Tag Archives: Higher education

Quality of higher education

Quality of higher education

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Quality of higher education

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Education training youth sport > Lifelong learning

Quality of higher education

Document or Iniciative

Council Recommendation (EC) No 561/98 of 24 September 1998 on European cooperation in quality assurance in higher education [Official Journal L 270 of 7.10.1998]

Summary

The Council of the European Union recommends to Member States that they establish transparent quality assessment and quality assurance systems in the field of higher education.

The aim is to safeguard and improve the quality of higher education while taking due account of national conditions, the European dimension and international requirements.

The systems of quality assessment and quality assurance must be based on the following principles:

  • autonomy and independence of the bodies responsible for quality assessment and quality assurance;
  • relating evaluation procedures to the way institutions see themselves;
  • internal (self-reflective) and external (experts’ appraisals) assessment;
  • involvement of all the players (teaching staff, administrators, students, alumni, social partners, professional associations, inclusion of foreign experts);
  • publication of evaluation reports.

The Council recommends Member States to ensure that follow-up measures are taken at national or regional level in order to enable higher education institutions to implement their plans for improving quality and for integrating graduates into the labour market more effectively.

The Member States are also recommended to ensure that high priority is given by public authorities and by the management of higher education institutions to continuous exchange of experience with other Member States and with international organisations active in this field.

The Council also recommends Member States to promote cooperation between the authorities responsible for evaluating quality in higher education and encourage their networking. This cooperation should concern:

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  • exchange of information and experience;
  • fulfilling requests for expertise and advice from the authorities in the Member States and promotion of contacts with international experts;
  • support for higher education institutes in the different countries which wish to cooperate.

In pursuing these objectives, the links with other Community activities, notably in the framework of the Socrates and Leonardo da Vinci programmes, should also be taken into account, as well as the “acquis communautaire” in the field of recognition of qualifications for professional purposes.

The Commission is invited to support this cooperation between the authorities responsible for evaluation and quality control in higher education, by involving organisations and associations in the European Community that possess the necessary experience in the field of evaluation and quality assurance in higher education.

The Commission is requested to present, every three years, a report on the development of quality assessment and quality assurance systems in the Member States and on cooperation activities at European level in this field.

Related Acts

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Recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 February 2006 on further European cooperation in quality assurance in higher education [Official Journal L 64/60 of 4.3.2006].
9. The Council and the European Parliament recommend Member States to introduce internal quality assurance systems in accordance with the standards and guidelines adopted in Bergen in the context of the Bologna Process.
10. They call on quality assurance agencies to be independent in their assessments, to apply the features of quality assurance laid down in the 1998 Recommendation and to apply the general rules adopted in Bergen.
11. The representatives of national authorities, the higher education sector and quality assurance agencies are encouraged to cooperate with the social partners to set up a European register of quality assurance agencies (EQAR). This register, which will be put in place in summer 2008, should be based on a national review and will take account of the principles set out in the Annex. The registration conditions and register management rules should also be laid down.
12. Member States must take the necessary action to allow higher education institutions to choose from the register the quality assurance agency which meets their needs.
13. The Council and the European Parliament recommend Member States to ensure public access to assessments produced by quality assurance agencies listed in the European register.
14. The Recommendation invites the Commission to continue to support cooperation between higher education institutions, quality assurance agencies and competent authorities.
15. Finally, the Council and the European Parliament invite the Commission to present triennial reports on progress in the development of quality assurance systems.

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on the implementation of Council Recommendation 98/561/EC of 24 September 1998 on European cooperation in quality assurance in higher education [COM(2004) 0620 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Modernising universities

Modernising universities

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Modernising universities

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Education training youth sport > Lifelong learning

Modernising universities

Document or Iniciative

Communication of 10 May 2006 from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament – Delivering on the modernisation agenda for universities: education, research and innovation [COM(2006) 208 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

With 4 000 establishments, over 17 million students and some 1.5 million staff – of whom 435 000 are researchers – European universities have enormous potential. However, the Commission has identified certain challenges which the Member States and universities must face in order to modernise and restructure higher education and research and compete in the global competition:

  • the standardisation of national university systems and their fragmentation into small structures, which make national, European and international cooperation more difficult and form an obstacle to their diversification and impede their quality;
  • identical courses offered to similar types of student. Other types of training and other target groups tend to be neglected (conversion courses for adults or transition courses for those who have not followed traditional educational pathways);
  • inflexible administrative regulations and long-winded academic recognition procedures. The problem of the transferability of scholarships or loans and pension rights is another obstacle to mobility, training, research or employment in another country;
  • the development of the research environment into one which is open, interactive and competitive, transcending traditional structures;
  • universities and business still underestimate the benefits of exchanging knowledge with each other or are not adapted to do so; lack of resources to ensure that the quality of higher education and research in Europe is comparable to that at American universities.

In this context, European universities are lagging behind in an increasingly competitive market to attract the best researchers and students. However, they need to develop their own potential fully and be able to do so. Even if they share certain values and objectives, it is not necessary to follow an identical model in terms of the balance between education and research, have a similar approach to research or research training or offer similar academic services and subjects. Research must remain a fundamental mission of every education system, but it must be restricted to a limited number of establishments so as to better mobilise resources.

Reforms to develop the potential of European universities

Removing obstacles faced by universities is vital to encourage and speed up mobility, both geographically and between sectors. This relates in particular to researchers.

Advantage should be taken of the opportunities offered by mobility, a source of enrichment for study and work, but it must be made simpler by way of student grants and loans which are portable throughout the EU. The full transferability of pension rights and the elimination of all types of obstacles to occupational mobility, between countries or between sectors, will also facilitate the mobility of staff and researchers, thus stimulating innovation.

Essential reforms for the implementation of the Bologna Process are needed by 2010 throughout the EU. The main aspects are comparable qualifications (short cycle, Bachelor or equivalent, Master, Doctorate); flexible curricula which meet the needs of the labour market; and trustworthy quality assurance systems.

These reforms should not only be based on best practices but also be launched by the national authorities to guarantee their implementation. In parallel, the recognition of academic qualifications should be simplified to ensure rapid procedures, following the example of the system for the recognition of vocational qualifications, which has recently been modernised and simplified.

Universities must be autonomous and responsible in order to encourage innovation and resist change. This calls for a division of tasks between the Member States and universities. The Member States should establish the general framework (rules, policy objectives, funding, incentives). The universities should establish new governance systems based on strategic priorities and on the professional management of human resources, investment and administrative procedures. They should also reduce the fragmentation of their services and entities and assume responsibility for their results.

Incentives to encourage structured partnerships with enterprises will be needed to bring universities closer to the world of business. Beyond their original mission, universities must realise their role as economic actors and be better equipped to meet demand from the market in order to increase the impact of their research. These structured partnerships must strengthen interactions between universities and enterprises (funding, opportunities for researchers, etc.). Incentives will therefore be essential to establish the necessary structures in universities, develop entrepreneurial spirit and management, business and innovation skills.

Universities must also provide knowledge and skills geared to the needs of the labour market. In other words, graduates’ qualifications must meet the needs of the labour market. All levels of education are concerned, including adult education. This approach must be in line with the agenda on lifelong learning. Innovative curricula, teaching methods and continuing or refresher training courses combining general and specific skills will help to meet these needs. Universities must also embrace an enterprise culture, and placements in industry must be recognised so that they can be fully integrated into courses. In this context, access to the labour market should serve as an indicator of the quality and performance of universities.

