Azerbaijan, Baku, July 19 /Trend, E.Ostapenko/
On July 19, the European Commission has decided to allocate €30.4 million to support higher education projects in the
European Neighbourhood countries and Russia, EU reported. This will enable enhanced networking and joint projects and partnerships between higher education institutions in EU and ENPI countries.
"Investing in people is key objective to our neighbourhood policy. The fruitful cooperation between EU and European Neighbourhood higher education institutions will be continued, enhancing the exchange of knowledge, experience and ideas," Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy
Štefan Füle said.
European Neighbourhood Policy is EU's new approach to the neighboring countries to strengthen relations and cooperation on the establishment of security and prosperity, "a ring of friendly countries" on the borders of the EU.
The announcement was also welcomed by
Androulla Vassiliou, the Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth.
"Cooperation is a win-win for the EU and our partners. It makes the European Higher Education Area more visible and attractive in the world, while also helping European Neighbourhood countries to modernise their universities and improve teaching skills," she said.
The money allocated under the Tempus Programme will support approximately 50 multilateral partnerships aiming at modernising curricula, teaching methods and management of the higher education institutions and systems in the neighbouring countries. More than 350 institutions from these countries will have new opportunities to collaborate in a structured way with a similar number of institutions from the EU within the framework of 2 to 3-year projects that will commence in 2011. Public and private companies and NGOs will be associated as well to improve relevance and reinforce the links between society and education. Thousands of university staff and students will benefit from new career perspectives. University infrastructures will be reinforced and modernised thanks to new investments in classrooms, laboratories, information technologies and teaching material.
Launched in 1990 and now in its fourth phase, Tempus IV (2007-2013) supports the modernisation of higher education in particular in Eastern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.
Azerbaijan, as one of the ENP countries, joined the Tempus in 1995. The last phase of Tempus IV in Azerbaijan covers the period from 2008 to 2013.