February 21, 1997

The European Commission is seeking bids for the latest round of its innovative transatlantic student exchange schemes.

The five-year project, launched last year to promote understanding between the European Union, the United States and Canada, involves multilateral exchanges, with at least three partners on each side of the Atlantic, including two in different EU or US states or Canadian provinces. Proposals for the new US exchange schemes must be submitted to the European Commission by May 16. About ten three-year projects are expected to be accepted, averaging Ecu100,000 on the European side and $175,000 on the American side. United Kingdom partners in the first round of the programme include Bath, Brunel, Luton, Sunderland, and Ulster universities, King's College London, Londonderry's North West Institute and Edinburgh's Telford College.

The European Commission sees the scheme as an incubator for exchange programmes that fully integrate foreign students into institutions abroad.

The US Department of Education hopes it will be an antidote to existing ghettoes of American students in Europe, ensuring that its students are immersed in the local academic and national culture, with the overseas grades and credits being included in their home record of achievement.

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