal, i.e. the Clearing House for Virtual Internships. The participating distance teaching universities of the CSVM project will reference this product in their offerings for VM. Each university will reference the Portal as an entry point for their students to sign up for ‘practical’ project assignments/Virtual Internships. Virtual Internships may become intrinsically embedded into the distance HE system when its facultative nature is replaced by a rewarding system of ECTS points. Moreover, final results will be put into practice also through the intermediate and final sharing of the project findings with interested parties outside the project partnership, as detailed in the dissemination and exploitation plan i.e., the valorisation plan.
The CSVM project partnership plans to use well developed project management and quality assurance procedures to ensure the expected impact of the project. Quality and project management principles will be integrated throughout the lifecycle of the project. The CSVM project specifically works out: project definition, project horizon, project scope, project coordination, quality requirements, objectives and standards, identification and description of risks, inserting of controls, quality review - control and feedback, and implementation of corrective actions. Quality assurance implies inserting controls so that full compliance of project deliverables with predefined and high standards is met, and implementation is according to time and budget. Irregularities will be signalled in an early stage and will be eliminated or solved before they become a risk.
The Internet Portal is designed (technically) in a way that audiences have easy access and usability. Also, human activities will be contrained by allowing (semi) autonomous vacancy submission (pending check). Finally, web-technology is applied, allowing for easy adaptation when needed.


The International Telematic University UNINETTUNO is amongst others responsible for Joint development and delivery of pedagogically-rich education and training materials, as work package leader. The International Telematic University UNINETTUNO further has an integral cooperative commitment with all relevant sub work packages of the project and the collaborative tasks ahead (see detailed work planning).


Work-package 1 (WP1) Technical, pedagogical, organisational and economic barriers
Work-package 2 (WP2) Requirements’ analysis for the European Web Portal
Work-package 3 (WP3) Theoretic indicators to select actual workplace or Internship offers with
Work-package 4 (WP4) General methodology to assess post-pilot success
Work-package 5 (WP5) Success of pilots and lessons learned
Work-package 6 (WP6) Project management and quality assurance
Work-package 7 (WP7 ) Promotion and valorisation

Work-package 1 (WP1) Technical, pedagogical, organisational and economic barriers

The aim:
To explicate technical, pedagogical, organisational and economic barriers that stand in the way of accepting and implementing distinct internship collaboration models. Scenarios for virtual student internships are developed and reviewed on their prospective success on achieving the project goal.

The role and the tasks of each partner involved:
All partners are involved and work reciprocal in this kick-off Work Package: EADTU for overall management and UNED as Work Package leader with expertise in international (virtual) mobility. The tasks of all partners is to provide professional input to the Work Package leader on (virtual) internship models. Information on internship barriers is collected from several sources (e.g., scientific papers, studies, reports, business cases, position papers, websites, university experiences, expert opinions). Guidance: WP1.1 is first drafted by MCSU (twinning with UM).

  • WP1.2 is first drafted by UNED,
  • WP1.3 is first drafted by NETTUNO and NHRDEC,
  • WP1.4 is first drafted by EITF.
  • WP1.5 is first drafted by UM. UNED coordinates the final report on Collaboration Models for Virtual Internships.
The working methods and techniques:
Physical internships in traditional European education are taken as a reference in establishing a premier idea on barriers for virtual internships. Subsequently, best practices of virtual internships outside Europe are reviewed (e.g., Azie, America). Following, virtual internships and associated teleworking in Europe itself and the CEE countries are assessed. An overall advisory report is written: scenarios for distinct internship collaboration models. To jump-start the academic information exchange on virtual internships, a Memorandum of Understanding is designed for usage with academic partners in regular and distance education. Accordingly, the Work Package is divided into:
  • WP1.1 Traditional internships (models and practices in partner countries)
  • WP1.2 Virtual internships outside Europe: best practices
  • WP1.3 Virtual internships and teleworking inside Europe and CEE countries
  • WP1.4 Virtual internship collaboration models
  • WP1.5 Academic information exchange
Expected outcomes/results:
Three individual assessment reports describe the past, the present and the future of internship models; they feature technical, pedagogical, organisational and economic dimensions. These individual reports are input for the final advisory report on virtual internship collaboration models, describing the possible scenarios for virtual internships in higher education. Scenarios for distinct internship collaboration models are detailed, along with associated and promising (industry) branches. Individual report crossovers and generalisations are reported upon and innovative features are higlighted. Finally, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is to speed up information transfer on virtual internships vacancies between regular and distance education universities, and with dedicated internship bureaux, as well as with existing educational mobility web-portals.

