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Submission of proposals under the SOCRATES programme

The European Commission has published an announcement concerning the deadlines for the submission of proposals under the Community's action programme for cooperation in the field of education (SOCRATES). The SOCRATES programme was adopted on 14 March 1995 (Decision 819/95/EC,...

The European Commission has published an announcement concerning the deadlines for the submission of proposals under the Community's action programme for cooperation in the field of education (SOCRATES). The SOCRATES programme was adopted on 14 March 1995 (Decision 819/95/EC, OJ No L 87/10 of 20 April 1995). It covers the period 1995-1999 and is applicable to the 15 Member States of the European Union as well as to Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway in the framework of the European Economic Area agreement. SOCRATES disposes of a Community budget of ECU 176 million for 1995. It continues and extends a number of previous Community programmes, including ERASMUS (in higher education) and LINGUA (in the field of language-learning). These are combined with new actions to form the first comprehensive European programme for cooperation in all sectors of education. The main objectives of SOCRATES are to: - Develop the European dimension in education; - Promote improved knowledge of European languages; - Promote the intercultural dimension of education; - Enhance the quality of education by means of European cooperation; - Promote mobility of teaching staff and students; - Encourage the recognition of diplomas, periods of study and other qualifications; - Facilitate the development of an open European area for cooperation in education; - Encourage open and distance education in the European context; - Foster exchanges of information on educational systems and policy. SOCRATES forms part of a broader strategy to promote the concept of lifelong learning in response to constantly evolving education and training needs. The programme interacts closely with other initiatives at European level, notably the Leonardo da Vinci programme for vocational training, the Youth for Europe III programme, various components of the Fourth Research and Development Framework Programme and Community actions in favour of disadvantaged persons and the promotion of equality of opportunity. SOCRATES contains provision for a broad range of activities, including: - Transnational projects, networks, partnerships and associations; - Joint development of curricula, modules, teaching materials and other educational products; - Exchanges and mobility; - Transnational training courses for educational staff; - Visits to facilitate project preparation or sharing of experience; - Preparation of studies, analyzes, guides and data collection activities; - Project evaluation; - Dissemination of results. Overall responsibility for implementing SOCRATES lies with the European Commission (Directorate-General XXII: Education, Training and Youth). It is assisted in this task by the SOCRATES Committee which consists of two representatives from each Member State. The Committee has two sub-committees concentrating on the areas of higher education and of school education. The SOCRATES programme promotes cooperation in six areas: - Higher education (ERASMUS): . Grants to develop the European dimension of universities; . Grants for students; - School education (COMENIUS): . School partnerships, European education projects; . Education of the children of migrant workers, occupational travellers, travellers and gypsies, intercultural education; . In-service training of teachers and other educators; - Promotion of language-learning (LINGUA): . European cooperation programmes for language teacher training (ECP); . In-service training activities in the field of foreign-language teaching; . Assistantships for future foreign language teachers; . Development of instruments for language-teaching and assessment of linguistic competence ; . Joint Educational Projects for Language-Learning (JEP); - Promotion of open and distance learning (ODL): . Support for European cooperation in the field of ODL projects ; . Support for the application of ODL to activities within other parts of SOCRATES; - Adult education: . Activities designed to enhance adult educators' awareness of the importance of European themes by disseminating knowledge about the cultures, languages and traditions of European countries or promoting improved understanding of political, economic and administrative aspects of the European Community as such; . Projects to promote the networking of adult education organizations, centred around topics of interest for the people of Europe living in the participating countries; - Exchange of information and experience on education systems and policy: . Questions of common educational policy interest; . European Information Network in the field of education (EURYDICE); . Visits scheme for educational decision-makers (ARION); . Network of national academic recognition information centres (NARIC). Procedures for the submission and selection of applications for support within SOCRATES vary considerably depending on whether the particular action is managed centrally by the Commission or on a decentralized basis by the national agencies designated by the participating countries. An information package entitled "Guidelines for Applicants" is available for each of the six parts of the programme. This contains all necessary details concerning application procedures, deadlines and selection criteria. An initial deadline, of 30 September 1995, has been set for the submission of proposals for projects commencing at the end of 1995 or early in 1996, in the following areas: - the development of instruments for language teaching and the assessment of linguistic competence (LINGUA); - open and distance learning (ODL); - adult education. For further information ("Guidelines for applicants", application forms and a more detailed description of the types of actions which may be supported under the SOCRATES programme), please contact: SOCRATES and Youth Technical Assistance Office 70 rue Montoyer B-1040 Brussels Tel. +32-2-2330111; Fax +32-2-2330150

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