This means, for example, that doctoral candidates wishing to work in research must acquire, in addition to their research training, skills relating to the management of intellectual property rights, communication, working in a network, entrepreneurship and team working.

University funding must be reformed so that a level of teaching and research excellence can be achieved in accordance with the Lisbon Strategy, the aim of which is to commit 2% of gross domestic product (GDP) to a modernised higher education system by 2010. Moreover, universities should fully assume their role in European research by way of more investment (the objective is to invest 3% of GDP in research and development by 2010). In parallel, the funding of students should be amended to ensure greater fairness between students, in particular those coming from disadvantaged backgrounds, as regards university admittance and chances of success.

For this reason, the funding should be results-oriented, rather than resources-oriented. It should also be more diverse and include more private funding, especially for research. A good balance between basic funding and funding resulting from calls for tender or linked to results will therefore be necessary. Moreover, this second category of funding must be based on performance indicators in order to clearly measure the relationship between resources invested (inputs) and results obtained, both economic and social (outputs). In this way, universities will be more responsible for their own financial viability.

Interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity are vital for universities, which have to adapt to new opportunities and new issues arising from trends in each field. Universities will therefore have to redefine their education and research priorities by focusing more on research fields than scientific disciplines. They must also encourage student, researcher and research team mobility in order to generate more interactions between them. To this end, universities will have to revise their structures and organisations (staff management, evaluation, funding, teaching, etc.).

Universities must promote knowledge by achieving greater involvement of all parts of society. In a knowledge-based society, it is vital for universities to step up communication and dialogue with those affected by their activities and with the whole of society, by way of conferences, open days or forums. They will thus gain credibility and attract more investment. They must also offer lifelong learning opportunities.

Universities must also concentrate on the development of excellence. The attractiveness of universities will be enhanced by the concentration of resources, mobility and increased competition. However, whilst attracting researchers and students, they must also establish flexible and transparent recruitment procedures, ensure research independence and offer attractive career prospects. Excellence also means favouring certain fields.

Excellence encourages the development of networks of postgraduate or doctoral institutions which must meet certain key criteria, such as critical mass, transdisciplinarity and interdisciplinarity, the European dimension, the support of public authorities and enterprises, identified and recognised fields of excellence, a range of post-doctoral studies and a reliable quality assurance system. The creation of the European institute of technology and the European Research Council is in line with this strategy.

The visibility and international attractiveness of the European higher education area and theEuropean research area are essential to strengthen the role of universities and European research in the world. However, to be competitive, their role, openness and quality have to be stepped up. In this context, experience gained by universities in cooperation (consortia, agreements, double degrees), networking and mobility deserve to be further developed beyond Europe. Cooperative ventures should be better structured and supported by appropriate funding and bilateral or multilateral agreements. Openness to the world also means attracting non-European students, teachers and researchers and encouraging European student, teacher and researcher mobility outside Europe.

In this context, it is vital to simplify and speed up the administrative and legal entry procedures for students and researchers from outside the EU. The entry and residence of researchers from third countries have already formed the subject of a package of measures for the issue of visas for researchers in 2005. Recognising qualifications is another essential aspect of the global visibility and attractiveness of European higher education and research. Following the example of the recognition of vocational qualifications, the recognition of academic qualifications should also be encouraged. The European qualifications framework and compatible quality assurance systems mark the beginnings of this. Moreover, double degrees and joint degrees issued by consortia of universities could also be extended and built upon.

Action at European Union level

The Commission is providing political backing with the open method of coordination which Member States use. This allows the identification and dissemination of good practices and support for Member States in the pursuit of more effective university systems.

The Commission can also provide funding to step up the quality and performance of universities. This funding includes the programmes for the period 2007-2013 (the 7th framework programme for research and development, the lifelong learning programme, the Competitiveness and innovation programme), the Structural Funds, focusing on the least developed regions, and loans from the European Investment Bank.

Moreover, the creation of the European Technology Institute will meet the objectives set out in this communication, in particular because it will be focusing on excellence, interdisciplinarity, networks and cooperation between the academic and business worlds.

The Commission also emphasises the importance of coordinating all those concerned in the restructuring and modernisation of universities. The Member States must take these challenges into account when they implement the Integrated guidelines for growth and jobs and the national reform programmes. Universities must make strategy choices to respond to them. Moreover, both the Lisbon programme and the Education and Training 2010 work programme offer support at EU level.

Context

At the informal meeting at Hampton Court in October 2005, research and development and universities were acknowledged as key factors in the EU’s competitiveness. The European Council in the spring of 2006 called for stronger action to drive forward successive reforms aimed at modernising universities and research.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission of 21 February 2007 – “A coherent framework of indicators and benchmarks for monitoring progress towards the Lisbon objectives in education and training” [COM(2007) 61 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Communication from the Commission to the Council and to the European Parliament of 8 September 2006 – “Efficiency and equity in European education and training systems” [COM(2006) 481 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Communication of 20 April 2005 – “Mobilising the brainpower of Europe: enabling universities to make their full contribution to the Lisbon Strategy” [COM(2005) 152 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Communication from the Commission, dated 5 February 2003 – “The role of the universities in the Europe of knowledge” [COM(2003) 58 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Detailed work programme on the follow-up of the objectives of Education and training systems in Europe [OJ C142/02, 14.6.2002].

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – “Towards a European Research Area” [COM(2000) 6 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Bologna declaration of 19 June 1999, adopted by 29 countries with a view to achieving convergence between higher education systems in Europe.

European strategy for the development of key enabling technologies

European strategy for the development of key enabling technologies

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about European strategy for the development of key enabling technologies

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Research and innovation > Research in support of other policies

European strategy for the development of key enabling technologies

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 30 September 2009 – “Preparing for our future: Developing a common strategy for key enabling technologies in the EU” [COM(2009) 512 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

As part of the European Union (EU) innovation and industrial policy, the effective development and deployment of key enabling technologies (KETs) will be an important factor in the industrial and economic future of the EU. Until now there has been no common approach to the identification of KETs. The Commission therefore proposes a process of identifying the KETs that can be used to improve the industrial capacities of the EU, enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of the EU’s economy, and enable the EU to fulfil its ambition of becoming a principal player when facing global societal challenges.

The identification of KETs

There are differences between EU countries as to what should be considered as a KET. According to current global research and market trends, the Commission suggests a list of KETs that could be considered as the technologies most capable of improving the EU’s industrial competitiveness. The list includes nanotechnology, micro- and nanoelectronics, photonics, advanced materials and biotechnology.

These technologies need to be developed further to help the EU better address global societal challenges. The environmental impact of these technologies is important as energy efficient and low carbon technologies will help the EU reach its energy and climate change targets. Due to social concerns, however, legitimate health and environmental consequences of these KETs need to be addressed.

