Wspólnotowy Serwis Informacyjny Badan i Rozwoju - CORDIS

  • Komisja Europejska
  • Programy
  • Agreement between the European Community and the United States of America establishing a cooperation programme in higher education and vocational education and training, 1995-1999

Programme funding

EUR 6,5 million

Official Journal Reference

L 279 of 1995-11-22

Legislative Reference

95/487/EC of 1995-10-23
To establish a cooperation programme to promote innovative actions in the area of education and training which promote qualitative improvements by building on the different relative strengths of all participants to their mutual benefit.


The present Agreement establishes a programme designed to strengthen cooperative activities in higher education and vocational education and training with the United States of America, thereby providing a formal basis for conducting cooperative activities in these domains. The programme gives practical expression to the 1990 Transatlantic Agreement (the section devoted to education, scientific and cultural cooperation) and to the wish expressed by the European Parliament that the Community should actively develop educational cooperation with third countries.

Proposed for a period of five years (1995-1999), the programme is specifically designed to encompass both higher education and vocational training and to encourage, where appropriate, interaction between the two. Interactions are also encouraged between higher education institutions, training organizations and the workplace. With this in mind, the various cooperative activities covered by the programme are focused on:

- Promoting mutual understanding between the peoples of the European Community and the United States of America, including broader knowledge of their languages, cultures and institutions;
- Improving the quality of human resource development in both the European Community and the United States of America;
- Stimulating student-centred cooperation in higher and vocational training between the different regions in the European Community and in the United States of America;
- Improving the quality of transatlantic student mobility including the promotion of mutual understanding, recognition and thus portability of academic credits;
- Encouraging the exchange of expertise in new developments in higher education and vocational education and training;
- Promoting partnerships among higher education and vocational training and training institutions, professional associations, public authorities, business and other associations as appropriate in both the European Community and in the United States of America;
- Introducing a European Community and a United States dimension to transatlantic cooperation in higher education and vocational education and training;
- Complementing bilateral programmes between the Member States of the European Community and the United States of America, as well as other European Community and United States programmes and initiatives in higher education and vocational education and training (for example the Community's LEONARDO DA VINCI and SOCRATES programme).

The activities covered by the programme are targeted at the following groups:

- Policy-makers in the area of education and training, including public officials and representatives of the social partners;
- Higher education institutions including staff and, within the framework of projects, students;
- Training establishments, including ongoing lifelong learning establishments, staff and indirectly through projects, students;
- Industry and R&D establishments where these are linked to projects led by an education or training partner.

From the European Community perspective, the Joint Consortia projects will build on and enhance relevant intra-Community policies and programmes, with the expectation that in many subject areas the activities of existing Community networks will be improved by the input of US experience. In addition, the structuring of actions on a consortium basis will facilitate the participation of education and training institutions in the regions which have, in the past, found such transatlantic cooperation too costly.

Given the different relative strengths in the various stages of successfully transferring scientific advances from laboratory to the market place, it is also anticipated that activities under the programme will provide an opportunity for European participants to regain some of their lost international competitiveness in the area of world trade in high technology.


Two actions:

- Joint EC/US Consortia projects:
Activities eligible for support may include:
. Development of organizational frameworks for student mobility, including work placements, which 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;
. Joint development of innovative curricula, including the development of teaching materials, methods and modules;
. Short intensive programmes of at least three weeks duration;
. 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 to improve the quality of transatlantic cooperation in higher education and vocational education and training;

- Complementary activities:
The following activities may be undertaken by the Parties:
. Exchanges of information about vocational education and training and higher education including, where appropriate, conferences on issues of common interest;
. Provision of Fulbright scholarships for the study of, and research and lecturing on, European Community affairs and EC/US relations;
. Measures to facilitate the dissemination of information on the programme, including making the results and achievements of joint consortia projects available for the use of a wider audience;
. Provision of technical assistance to support the programme.


The programme is primarily implemented through joint higher education and vocational training projects conducted within joint EC/US consortia. The eligible subject areas for joint EC/US consortia are to be mutually agreed by the appropriate authorities on each side.

Each joint consortium must contain a minimum of three active partners on each side, including at least two partner higher education or training institutions on each side located in different Member States of the European Community and different states of the USA. (For the USA, the two institutional partners may come from autonomous campuses in the same state in exceptional circumstances). The third and subsequent partners may be other education and training institutions or other relevant organizations (e.g. businesses, NGOs, chambers of commerce, research institutions). All joint consortia must involve, with only rare exceptions, transatlantic student mobility, with a goal of parity in the flows in each direction. Support towards the costs of such study abroad will be provided by each of the parties.

The administration of the joint projects is to be implemented by the competent officials of each Party. These tasks comprise:

- Deciding the rules and procedures for the presentation of proposals, including the preparation of a common set of guidelines for applicants;
- Establishing the timetable for publication of calls for proposals, submission and the eventual selection of proposals;
- Providing information on the programme and its implementation;
- Appointing academic advisors and experts;
- Recommending to the appropriate authorities of each Party which projects to finance;
- Financial management;
- Programme monitoring.

The programme also provides for a number of complementary measures, notably, exchanges of experience in the area of higher education and training to enhance the dialogue between the European Community and the United States of America. A full list of the complementary activities which the Parties may undertake is contained in the "Subdivisions" section of the summary.

A Joint Committee, comprising of an equal number of representatives from each Party, is to be established to assist in the implementation of the programme. More specifically, the Joint Committee is charged with reviewing the cooperative activities envisaged under the programme and with drafting a report to the Parties on the level, status and effectiveness of cooperative activities pursued under the programme. It is expected that the Joint Committee will meet at least once a year, with the possibility of holding supplementary meetings if mutually agreed. The location of these meetings is to alternate between the territories of both Parties.

Cooperation activities are subject to the availability of funds and to the applicable laws and regulations, policies and programmes of the European Community and the United States of America. Financing of activities under the programme is made from the available budget, based on an overall matching of funds between the Parties. For Joint EC/US Consortia projects, financial support is provided by the European Commission for the European Community consortia partners, and by the USA for its consortia partners. The structural cooperative activities of a consortium are supported by seed funding for a period not normally exceeding three years.

Costs incurred by, or on behalf of, the Joint Committee are met by the party to whom the Members are responsible.

The Agreement establishing the programme will enter into force on the first day of the month following the date on which the Parties have notified each other in writing that their respective legal requirements concerning the entry into force of the Agreement have been fulfilled. The Agreement may be extended by mutual accord of the parties upon completion of the initial five years in 1999.
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