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Erasmus Mundus: €66 million for a key response to a changing neighbourhood

20-10-2011. The European Union has identified greater engagement in education as a crucial element of its new approach towards its Neighbourhood partners, with €66 million earmarked for its Erasmus Mundus II programme (2009-2013).

A strengthened engagement in the area of education is a crucial element of the new approach towards the ENP countries, outlined in the EU Communication on ‘A new response to a changing Neighbourhood’ – the culmination of a comprehensive review of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP).

In the context of recent developments in the southern Mediterranean, the EU is paying particular attention to actions in favour of young people in the region, who play an important role in the ongoing democratisation process to emerge from the events of the Arab Spring.

Furthermore, most ENP countries continue to be on a transition towards establishing fully-fledged market economies. In this context, partner country institutions, including higher education institutions, are under strong pressure to provide the skills required by these new economic conditions.

Support for partner country institutions in their reform efforts and in establishing people-to-people cooperation, especially in the field of higher education, is therefore needed and can contribute to mutual understanding between people, countries and cultures in the EU's Neighbouring countries.

Erasmus Mundus

With €66 million, the Erasmus Mundus II (2009-2013) programme provides support to:

(i) universities that wish to implement joint programmes at postgraduate level (Action 1) or to set-up partnerships between universities from Europe and targeted partner countries (Action 2);

(ii) individual students, researchers and university staff who wish to spend a study/research/teaching period in the context of one of the above mentioned joint programmes or cooperation partnerships;

(iii) (any organisation active in the field of higher education that wishes to develop projects aiming at improving the attractiveness, profile, visibility and image of European higher education worldwide (Action 3).

Erasmus Mundus II (Action 2 Partnerships, Strand 1) seeks to extend to the ENPI region the best practices of the internal Erasmus Programme and to expand mobility opportunities to include all levels of higher education.

Scholarships of various lengths can be awarded to interested students who fulfil the application criteria. The exchange programme is open to undergraduate, postgraduate, doctoral and post-doctoral students from partner countries and will allow for student and teaching staff exchanges. Since 2007, more than 4,000 students from Neighbourhood countries and Russia have already benefited from this exchange programme.

The programme is part of package of four decisions adopted by the European Commission in September 2011 in response to actions outlined in the Commission's Communication, "A new response to a changing Neighbourhood". (source: ENPI Info Centre)


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