The new Erasmus Plus programme is now open for those who wish to further their study in European universities so as to strengthen their knowledge and apply it to national development.
Speaking at a “Study in Europe” Seminar held at Souphanouvong University, Luang Prabang province on Friday, EU Ambassador Leo Faber said the Erasmus Plus programme offers financial support for institutions and scholarships for individuals.
“It aims to enhance quality in higher education through scholarships and academic cooperation and exchanges between Europe and the rest of the world and improve third countries’ students and staff career prospects. Under this initiative we aim to fund 135,000 scholarships for mobility with partner countries worldwide (2014-2020),” he said.
Mr Faber highlighted the significance of human resource development which is considered a key factor for sustainable development and economic growth.
“This is the reason that our development cooperation with Laos for the period of 2014-2020 focuses on education and nutrition,” he said.
The ambassador explained that a competent workforce is particularly important for Laos as it will not only help the country graduate from Least Developed Country status but also help Laos to take full advantage of the new employment opportunities available in the Asian Economic Community.
“By promoting academic exchanges between Europe and the rest of the world including Laos we are contributing to bringing back to Laos highly qualified young women and men for better development of the country. I encourage interested people from Laos to prepare well, especially in terms of language skills, before they apply for the programme, to ensure success in their application,” Mr Faber added.
“I wish to see students from Laos account for a high proportion of those accepted. It is not easy as it is a very competitive scholarship, so you need to work hard and have sufficient language skills to compete with students from other countries. ”
The seminar was organised by the EU Delegation in Vientiane together with the Ministry of Education and Sports and Souphanouvong University, and was attended by some 300 faculty members, lecturers and students.
The event is part of the 2nd European Union-Lao PDR Higher Education Policy and Cooperation Roadshow, which will take place in all higher education institutions across Laos and aims at improving the cooperation activities between European and Lao universities and promoting higher education opportunities for both staff members and students from Laos, particularly from the provinces.
Over the last decade from 2004-2016, more than 220 Erasmus scholarships have been awarded to Lao students to undergo professional training and take undergraduate, master’s and doctorate degrees in European countries.
Just last August the EU bid farewell to 12 students heading to Cyprus, the Czech Republic, France, Poland and Portugal for these programmes.
This year under the second round assessment of the 2016 Erasmus + International Credit Mobility, around 34 mobile participants including 25 outgoing from and 9 incoming to Laos will be funded.
For more information visit this link: http://ec.europa.eu/programmes/erasmus-plus/
Source: Vientiane Times