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IP/06/789

Brussels, 15 June 2006

Erasmus Mundus 2006-2007: more than 1.600 graduates to study and teach in Europe’s universities

The Erasmus Mundus programme of master’s courses has proven so popular since its launch in 2004 that it had to be expanded to keep up with demand. Erasmus Mundus Master’s Courses are top-quality courses offered by partnerships of European higher education institutions. There are currently 57 courses to chose from, covering everything from engineering and technology, natural sciences, life sciences, social sciences, business, economics, to law and the humanities. The European Commission has selected, for the 2006-2007 academic year, 1.377 students and 231 university teachers to participate in the programme.

Ján Figel’, European Commissioner for Education and Training, said “Europe’s universities are now attracting more of the world’s best graduate students and teachers, thanks to the Erasmus Mundus scheme. With Erasmus Mundus, Europe’s universities are encouraged to get together to attract leading talent from around the globe, with obvious benefits to their level of excellence”. To conclude : “Ultimately, when Europe’s universities benefit, the EU economy benefits too, as does our dialogue with other cultures”.

The Erasmus Mundus students study for a European masters’ degree for one or two years, in at least two universities located in two different European countries, so they experience of European lifestyles, cultures and languages. They are admitted onto the Courses only after a highly competitive process, ensuring that the Erasmus Mundus programme draws the world’s best talent. Erasmus Mundus university teachers spend up to three months in Europe working for one of the Erasmus Mundus masters courses, thus strengthening ties between universities worldwide.

The Erasmus Mundus programme is proving to be very popular: the level of demand from third-country graduates and academics to study and teach in Europe’s universities has been increasing rapidly: the 57 Erasmus Mundus Masters Courses received almost 6,000 applications for scholarships from students and scholars from all over the world.

To cover the demand from specific Asian countries, additional funds were injected into the Erasmus Mundus programme, the so-called “Asian Windows”. These funds are earmarked for scholarships for nationals coming from specific Asian countries such as China or India.

In all, for the 2006-2007 Academic year, the European Commission has selected 1,377 students and 231 scholars from all over the world to receive Erasmus Mundus scholarships for the next academic year (2006-2007). Nearly EUR 52 million will be devoted to fund the 1377 Erasmus Mundus students’ scholarships and about EUR 2.5 million will be used to fund the university teachers. The funds will be managed by the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency.

The 741 students selected under the general Erasmus Mundus programme come from 92 different countries, with China (81), Brazil (43), Russia (36), India (31), USA (28), Malaysia (25), and Mexico (24) ranking in the first places.

The 636 additional students receiving scholarships under the “Asian Windows” come mainly from India (288), China (99), Thailand (53), Pakistan (42), Malaysia (32) and Vietnam (29).

Of the 231 scholars, 199 have been selected under the general Erasmus Mundus programme and 32 under the “China Window”. The selected scholars under the general programme come from 45 different countries. Among the best ranked countries are the USA (42), Russia (14), India (12), Canada (11) and Brazil (10).

Further information, including a geographical breakdown by country of origin of the Erasmus Mundus scholarships grantees, can be found on the Erasmus Mundus web site:

http://ec.europa.eu/education/programmes/mundus/index_en.html


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