Romano Prodi: Erasmus World Press Conference, Brussels, 17 July 2002

July 18, 2002

Brussels, 17 July 2002

Today the Commission adopted Erasmus World on a proposal from Viviane. There is a simple philosophy behind the project: "By opening our universities to the world, we open them up to Europe too".

I am convinced we can attract students from all over the world only by offering them what they cannot find elsewhere.

We must develop a genuinely European study scheme.

This project has two main aims:

  • to make our universities more attractive and more competitive: this will help to make the EU a world centre of excellence;

  • to foster mutual knowledge and encourage dialogue between cultures: this will be achieved and given visibility by new projects of this type.
We are also thinking of new priorities and political developments on the international scene.

At recent summits, for example, the G8 has always emphasised the need to improve the quality of education systems at all levels, to encourage mobility among students and scholars and to foster cooperation among universities and research institutes throughout this increasingly interdependent world of ours.

Erasmus World gives post-graduate students from Europe, the Mediterranean, Asia, the Americas and Africa the chance to study for European masters degrees in universities in the various Member States. It also allows our students to follow a part of their course in universities in non-member countries.

In addition it offers incentives for lecturers from non-member countries to come and teach European masters courses.

Universities throughout the European Union will be involved in European masters courses and the degrees will be recognised in all Member States.

Erasmus World will thus stimulate closer cooperation between EU universities.

Erasmus World draws on experience gained in exchange programmes within the EU, such as the highly successful Erasmus programme and other cooperation and exchange programmes with non-member countries.

Background

ERASMUS WORLD

1. Objectives:

It combines the following actions:

  • European Union Master Courses, involving a minimum of three higher education institutions from three different member states.

  • Scholarships targeted at the best qualified third country graduate students and scholars, to participate in the Masters.

  • Partnerships with third country higher education institutions

  • Enhancing attractiveness

  • Support Measures
Basic figures on the overall budget and annual outputs are given on the following pages.

At cruising speed, to be reached in 2008, the programme will be supporting annually:

  • 90 European Union Masters Courses ;

  • 2,160 third country graduate students coming to the Union ;

  • 480 visiting third country scholars coming to the Union;

  • 30 partnership projects between European Union Masters Courses and third country institutions ;

  • 1,350 grants for EU graduate students to go abroad (within partnership projects) ;

  • 0 grants for EU scholars/staff to go abroad ;
and a range (at an annual cost of €3 M) of attractiveness-enhancing measures ;

at an annual cost of €92 M, including technical assistance.

Already, in its start-up year of 2004, the programme will be supporting:

  • 20 European Union Masters Courses ;

  • 120 third country graduate students coming to the Union ;

  • 30 visiting third country scholars ;

  • and a range of attractiveness-enhancing measures to a total of €800,000 ;
totalling €6 M, including technical assistance.

Over the five years of the programme (2004-2008), it will have supported:

  • 250 European Union Masters Courses ;

  • 4,170 third country graduate students coming to the Union ;

  • 1020 visiting third country scholars ;

  • 88 partnership projects between European Union Masters Courses and third country institutions ;

  • 3,960 grants for EU graduate students to go abroad (within partnership projects) ;

  • 792 grants for EU scholars/staff to go abroad ;

  • and a broad range (for a total cost of €11 M) of attractiveness-enhancing measures ;
totalling €200 M, including technical assistance.

DN: SPEECH/02/348 Date: 17/07/2002

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