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Brussels, 21 October 2008

The Commission welcomes the adoption of Erasmus Mundus II by the European Parliament

The European Commission welcomes today's vote in the European Parliament in favour of establishing the second phase of Erasmus Mundus (2009-2013) programme. The European Union will thus continue to support joint programmes in Europe with grants to the most highly-talented students and professors from third countries, but will also extend the scope of the programme to the doctoral level and give more financial support to European students.

The European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth, Ján Figel', said: "I am grateful to the European Parliament for the support they have shown today for the new phase of the Erasmus Mundus programme. Erasmus Mundus is a world-class, top-quality programme that promotes academic excellence, intercultural understanding, but also people-to-people contacts. With the significantly increased budget of € 950 million we will be able to meet the growing demand for this successful programme. It will reinforce the role of European higher education as a world reference. The Erasmus Mundus alumni are the ambassadors of openness and intercultural dialogue, citizens of a more cooperative world."

Erasmus Mundus is a European co-operation and mobility programme in the field of higher education which promotes the European Union as a worldwide centre of excellence in learning. By the end of its first phase (2004-2008), more than 6,000 students from outside Europe will have received an Erasmus Mundus scholarship to obtain a degree in Europe, and more than 1,000 teaching staff from third countries will have been given a scholarship to actively contribute to Master's courses in teaching or research activities.

Erasmus Mundus II builds on the current Erasmus Mundus programme by:

  • extending the coverage to include doctoral level studies. Currently, the Erasmus Mundus scheme is aimed at Master's level only.
  • giving higher grants to European students so they are ensured fair treatment vis-à-vis third-country students.
  • integrating the so-called "Erasmus Mundus External Cooperation Window" (EM ECW) under the "Erasmus Mundus" umbrella in order to offer a more homogeneous and visible image of European higher education to the world. The aim of this action is to promote understanding and mutual enrichment between the European Union and third countries in the field of higher education by promoting the exchange of persons, knowledge and skills at higher education level, and particularly 'Erasmus'-style mobility (a study period abroad which forms part of a degree at home).
  • encouraging third-country higher education institutions to participate as full members in the consortia and eventually to deliver the joint degree course at home.

Erasmus Mundus II will have a budget of € 950 million, four times more than was available for the first phase of the programme (€ 230 million for 2004 – 2008).

The first joint initiatives under the new actions of Erasmus Mundus II are expected to start in academic year 2009/10, but the mobility under the new actions will take place as of 2010/11. The Commission is committed to taking the necessary steps so that the selection process for the new Erasmus Mundus courses is completed within approximately 18 months:

  • 6 months to launch call for proposals and carry out selection procedures for Erasmus Mundus courses;
  • 6 months for successful courses to invite students to submit applications and carry out the selection of the successful candidates;
  • 6 months before the start of academic year to inform the selected students.

To know more:

Erasmus Mundus:

Erasmus Mundus External Cooperation Window:

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