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Call for proposals: EU/US cooperation in higher education and vocational education and training

The European Commission, in collaboration with the US government, has published a call for proposals for EU/US cooperation projects in the area of higher education and vocational education and training. On 23 October 1995, the Council adopted a Decision concerning the conclus...

The European Commission, in collaboration with the US government, has published a call for proposals for EU/US cooperation projects in the area of higher education and vocational education and training. On 23 October 1995, the Council adopted a Decision concerning the conclusion of an agreement for cooperation in higher education and vocational education and training between the European Union and the United States of America. This call for proposals refers to the major component of the programme, which concerns joint EU/US consortia projects. This component will be administered on behalf of the European Union by the European Commission's Directorate General for Education, Training and Youth (DG XXII) and, on behalf of the United States Government, by the Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education (FIPSE) of the US Department of Education. The joint EU/US consortia projects are intended to add a new European Union/United States dimension to student-centred cooperation and to bring balanced benefits to both the European Union and the United States. The essential objectives of these projects are to: - Promote mutual understanding between the peoples of the European Union and the United States, including broader knowledge of their languages, cultures and institutions; - Improve the quality of human resource development in both the European Union and the United States; - Improve the quality of transatlantic student mobility, including the promotion of mutual understanding, recognition and thus portability of academic credits; - Encourage the exchange of expertise in new developments in higher education and vocational education and training, for example the use of new information technologies, for the mutual enrichment of practice in the European Union and the United States; - Form or enhance partnerships among higher education, vocational education or training institutions, professional associations, public authorities, business and other associations as appropriate in both the European Union and the United States; - Introduce an added-value dimension to transatlantic cooperation which complements bilateral cooperation between Member States of the European Union and the United States as well as other programmes and initiatives. These objectives are to be achieved by promoting an innovative range of student-centred, higher-education and training cooperative activities between the different regions of the European Union and the United States. The programme is a small-scale initiative supporting, in this first year, a maximum of 10 original projects which can only, or best, be carried out through multilateral groupings. It is not intended to duplicate activities which are or can be carried out on a bilateral basis between the United States and the individual Member States of the European Union. Each joint consortium must involve at least three active partners on each side. These must include at least two partner higher-education or vocational-education and training institutions on each side in different Member States of the European Union and in different states of the United States. Third and subsequent partners may be other education and training institutions or other relevant organizations (e.g. businesses, NGOs, publishers, government departments, chambers of commerce, research institutes) in the same or other Member States and American states. In exceptional circumstances, in the case of the United States of America, two of the institutional partners may be autonomous campuses of a large state university with a third institutional partner from another state. Since one of the programme objectives is to draw on and amplify the experience of the intra-Union cooperation networks, previous experience as a partner in a European Union education/training programme (e.g. ERASMUS, COMETT, TEMPUS, PETRA, FORCE) is an eligibility criterion for the European Union lead partner in a European Union/United States consortium. Consortia may seek programme support for one or more types of activity as an integrated element of the project. Consortia should thus aim at pursuing a coherent strategy rather than engaging in diverse activities. A major component of each consortium (with rare and justified exceptions) will be student mobility. Transatlantic cooperative activities eligible for support are: - Development of organizational frameworks for transatlantic student mobility, including work-placements, which will provide adequate language preparation and full academic recognition; - Structured exchanges of students, teachers, trainers and administrators in higher education institutions and vocational education and training establishments, including work placements as appropriate; - Joint development of innovative curricula, teaching materials, methods and modules, including those exploiting the new education technologies; - Short intensive programmes of a minimum of three weeks; - Teaching assignments forming an integral part of the curriculum in a partner institution; - Other innovative projects, including the use of new technologies and distance learning, which aim at improving the quality and cost-effectiveness of transatlantic cooperation in higher education and vocational education and training. Financial support will be awarded to successful consortia for up to a maximum of three years. Awards are intended to provide seed-funding for carrying out joint innovative projects which can be accomplished within three years or which can, once established, be continued without on-going programme support. The European Commission (DG XXII) will provide funding for the direct use of the European Union partners. The United States Department of Education (FIPSE) will provide funding for the direct use of the United States partners. Funds will be provided to the EU and US lead partners respectively. For a three-year project, the average level of funding for each consortium is envisaged to be in the region of ECU 100,000 for the European Union group and US$ 130,000 for the United States group. The actual amount awarded in each case will depend on the number of consortium partners and their pre-existing cooperation links, as well as the type and level of activities which are to be undertaken. In addition to the grant for consortium activities, each consortium may receive a sum designated for student mobility grants. For institutions on the EU side, it is envisaged that this sum will be calculated on the basis of up to ECU 10,000 per partner institution, spread over the life of the project. Over the same period, institutions on the US side may each receive up to US$ 15,000 for student mobility grants, which are not to exceed US$ 3,000 per student. Detailed information on the application procedures for European Union applicants, including application forms, are available from: European Commission DG XXII - Education, Training and Youth 200 rue de la Loi B-1049 Brussels Fax +32-2-2955719 or - from the main Commission Offices in the Member States; or - from the national agencies for SOCRATES/ERASMUS and the national coordination units for LEONARDO DA VINCI (one in each Member State); Full details and application forms are also available through the World Wide Web Europa Server at: http://www.cec.lu/

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