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Tempus is one of a number of European Community programmes designed to help the process of social and economic reform and/or development in the Partner Countries.

The Partner Countries currently included are the Western Balkan Countries, the Eastern European and Central Asian Countries, and the Mediterranean Partners.

The Tempus Programme focuses on the development of the higher education systems in these countries through co-operation with institutions from the Member States of the European Community.

States of the European Community. The programme is based on the understanding that higher education institutions are of particular importance for the social and economic transition process as well as cultural development; they are also pools of expertise and of human resources and provide for the training of new generations of leaders.

Tempus finances two types of actions:
1. Joint Projects are based on multilateral partnerships between higher education institutions in the EU and the partner countries. They can develop, modernise and disseminate new curricula, teaching methods or materials, boost a quality assurance culture, and modernise the management and governance of higher education institutions.
2. Structural Measures contribute to the development and reform of higher education institutions and systems in partner countries, to enhance their quality and relevance, and increase their convergence with EU developments.

Partnerships are made up of consortia of organisations including higher education institutions, businesses, ministries, NGOs, and other organisations working in higher education; both from the EU and partner countries.

The latest phase of the programme, Tempus IV, started in 2008 with a call for proposals lasting from January to April. The total budget for this call was around €51 million, with individual projects able to gaining funding of between €0.5 and €1.5 million. New projects under this call start at the end of 2008. Tempus is managed by the European Commission's education and culture, enlargement and aid departments. It is financed through three of the European Commission's external assistance instruments: the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (Western Balkans); the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (Eastern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East); and the Development and Cooperation Instrument (Central Asia). The Erasmus Mundus 'External Co-operation Window' is a complimentary programme that funds higher education student and teaching staff mobility activities between European universities and universities from targeted third-countries.

Tempus IV web-site: http://ec.europa.eu/education/programmes/tempus/index_en.html

Supplemented information about TEMPUS IV(*PDF) -