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IP/09/1068

Brussels, 01 July 2009

10,000 Erasmus Mundus scholarships for 2009-2010

The European Commission has just awarded almost 10,000 new grants to be funded by the Erasmus Mundus programme in the academic year 2009-2010. 8,385 students and academics will come to study or teach in Europe, and 1,561 Europeans will spend periods at partner institutions in countries outside Europe.

Ján Figel', the European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth, said " Erasmus Mundus is going from strength to strength. In the years since 2004, when it began, the programme has been able to establish itself as one of the world's foremost international mobility programmes. With its emphasis on quality and excellence, it is doing an outstanding job of promoting European higher education on the world stage."

Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy said: " Education plays a crucial role in the development of countries and for providing younger generations with perspectives. By promoting academic exchanges between Europe and the rest of the world we are giving university students the means to better shape their own futures and to understand and respect each other. Erasmus Mundus is, therefore, a precious instrument to build and strengthen bridges across the world."

Erasmus Mundus is a co-operation and mobility programme in the field of higher education that aims to enhance the quality of European higher education and to promote dialogue and understanding between people and cultures through co-operation with countries outside the European Union.

Erasmus Mundus offers masters courses and scholarships

In 2009, a new selection of students and academics from all over the world will receive scholarships to study or teach in one of the 103 Erasmus Mundus Masters Courses. These courses are provided by consortia of Europe's top higher education institutions, and lead to the award of a recognised double/multiple or joint Masters degree.

The courses and the scholarships together meet the overall objectives of Erasmus Mundus to enhance the quality of European higher education and promote it around the world.

Starting in the academic year 2009-2010, 1,833 students are being awarded scholarships to study for one or two years at the Masters course of their choice, alongside students from Europe. Students follow these Erasmus Mundus courses at two or more universities within the Masters consortium. 489 academics with outstanding academic track records will come to Europe for shorter periods of teaching, research or tutoring activities within one of the Erasmus Mundus Masters Courses.

The scholarship-winners come from 105 countries: China is the most-represented country, followed by India, Brazil, Mexico, Bangladesh, the US, Ethiopia, Russia and Indonesia. The academics come from 75 countries; the best represented in this category are the US, China, India, Australia and Canada.

Erasmus Mundus supports international institutional partnerships for higher education mobility

For 2009-2010 Erasmus Mundus will also fund 39 partnerships between European higher education institutions and those from countries targeted by EU external co-operation policy. The aim is to contribute to the development of human resources and the capacities for international co-operation of higher education institutions in non-European countries through mobility between the European Union and these countries. These partnerships together involve 735 higher education institutions – 349 from the EU and 386 from other countries – and focus on academic co-operation and the exchange of students and academics.

For 2009-2010, 7,624 individual mobility grants will be awarded to fund study, research and teaching visits of between three months and three years, at undergraduate, graduate, doctorate, and post-doctorate levels, and for academic staff. This includes the opportunity for 1,561 Europeans to visit partner institutions in countries outside Europe and for 6,063 students and academics from outside the EU to visit European partner institutions.

Moving ahead

2009 sees the start of the second phase of the Erasmus Mundus programme, which runs until 2013. The programme will build on the successes of the first phase, which ran from 2004-2008, by continuing to select new Erasmus Mundus Masters Courses and award scholarships to outstanding students and scholars.

There are new elements for the 2010-2011 academic year: these include fellowships for a number of newly-selected doctorate programmes and grants for European students to travel to participating universities from outside the EU.

Contacts:

Education and culture:

John Macdonald: +32.2.295.52.67 - john.macdonald@ec.europa.eu

Sophie Andersson: +32.2.295.02.08 - sophie.andersson@ec.europa.eu

External relations and European neighbourhood policy:

Christiane Hohmann +32.2.299.11.96 - christiane.hohmann@ec.europa.eu

Concha Fern ández de la Puente +32.2.2952977 - concha.fernandez-puente@ec.europa.eu

To find out more

Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency: Erasmus Mundus [information about eligibility requirements and application procedures]

European Commission: Erasmus Mundus [more on the background of the programme, news etc]


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