AUT brushes up Euro lobby

July 7, 1995

The Association of University Teachers is to ask staff with expertise to monitor European programmes and report back to the Commission on their effectiveness.

The move follows an AUT seminar on European lobbying last month to teach union members how to influence legislation before it reaches member states.

Malcolm Kyte, the AUT official responsible for the initiative, said: "We are going to draw on the expertise in universities in dealing with European programmes to monitor their implementation and feed back to the Commission.

"This may concentrate on specific projects such as Socrates and Leonardo, seeing how they work and whether they are effective as far as the United Kingdom is concerned. For example, Socrates unlike Erasmus does not allow applications from individuals. These have to come from the institutions and we shall examine how effective this really is."

The AUT says student exchange under Erasmus is an area of concern as it is inadequately funded and dependent on parental support. As a result it favours the better-off.

Union members will also be asked to monitor research funding. UK universities received Pounds 153 million between 1987 and 1991 from Europe while British companies received Pounds 191 million.

"British universities tend to do very well and are benefiting from European research funding but the average masks a range of performances. We want to see if the performance can be improved both in terms of the availability of funds and success in obtaining them," Mr Kyte said.

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