Work-package 2 (WP2) Requirements’ analysis for the European Web Portal

The aim:
To generate a requirements document for the construction of the CSVM web portal for virtual internships. The process of requirements gathering is a major part of product development.

The role and the tasks of each partner involved:
EADTU provides for overall management and NHRDEC acts as Work Package leader with expertise in information technology, requirements capture and web portals. The tasks of all partners is equally distributed and consists of providing substantial support to the analysis of requirements and reporting of the Work Package leader. ESIB is especially involved so as to represent important requirements from a student perspective.

The role and the tasks of subctontractors:
A subcontract for Virtual Internship Portal development and maintenance is planned in this work package.

The working methods and techniques:
A requirements analysis for the European web portal is executed. Requirements for the web portal are captured of all relevant stakeholders within distance education related to virtual internships. Important aspects are a contextual and stakeholder analysis (quick scan), what must the product do and what data is needed (functional and data requirements) and what acceptable performance and user satisfaction should be aimed for (usability requirements). The needs of students and employer are especially considered as they represent an important group within the stakeholders, they represent supply and demand of virtual internships. A requirements document i.e., a consolidated document, is the main input for the development of the web-portal. Accordingly, the Work Package is divided into:
  • WP2.1 Quick scan (contextual and stakeholder analysis)
  • WP2.2 Functional data requirements (what must the product do and what data is needed)
  • WP2.3 Usability requirements (acceptable performance and user satisfaction)
  • WP2.4 Generation of requirements document and post-pilot adaptation
Expected outcomes/results:
The main deliverable is the requirements document (a technical report)

Work-package 3 (WP3) Theoretic indicators to select actual workplace or Internship offers with

The aim:
Theoretic indicators are developed to select actual workplace or internship offers with, that match the project aims of providing an international learning experience to students, increasing their employability, and make more accessible the business and market demands. Indicators and criteria should be restrictive in the sense that only sectors in which online working is propagated are targeted.

The role and the tasks of each partner involved:
The Work Package is led by MCSU. Twinning-support is given by the E-Collegium Foundation as of their expertise in educational and training tasks connected to research and development. Professional input (literature resources) is necessary from all partners. As of the leadership in the closely related Work Package 4 and as of their existing expertise in executing business assignments via the virtual consultancy company, the OUNL iterates on the intermediate results and provides relevant theoretical and practical input. As NHRDEC and EITF also host a pilot (in Work Package 4), they contribute substantially to this Package.

The role and the tasks of subctontractors:
No subcontracting is planned in this Work Package

The working methods and techniques:
The collaboration models from Work Package 1 are assessed i.e., theoretically validated. Research is executed on the factors that influence the employability of students and the knowledge transfer from businesses to distance education. A scientific review is done on (existing) variables of collaborating organisations, sectors, disciplines and assignments.
Main variables are listed, their expected effect is described. Accordingly, a scientific argumentation on the (positive and negative) influence of variables (independent variables) on the aimed project result (dependent variable) is presented. New variables (not described in literature) may be introduced by additional surveys, expert interviews and other types of data gathering. The derived criteria are applied in the selection of three virtual internship pilots.

Accordingly, the Work Package is divided into:
  • WP3.1 Analysis of the collaboration models
  • WP3.2 Establishment of main variables and relations
  • WP3.3 Expected theoretic impact
  • WP3.4 Selection of three pilots
Expected outcomes/results:
An academic instrument for the selection of virtual internships:
  • being a reference model for collaboration between education and private organisations;
  • being an indicator of expected employability and expected knowledge transfer.
Work-package 4 (WP4) General methodology to assess post-pilot success

The aim:
A general methodology and main criteria are devised with which to evaluate three distinct virtual internship pilot cases on reaching the project objective(s) of enhancement of student employability and increased knowledge transfer from market to distance education.

The role and the tasks of each partner involved:
OUNL is Work Package leader and EADTU provides for overall project management. Partners will consitute a framework for evaluation of three pilots and provide variable operationalisation for measurement of success. Partners each organise one virtual internhsip pilot in their country (OUNL, NHRDEC, EITF). Data gathering and representation of results are allocated to these partners.

The role and the tasks of subctontractors:
No subcontracting is planned in this Work Package.

The working methods and techniques:
A research method is designed for the overall evaluation of three virtual internship pilot cases. An evaluation strategy is devised which explicates the empirical view taken on the concepts and variables of Work Package 3, along with a description of the coherence and the importance of the variables. The concepts applied are explicitly defined. The variables researched are clearly operationalised. The evaluation strategy embeds such scientific quality criteria as concept validity, internal validity, external validity and reliability. The strategy prescribes the description of the method of data gathering and the representation of the results. The strategy also includes the reporting of possible contingencies caused by e.g., staff, student, university and private organisation.
  • WP4.1 General framework for evaluation
  • WP4.2 Empirical view on variables and operationalisation
  • WP4.3 Scientific quality criteria
  • WP4.4 Organising three pilots (OUNL, NHRDEC, EITF)
  • WP4.5 Data gathering and representation
Expected outcomes/results:
Scientific paper: a guide to internship evaluation

Work-package 5 (WP5) Success of pilots and lessons learned

The aim:
The success of the pilot project is established, determining what lessons are learned with regard to demand-driven distance education, knowledge transfer and the stimulus to employability.

The role and the tasks of each partner involved:
Overall management is performed by EADTU. Leader for this Work Package is EITF. All other Work Package leaders report on achieving the goals of their individual Work Package. The EITF drafts the final report on the CSVM lessons learned. Perceptions of all other partners are included. The partners EADTU, NHRDEC, OUNL, MCSU, ESIB, NETTUNO, UM, UNED, E-Collegium deliver chapter contents for the guide to virtual internships, to be finalised by EITF.

The role and the tasks of subctontractors:
No subcontract is planned in this Work Package.

The working methods and techniques:
In this Work Package the verification of the project results with the originally intended objectives is presented. It is established to what length the project objectives have been met. If any, it is described what the most important pitfalls were and what is to be done to prevent stepping into such pitfalls again with regard to initiating programmes and projects for virtual internships. Specific factors influencing the success of virtual internships such as technical, pedagogical, organisational and economic ones, are brought forward. The scientific achievements of the project are elaborated on and recommendations for future research are given. Experiences of students and employers are reported upon.
  • WP5.1 Assessment of project objectives
  • WP5.2 Experiences of students and employers
  • WP5.3 Report on the lessons learned
  • WP5.4 A virtual internship guide
Work-package 6 (WP6) Project management and quality assurance

The aim:
Coordinate the project and coach the participants towards the stated aims through project management and quality assurance of processes and products.

Start and finish dates and duration:
Please refer to the planning of the Work Packages.

The role and the tasks of each partner involved:
EADTU acts as Work Package leader on project management, financial administration, monitoring and reporting, E-Collegium acts on deploying and updating of quality assurance (manual) and process evaluation. Quality is monitored and reported upon at meetings, throughout the project. All partners act pro-actively on quality of Work Packages and integrate relevant feedback. EADTU and E-Collegium additionally act upon aspects concerning intellectual property and copyright related to the results, especially with regard to the transfer, dissemination and possible commercialisation of the results.

The role and the tasks of subctontractors:
No subcontract is planned in this Work Package.

The working methods and techniques:
Overall project management is secured by EADTU, which has a well-equipped organisational infrastructure for running EC projects. Regarding the quality assurance of the project, a dedicated quality assurance manual is devised and includes project definition, project horizon, project scope, project coordination, quality requirements, objectives and standards, identification and description of risks, inserting of controls, quality review - control and feedback, and implementation of corrective actions. Critical control points of the project are listed and monitored. Corrective actions are taken if so called upon.
  • WP6.1 Project management, financial administration, monitoring and reporting
  • WP6.2 Deploying and updating of quality assurance (manual) and process evaluation
Expected outcomes/results:
  • Contracts, work planning, minutes and reports
  • Quality assurance manual and evaluation report
Work-package 7 (WP7 ) Promotion and valorisation

The aim:
Involving and integrating potential stakeholders in an early stage of the project to obtain increased impact and sustainability as well as exploitation (i.e., usage or deployment) of the project’s results.

