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Programme for EC-Canada cooperation in higher education and training: Call for proposals

The European Commission, DG XXII, has published a call for proposals under the European Community-Canada programme for cooperation in higher education and training.

The EC-Canada cooperation programme was adopted on 23 October 1995. The present call for proposals refers to the major element of the programme, which is the encouragement of joint projects undertaken by consortia of higher education institutions, training establishments and other relevant organizations on both sides of the Atlantic.

The joint consortia programme will be administered on behalf of the European Community by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Education, Training and Youth (DG XXII) and, on behalf of the Canadian Government, by Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC) and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT).

The objectives of the programme 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 Community and Canada through the encouragement of joint projects undertaken by European Community/Canadian consortia.

The programme is a small-scale initiative supporting, in its first year, a maximum of six 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 individual Member States of the European Community and Canada.

Each joint consortium must involve at least three active partners on each side. These must include a minimum of two higher-education or training institutions on each side, in different Member States of the European Community and in different Provinces of Canada. 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 Provinces. Programme funding, however, is intended only for the academic/training institutions in each consortium. It is vital that all academic/training institutions participate fully in the consortium.

Previous experience as a partner in a European Community education/training programme (ERASMUS, COMETT, TEMPUS, PETRA, FORCE) is an eligibility criterion for the European Community lead partner in an EC/Canada consortium. Details, including reference numbers, should be given regarding all such involvement(s).

The focus of projects should be on innovative activities which meet a majority of the programme objectives set out above. Although all disciplinary fields, including new subject areas and cross-disciplinary studies, are eligible for consideration, proposals will need to demonstrate their particular relevance to the transatlantic character of the programme. Thus, favourable consideration may be given to proposals on such topics as:

- Canadian/European Community relations: economic integration, law and administration, federal and Community structures, social policy, regional policy, conflict resolution;
- Areas of contemporary policy relevance;
- Pedagogically evolving areas where the frontiers of knowledge are advancing, including multi-disciplinary studies. This might include the production of new course materials or innovative delivery of such materials (e.g. through interactive media).

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 engage in a range of diverse activities. A major element of each consortium (with rare and justified exceptions) will be student mobility.

Transatlantic cooperative activities eligible for support are:

- Development or organizational frameworks for 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 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 training.

Students should benefit from the project through the introduction of an appropriate international (European Community/Canada) perspective into their studies (for mobile and non-mobile students).

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 ongoing programme support.

Funding will be awarded to successful consortia via the lead partners on both sides. The European Commission (DG XXII) will provide a total of ECU 600,000 to support the participation of the European Community institutions and students in these consortia. Canada will provide approximately CAN$ 1 million for its participants. It is expected that five or six consortia will be supported.

For a three-year project, the maximum level of funding for each consortium is envisaged to be in the region of ECU 80,000 for the EC group which will, in addition, receive up to ECU 12,000 per partner institution earmarked for transatlantic student mobility grants. The maximum funding for each Canadian group, including financial support for students, will be CAN$ 140,000. Student grants are intended as a contribution towards the financial support of students during a transatlantic study period abroad (travel, higher cost of living, health insurance).

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