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      The European Commission has just approved and proposed to the
      Council the ERASMUS Programme (EuRopean Action Scheme for the
      Mobility of University Students), which is designed to build on
      the earlier pilot stage represented by the university (1)
      cooperation programme launched in 1976.
      As Mr Peter Sutherland, the Commissioner for Education and
      Vocational  Training, has said, at present not one student in a
      hundred spends time studying in a Community country other than
      his own.  Student mobility today, that is to say, is less than
      it was in the time of the great Desiderius Erasmus  (1469-
      1536).  So the purpose of the ERASMUS Programme is
      (a) to enable  an increasing number of  students - at least 10%
      from 1992 onwards - to become familiarized with the facts
      of European life by spending a recognized study  period in
      another Member State;
      (b) in this way to turn out graduates with direct experience of
      intra-Community cooperation, thus broadening the base from
      which intensive economic and social cooperation can be
      worked up in the European Community;
      (c) to establish closer ties between citizens of the different
      Member States, so as to consolidate the concept of a
      People's Europe.
        (1) The term "university" is used to describe all types of
      higher education and training institutions.  COM(85)756
                                   - 2 -
      The Commission proposes that during its first stage, 1987-89,
      ERASMUS should have a budget of some 178 million Ecus, to cover
      the following four fields:
      (a) In 1987-89 44,000 grants would be made to students spending
      a study period in another Community country.  The amounts,
      calculated on the basis of one university year, will average
      . 2,000 Ecus in the case of the 40,000 partial grants;
      . 5,000 Ecus in the case of the 4,000 full grants.
      This Community grant programme will be managed by the Member
      States, each of them being assigned target figures in
      proportion to its student population.
      (b) The Community will also provide funding averaging 20,000
      Ecus towards the holding of short intensive seminars on
      particular subjects, attended by gifted students from different
      Member States.
      To stimulate these student exchanges the Community will
      establish a European University Network, to comprise 600
      universities in 1987, with a target of 1700 in 1989.  Each of
      the universities belonging to the Network will be provided with
      an average 10,000 Ecus a year to cover the cost of introducing
      the European dimension into its work.
                                   - 3 -
      Academic recognition of degrees gained and study periods spent
      in another Member State is likewise all-important in any
      strategy to promote student mobility in the European
      Community.  To this end ERASMUS will part-finance the three
      following operations:
      (a) establishment of a pilot scheme of academic recognition of
      degrees and transferable academic credits (capitalizable units)
      (ECTS: European Community Credit Transfer System), to be worked
      out with the cooperaiton of some twenty universities
      volunteering to take part, each of which will be allocated an
      annual 20,000 Ecus;
      (b) stepping-up of the work of the present Network of National
      Information Centres on Academic Recognition of Degrees, each of
      the 12 centres concerned to be allocated an annual 20,000 Ecus;
      (c) joint devising of common curricula between different
      Community universities, starting with 50 universities in 1987
      and rising to 250 in 1989, each to be allocated an annual
      average 20,000 Ecus.
      Community funding will also go to the following.
      (a) Preparatory visits.- Grants of 1,500 Ecus will be made  to
      university staff going to universities in other Member  States
      to prepare the way for the foregoing operations.  It is
      planned that such visiting staff should number 1400 in 1987,
      and 1800 in 1989.
      (b) Contact between teaching staff. - For the ERASMUS Programme
      to fulfil its purpose it is also necessary that there should be
      intensive cross-frontier contact between teaching staff.  The
      Programme is therefore to include three other kinds of
      Community funding:
      . for bilateral exchanges of teaching staff.  100 universities
      would be involved in 1987 and 400 in 1989, each of them to be
      allocated an annual 5,000 Ecus;
      . in order that this teacher mobility should not be confined to
      cases where the replacement was provided by another Community
      university, Community grants of an average 11,000 Ecus (3,500
      for the teacher and 7,500 for his original university to
      replace him) would also be made.  These would number 50 in
      1987, and 200 in 1989;
      . grants of 3,500 Ecus would be made to teachers (50 in 1987
      and 100 in 1989) giving a course of lectures in two or more
      Member States.
      (c) Introducing the European dimension into staff and student
      associations. -  Annual grants of an average 20,000 Ecus would
      be made to staff and student associations introducing the
      European dimension into their activities and helping the
      implementation of the ERASMUS Programme.
      (d) ERASMUS Prize of the European Community: A 20,000 Ecu prize
      would be awarded each year to the university that had been most
      active, and 5,000 Ecu prizes to the 12 most gifted students
      (one in each Member State) who had taken part in the Programme.
      Overall, the Programme should impart fresh momentum to
      university cooperation and student mobility in the European
      Community.  Such a scheme has been repeatedly urged by all the
      Community institutions, and by the European Council and the
      European Parliament in particular.  The Commission would
      accordingly emphasize that the Council must adopt the draft
      Erasmus Decision at the earliest possible  date for the
Programme to become operational in 1987.

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