The role and the tasks of each partner involved:
All partners have an equal responsibility and allocation of tasks with regard to local promotion and valorisation, regional promotion and valorisation, and national promotion and dissemination. EADTU will be mainly responsible for the European promotion and valorisation and the promotion and valorisation in the Netherlands. Dissemination and exploitation strategies for the participating partners are described in the fully integrated project promotion and valorisation plan. It also states which strategy is taken to involve external bodies for project dissemination and exploitation.

The role and the tasks of subctontractors:
The subcontract for project-website development and maintenance is initiated in this work package. The subcontract for the production of printed dissemination materials and the subcontract for the production of promotional CD/DVDs is also included in this Work Package. The Work Package allocates subcontracting activities for promotion through Chambers of Commerce and branch/trade and employer organisations.

The working methods and techniques:
All project participants jump-start the portal by local and regional dissemination of the project initiative and recruitment of internship vacancies from local and regional business associates as well as Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME). Moreover, a promotion and valorisation plan, containing the dissemination and valorisation strategy is deployed with a clear European dimension. Promotion and valorisation activities are stipulated throughout the project and are integrated with the existing Work Packages. Please refer to the promotion and valorisation plan and for precise descriptions of the dissemination and exploitation activities, the means relevant to the target groups, the planning of activities and the allocation of (human) resources.
  • WP7.1 Local promotion and valorisation
  • WP7.2 Regional promotion and valorisation
  • WP7.2 National promotion and dissemination
  • WP7.2 International promotion and valorisation
Expected outcomes/results:
Descriptions of internship vacancies, project website, partner web-pages, hyperlinks (cross links), newsletters and mechanism for online newsletter registration, project abstracts, news articles, project posters, project leaflets/project flyers, hand-outs, and DVD/CD-ROMs.



European Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU) (NL)
European Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU). The European Association of Distance Teaching Universities - EADTU - is the representative organisation of both the European open and distance learning universities and of the national organisations including consortia of higher education institutions active in the field of distance education and e-learning. With CSVM, EADTU extends its programmatic line on Virtual Mobility. EADTU has explicated its expertise on Virtual Mobility by such Task Forces as Virtual Mobility (TFVM), Academic Cooperation (TFAC) and Flash Courses (TFFC), all concerning student mobility. Moreover, EADTU has several implementations of Virtual Mobility already running within its member network. Additionally, EADTU is an innovative actor in the field of quality. Aside from cooperating in innovative projects, EADTU coordinates the project E-xcellence “creating a standard of excellence in e-learning” i.e., a European project under the E-learning Programme. With regard to the CSVM project, EADU takes charge of overall coordination, communication, financial management, quality assurance, dissemination and project evaluation. Moreover, the EADTU office in Heerlen (the Netherlands) also is able to e-host a pilot on Virtual Internship. As such software solutions for Virtual Internship coaching will then be assessed by EADTU and partners. For a comprehensive EADTU project overview, please look below.

ESIB –The National Unions of Students in Europe. ESIB - the National Unions of Students in Europe is the umbrella organisation of 44 national unions of students from 34 countries and through these members represent over 10 million students. The aim of the ESIB is to represent and promote the educational, social, economic and cultural interests of students at a European level towards all relevant bodies and in particular the European Union, Council of Europe and UNESCO. The ESIB has various and extensive policies on education, with specific note to policy on mobility and e-learning. The ESIB will give their input of expertise on the innovative concept of Virtual Mobility ad Virtual Internships. The main role of the ESIB in the different Work Packages of CSVM is one of Stakeholders’ input, involvement and reflection. Next to the employers of the business community in which the Virtual Internships are executed, the ESIB is an important stakeholder, as it represents the students themselves and their interests. The ESIB will contribute to the Work Package of the requirements analysis and the actual promotion of the Portal amongst European students. ESIB intents to launch a European Student Policy on Virtual Internships.

