Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum

EU pledges €47 million to boost higher education cooperation with neighbours

The European Commission revealed today, 5 July, that it would allocate €47 million to support higher education projects in the European Neighbourhood countries and Russia under the Tempus Programme, a rise of nearly €17 million compared to last year's programme.

A press release said the new funding would “improve teaching, learning methods and teaching material, as well as boost quality assurance and management of higher education institutions in the partner countries.”

Today's decision will also boost networking, joint projects and partnerships between higher education institutions in the EU and the neighbourhood countries, the press release said. The new Tempus financial package will support around 60 multilateral partnerships “aiming at modernising curricula, teaching methods and management of the colleges, schools and universities in the neighbouring countries.”

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle underlined: "Investing in people is a key objective of the EU Neighbourhood Policy. Fruitful cooperation between higher education institutions in the EU and European Neighbourhood countries will be continued, helping to share knowledge, experience and ideas. The significant increase of funding to this programme illustrates the renewed commitment of the EU to support higher education in this region."

Overall, more than 450 institutions from these countries will be able to collaborate in a structured way with a similar number of institutions from the EU in two to three-year projects starting in 2012. Public and private companies and NGOs will also be involved, “to improve relevance and reinforce the links between society and education.”

Source: ENPI Info Centre

Project funded by the European UnionEU