Lack of research and development (R&D) effectiveness in the EU

The EU trails behind the US and Japan in R&D intensity and in the high-tech industry, despite the considerable public R&D efforts that are undertaken in these areas. The Commission gives reasons why the current efforts are not producing adequate results:

  • the EU is not adequately effective in capitalising on its own R&D results relating to KETs;
  • a lack of public understanding and knowledge of KETs leads to environmental and health concerns about the development and use of such technologies;
  • the EU has a shortage of adequately qualified people in this area and has to ensure that its science, technology engineering and maths (STEM) graduate base is developing. The relationship between researchers, entrepreneurs and financial intermediaries needs to be enhanced in order to create incentives to commercialise research results and to reinforce the knowledge transfer between them;
  • there is a relatively low amount of venture capital funding and private investment in the EU available for KETs, especially in contrast to the funding in other regions;
  • a common long-term vision and more coordinated efforts between EU countries are needed in order to overcome the fragmentation of markets with regard to innovation. EU countries must collaborate more to extend the scale and scope of their individual technology policies.

Development and promotion of KETs in the EU

The Commission lists policy areas, which need to be addressed for the successful deployment of KETs:

  • increased focus on the promotion of innovation for KETs and an enhanced relationship between research output and industrial impact;
  • increased focus on the technology transfer between research institutions and industry, in particular SMEs, and making sure that high technologies manufactured in Europe enter the supply chain;
  • greater collaboration between EU countries, e.g. through joint strategic programming, and greater involvement of industry and users in these projects;
  • state aid policies that address market distortions;
  • encouraged use of KETs in the fight against climate change;
  • creation of a more favourable environment for a more effective capitalisation of research results by looking into the lead market initiative and public procurement as possible stimulators for enabling high technologies;
  • International comparison of high technology policies between EU countries and with other regions, such as the US, Japan, Russia, China and India, in order to identify best practices and scope for cooperation;
  • international trade policy to ensure favourable trade conditions on KETs;
  • stimulation of financial investment in high technology industry by encouraging the European Investment Bank (EIB) to facilitate loans to high-tech industries, exploiting the financial instruments of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) and to promote public-private partnership in order to make venture capital available;
  • increased focus on education and vocational training in the area of new technologies to respond to the labour market needs and to ensure that the full potential of KETs is exploited.

The future of KETs in the EU

The European Union needs a shared and strategic vision on key enabling technologies. In the long term, key actors, i.e. the European institutions, EU countries, businesses and other stakeholders, need to work in partnership in order to ensure the successful deployment of European key enabling technologies by industries.

In the short term, the Community has to make best use of existing policies, such as state aid rules, trade aspects, access to financing mechanisms and the reinforcement of existing initiatives, in order to promote the commercialisation of key enabling technologies. In addition, the Commission has set up a high-level expert group which will assist the Commission in developing a long-term strategy on key enabling technologies and assess the competitive situation of KETs in the EU, analyse available R&D capacities and propose specific policy recommendations.

Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency

Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Audiovisual and media

Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency

Document or Iniciative

Commission Decision 2009/336/EC of 20 April 2009 setting up the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency for the management of Community action in the fields of education, audiovisual and culture in application of Council Regulation (EC) No 58/2003.

Summary

This decision sets up the ‘Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency’ in accordance with Council Regulation (EC) No 58/2003 and repeals Decision 2005/56/EC, which originally created the agency. The agency is established for the period 1 January 2005 – 31 December 2015 to manage Community action in these three fields. It is located in Brussels.

Objectives and tasks

The agency is responsible for managing certain strands of the following Community programmes:

  • programmes encouraging the development, distribution and promotion of European audiovisual works (MEDIA II 1996-2000 and MEDIA Plus 2001-06);
  • training programmes for professionals in the European audiovisual industry (MEDIA II – Training 1996-2000 and MEDIA – Training 2001-06);
  • the MEDIA 2007 programme of support for the European audiovisual sector (2007-13);
  • Community action programmes to promote active European citizenship (civic participation 2004-06 and ‘Europe for Citizens’ 2007-13);
  • the Community action programme to promote bodies active at European level in the field of youth (2004-06);
  • the ‘Youth’ (2000-06) and ‘Youth in Action’ (2007-13) Community action programmes;
  • the Community action programme to promote bodies active at European level in the field of culture (2004-06);
  • the ‘Culture 2000’ (2000-06) and ‘Culture’ (2007-13) programmes;
  • the second phase of the Community action programme in the field of education ‘Socrates’ (2000-06);
  • the second phase of the Community action programme in the area of vocational training ‘Leonardo da Vinci’ (2000-06);
  • the multiannual programme for the effective integration of information and communication technologies in education and training systems in Europe ‘eLearning’ (2004-06);
  • the Community action programme to promote bodies active at European level and support specific activities in the field of education and training (2004-06);
  • the action programme in the field of lifelong learning (2007-13).

The agency is also responsible for managing the following external relations programmes in the field of education:

  • the programme for the enhancement of quality in higher education and the promotion of intercultural understanding through cooperation with third countries (Erasmus Mundus 2004-08);
  • the External Cooperation Window (EM ECW) co-operation and mobility scheme;
  • Erasmus Mundus 2009-13 programme, directly incorporating the ECW action 2;
  • projects eligible for funding under the agreements between the European Community and the United States of America renewing the programme of cooperation in the field of higher education, vocational education and training (2001-05 and 2006-13);
  • projects eligible for funding under the agreements between the European Community and the government of Canada renewing a cooperation programme in higher education, training and youth (2001-05 and 2006-13);
  • joint mobility projects eligible for funding under the Industrialised Cooperation Instrument Education Cooperation Programme (ICI ECP) agreement between the European Community and the governments of Australia, Japan, New Zealand and the Republic of Korea;
  • the third and fourth phases of trans-European cooperation scheme for higher education (Tempus III 2000-06 and Tempus IV 2007- 2013).

Furthermore, the agency is responsible for the earlier external cooperation projects on higher education funded under the provisions of the following:

  • economic aid for certain countries of central and eastern Europe (Phare);
  • assistance for the partner states of eastern Europe and central Asia (Tacis);
  • assistance for Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo (CARDS);
  • financial and technical measures to accompany the reform of economic and social structures in the framework of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership (MEDA);
  • aid for economic cooperation with developing countries in Asia (1992-06);
  • the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA);
  • the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI);
  • the financing instrument for development cooperation (DCI);
  • the financing instrument for cooperation with industrialised and other high-income countries and territories (ICI);
  • the 9th European Development Fund (EDF).

With regard to these programmes, the agency is in particular responsible for the following tasks:

  • managing the projects entrusted to it in the context of implementation of Community programmes throughout their duration;
  • adopting the budget implementation instruments for revenue and expenditure and carrying out some, or all, of the operations necessary for the management of the Community programmes, including those linked to the awarding of grants and contracts;
  • gathering, analysing and passing on to the Commission all the information needed to guide the implementation of the Community programmes;
  • implementing the Eurydice network for the collection, analysis and dissemination of information and the production of studies and publications.

The agency may also be entrusted to carry out other similar tasks in the education, audiovisual and culture fields. In such a case, the Commission decision delegating tasks to the agency will be adapted accordingly.

Structure, grants and supervision

The Commission appoints a steering committee and a Director to manage the agency; the former for a period of two and the latter for a period of four years. For its operation, the agency is allocated a grant entered in the general budget of the European Union as well as finances from the European Development Fund. The Commission is responsible for supervising the agency. The agency must report to it regularly on the implementation of the programmes for which it is responsible.

References

Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Decision 2009/336/EC

20.4.2009 – 31.12.2015

OJ L 101 of 24.1.2009


Another Normative about Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic

Other

Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency

This Commission Decision establishes the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency. It sets out the Agency’s role in the management of Community programmes and the conditions under which the Agency has to operate.

