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Erasmus Mundus and Tempus
cooperation in higher education

Higher education plays a key role in any country's development. Cooperation between higher education institutions and academic and student mobility also contribute to mutual understanding between people, countries and cultures.

Erasmus Mundus and Tempus are part of an overall strategy for promoting Education and training in the European Union partner countries. They cover new actions and build on the positive results of other programmes like Erasmus, ALFA and ALBAN in Latin America, Edulink Africa, Caribbean and Pacific countries and Trans-Eurasia Information Network (TEIN) in Asia.

Erasmus Mundus II - Action 2 Partnerships

The Erasmus Mundus II (2009-2013) combines the EU education, cooperation and external policies to further deepen and enhance the higher education cooperation links between the EU and the rest of the world. Through this worldwide programme, the EU supports:

- Partnerships between higher education institutions and research centres from different EU and non-EU countries to develop teaching and learning capacities

- Students and academics mobility

To receive funding for partnerships, consortia must include a minimum of 5 higher education institutions from at least 3 European countries and a number of higher education institutions from targeted non-European regions.

The programme builds on the former Erasmus Mundus External Cooperation Windows first launched in 2006. Since then, 282 Million Euros have funded around 68 partnerships, with the participation of 685 Higher Education institutions and around 12.000 students and academic staff from the European Union and partner countries.

Testimony from B. Ghulam Shabbir. Advocate High Court, Karachi, Pakistan, a previous student, who got better career prospects in his home country out of his experience in living in Europe:

"I am very thankful to European Commission which awarded me an Erasmus Mundus Scholarship to undertake the European Master in Law and Economics (EMLE) Program-2005-06 to achieve my aim in life. I also appreciate to European Commission for providing opportunities to the third countries students for creating leaders in the different disciplines" B. Ghulam Shabbir. Advocate High Court, Karachi, Pakistan."

Learn more about Erasmus Mundus


The overall objective of the programme is to contribute to an area of cooperation in the field of higher education involving the EU and partner countries. In particular, the programme aims to:

• promote networks and partnerships between EU and partner countries' higher education institutions;

• support third countries' efforts in modernising their higher education systems;

• reinforce the capacity of higher education institutions.

The programme is implemented through joint and structural projects, as well as accompanying measures. Joint projects are based on partnerships between higher education institutions in the EU and the partner countries and aim to promote the exchange of knowledge and good practice. Structural Measures projects seek to contribute to the development and reform of education institutions and systems in partner countries, as well as to enhance their quality. Accompanying Measures actions include meetings of project co-ordinators, National Tempus Office representatives, Higher Education Reform Experts,  as well as support to the information and dissemination activities of National Tempus Offices in the partner countries.

Tempus IV is implemented in Central Asia and in the Neighbourhood Region and the Russian Federation.

Tempus IV builds on former Tempus III and was first launched in 2008. In the first selection round in 2008, 52 projects were selected for a total funding of 41 Million Euros. These involved around 300 European Union Higher education institutions and almost 495 institutions from Central Asia, the Russian Federation and neighbouring partner countries.

Learn more about Tempus IV

How to get more information and apply for funding?

While EuropeAid and three other European Commission Directorates-General have delegated the implementation of both programmes to the Executive Agency for Culture, Education and Audiovisual (EACEA), it remains responsible for

• setting priorities, targets and criteria

• managing the budget,

and guiding and monitoring the general implementation, follow-up and evaluation of the programmes.

Detailed information on the eligibility, application procedures and application form for funding of Erasmus Mundus and Tempus projects can be obtained from the EACEA website.

The EACEA launches annual Calls for Proposal at the end of each year to attract proposals from universities' partnerships (EU and third countries), which essentially implement the actions, including the students and university staff mobility.

The European Union Delegations  in the partner countries are closely involved in the various stages of the programmes' implementation. In the case of Tempus IV, the National Tempus Offices in the partner countries assist the European Commission in promoting the programme, assisting potential applicants and monitoring project implementation.

Last update: 17/02/2012 | Top