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The article investigates the influence of academic mobility on the quality of the university graduates training. We have identified the current trends of development of academic mobility of students in higher education system in Russia. We have investigated the motives of participation in academic mobility, subjective and objective factors in a partner-university choosing. We have presented the content of academic mobility in the paper from the perspective of four approaches: functional, personal, cultural and virtual. Particular attention is paid to the virtual mobility, virtual learning environment. We have made an analysis of the positive aspects and problems of the organization of virtual mobility. Much of the research is devoted to the study of virtual mobility’s impact on improving of the quality of education and competitiveness of graduates. The article summarizes the experience of Russian students in virtual mobility. The basic mechanisms for further development of the partnership of Russian and European universities have been offered in the paper.
A great attention is paid to academic mobility of students and university teachers in the framework of the Bologna process. The main objective of mobility is to give the student the opportunity to get a broad education in the chosen field of study, to provide an access to widely recognized centers of knowledge, where the traditional leading scientific schools were formed, to expand the knowledge of the student in all areas of the world culture.  According to forecasts, 20% of university graduates from the Bologna Process countries will go through a period of study or research abroad by 2020.
Scientist from different countries have worked on the question of impact of academic mobility on quality of education [2,3,4]. Their articles reflect the universal characteristics of participation in academic mobility. To conduct the study, we have developed our own methodology and applied it to the research of dependence between academic mobility and the competitiveness of a number of high school graduates in Russia. The study used the method of expert evaluations. Both experts and students were asked to assess the impact of academic mobility on the competitiveness of university graduates.
In recent years, Russia has paid great attention to academic exchange of students and professors. It has happened due to the fact that academic mobility is one of the most important factors of the process of integration of Russian universities in the international educational space.
As a result:
- Students have the flexibility to choose an individual educational trajectory, better educational services;
- The new conditions of competition and cooperation are being formed for universities;
- The prospects of scientific and educational cooperation are opened for scientists and teachers;
- The labor market becomes international, that facilitates the employment of qualified personnel.
The content of academic mobility may be presented from the perspective of four approaches: functional (academic mobility of students as a set of functions of the person); personal (academic student mobility as a tool for the development of personal qualities); cultural (academic student mobility as a tool for cultural and intellectual exchange); virtual (academic mobility of students within the possibilities of distance education).
Thus, our analysis shows that academic mobility can be seen as a mean of development, innovation and internationalization of the educational process. Virtual mobility is being increasingly developed. It provides access to international education resources at the lowest cost. Results of the study show the growing influence of academic mobility to increase the competitiveness of university graduates. It allows to form a specialist, who meets the best world education standards. Despite the emerging challenges we need to look for and develop various forms of the academic mobility for students and teachers.
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