Document or Iniciative

Commission Decision 2005/56/EC of 14 January 2005 setting up the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency for the management of Community action in the fields of education, audiovisual and culture in application of Council Regulation (EC) No 58/2003 [See amending acts].

Summary

In accordance with Council Regulation (EC) No 58/2003, the Commission set up the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency to manage Community action in these fields. The Agency has been established for a fixed period running from 1 January 2006 to 31 December 2015. It is located in Brussels.

Creation of the Agency

The creation of this Agency will allow the Commission to focus on its priority activities and functions, without relinquishing control or responsibility for activities managed by the Agency. The Agency’s task is to implement programmes that require a high level of technical and financial expertise, but do not entail political decision-making.

The Agency is supervised by the Commission and reports to three Directorates-General:

  • Education and Culture (DG EAC) – responsible for the majority of the programmes and actions entrusted to the Agency;
  • Information and Society (DG INFSO) – responsible for the MEDIA programme;
  • EuropeAid Cooperation Office (DG AIDCO) – responsible for Erasmus Mundus External Cooperation Window.

Objectives and tasks

The Agency is hereby entrusted with the management of certain strands of the following Community programmes:

  • the programmes encouraging the development, distribution and promotion of European audiovisual works (MEDIA II – Development and distribution 1996-2000 and MEDIA Plus – Development, Distribution and Promotion 2001-06);
  • the training programmes for professionals in the European audiovisual programme industry (MEDIA II – Training 1996-2000 and MEDIA- Training 2001-06);
  • the second phase of the Community action programme in the field of education “Socrates” (2000-06);
  • the second phase of the Community action programme in the area of vocational training “Leonardo da Vinci” (2000-06);
  • the “Youth” (2000-06) and “Youth in Action” (2007-13) Community action programmes;
  • the “Culture” (2000-06 and 2007-13) programmes;
  • the multiannual programme (2004-06) for the effective integration of information and communication technologies in education and training systems in Europe (“eLearning”);
  • the Community action programmes to promote active European citizenship (civic participation 2004-06 and “Europe for Citizens” 2007-13);
  • the Community action programme to promote bodies active at European level in the field of youth (2004-06);
  • the Community action programme to promote bodies active at European level and support specific activities in the field of education and training (2004-06);
  • the Community action programme to promote bodies active at European level in the field of culture (2004-06);
  • the action programme in the field of lifelong learning (2007-13);
  • the Media 2007 programme of support for the European audiovisual sector.

The Agency is also responsible for managing external relations programmes in the field of education:

  • the programme for the enhancement of quality in higher education and the promotion of intercultural understanding through cooperation with third countries (Erasmus Mundus 2004-08);
  • the External Cooperation Window (EM ECW) cooperation and mobility scheme (in the Erasmus Mundus Programme 2009-13, the EM ECW will be incorporated directly under Action 2);
  • projects eligible for funding under the agreements between the European Community and the United States of America renewing the programme of cooperation in higher education, vocational education and training (2001-05 and 2006-13);
  • projects eligible for funding under the agreement between the European Community and the Government of Canada renewing a cooperation programme in higher education and training (2001-05 and 2006-13);
  • joint mobility projects eligible for funding under the Industrialised Cooperation Instrument Education Cooperation Programme (ICI ECP) agreement between the European Community and the governments of Australia, Japan, New Zealand and the Republic of Korea will be transferred to the Agency in 2009;
  • the third and fourth phases of the trans-European cooperation scheme for higher education (Tempus III 2000-06 and Tempus IV 2007-13, which will be transferred to the Agency in 2009).

In addition, the Agency is responsible for the earlier external cooperation projects on higher education funded under the provision of the following:

  • economic aid for certain countries of central and eastern Europe (Phare);
  • assistance to the partner States of Eastern Europe and Central Asia;
  • assistance for Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo;
  • financial and technical measures to accompany the reform of economic and social structures in the framework of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership (MEDA);
  • aid for economic cooperation with developing countries in Asia;
  • the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA);
  • the European Neighbourhood & Partnership Instrument (ENPI);
  • the instrument for development cooperation (DCI);
  • the instrument for cooperation with industrialised and other high-income countries and territories (ICI);
  • the 9th European Development Fund (EDF) (2000-07).

In connection with these programmes, the Agency is more specifically responsible for:

  • managing, throughout their duration, the projects entrusted to it in the context of implementation of Community programmes;
  • adopting the budget implementation instruments for revenue and expenditure and carrying out some, or all, of the operations necessary for the management of the Community programmes, including those linked to the awarding of grants and contracts;
  • gathering, analysing and passing on to the Commission all the information needed to guide the implementation of the Community programme;
  • implementing the Eurydice network for the collection, analysis and dissemination of information and the production of studies and publications.

The Agency may also carry out other similar tasks in the fields listed above. The Commission Decision delegating authority will then be adapted to take account of the addition of these tasks.

Structure, grants and supervision

The Agency is managed by a Steering Committee and a Director appointed by the Commission. The members of the Steering Committee are appointed for two years and the Director for four years. The Agency receives a grant entered in the general budget of the European Union and financing from the European Development Fund. It implements its operating budget in accordance with the provisions of Regulation (EC) No 1653/2004. The Commission supervises the Agency, which must report regularly on the implementation of the programmes for which it is responsible.

References

Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2005/56/EC 14.1.2005 OJ L 24 of 27.1.2005

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2007/114/EC 1.1.2007 OJ L 49 of 17.2.2007
Decision 2008/629/EC 12.6.2008 OJ L 205 of 1.8.2008
Decision 2008/785/EC 9.10.2008 OJ L 269 of 10.10.2008

Related Acts

Council Regulation (EC) No 58/2003 of 19 December 2002 laying down the statute for executive agencies to be entrusted with certain tasks in the management of Community programmes [Official Journal L 11 of 16.1.2003].

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1653/2004 of 21 September 2004 on a standard financial regulation for the executive agencies pursuant to Council Regulation (EC) No 58/2003 laying down the statute for executive agencies to be entrusted with certain tasks in the management of Community programmes [Official Journal L 297 of 22.9.2004].

Inter-regional programme: Strategy paper 2007-2013 and indicative programme 2007-2010

Inter-regional programme: Strategy paper 2007-2013 and indicative programme 2007-2010

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Inter-regional programme: Strategy paper 2007-2013 and indicative programme 2007-2010

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

External relations > Mediterranean partner countries

Inter-regional programme: Strategy paper 2007-2013 and indicative programme 2007-2010

Document or Iniciative

European neighbourhood and partnership instrument – Inter-regional programme – Strategy paper 2007-2013, indicative programme 2007-2010 .

Summary

The inter-regional programme (IRP) supports the achievement of the objectives of the European neighbourhood policy (ENP) and the strategic partnership with Russia. It focuses on dialogue and cooperation between the countries benefiting from the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI), and also between the latter and the European Union (EU).

Being part of the ENPI, the IRP provides financial support to activities whose inter-regional implementation has an added value in terms of visibility, coherence, efficiency and flexibility. It also promotes a more important role for governments, universities, towns and regions in order to ensure effective implementation and to boost the impact of initiatives and actions undertaken.

Programmes

The strategy paper 2007-2013 and the indicative programme 2007-2010 identify the priority action areas of the IRP. They distinguish five priority areas for the period 2007-2010.