Estonian E-University, Estonian Information Technology Foundation. The Estonian Information Technology Foundation is a non-profit organisation founded by the Estonian Republic, Tartu University, Tallinn Technical University, Eesti Telekom and the Association of Estonian Information Technology and Telecommunications Companies. The Council of the EITF is made up of the representatives of the fore mentioned founders. EITF s aims are to assist in preparation of the highly qualified IT specialists and to support information and communication technology-related development in Estonia. For these purposes the Foundation established and manages the Estonian IT College and administers the National Support Program for ICT in Higher Education "Tiger University." Given that EITF works very closely together with both universities as well as with IT and telecom industries, the EITF will have a role in supporting the research and development activities of Virtual Internships and extension of Physical Internships with virtual ones. As of their role and involvement with the private sector, EITF also is able to coach a Virtual Student Internship and will have a proportionate task of submitting European Virtual Internship offers to the Portal. EITF will assist in development of theory for virtual collaboration, research and design of Virtual Mobility and Virtual Internships and will reflect on the actual field work as executed in pilots (selection and assessment).

Universidad Nacional de Educacion a Distancia (UNED). UNED provides preferential access to university and further education for all those who, while capable of pursuing higher studies, are unable to attend on-campus classes for working, financial, residential or any other similar reasons. UNED applies techniques and experience for distance teaching and innovates by means of new educational models, with the purpose of serving both students and any Universities or Institutions with which it holds cooperation agreements. UNED actively sets up and develops programmes for further education and for cultural and professional improvement. The UNED will have a proportionate task of submitting European Virtual Internship offers to the Portal. UNED is actively involved in Latin America with Erasmus programmes and associated virtual mobility schemes. Their experience in international exchange programmes is accordingly reflected in the Work Packages of the CSVM project. UNED fulfils an important role throughout the Work Packages of the project.

The e-Collegium Foundation was initiated by private medium sized companies involved in promoting e-learning based professional vocational education programmes. The aim of the e-Collegium Foundation is spreading the distance learning, open learning and learning realized through electronic systems (e-learning), and other type of modern methodologies, introducing the international practice of the applied educational models, furthermore the facilitation of the international (euro-atlantic) integration and cooperation. Further the Foundation aims the realization of the research and the development concerned with the introduction of the distance and open learning systems and the introduction of e-learning. E-Collegium focuses additionaly on realizing the educational and training tasks that are connected to this research and development activity. As of its expertise, the e-Collegium Foundation is involved in several WPs of the CSVM project. The e-Collegium foundation also enters expertise on quality assurance and the selection of Virtual Internships, along with promotion and valorisation.

UNIVERSITY OF MISKOLC, North Hungarian Regional Distance Education Centre. Hosting institute of NHRDEC, the University of Miskolc, is one of the largest provincial universities of Hungary, offering both BSc, MSc and PhD degree courses in the widest range of disciplines, at 6 Faculties, one College and 2 institutions, for approximately 7500 full-time and 7500 part-time students. NHRDEC played a coordinating role in 19 national and international projects for developing infrastructure, ODL networking systems and course development – based on their support, training materials of more than 40 modules have been developed or are still under development. Based on a public-private partnership contract, all full -time, on-campus students of the University of Miskolc (approximately 7500 students) have free access to the advanced e-learning system, named COEDU, since October 2003. National and regional projects have been implemented or are under development at the moment, focusing on improved employability, development of entrepreneurial skills. The regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as a strategic partner of the consortia of such projects, permanently bridges needs and offers, transfers the labour market demands to academy. In this CSVM proposal, the regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry may support the activities either as subcontractors, or directly as partners. Strategic relations also exist with the IT-firm Mimoza-COEDU, with which internships may be discussed. NHRDEC is able to coach a Virtual Student Internship and has the proportionate task of submitting (local, regional and national) Virtual Internship offers to the Portal. They contribute to the research and design of Virtual Mobility and Virtual Internships.

