Good EU scholarships help students get high-quality education abroad.
“After 2 years of MA studies I’m getting diplomas from three universities,” Olena Yanyts’ka says of her experience studying within the Erasmus Mundus program. “This is the only EU programme that offers education in two or even three counties at the same time. And according to the conditions of consortium, you get diplomas from the countries where you’ve been studying.”
Olena is about to receive MA certificates in “European literature and culture” from the universities of Strasbourg, Thessaloniki and Bologna. On November 14-16, she spoke about the EU educational opportunities at the ‘Education Abroad Fair’ in Kyiv. The European Commission displayed its ‘Study in Europe’ stand at the fair for the third time. This year, two new academic cooperation programs were presented: Erasmus+ and Marie Sklodowska-Curie.
The “Ukrayinsky Dim”, where the educational exhibition was held, was crowded with young people during the fair. Dozens of booths were lined up to distribute informational brochures promoting the benefits of studying at their universities or in their countries.
“If I understand correctly, Erasmus Mundus coordinates the application procedure from the start,” says student Oleksandr Komarov, explaining what attracted him to the “Study in Europe” stand. “This guarantees that in the case where the person is accepted by the university, he or she will surely get the scholarship.”
But Olena Yanytska clarifies that students must apply on their own in accordance with the requirements of each university. “The main difference is that Erasmus Mundus covers all the costs. None of the EU member states individually offer such profound financial support for MA studies. The student is provided with full tuition and a monthly scholarship of €1,000.”
Starting in 2014, Erasmus Mundus transforms into the new Erasmus+ programme. In addition to decent funding, it will offer Ukrainian students and researchers studying opportunities in a wider range of countries. The new program will apply between 2014 and 2020 and combines three current EU educational programs already operating in Ukraine: Tempus, Erasmus Mundus and Jean Monnet.
“Why Erasmus+? Because it opens the Erasmus program for more countries and creates new programs, opening up additional opportunities for researchers,” Svitlana Shytikova, director of the National Tempus Office in Ukraine, explains the innovations.
“Before, the program was open for only 27 countries-participants and now it includes 34. These are the EU Member States, candidate countries (Turkey and Macedonia), as well as Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. At the same time, in previous years the program was open for 27 partners and now they are about 150. The program will operate with three components: learning mobility, degree mobility, and cooperation and policy support for projects in higher education,” Shytikova concludes.
The learning mobility component means that on the basis of bilateral agreements, universities can provide their students with credits that can be transferred abroad, while teachers can take part in lecturing and research programs in other countries. The degree mobility offers an opportunity to create unique masters programs and obtain a masters degree from a foreign university. Finally, the cooperation component allows the possibility of establishing strategic partnerships and knowledge alliances. Thus, Erasmus+ will support and modernise higher education and the professional development of university staff in participating countries.
About 1,800 Ukrainian students and academics have already taken advantage of the mobility offered through Erasmus Mundus. The last call selected nine new partnerships, which will support mobility for 299 Ukrainian nationals. Currently Ukraine is also involved in 82 Tempus projects, including 33 projects to be financed in 2013, supporting capacity building and modernisation of higher education institutions and systems.
Read more: Leaflet Erasmus+