EVOLVE Project Team (2020). The Impact of Virtual Exchange on Student Learning in Higher Education: EVOLVE Project Report.

121 pages

Available online:


Juan Albá-Duran, Catherine Felce, Begoña Fernández Gutiérrez, Mirjam Hauck, Sake Jager, Catherine Muller, Elke Nissen, Robert O’Dowd, Gerdientje Oggel, Linda Plowright-Pepper,Shannon Sauro


Elke Nissen, Sake Jager

From the introduction

« This report presents the findings of one of the studies carried out by the Erasmus+ KA3 project EVOLVE ( Situated in the project’s wider context of mainstreaming VE as innovative practice in HE in Europe and beyond, the focus of the current study is on the impact of Virtual Exchange (VE) on student learning in Higher Education (HE). Based on student data collected from 16 exchange projects between 34 partners from HEIs in Europe and other parts of the globe, it looks into students’ general perceptions and appreciation of VE and the development of intercultural competences, critical digital literacy, language skills and disciplinary learning. »

From the conclusion

« The analysis of intercultural competence,based on the Council of Europe’s model of Competences for Democratic Culture (Council of Europe, 2016), demonstrated that students successfully developed competences for intercultural interaction and online collaboration and the ability to manage and resolve conflicts in these settings. They acquired intercultural knowledge, learned to adapt to different cultural perspectives and practices, and demonstrated reflection on and distancing from their own worldviews. Asa potential risk, the researchers identified a tendency to overgeneralise and minimise difference. »