Erasmus Mundus

April 5th, 2010 by admin

Erasmus Mundus is a European educational program that aims to standardize, regulate, and enhance the higher education systems across Europe. There is also a cross-cultural element to the program, which strives to better European relationships with Third Countries within an academic context. This goal is mainly accomplished by fostering mobility between the two groups. While Erasmus Mundus is a European Union program, and is coordinated through the European Commission by the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA), any higher education system may participate, no matter in which country it originates. In order to apply, each interested program must submit an application to the EACEA, and have an application submitted on their behalf by another institution. If a program is accepted, it is then eligible to receive a lump sum, or up to 75% co-funding for all of their costs.

Erasmus Mundus is now in its second phase. The first phase lasted from 2004-2008 and the second phase began in 2009, and is slated to last until 2013. Since its institution, the overall goals have not changed, only the specific focal points have altered. Current support for higher educational structures is organized into three main goals under Erasmus Mundus. They are geared towards enhancing upper level academic quality across the European Union, promoting the EU as a center of educational excellence, and building strong international relationships between the EU and Third Countries that better their higher educational offerings. The goals are attained through three actions, the first being joint programs for both Master’s and Doctoral students, which include scholarship and fellowship funding, the second partnering with Third Country schools to offer scholarships geared towards mobility, and the third strengthening the global appeal of the EU as an educational destination.

Even though this second phase of Erasmus Mundus is currently in action, support for phase one programs is still enforced. One example of this is the Erasmus Mundus External Cooperation Window scheme that began in 2006 and is ongoing. A proposal was placed with the Council and the European Parliament on November 23, 2011 for the continuation of Erasmus Mundus from 2014-2020. This third phase, titled Erasmus for All, has a proposed budget of €19 billion, and would provide 5 million mobility opportunities. These opportunities would be divided among higher education, joint degree grants, staff mobility, volunteer and youth exchange, international students, Master’s degree loan guarantee, and vocational education and training.

Two significant new additions will be made if Erasmus for All is enacted. Master’s students will receive financial assistance for programs such as study abroad through the loan guarantee scheme, and 400 knowledge alliances will be created. A knowledge alliance is a partnering of companies and academic institutions to better a student’s employability and employment opportunities. The main goals of Erasmus for All are to increase the number of highly skilled laborers available in response to changing economic demands, and to lower the rate of degree non-completion from the current levels, which are around 14%, to less than 10%.


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