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IP/ 09/1227

Brussels, 06 August 2009

Erasmus Mundus : 63 new Masters Courses and Joint Doctorates added

The European Commission has just selected 50 Masters Courses and 13 Joint Doctorates to be added to the courses available under the EU's Erasmus Mundus programme for stronger European co-operation and international ties in higher education. The new courses involve 296 universities from Europe and 70 partner universities from a range of countries around the world. With the 50 newly-selected Erasmus Mundus Masters Courses, students starting their studies in the academic year 2010-2011 will be able to choose from among 116 Masters offering scholarships. The programme has also selected 13 Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorates, a new element within the second phase of Erasmus Mundus, which kicked off this year.

Th is first call for proposals under the Erasmus Mundus programme's second phase (2009-2013) was launched in February 2009. It prompted 182 applications for Masters Courses and 135 for Joint Doctorates from universities in Europe and their partners around the world.

“This selection round for new courses to join Erasmus Mundus was very competitive,” said Ján Figel’, European Commissioner in charge of Education, Training, Culture and Youth. “The selected courses all demonstrated high levels of academic quality. And they are all set to make a major contribution to meeting learning, economic and societal needs in Europe and beyond, with their strong focus on employability, and the great importance attached to top-level research within the new Doctorate programmes.”

New: Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorates

A major new element in this call for proposals was the selection of 13 Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorates, which together involve 65 EU universities and 12 universities from outside Europe. These doctoral-level training and research programmes will also offer fellowships covering up to three years of doctoral activities. The selected Doctorates cover a wide spread of disciplines in natural sciences, life sciences and humanities. Students will join these courses during the 2010-2011 academic year.

Erasmus Mundus Masters Courses

The selected Masters Courses will operate for a period of five years. 231 European universities in 26 countries 1 are participating in the courses selected. The countries most prominently represented are Germany (31 universities), France (26), Spain (25), Italy (22), and Sweden (21). The courses offer a number of Erasmus Mundus scholarships to top-ranked students from "third countries" 2 , and to "scholars" (academics) to teach or carry out research. The 50 new Masters Courses treat a wide variety of disciplines: the most popular area is engineering and technology, followed by social sciences, mathematics, natural sciences and agriculture.

This was the first selection year under which Masters applications could include universities from outside the EU as full partners in their consortium. As a result, 58 universities from non-EU countries - around 15% - are involved in the selected Masters courses. India, the US, Canada, Switzerland and China are the most-represented. Consortia with partners in third countries can also offer scholarships to European students or scholars to spend periods of study, teaching or research in one of the partner universities outside the EU.

The 50 newly-selected Masters Courses include 19 renewals: under this call for proposals, existing Masters Courses that had reached the end of their first five-year cycle were able to re-apply in competition with applications for new projects. 34 of these 36 projects re-applied, and 19 were selected. These 50 new Masters Courses join the 66 3 ongoing courses to bring the total of Erasmus Mundus Masters Courses offering scholarships in the next academic year (2010-2011) to 116.

Erasmus Mundus has been in operation since 2004, when the first 168 students and scholars were awarded scholarships to attend one of the first 19 Erasmus Mundus Masters Courses. In the six years up to and including the academic year 2009-2010, over 7800 students and more than 1600 scholars have been selected to study or research/teach under an Erasmus Mundus Masters Course scholarship.

More information:

Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA):

Lists of the selected courses [a more detailed description of all the courses, including links to the individual course websites, will be available in September]

EACEA: Erasmus Mundus [for more information and other opportunities for scholarships under the programme]

European Commission: Erasmus Mundus [a general introduction to the programme, Erasmus Mundus community news etc]

1 :

In the 2009 call for proposals, universities were able to submit applications as co-ordinator of a consortium if they were from one of 30 eligible countries: the 27 EU Member States plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

2 :

All countries outside the 30 eligible countries mentioned above.

3 :

One of the 67 projects which had not yet reached the end of its cycle nevertheless submitted a proposal under the 2009 call; this was selected as one of the 50 new Masters Courses.

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