NTU Established “Partnership” with European Union’s Erasmus Mundus Program
Along with five universities from four nations in Europe (including the Universite de Provence of France), and three universities in the Southeastern Asia, NTU applied for the Action Plan 2—“Partnership” for the 2010 Erasmus Mundus Program of the European Union under the theme of “Multilingualism and Multiculturalism, a linguistic approach to transition and identity”. The application was accepted by the European Union. In the future, these nine schools will receive subsidies from the European Commission to exchange faculty and staff and conduct short-term studies for students.
Such a “Partnership” action plan was based on the fact that both Europe and Southeast Asia are multi-lingual and multi-cultural areas, so if the researchers from both sides could visit each other, great benefits would ensue. Universities that participate in the Erasmus Mundus Program are as follows: In Europe, the Universite de Provence of France, the Saarland University of Germany, The Free University of Berlin (also in Germany), the Univcersita di Pisa of Italy, the London City University of England; and in Asia, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, the Macau University, the Nanyang Technological University of Singapore, and National Taiwan University. So this is an cooperation project among nine universities that spread across eight different areas. In the next two years, these nine universities will receive subsidies from the European Commission to exchange faculty and students for short-term studies, of which the period for master students is 6 to 10 months, the period for doctoral students is 12 months, the period for post-doctoral researchers is 12 months, and the period for faculty and staff is 1 to 3 months.
Last year (2009), the European Commission listed Taiwan for the first time as a “Partnership” nation for the action plan II of its Erasmus Mundus Program. The Erasmus Mundus Program is by far the most important Program for promoting higher education for the European Union. It basically provides grants to higher education institutions in Europe and encourages them to cooperate with institutions of higher education outside Europe, including exchange of faculty, students, and staff, and academic cooperation (setting up of courses) and so on.
The “Partners” in the action plan are divided into two types. Type II partners are 17 industrial nations selected by the European Union from North American, Asia-Pacific, and Persian nations to conduct exchanges of higher education. Taiwan, as it were, was included in the Southeast Asia group, other nations in the group included Brunei, Macau, Hong Kong, and Singapore. The terms of application for the Southeast Asia nations are that, at least five universities with Erasmus Mundus courses from three European nations, and three institutions of higher education from three Southeast Asian nations have to apply on a joint basis. The total number of applicants cannot exceed 12 universities, the courses have to be above master’s level, and the duration of the exchange programs cannot extend beyond two years. The European Commission has set aside 1.4 million Euro dollars for this special project.
For related information, please refer to the European Commission Audio-visual and Cultural Execution website: http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/erasmus_mundus/.