07 MAY 2003

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Louis Galea addresses EU Council meeting on education

Education Minister Louis Galea yesterday participated in the first EU Council of Ministers meeting, where the Council of Ministers for Education, Youth and Culture agreed on the institution of two new community programmes directly linked to Malta’s vision within an enlarged Europe.
These EU Council meetings will become a common occurence for ministers given Malta’s EU membership.
The Council officially noted Galea’s contribution that networking must be considered of fundamental significance to the development of excellence via the exchange and dissemination of good practice.
Galea provided a model of excellence in the description of how the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomacy based in Malta, has been used in an inter-governmental partnership, to bridge relations through teaching and research in the Euro-Mediterranean area.
There was general agreement on the need to adapt both to the demands of the knowledge society and the improved level and quality of employment. For these ends, an e-Learning programme and the much-awaited Erasmus Mundus were established.
The e-Learning programme will aim at combating digital illiteracy and the inability to use IT resources. This initiative was considered to be of prime importance by EU Education and Culture Commissioner Viviane Reding and Research Commission Mr Phillipie Busquin.
The Commission is looking into bridging the developments in IT with citizens in Member States. The e-Learning programme will also support agreement between universities in order to promote students’ virtual mobility and the e-twinning of secondary schools throughout an enlarged Europe, allowing students to participate in digital projects across frontiers.
Erasmus Mundus will aim 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 250 European Masters Courses.
The proposal will allow 4,200 post-graduate students to receive grants at a level of around EUR21,000 per year.

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Editor: Saviour Balzan
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