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LINGUA: Increased demand for foreign language funding and support for open and distance learning during 1993

The LINGUA programme was adopted for the period 1990-1994 with an overall budget of ECU 200 million covering the five years. Its aim is to widen the range of European Union languages learned and used in economic life, and available as foreign languages in schools, universities...
The LINGUA programme was adopted for the period 1990-1994 with an overall budget of ECU 200 million covering the five years. Its aim is to widen the range of European Union languages learned and used in economic life, and available as foreign languages in schools, universities, and adult education in general, the objective being to support improvement in the quality and quantity of teaching and learning of these languages.

As well as foreign language teachers in schools and higher education, university students, and general and vocational students in schools, LINGUA targets such diverse groups as business people, trades-union members, local government officials, and handicapped people.

During 1993, the programme's Action Line III (foreign languages in economic life) and Action Line V-B (support for the learning of the lesser-taught languages) saw a strong increase in demand over the preceding year.

Two selection rounds were held in 1993. These resulted in the acceptance of 96 projects for funding under Action Line III (from a total of 254 projects submitted) and 43 projects under Action Line V-B (from 92 submitted).

Compared to 1992 figures, this represents an increase of 27% in the number of projects funded under these two Action Lines. Over the same period, requests for funding increased by 50% for Action Line III and by 77% for Action Line V-B.

The increased 1993 response demonstrates the considerable interest awakened by LINGUA, both in languages for the world of work, and in the less-widely-taught languages in general.

It is also notable that a large number of the new LINGUA projects involve the exploitation of the newer technologies (around 70% in each Action). In particular, many projects make use of open and distance learning techniques. This answers the need of many adults for more flexible learning situations, at the same time providing sufficient tutorial support.

LINGUA will end on 31 December 1994. Its continuity, together with that of the ERASMUS programme (mobility in higher education), will be assured under the new educational programme SOCRATES, which will built on the principles and experience established within LINGUA and related EU educational programmes, and which is designed with the aim of rationalizing and strengthening EU actions in the field of education, training and youth.

SOCRATES will focus on transnational actions contributing to the development of quality education throughout the European Union and the professional and social insertion of young people in European society. Horizontal actions within SOCRATES will also promote linguistic abilities and the use of the modern techniques of open and distance learning.

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