Transforming transnational intercultural sensitivity for midwifery students through an inclusive mobility model (TOTEMM)
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Health Education Centre, Tallinn Health College, Tallinn, Estonia
School of Health Sciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom
School of Medicine and Surgery, University of Milano Bicocca, Milano, Italy
AVAG Midwifery Academy, University of Applied Sciences, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date: 2023-10-24
Corresponding author
Annely Karema   

Health Education Centre, Tallinn Health College, Tallinn, Estonia
Eur J Midwifery 2023;7(Supplement 1):A6
The benefits for students who engage in study mobility experiences should include developing soft skills, interaction skills with individuals from different cultures, adaptability, and proficiency and communication skills in foreign languages. The current Erasmus model used in Midwifery education focuses on clinical placement experience and excludes a group of students whose personal and financial situation makes it impossible for them to stay in another country for a protracted period of time. Therefore, to create a new blended approach to student mobility, incorporating pedagogically valuable online resources for midwifery students, supplemented by a short period of physical mobility, was the interest of this project. The TOTEMM project aims to promote equity, social inclusion and participation of non-mobile midwifery students studying in England, Italy, Estonia and the Netherlands through creating and implementing a new inclusive mobility model based on a combination of virtual and physical mobility activities. Furthermore, to investigate whether combining virtual and physical mobility activities can develop intercultural sensitivity.

Material and Methods:
A mapping of curriculum content across four partners' undergraduate midwifery programs. Midwifery students studying in England, Italy, Estonia and the Netherlands were part of the design, development, and evaluation processes as Stakeholders along with subject experts/tutors and learning technologists Two online questionnaire surveys and eight focus group discussions to establish students' views and experiences related to all components of the new blended approach to mobility completed by 65 students. The validated Intercultural Sensitivity Scale (ISS) assessment tool will be utilised to measure intercultural sensitivity.

A mapping of curriculum content across four partners' undergraduate midwifery programmes, with particular regard to public health and the midwifery role; published a cross-sectional survey of midwifery students' perspectives on physical and virtual mobility activities and preferences for e-learning; application of the ASPIRE methodology to develop five e-learning packages related to the public health role of the midwife in Europe: Optimising psychological wellbeing for women and their families; Empowering women to maintain their sense of safety; Promoting positive lifestyle choices for women within their communities; Championing the needs of the migrant population; the new blended mobility model was acceptability and enjoyment for students; for students' acceptability and enjoyment of the new blended mobility model, changes to their perceptions of midwifery, intercultural sensitivity and the needs of different groups of women, and some impacts on life-skills; Two Multiplier Events with a total attendance of 115 international delegates and international interest in the TOTEMM model.

Although the project was carried out during the period of the Covid-19 pandemic, which required adaptation to the conditions of the pandemic, including the transition to online work and the adaptation of the pedagogical approach in the development of online materials, the virtual online package and the students physical mobility provides a good opportunity to acquire the knowledge of maternity care in four countries, reflecting the role of midwives in caring for the public health of women from different cultures. Furthermore, there is a collaboration between midwifery training teams in the four countries and interest in further joint work on this and other initiatives.

We express our thanks to the students who gave generously of their time and study experiences. We also thank the expert advisory group for guiding aspects of the virtual learning package.
The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
Erasmus+ KA203 - Strategic Partnerships for Higher Education.
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