Brussels, 28 November 2012
The EU increases its support to higher education in the European Neighbourhood region
The European Commission adopted today a new support package for higher education in the European Neighbourhood region.
“Investing in people is a key objective of the neighbourhood policy. This is the reason why we have significantly increased the funding for our higher education programmes in the neighbourhood during the last years", stated EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle.
The Erasmus Mundus programme aims to enhance the quality of higher education in the Neighbourhood region by promoting mobility and academic cooperation between universities and students. It gives university students and staff a chance to improve their educational and career opportunities by attending programmes at different European universities. Around 228 full scholarships will be awarded to students from the Neighbourhood region to follow Master courses in the EU. 2013 funding will also support 20 partnerships between universities from partner countries and the EU, leading to nearly 2,560 exchanges of students and academic staff.
While Erasmus Mundus focuses on mobility, the Tempus programme aims to support the modernisation of higher education in partner countries and promotes institutional cooperation between higher education institutions in the EU and the partner countries. Tempus funds co-operative projects in areas such as curriculum modernisation, staff development and university governance and leads to structural reforms in higher education. Approximately 65 new projects will be financed from the 2013 budget.
Increased support for higher education in the Neighbourhood region is an important policy commitment under the reviewed Neighbourhood Policy. Both the Erasmus Mundus and Tempus programmes promote cooperation in higher education between the EU and rest of the world.
The Communication on "A new response to a changing Neighbourhood" has reinforced the EU's commitment to support higher education in the partner countries and, more specifically, to expand their participation in the Erasmus Mundus and Tempus programmes.
In the neighbourhood region, Erasmus Mundus aims to increase the degree of internationalisation of higher education institutions from partner countries and improve their capacities to manage mobility actions and international cooperation projects.
The total budget allocation for the Erasmus Mundus programme in the Neighbourhood region in 2013 is €74.2 million.
This follows a decision of the European Commission taken in April 2012 to further top-up the Erasmus Mundus budget for 2012 by €40 million, also as a consequence of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) Review.
The Tempus IV programme contributes to the modernisation and internationalisation of higher education in neighbourhood partner countries, by improving aspects such as quality, relevance, capacity and governance.
The total budget allocation for the Neighbourhood region in 2013 is €58.85 million.
This follows a decision of the European Commission taken in May 2012 to top-up the Tempus IV budget for 2012 by €59.5 million.
For more information:
Website of DG Development and Cooperation - EuropeAid:
EU Neighbourhood Info Centre: