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Manuel José López Pérez

Manuel José López Pérez
  • Manuel José López Pérez

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  • Rector University of Zaragoza

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    International mobility and company internships

    CRUE supports international mobility initiatives, promotes the creation of new programs and fosters company internships through the projects it sponsors.
     
     "Seeking young graduate, proficient in two or more languages, good team player and ready to work in a changing, competitive environment".  So say hundreds of job offers advertised every day, in our country and across the world. In an increasingly global, volatile and uncertain environment, companies need multifunctional, decisive professionals who can adapt and succeed in this business reality.
     
    As a country, we need to train the professionals of the future, which involves ensuring students enjoy international exposure. The skills gained by young students in their international stays are a superb value from personal and employment perspectives. Obviously, language proficiency is critical, but additionally, exposure to different cultures, new habits and traditions, builds social skills and the ability to adapt, analyze and understand the environment from a whole new perspective. These qualities are highly demanded by companies, particularly at a time when internationalization and new market expansion are the key –not an option– for business development.
     
    In Spain, international mobility programs, including Erasmus, are widely accepted. Despite a 0.7% drop in the total number of students participating in the Erasmus program in the 2012-2013 school year, compared with the previous year, Spain is again the number 1 sender of Erasmus students. For the 12th year running, it receives the most students.
     
    The Spanish Rector's Conference (CRUE), which was in total disagreement with the reduction in the funds for Erasmus scholarships, has always defended the need to support such initiatives and to create new mobility programs. In this sense, we highlight the agreement reached in the XXIV Ibero-American Summit in Veracruz (Mexico) to target 200.000 mobility university students in five years across Latin America.
     
    We are firm believers in the role of mobility, both in the country and internationally, for the personal and professional development of university students, and are aware of the need to acquaint them with the business reality. CRUE is also involved in a range of programs offering business internships to thousands of students. With these programs, close to 5,000 university students from everywhere in Spain are doing a paid internship in small and medium-sized companies through the year. Data from surveys measuring the satisfaction of students who participated in this type of initiatives in the past year, shows that 44% prolonged their stay in the company or were offered a position, an indicator of the success of these programs.
     
    To finish, I would like to recognize initiatives such as Recruiting Erasmus, by PeopleMatters, to connect students with the labor market, which has become a very useful tool for their professional development.