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IP/08/881

Brussels, 5 June 2008

Erasmus Mundus: more than 2,000 new Master's students to receive scholarships

More than 2,000 students and 450 teaching staff from outside Europe have been selected to receive an Erasmus Mundus scholarship for the academic year 2008/09. These scholarships will allow them to study in Europe for one or two years and obtain a Master's degree from one of the 103 top-quality Erasmus Mundus Masters Courses offered by consortia of European higher education institutions.

In 2008, a total number of 17 new partnerships of Erasmus Mundus Masters Consortia with higher education institutions in non-European countries were selected. Altogether, they encompass 62 universities from 28 different third countries. These 17 partnerships foresee an outgoing mobility of an estimated 477 European students and 192 European scholars over the next two years. The partnerships allow European higher education institutions, scholars and students to strengthen their ties with other higher education environments in the world.

This latest selection completes the first phase (2004-2008) of Erasmus Mundus, the EU's programme with the aim of enhancing the quality of European higher education through continuous worldwide dialogue and cooperation with third countries. In total, more than 6,000 students will have received an Erasmus Mundus scholarship to obtain a degree in Europe over the five-year period.

Over the same period (2004-2008), more than 1,000 teaching staff from third countries have been given an Erasmus Mundus scholarship to actively contribute to masters courses in teaching or research activities.

The second phase of Erasmus Mundus (2009-13) is expected to start in 2009 with a planned total budget of 950 million euros. Its main new features are the inclusion of joint doctoral programmes, increased scholarships for European students and an intensified structural cooperation with third-country higher education institutions. In addition, the new proposal integrates a mobility scheme for all levels of higher education.

One of the characteristic features of the Erasmus Mundus programme is that student grantees follow their courses in at least two universities located in different European countries. This gives them the additional opportunity to learn about European cultures, languages and academic systems.

On 6-7 June 2008 the University for Foreigners of Perugia, in Italy, will host the 4th Erasmus Mundus Student Seminar and the 4th General Assembly of the Erasmus Mundus Student and Alumni Association (EMA - www.em-a.eu). About 200 participants are expected including representatives from the European institutions, Italian, Slovenian and French national authorities, Erasmus Mundus course coordinators, national contact points and, of course, more than a hundred students and alumni from the entire world.

For more information on Erasmus Mundus:

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


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