NETTUNO Telematic and Television University.
NETTUNO is today the first and the unique Telematic and Television University using two satellite television channels RAI NETTUNO SAT 1 and RAI NETTUNO SAT 2 and Internet to broadchast its courses and to carry out didactic activities. Founders of NETTUNO are the Polytechnic of Milan, the Polytechnic of Turin, the University of Naples "Federico II", the RAI, CONFINDUSTRIA and TELECOM Italia, and ordinary partners are the Polytechnic of Bari, and the Universities of Ancona, l Aquila, Bologna, Camerino, Cassino, Ferrara, Firenze, Genova, Lecce, Messina, Milano, Milano "La Bicocca", Modena, Napoli II Università, Padova, Palermo, Parma, Perugia, Pisa, Roma "La Sapienza", Salerno, San Marino, Siena, Teramo, Torino, Trento, Trieste, IUAV Venezia, Viterbo "La Tuscia", the British Open University and National Centers for the Distance Learning of Tirana, made of the eight Universities of the Republic of Albania. The strength of this Consortium model allows to bring together Universities and a wide number of human resources making possible to choose among different expertise in many sectors. Especially important with respect to the role of NETTUNO in the project CSVM: the presence of enterprises gives the opportunity to approach the market of training and learning to the job market, linking together trainers and users, giving an answer to the new needs of the long life learning.

Open University of the Netherlands , Faculty of Natural Sciences Working together within networks and alliances, the OUNL develops, provides and promotes higher distance education of top quality. The OUKL is a pioneer in the innovation of higher education and aims at the wide-ranging needs of its students, the market and the community at large. The OUNL is an institution that operates successfully in the field of lifelong learning and is a much wanted provider of market-oriented and commercial education. It is a frontrunner in open higher distance education and a leader in educational innovation, also on an international scope. Moreover, the Faculty of Natural Sciences of the OUNL engages in Virtual Consultancy. Virtual Consultancey executes business assignments for commercial organisations and governments. The Virtual Consultancy is a valuable asset for the CSVM project because of its explicit relations with the business community. Accordingly, Virtual Consultancy is able to e-host a Virtual Internship pilot in which virtual students are involved. Hence, the OUNL will also be involved in the Work Packages concerning criteria development and pilot assessment.

University Maastricht, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration. Universiteit Maastricht is greatly internationally oriented as far as research and education are concerned. Besides the Problem Based Learning system, its international objectives attract many Dutch as well as foreign students (24% and at Faculty of Economics 70%). The UM has seven faculties: the Faculty of General Sciences, the Faculty of Arts and Culture, the Faculty of Economic Sciences, the Faculty of Medicine, the Faculty of Health Science, the Faculty of Psychology and the Faculty of Law. Universiteit Maastricht highly values international experience for its students. UM maintains contacts with many educational institutes worldwide. These contacts enable students to participate in several exchange programmes, apprenticeships, and research projects abroad. There is a rich history of cooperation between the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, companies, governmental, European and international institutions. The Faculty of Economics and Business Administration recently received two international accreditations (EQUIS, AACSB). Their role in the CSVM project focuses on distinct research and theory on virtual internship collaboration models, criteria for post-pilot success, formal qualification and certification of internships. Maastricht University will have a proportionate task of submitting European Virtual Internship offers to the Portal

Maria Curie Sklodowska University was established in 1944 and has been steadily expanding its program offer to meet the changing needs and standards of a leading European institution of higher education. About 33 thousand students are currently enrolled on full time, extramural, and evening undergraduate, graduate and teacher training courses provided by ten faculties in 30 different study programs. The university employs approximately 1800 staff members. Postgraduate and doctoral study programs are increasingly popular. The University Centre for Distance Learning and Open Courses (UCZNiKO) has been established in 2001 as the University’s unit responsible for organizing and running projects involving education via the Internet. Available for usage in the CSVM project are the services of the UMCS Career Office. It is an entire organisational unit responsible for students internships in European firms and enterprises. Its special database contains a lot of information about internship possibilities and vacancies. Cooperation with employers also consists of advertising vacancies, recruitment fairs and special interest events. Maria Curie Sklodowska University is involved in obtaining Virtual Student Internships and will have a proportionate task of submitting (local, regional or national) Virtual Internship offers to the Portal.