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EU and US sign agreement to promote greater student mobility

Representatives from the European Union and US renewed their cooperation programme for higher education and vocational training during the EU-US Summit in Vienna, Austria on 21 June. The new eight year agreement, which reinforces a 10-year-old cooperation programme, aims to s...

Representatives from the European Union and US renewed their cooperation programme for higher education and vocational training during the EU-US Summit in Vienna, Austria on 21 June. The new eight year agreement, which reinforces a 10-year-old cooperation programme, aims to stimulate more movement of students between the EU and the US, and introduces new programmes such as the transatlantic degree. The European Commission plans to allocate EUR 45 million to the programme between 2006 and 2013, to help 6,000 EU and US students take advantage of the programme's exchange opportunities. The agreement was signed by Commissioner for External Relations and Neighborhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Austrian Foreign Minister and Council President in office, Ursula Plassnik, and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Speaking at the signature ceremony, Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner said: 'I am delighted that we have signed today this new agreement which reinforces the long standing and close cooperation between the EU and the US on higher education and vocational training. It will offer our students the opportunity to study on the other side of the Atlantic. 'Such invaluable experiences contribute greatly to relations between our citizens, helping us to understand each other better and making us more aware of our respective cultures, languages and institutions,' she added. The new programme will include: - joint consortia projects, supporting EU and US institutions to set-up up joint study programmes, enabling students and faculty to cross the Atlantic; - excellence mobility projects, providing follow-up financial support for student exchanges to EU-US consortia that have a proven track record of excellence in transatlantic cooperation; - policy-oriented measures, to address differences in higher education and vocational training, and promote dialogue on recognising qualifications and accreditations; - Schuman-Fulbright Programme, scholarships to highly qualified professionals to undertake studies or training on the other side of the Atlantic, in areas of specific relevance to the EU/US relations.

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