Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Successor programme


Official Journal Reference

L 131 of 1990-05-23

Legislative Reference

90/233/EEC of 1990-05-07
To promote the quality and support the development of higher education systems in countries of Central/Eastern Europe designated as eligible for economic aid, and to encourage their growing interaction with partners in the European Community through joint activities and relevant mobility.


Training has been identified as one of the priority areas for cooperation within the overall programme of Community aid for economic restructuring of Central and Eastern Europe. In this context TEMPUS has been designed as a response to the particular needs of these countries, in parallel to but distinct from existing higher education programmes of the Community such as COMETT, ERASMUS or LINGUA.

The scheme concentrates on the following priority subject areas which have been specified by one or more of the eligible countries:
- Management and business administration;
- Applied economics;
- Applied sciences, technologies and engineering;
- Modern European languages;
- Agriculture and agro-business;
- Environmental protection;
- Social and economic sciences related to the process of economic and social change in the eligible countries, including European Studies;
- Medicine;
- Fine arts (Czechoslovakia only).
These priorities are indicative only and may vary from country to country. Projects in other areas may also be awarded support.

Within TEMPUS, as in the related Community programmes mentioned above, the term "university" denotes all types of post-secondary educational and vocational training establishments which offer university-level qualifications or diplomas. The terms "industry" and "enterprise" cover all types of economic activity, including not only large but also small and medium-sized enterprises, public and local authorities, independent economic organizations (in particular chambers of commerce and industry and/or their equivalents), professional bodies, foundations, associations and organizations representing employers or employees.


Three actions:

- Joint European Projects (JEPs):
These must involve at least one university or enterprise from an eligible country, and partner institutions, of which one must be a university, in at least two Member States. Existing or planned partnerships under the ERASMUS, COMETT and LINGUA programmes may apply, provided they meet these conditions.
JEP grants may be awarded for a wide range of activities, including: the development and organization of mobility programmes for students, teachers or staff; curriculum development and integrated study courses; large-scale development of teaching materials; upgrading of facilities; training and retraining of teachers (particularly in the field of modern European languages); the provision of short, intensive courses; the development of language and area studies and of distance learning; development of universities' capacities to cooperate with industry. Support equipment and documentation necessary for the implementation of a JEP are also eligible for funding;

- Mobility grants:
. A scheme for direct financial support of students from eligible countries up to and including doctorate level, irrespective of their age or the subject of their studies, for a period of study at a university in a Member State; grants to students from universities in the Community to spend a period of study in a university of an eligible country;
. Support for teaching/training assignments for teaching staff at universities or for industry personnel in Member States to carry out teaching/training assignments for periods from one week to one academic year in eligible countries; support aimed at enabling teaching staff at universities or industry personnel in eligible countries to carry out similar arrangements in the Member States; special attention to language lecturers who will teach modern languages in the eligible country or Member State concerned;
. Support for industrial or practical placements of one to six months for teachers, trainers and students to undertake a practical training period in public or private firms or other bodies;
. Short visit grants for teachers, trainers, university administrators and other training experts to visit for a period of one week to one month a Member State or an eligible country;

- Complementary activities:
. Exchanges of young people and youth workers/organizers between eligible countries and Member States in the form of reciprocal youth exchanges, short preparatory visits or training courses;
. Grants to enable eligible countries to participate in the activities of European associations, notably associations of universities;
. Support to facilitate publications and other information activities of particular importance in view of the overall objectives of TEMPUS;
. Support for studies and surveys designated to analyse the development of the higher education/training systems in eligible countries;
. Technical assistance including the monitoring and evaluation of the scheme.


The Commission, assisted by a committee composed of two representatives appointed by each Member State and chaired by the Commission representative, is responsible for the implementation of the TEMPUS scheme in accordance with the provisions set forth in the Council Decision and on the basis of detailed guidelines to be adopted annually. The scheme is administered by the Commission through the EC TEMPUS Office located in Brussels, cooperating with national TEMPUS offices in each of the eligible countries.

The initial pilot phase of three years beginning on 1 July 1990 has been adopted within a perspective of five years. TEMPUS is funded from the Community's overall PHARE budget for assistance to the countries of Central/Eastern Europe. Financial support is available for trans-European activities only, namely activities in which there is participation by:
- Organizations within countries designated as eligible for economic aid by the Council on the one hand;
- Organizations within Member States of the European Community on the other hand.

The eligible countries falling within the terms of the PHARE assistance programme are as follows: Albania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungry, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Roumania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia.

On 29 April 1993, the Council of Ministers adopted the second phase of the trans-European cooperation scheme for higher education (TEMPUS II) for the period 1994-1998 (Official Journal No. L 112 of 6.5.1993). This Decision allows for the implementation of the TEMPUS programme in the Republics of the Former Soviet Union financed by the TACIS programme.

The Commission is responsible for ensuring consistency and, when necessary, complementarity with other actions at Community level, both within the Community and in assistance to the eligible countries, with particular reference to the European Training Foundation. The Commission also ensures coordination with actions in the same field as TEMPUS developed by countries which are not members of the Community or by universities and enterprises or other institutions or bodies in these countries, including, where appropriate, participation in TEMPUS projects.

The Commission establishes arrangements for the monitoring and evaluation of the scheme and submits an annual report to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and to the participating countries. A final report is to be submitted before 31 December 1995.
Record Number: 184 / Last updated on: 2014-03-05