The European Union's Erasmus Mundus scholarships for the academic year 2008-09 have been given to 2,000 students and 450 teachers from outside Europe, of which 164 have been selected from India, EuAsiaNews reported Friday.
The scholarships allow students to study in Europe for one or two years and obtain a Master's degree from one of the 103 Erasmus Mundus masters courses offered by the Consortia of European higher education institutions, the European Commission said in a statement Thursday.
One of the characteristic features of the Erasmus Mundus programme is that student grant holders are allowed to follow their courses in at least two universities located in different European countries. This gives them an opportunity to learn about European cultures, languages and academic systems as well.
Erasmus Mundus is the European Union's programme, created in 2004, to enhance the quality of European higher education through continuous worldwide dialogue and cooperation with other countries.
The programme has allocated 33 million euro in 2005-2009 for scholarships to Indian postgraduate students.
In 2008, 17 new partnerships of Erasmus Mundus Masters Consortia with higher education institutions in non-European countries were selected. They are from 62 universities in 28 countries.
The second phase of Erasmus Mundus (2009-13) is expected to start next year with a planned budget of 950 million euros.
Its main new features include joint doctoral programmes and an intensified structural cooperation with third-country higher education institutions. In addition, the new proposal integrates a mobility scheme for all levels of higher education.