A Qualitative Study of Erasmus Program Challenges and Paradoxes Based on the Experiences of Students from Turkey

Esin Aksay Aksezer, Kutlay Yagmur, Fons van de Vijver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Internationalization agenda, especially the Erasmus framework, has become a significant process affecting the Turkish higher education. Erasmus, as being the most influential and preferred mobility scheme, has attracted significant attention and witnessed increasing number of students in years. There are various studies on the outcomes of the Erasmus program in terms of social, cultural, and academic gains of students as well as associated challenges and influence of the Bologna Process on the Turkish higher education outlook. However, there are less visited concepts in terms of challenges that need further attention. This paper addresses these less visited subjects such as project management/implementation issues (diversity, funding, and outcomes), politics of difference, and consumerist approaches. The findings suggest that these issues may complicate program implementations and run the risk of hindering general program targets, leading to a paradoxical outlook such a becoming exclusive to certain group of students, emphasizing difference rather than mutual understanding, seeing the experience as a to-do list item. So, the tension between various issues such as consumerist approaches, politics of difference and project implementation issues and general program targets and outcomes must be acknowledged towards emphasizing the critical role of appropriate student advising and expectation management as well as development of flexible and diverse evaluation-placement methods for efficient and positive program implementation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-73
Number of pages11
JournalYuksekogretim Dergisi
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2021


  • Erasmus programme
  • Higher education
  • Turkey
  • Mobility


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