The Council of the EU Reached an Agreement on the eLearning Programme and the 'Erasmus Mundus' Programme
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The Council of the European Union held in Brussels on May 5 and 6 reached a political agreement on a common position concerning the so-called eLearning Programme (2004-2006) for the integration of information and communication technologies (ICT) in education and training systems in Europe.
The decision of the Council will be discussed on the European Parliament and the programme could be formally adopted in a forthcoming Council session. The eLearning Programme will be launched on January 2004 and the budget could reach a minimum of 33 million euro to be invested in three years.
The eLearning Programme aims combating digital illiteracy (the inability to use ICT, such as the Internet), promoting virtual campuses and e-twinning of schools. In the first case, the idea is to support the development of digital literacy training methods, especially for European citizens who have problems to access traditional education and training. In the second case, the objective is to support agreements between universities in order to promote students’ virtual mobility l(e.g. joint on-line courses). In the third case, the programme wishes to promote the virtual twinning of secondary schools, enabling young people to participate in a cooperation project with pupils from other countries through the Internet, while they are at school.
The new multi-annual Programme 'Erasmus Mundus'
The European Council session also reached a political agreement on a multi-annual programme (2004-2008) for the enhancement of quality in higher education and the promotion of intercultural understanding through cooperation with third countries. The so-called 'Erasmus Mundus' Programme aims to make higher education in the Union more attractive to students and teachers in third countries by means of scholarships and the setting up of around 90 inter-university networks, which will provide some 250 European Masters Courses. The proposal would allow for some 4200 post-graduate students to receive grants at a level of circa € 21,000 per year, an amount considered comparable to that of other international programmes, such as the U.S. Fulbright Scholarships. The proposal also provides for the mobility of European students and teachers to third countries.See the related article: Viviane Reding Presents the Future eLearning Programme (2004-2006)
See the related document: Adopting a Multi-Annual Programme (2004-2006) for the Effective Integration of ICTs in Education and Training Systems in Europe (eLearning Programme) (available in English and French).