The promotion of reforms through EU advice and experience aims at supporting the reform process in ENPI beneficiary countries. On the basis of experience acquired during the transition process of the ten new Member States, this priority is based mainly on the following:

  • the technical assistance and information exchange programme (TAIEX), which provides targeted advice and know-how, notably as regards convergence of legislation forming the Community acquis.
  • support for the improvement of public institutions and management systems (SIGMA) launched by the European Commission and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Europe. Its objective is to facilitate economic integration and political cooperation with the EU.

Promotion of higher education and student mobility, is an area that is essential for the development of partner countries, mutual understanding between peoples and interpersonal contact. The Tempus programme constitutes a framework for reform of higher education and the promotion of cooperation between establishments. A scholarship scheme will be established in order to promote student and teacher mobility. The latter will be based on experience gained from the Erasmus and Erasmus Mundus External Cooperation Window programmes. A more important role will be assigned to partner countries as regards programme management.

Promotion of cooperation between local actors in partner countries and the EU is a fundamental objective of the ENP based on the exchange of experience and know-how. However, given the lack of structures, a cooperation programme will be set up first of all between local and regional authorities in order to strengthen democratic governance and sustainable regional and local development.

Promotion of the implementation of ENP and the Strategic Partnership with Russia concerns primarily their thematic policy areas, such as energy, environment and infrastructures. This programme supports information and dialogue activities in particular at inter-regional level in order to strengthen mutual understanding amongst opinion formers and citizens in partner countries.

The objective of promoting investment projects in ENP partner countries is to mobilise additional investments in order to support an area of prosperity and good neighbourliness involving the EU and its neighbours. These additional funds will make it possible to improve the infrastructures connecting the EU with neighbouring countries in the areas of transport and energy, to meet the common environmental challenges and to support socio-economic development in partner countries.

Arrangements

Funding for IRP for the period 2007-2010 amounts to 523.9 million, of which 40 million has been allocated to the first priority action area, 218.6 million to the second, 14.3 million to the third and 250 million to the fifth. The envelope for the fourth objective depends on the progress of the ENP and the partnership with Russia.

The indicative programme 2007-2010 gives an idea of the expected results for each priority, such as:

  • the improvement in the legal and regulatory frameworks and their implementation;
  • reform and modernisation of higher education in partner countries and better mutual understanding;
  • a transparent selection process and greater visibility for mobility and scholarship schemes;
  • strengthening of governance by local and regional authorities in partner countries and strengthening of links between them;
  • effective action and information and dialogue activities at inter-regional level in order to create awareness of ENP action.

In order to measure their impact, partners define performance indicators at the time the programmes are being drawn up (number of partnerships, visibility, progress identified in the reports, national and thematic spread of actions, relevance of activities, etc.).

Erasmus Mundus 2009-2013

Erasmus Mundus 2009-2013

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Erasmus Mundus 2009-2013

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Education training youth sport > Education and training: general framework

Erasmus Mundus 2009-2013

Document or Iniciative

Decision No 1298/2008/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 establishing the Erasmus Mundus 2009-2013 action programme for the enhancement of quality in higher education and the promotion of intercultural understanding through cooperation with third countries.

Summary

The Erasmus Mundus programme is hereby established to promote the quality of higher education in Europe, improve the potential of students and encourage intercultural understanding. It also seeks to support the development of higher education in third countries. The programme runs from 1 January 2009 until 31 December 2013.

Specific objectives

The programme aims, in particular, to improve:

  • cooperation between European institutions of higher education;
  • the quality of higher education;
  • skills and qualifications of citizens (European and third-country) through mobility;
  • third-country institutions of higher education in terms of human resources and international cooperation;
  • the visibility of and access to European higher education, including for third-country nationals.

Actions

The Erasmus Mundus programme is implemented through three actions, which consist of:

  • high quality Erasmus Mundus joint programmes, including both Masters and Doctoral programmes;
  • Erasmus Mundus partnerships between European and third-country higher education institutions;
  • measures that promote European higher education.

These actions may be pursued through approaches that support the development of joint programmes and cooperation networks, mobility of people (especially towards Europe), language skills and intercultural understanding, pilot projects with external partners and evaluations of trends and developments in higher education in the international context.

Information on the activities and developments in the programme are to be diffused as widely as possible by the Commission, in particular through the programme website.

Participation

The following may participate in the Erasmus Mundus programme:

  • higher education institutions, research centres and enterprises;
  • students at all levels of higher education;
  • post-doctoral researchers, academics and higher education staff;
  • other bodies involved in higher education (both public and private).

The programme is open to the European Union (EU) Member States. It is also open to the European Free Trade Association countries that are members of the European Economic Area, the candidate countries for accession to the EU, as well as the countries of the western Balkans and the Swiss Confederation, provided that a specific agreement has been concluded to that end.

Implementation

The Commission is responsible for ensuring that the Community actions are implemented in an effective and transparent manner. It must give due consideration to the bilateral cooperation between Member States and third countries and to other Community programmes and actions relating to higher education and research. It should also consult relevant European organisations and associations and provide its delegations in third countries with relevant public information.

In implementing this programme, Member States must ensure that the relevant stakeholders are properly involved, efforts are made to remove barriers to exchange programmes with third countries and students and institutions are kept well informed about the programme. The Member States should also assign structures for cooperating with the Commission as well as to seek synergies with other Community programmes and any related national initiatives.

The programme should promote the Lisbon Strategy, diversity and intercultural education, equality and equal opportunities for all with particular provisions made for students with special needs, the combating of all forms of discrimination and the development of third countries.

The financial framework for the Erasmus Mundus programme 2009-13 is EUR 493.690.000 for Actions 1 and 3. EUR 460.000.000 are indicatively set aside to cover Action 2.

Monitoring and evaluation

The Commission must regularly monitor the programme in cooperation with Member States. It is also responsible for the regular evaluation of the programme and must submit an interim report to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions before March 31 of the second year following the launch of the programme’s courses. In addition, the Commission must issue a communication on the continuation of the programme before 30 January 2012 and an ex-post evaluation report before 31 December 2015.

References

Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Decision No 1298/2008/EC

20.12.2008 – 31.12.2013

OJ L 340 of 19.12.2008

Framework of cooperation in higher education, training and youth with Canada

Framework of cooperation in higher education, training and youth with Canada

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Framework of cooperation in higher education, training and youth with Canada

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

External relations > Industrialised countries

Framework of cooperation in higher education, training and youth with Canada

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 2006/964/EC of 18 December 2006 on the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Community and the Government of Canada establishing a framework for cooperation in higher education, training and youth.

Summary

This eight-year agreement forms part of relations between the European Union (EU) and Canada. The partners plan to boost their cooperation in the areas of higher education, vocational training and youth.

The Commission will grant a budget of around EUR 18 million to the cooperation programme in order to support some 210 projects and the involvement of 4 430 European and Canadian citizens in mobility activities during the period of the new agreement.

New and innovative joint studies and new training programmes will be launched, exchanges of students, teachers and other professionals encouraged and collaboration between youth organisations promoted.

OBJECTIVES OF THE AGREEMENT

This agreement has general, specific and operational objectives.

The general objectives are to promote mutual understanding between the populations of the two partners, in particular by way of their respective languages, cultures and institutions, and to improve the quality of human resources in order to meet the challenges of a knowledge-based global economy.

