EU and Jordan celebrate Higher Education Cooperation Day

A seminar highlighting the importance of promoting higher education in Jordan as a means to tackle the brain drain of Jordanian students and academics to foreign countries was held this week at the University of Jordan with the support of the European Union Delegation to Jordan and the National Tempus Office. Underscoring the increasing opportunities which are made available within the framework of the EU-funded programmes, EU Delegation Head of Operations, Irène Mingasson, said: "In the area of Higher Education, Tempus and Erasmus Mundus have seen their budgets for the region double for the calls of this year. There will be more opportunities for funding your projects if the quality is the correct one."
The event aimed at reviewing the various EU-funded programmes in the field of higher education, including Tempus, Erasmus Mundus, Jean Monnet and the Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7). Discussions mainly focused on the selection process and the results of past calls for proposals. Details relating to procedures and guidelines for current and future calls for proposals were also provided.
Over 250 participants attended the event, including senior representatives of Higher Education institutions in the country, the EU Delegation and EU member states cooperation agencies, as well as representatives of higher education cooperation institutions, researchers and National Tempus office staff.
A special exhibit was organised by seven European countries to provide information on their Higher Education systems, institutions and opportunities for cooperation in the area of Higher Education.
Outlining the EU’s ongoing support to the democratic process in the region, Mingasson noted that "Europe is following closely the events in the region and hails the democratic forces behind the Arab Spring". To that end, the European Commission has reviewed its Partnership for Democracy and Shared Prosperity with the Southern Mediterranean, and increased the resources provided to these countries, including Jordan. The total value of the SPRING programme, adopted in September, is €350 million for 2011 and 2012.
Mingasson also stressed that social sciences have been added in 2011 to the Jordan national sector priorities for the Tempus programme, along with the traditional ones such as medical sciences and engineering, in an attempt to counter the brain drain which entails the relocation of Jordanian students and academics abroad.
Mingasson used this opportunity to invite students, academics, and institutions to send project proposals and new ideas for Tempus, Erasmus Mundus, FP7 and other EU programmes, but also to the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific research's Fund for research, stressing that "resources are there, for those who dare to present innovative and/or useful quality interventions".
The European Commission offers Jordan several cooperation instruments in the fields of research and higher education. These include Tempus, Erasmus Mundus, the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and development, Jean Monnet action and others. (ENPI Info Centre)
Read more
Press release
EU Delegation – Jordan
Tempus webpage
Erasmus Mundus webpage
Jean Monnet programme webpage
FP7 webpage
EU response to the Arab Spring: the SPRING Programme
ENPI Info Centre webpage - Jordan

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