Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Commission awards of €53.5 million to university cooperation projects
The European Commission has selected 110 new university cooperation initiatives and 61 structural measures for funding under the Tempus programme, a scheme which supports higher education reform in the EU's neighbouring countries.A total of €53.5 million has been earmarked by the EU for the projects and measures combined.
Established in 1990 following the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Trans-European mobility scheme for university studies (Tempus) encourages universities from EU Member States to cooperate with countries in the Western Balkans, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and the Mediterranean partner countries in higher education reform projects. A well-known and popular programme in the academic worlds of the EU and its partner countries, Tempus has come to be seen as a major gateway to international contacts.
'It is based on the understanding that higher education institutions are a vital part of any process for social and economic transition in our neighbouring countries, and that they are a privileged vehicle to ensure better prospects for future generations,' said Ján Figel', European Commissioner for Education and Training.
A total of €46 million of the newly announced funding will go to 110 'Joint European Projects (JEP)'. These are multi-lateral initiatives designed to increase cooperation and network-building between actors in higher education in EU Member States and partner countries, and help the higher education sector propagate its knowledge outside academic institutions. Projects can support universities in applying the principles of the 'Bologna Process', for example by implementing the new two-level education system, and the European Credit Transfer System. Funding can also go to supporting curriculum development in a wide range of subject areas ; other aspects of university management; and training courses for institution-building.
A further €7.5 million will be used to support 61 'Structural and Complementary Projects'. These are short-term interventions designed to support national higher education reforms and strategic framework development. Such projects typically address issues also linked to the Bologna process, such as quality assurance, and related accreditation systems, credit systems, and restructuring the qualification frameworks to create a converging and transparent European system, whereby different national education systems would use a common framework. The overall goal is create the right conditions for the development of a European higher education area.
The programme also provides 'Individual Mobility Grants ' to help staff in participating partner countries take part in training and conferences abroad, and to assist European teachers deliver training courses in partner countries, within the context of Tempus' objectives.
Three other Tempus calls for proposals will be organised before the end of the year: in October for Structural and Complementary Measures and Individual Mobility Grants ; in December for Joint European Projects .
Source European Commission
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