The specific objectives are to:

  • step up cooperation between the European Community and Canada in higher education, training and youth;
  • contribute to transatlantic exchanges between EU and Canadian citizens;
  • contribute to the development of higher education and training institutions, as well as youth organisations;
  • consolidate partnerships between those involved in higher education, training and youth work in the EU and Canada;
  • support the professional development of individuals while achieving the general objectives of the agreement;
  • increase dialogue and exchanges on youth policy and youth work.

The operational objectives are to:

  • support collaboration between higher education and training institutions with a view to promoting joint study programmes and mobility of students;
  • improve the quality of transatlantic student mobility by promoting transparency, the mutual recognition of qualifications and periods of study and training, and the portability of credits;
  • support collaboration among public and private organisations active in the areas of higher education, training and youth with a view to encouraging discussion and the exchange of experiences;
  • support transatlantic mobility of professionals with a view to improving mutual understanding of issues relevant to EU/Canada relations;
  • support collaboration among youth organisations as well as youth workers and others involved in this field with a view to promoting exchanges of good practices and developing networks.

ACTIONS

Three types of action are planned in the new agreement to achieve these objectives: projects carried out by joint consortia, joint activities in favour of young people and complementary actions.

Joint consortia projects

These projects * are intended for higher education and training institutions.

They support multilateral partnerships between institutions in at least two Member States of the EU and at least two Canadian provinces or territories in order to set up joint study programmes.

In principle, these projects should normally involve transatlantic mobility of students in the framework of joint study programmes, with a goal of parity in the flows in each direction, and should provide for mutual credit recognition and linguistic and cultural preparation.

Financial support for student mobility may also be granted to joint consortia of higher education and vocational training institutions that have a proven track record of excellence in the implementation of joint projects funded by the two partners.

Joint activities in favour of young people

This action concerns youth organisations, youth leaders and other actors in this sector.

The activities may include seminars, training courses and work observation visits. They will relate to, amongst others, the following subjects:

  • citizens’ rights;
  • cultural diversity;
  • social or voluntary work;
  • the recognition of non-formal and informal training.

Complementary actions

The agreement provides for three complementary actions:

  • policy-orientated measures. The target public of this action is organisations involved in higher education, training and youth. Activities under this category include studies, conferences, seminars, working groups and comparative assessments. They will touch on questions relating to higher education, vocational training and youth, promoting dialogue on the recognition of qualifications and the portability of credits within the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS);
  • mobility grants. The action concerns professionals, including those in training, who want to study or follow training programmes in sectors with particular relevance to relations between the two partners;
  • an alumni association. This action concerns students who have participated in exchanges organised by the joint consortia in the areas of higher education and vocational training. The association may be managed by one or more organisations appointed by the parties.

MANAGING THE FRAMEWORK OF COOPERATION

The agreement creates a joint committee comprising representatives from each party. It meets every two years, alternately in the EU and in Canada. Its decisions are reached by consensus, and it has the following functions:

  • reviewing the cooperation envisaged under the agreement;
  • presenting to the parties the level, status and effectiveness of the cooperation under the agreement;
  • sharing information on recent developments, policies, new trends or innovative practices related to higher education, training and youth.

The cooperation will be monitored and evaluated in order to fine-tune the cooperation activities, if necessary, in line with any new needs.

Financing will be on the basis of an overall matching of funds between the partners. Moreover, the European Community will provide support to the European Community project partners, and Canada will support the Canadian partners.

BACKGROUND

The EU and Canada have had a cooperation programme in higher education and vocational training since 1995. The aim of this programme is to create joint study programmes and to set up exchanges of students over a wide range of disciplines.

The agreement between the European Community and the Government of Canada setting up a programme of cooperation in the field of higher education and training was renewed in 2001 for five years (2000-2005). This agreement renews it for a further period of eight years and adds to it cooperation in the field of youth.

Key terms used in the act
  • Consortium: collaboration between several parties in a joint project or programme with the aim of achieving a result.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Decision 2006/964/EC

The first day of the month following notification
(1 March 2007)

OJ L 397, 30.12.2006

Related Acts

Council Decision of 2001/197/EC of 26 February 2001 concerning the conclusion of an Agreement between the European Community and the Government of Canada renewing a cooperation programme in higher education and training [Official Journal L71, 13 March 2001].

Strengthening cooperation with Non-EU Member Countries in higher education

Strengthening cooperation with Non-EU Member Countries in higher education

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Strengthening cooperation with Non-EU Member Countries in higher education

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Education training youth sport > Education training youth: cooperation with non-EU countries

Strengthening cooperation with Non-EU Member Countries in higher education

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 18 July 2001 on strengthening cooperation with Non-EU Member Countries in the field of higher education [COM(2001) 385 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

In view of the development of higher education, and given the ever-increasing demand for international education and student mobility, the Commission calls for further efforts at European level to strengthen cooperation with Non-EU Member Countries.

According to this new approach, the European Union (EU) should:

  • ensure that the international dimension is taken into account more systematically in teaching activities;
  • increase its visibility in this field in order to attract students from Non-EU Member Countries.

This Commission Communication proposes an overall strategy and identifies specific rules for intervention.

Proposed methods of intervention

The Commission hopes to make the most of the experience gained from programmes set up in the EU, in particular the Erasmus programme. It also insists that the agreements concluded on educational matters with non-EU member countries are differentiated according to country and even region.

The Communication envisages cooperation based on multilateral networks and partnerships involving countries which have a system of higher education comparable to that of European educational institutions, so that the universities concerned can agree on:

  • exchange arrangements for students and teachers. The development of distance learning and the growth in the use of information technology are also required to play a part in strengthening international partnerships;
  • the academic content of courses to be taught to exchange students;
  • arrangements for recognition of work done by the home and host universities, based on the model of the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS), which is the European standard in higher education;
  • arrangements for care of the student while he or she is abroad. The Commission proposes increasing the number of long-term grants for students from Non-EU Member Countries.

The following are to be avoided:

  • exchanges which are not linked to partnerships between academic institutions which have limited advantages for the institutions, and which also limit the sharing of the experience gained;
  • exchanges which do not involve a return to the country of origin, and which are therefore likely to encourage a ‘brain drain’.

In order for cooperation with third countries to be really effective, the exchange of students only is not enough. In particular, they must be accompanied by staff exchanges, along with the development of joint programmes and recognition arrangements for education undertaken abroad.

In cooperation with the Member States, the Commission proposes launching a joint operation to promote the EU as a centre of excellence in learning around the world. To this end, the Commission also suggests increasing capacity for European studies in other countries by extending the network of European Union Studies centres and Jean Monnet Chairs (specialist education positions in the study of European integration) around the world.

A further Commission proposal is to encourage European academic institutions to develop truly European educational “packages” by, for example, introducing joint courses which allow foreign and European students to spend more than one academic year in different Member States. This could lead in some cases to joint diplomas.

The Commission announces the short-term proposal of setting up a pilot programme of scholarships, under the ALFA programme, for teachers and post-graduate students from Latin American countries.

Context

Over the years the Member States have developed a well-established tradition of bilateral cooperation with Non-EU Member Countries in the field of education. The EU has also set up a number of initiatives with Non-EU Member Countries, for example the cooperation programmes with the United States and Canada, or indeed the Tempus, ALFA and Erasmus Mundus programmes.

