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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: I. STUDENT MOBILITY (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. II. EUROPEAN UNIVERSITY NETWORK 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 - III. ACADEMIC RECOGNITION OF DEGREES 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. IV. ADDITIONAL MEASURES 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 theProgramme to become operational in 1987.