Erasmus Mundus

Erasmus Mundus

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Erasmus Mundus

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Education training youth sport > Education and training: general framework

Erasmus Mundus (2004-08)

The aim of the Erasmus Mundus programme is to enhance the quality of higher education in Europe by promoting cooperation with third countries and to make higher education in Europe more attractive.

Document or Iniciative

Decision No 2317/2003/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 December 2003 establishing a programme for the enhancement of quality in higher education and the promotion of intercultural understanding through cooperation with third countries (Erasmus Mundus) (2004 to 2008).

Summary

The Erasmus Mundus programme, which runs from 1 January 2004 to 31 December 2008, offers a manifestly “European” content in the field of higher education. First and foremost, it aims to improve the quality and attractiveness of higher education in Europe and to promote international mobility for students and scholars. Erasmus Mundus is a follow-up from the Commission communications on reinforcing cooperation with third countries and on the role of universities in the Europe of knowledge.

Aims

Erasmus Mundus aims to enhance the quality of European higher education by fostering cooperation with third countries in order to improve the development of human resources and promote dialogue and understanding between peoples and cultures. More specifically, the programme seeks to:

  • promote quality in higher education with a distinctly European added value;
  • encourage and enable highly qualified graduates and scholars from all over the world to obtain qualifications and/or acquire experience in the European Union (EU);
  • develop better-structured cooperation between EU and third-country institutions and increase outgoing mobility from the EU;
  • make European higher education more accessible and enhance its visibility throughout the world.

In pursuing the programme’s objectives, the Commission must adhere to the Community’s general policy on equal opportunities for men and women. It also ensures that no group of citizens or non-EU nationals is excluded or disadvantaged.

Actions

The Erasmus Mundus programme is being implemented through five actions.

Erasmus Mundus masters courses are advanced-level European diploma courses that are selected by the Commission on the basis of the quality of the training offered. They are characterised by:

  • cooperation between at least three higher education institutions in three different Member States;
  • a study programme including a period of study in at least two of the three institutions;
  • built-in mechanisms for the recognition of periods of study at partner institutions;
  • the awarding of joint, double or multiple degrees by the participating institutions that are recognised or approved by Member States;
  • a minimum number of reserved places for non-EU students;
  • transparent admission conditions that also ensure fairness and equality between men and women;
  • clear rules for awarding grants to students and scholars;
  • adequate facilities for non-EU students (information, accommodation, etc.);
  • the use of at least two European languages that are national languages of the Member States where the participating institutions are situated.

Erasmus Mundus masters courses are selected for a five-year period, with an annual renewal procedure.

Scholarships provide financial support for non-EU graduate students and scholars attending Erasmus Mundus masters courses. However, students and scholars must meet certain conditions in order to qualify for a scholarship.

Students must be nationals of a third country and hold a first higher education degree. They may not reside in a Member State or in the participating country, and they may not have carried out their main activity in a Member State or participating country for more than 12 months out of the last five years. They must also have been accepted to register or be registered for an Erasmus Mundus masters course.

Scholars must be nationals of a third country and may not reside in a Member State or participating country. They may not have carried out their main activity in a Member State or participating country for more than a total of 12 months out of the last five years. They must also offer outstanding academic and/or professional experience.

Partnerships with non-EU higher education institutions (maximum duration of three years) involve an Erasmus Mundus masters course and a higher education institution in at least one non-EU country, in order to create a framework for mobility towards the third country. Recognition of study periods at the host (non-EU) institution must be guaranteed.

Students and scholars from Member States and third-country nationals who have been legally resident in the EU for at least three years before the start of the mobility programme (for purposes other than study) are eligible for mobility grants.

Partnership projects may also include:

  • teaching assignments at a partner institution with a view to developing the project curriculum;
  • exchanges of teachers, trainers, administrators and other relevant specialists;
  • development and dissemination of new methods for use in higher education, including information and communication technologies, e-learning, and open and distance learning;
  • developing cooperation schemes with third-country higher education institutions with a view to offering courses there.

Erasmus Mundus supports activities and measures to make higher education in Europe more attractive as a venue for study, for example by enhancing the profile and visibility of, and accessibility to, European education. The measures may also aim at achieving the objectives of the Erasmus Mundus programme, such as the international dimension of quality assurance, mobility, credit recognition, recognition of European qualifications abroad and mutual recognition of qualifications with third countries. They may also consist of establishing links between higher education and research.

Activities must take place within networks involving at least three public or private organisations (in three different Member States) that are active in higher education at national or international level. Networks may also involve third-country organisations. These activities (such as seminars, conferences, workshops, ICT tools or publications) may take place in Member States or third countries.

Technical support measures during the implementation of the programme may involve experts, executive or other competent agencies in Member States on the Commission’s initiative, or any other form of technical assistance.

Beneficiaries

Erasmus Mundus is aimed in particular at:

  • higher education institutions;
  • students holding a first degree from a higher education institution;
  • scholars or researchers;
  • staff directly involved in higher education;
  • other public or private bodies active in the field of higher education.

Participating countries

The programme is open to the EU Member States, the European Free Trade Association countries that are part of the European Economic Area (EEA-EFTA) and candidate countries for accession to the EU.

Implementation of the programme

The Commission is responsible for the practical implementation of the programme. A selection board, composed of eminent personalities from the academic world who are representative of the diversity of higher education in the EU, selects the Erasmus Mundus masters courses and partnerships of higher education institutions. Erasmus Mundus masters courses are allocated a specific number of grants. The institutions offering Erasmus Mundus masters courses are responsible for selecting students from third countries, while the Commission selects promotional activities.

Selection procedures include a clearing mechanism at European level in order to prevent serious imbalances across fields of study, students’ and scholars’ nationalities and Member States of destination.

In cooperation with Member States, the Commission ensures overall consistency and complementarity with other relevant Community policies, instruments and actions, in particular with the framework research programmes and external cooperation programmes in the field of higher education.

Member States must ensure the efficient management of the programme at national level (including the designation of appropriate structures to cooperate closely with the Commission), involving all parties concerned. They must endeavour to remove legal and administrative barriers.

Budget

The financial framework for the 2004-08 period was initially set at EUR 230 million, but was boosted by allocations from the ‘external aid’ budget and now stands at EUR 296.1 million. The annual appropriations are approved by the budgetary authority within the limits of the financial perspectives.

Monitoring and evaluation

The Commission regularly monitors the programme in cooperation with Member States. It also constantly evaluates the programme’s overall impact and the complementarity between the programme and other relevant Community policies, instruments and actions.

The Commission must submit the following to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions:

  • a report on the financial repercussions of an accession of a new Member State on the programme and proposals to counteract them;
  • an interim evaluation report by 30 June 2007 on the results achieved and on the qualitative aspects of programme implementation;
  • a communication on the continuation of the programme by 31 December 2007;
  • an ex-post evaluation report by 31 December 2009.

Background

The Erasmus Mundus programme responds to the challenges of the Bologna process initiated in 1999 and the Lisbon strategy launched in 2000, which respectively ensure that the European higher education system acquires a worldwide degree of attractiveness appropriate to Europe’s cultural and scientific traditions and adapt European education and training systems to the needs of the knowledge society.

References

Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2317/2003/EC

20.1.2004 – 31.12.2008

OJ L 345 of 31.12.2003

Related Acts

Decision No 1298/2008/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 establishing the Erasmus Mundus 2009-2013 action programme for the enhancement of quality in higher education and the promotion of intercultural understanding through cooperation with third countries [Official Journal L 340 of 19.12.2008].
The Erasmus Mundus 2009-13 action programme is based on its predecessor for the period 2004-08. This new programme is consistent with the objectives of excellence of the previous one, but introduces certain adaptations to the scope. Among others, the programme is now extended to the doctoral level, it more effectively integrates third country higher education institutions and their needs and provides more funding to European participants. Furthermore, instead of the previous five actions, the programme is now implemented through joint programmes, partnerships and measures promoting European higher education.

EVALUATION

Report from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 2 July 2007 – Report on the Interim Evaluation of the Erasmus Mundus Programme 2004-2008 [COM(2007) 375 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
During the period of 2004-06, the Erasmus Mundus programme led to the creation of 80 Erasmus Mundus masters courses, 2325 scholarships for non-EU students, 19 partnerships and 23 projects designed to make European higher education more attractive. The Commission presents its conclusions and recommendations on the implementation of the programme based on the external evaluation undertaken during the period 2004-06. The programme’s added value, relevance, utility, efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability have been assessed. It responds to the objectives of the Bologna process and the Lisbon strategy in terms of mobility, cooperation, excellence and intercultural understanding. It thus allows European higher education to compete at world level. The programme has also led to better-structured cooperation. Furthermore, it has encouraged certain Member States to establish a legal framework for the accreditation of joint, double or multiple degrees in connection with partnerships. However, additional funding from the ‘external aid’ budget proved necessary in order to contend with the increase in demand for masters courses and scholarships. Non-EU students also benefited more from the programme than EU students.
With a view to preparing the next programme, recommendations have been drafted in order to improve, strengthen and extend the programme. These recommendations relate to the design of the programme, including the extension of scholarships to EU students, extension of the programme to doctorates, encouraging cooperation and partnerships with third-country higher education establishments, and so on. Recommendations on programme management refer in particular to scholarships, the reinforced role of national information sources, the promotion, dissemination and follow-up of projects, as well as the preparation of guidelines on good practice in order to ensure the quality of masters courses. Concerning programme funding, Erasmus Mundus scholarships and tuition fees for masters courses will be maintained at a level that is competitive internationally. The Commission plans to increase the financing allocated to universities that are members of an Erasmus Mundus Master Consortium in order to reflect the true cost of programmes.

Programme for cooperation in higher education and vocational education and training with the United States

Programme for cooperation in higher education and vocational education and training with the United States

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Programme for cooperation in higher education and vocational education and training with the United States

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

External relations > Industrialised countries

Programme for cooperation in higher education and vocational education and training with the United States

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 2006/910/EC of 4 December 2006 concerning the conclusion of an Agreement between the European Community and the United States of America renewing a programme of cooperation in higher education and vocational education and training.

Summary

This agreement is set against the dual background of the European Union’s action to support higher education, and EU/US relations. The EU’s action is intended to make European higher education a world reference for relevance and excellence, while bilateral relations call for greater cooperation in education.

The programme will support some 274 projects over an eight year period. Approximately 6000 EU and US citizens will participate in mobility activities over the duration of the programme.

OBJECTIVES OF THE PROGRAMME

The programme for cooperation in higher education and vocational education and training pursues a number of objectives.

As general objectives, it aims to promote mutual understanding between the two partners, including through language, culture and institutions, and to improve the quality of human resource development in order to meet the challenges of the global knowledge-based economy.

It also has the following specific objectives:

  • enhancing cooperation between the European Community and the United States;
  • contributing to the development of higher education and vocational training institutions;
  • contributing to individual participants’ personal development for their own sake and as a way to achieve its general objectives;
  • fostering transatlantic exchanges between the citizens of the two partners.

Its operational objectives are to:

  • support higher education and vocational training institutions with a view to promoting joint study programmes and mobility;
  • improve the quality of transatlantic student mobility through transparency, mutual recognition of qualifications, periods of study and training, and portability of academic credits;
  • support collaboration between public and private organisations active in the field of higher education and vocational training with a view to encouraging discussion and exchange of experience;
  • support transatlantic mobility of professionals with a view to improving mutual understanding of issues between the two partners.

LINES OF ACTION

The agreement sets out five lines of action to achieve the programme’s objectives.

Action 1: Consortia projects

Action on consortia projects is aimed at higher education and vocational training institutions and organisations, and their staff, students and trainees.

Joint consortia projects should normally involve transatlantic mobility of students in joint study programmes. Flows in each direction should be equal and they should plan for the language and cultural preparation which will be needed.

This type of project provides support for double or joint degrees set up and run by multilateral consortia of EU and US higher education institutions, including scholarships for students, academic and administrative staff.

Action 2: Excellence mobility projects

The support provided by the programme is intended mainly for consortia projects run by higher education and vocational training institutions with a proven record of excellence, including those funded under the previous agreements.

Action 3: Policy-oriented measures

This action is targeted at organisations dealing with higher education and vocational training. Activities under this category include study sessions, conferences, seminars, working groups and benchmarking exercises.

Action 4: “Schuman-Fulbright” individual mobility grants

This action is intended for professionals (including professionals in training) who wish to study or train in areas of specific relevance to EU/US relations. The professionals it is aimed at include, in particular, decision makers, representatives of the social partners and journalists.

Action 5: Alumni Association

Action by the programme in this area is aimed at alumni associations whose members participated in exchanges supported by the programme.

PROGRAMME ADMINISTRATION

A Joint Committee has been established. It consists of an equal number of representatives from each party. Decisions are reached by consensus. Its role is to:

  • review the cooperation activities envisaged under this agreement;
  • provide an annual report to the parties on the level, status and effectiveness of cooperation undertaken under this agreement.

Activities under this programme will be financed on an equal basis. The proposed programme would cost a maximum of 46 million over the period 2006-2013, provided that matching funds are made available by the US.

BACKGROUND

On 18 May 2005 the Commission adopted a communication on a stronger EU-US partnership, which, in line with the Lisbon strategy, identified cooperation in education and training as an important tool for stimulating knowledge and innovation, and called for the renewal and reinforcement of the current agreement on higher education and vocational training.

This agreement renews the cooperation programme for 2000-2005 originally established under the 1995 Agreement between the European Community and the United States of America.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2006/910/EC

The first day of the month following notification

OJ L 346 of 09.12.2006

Related Acts

Agreement between the European Community and the United States renewing a cooperation programme in higher education and vocational education and training [Official Journal L 346 of 9.12.2006].

Communication from th Commission of 27 June 2005 on the evaluation of the cooperation programmes between the European Community and the United States of America in the field of higher education and vocational education and training and between the European Community and Canada in the field of higher education and training [COM (2005) 0274 – Not published in the Official Journal].

This is the Commission’s interim report on implementation of the EU-US cooperation programme. On the basis of positive external evaluations, the Commission states that the programme has widely succeeded in establishing long-term transatlantic partnerships in higher education and vocational training. Almost all the projects established exchanges of students based on joint programmes of study or programmes drawn up together. The report notes that the programmes achieved the objectives of improving the quality of education and training systems.
The Commission presents the suggestions made by the experts with a view to improving certain aspects of the programmes, but emphasises the absence of major shortcomings. It also mentions that some of the potential has remained unexploited for want of sufficient budgetary resources.

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee of 18 May 2005: A stronger EU-US Partnership and a more open market for the 21st century [COM (2005) 196 final – Not published in the Official Journal].