The European Union recognizes knowledge and innovations as key ingredients for economic and social development. At a recent visibility event held at Makerere University in Uganda, Mr. Theo Hoorntje, Head of Cooperation at the European Union delegation to Uganda, pledged support to higher education through academic mobility between countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific regions including exchange programmes with academic institutions in Europe.
This event, reinforced the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM)’s role as a dynamic regional platform fostering collaboration, coordination and learning amongst its member universities. Through the exhibition, various European Union funded projects showcased their interventions in the areas of institutional capacity building, innovative and collaborative graduate mentorships programs, enhanced research linked to farmer needs and universities working with communities to address development issues.
“International mobility of students is the most widespread and powerful vehicle for internationalisation for higher education, and more and more students are willing to gain international experiences” said Mr. Hoorntje while addressing the audience. In its strategy, the European Union recognises the importance of people – to – people contact.
“Students and staff mobility is at the heart of the European Union higher education programmes, which help universities set up partnerships to manage mobility, and provide scholarships such as under the Intra-ACP Academic Mobility Scheme and the Erasmus+”. Mr. Hoorntje.
Since 2004, more than 100 Ugandan students and staff have benefited from the Erasmus Mundus program to undertake masters and PhD studies or to teach, benefiting from full scholarships. The scholarships help to develop a highly–trained academic pool with international experience benefiting from the high quality courses and professional skills. At the event, Ms. Lorenza Gambacorta, the Programme Manager Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency of the European Commission from Brussels made a public presentation about the Erasmus+ opportunities available for Africa.
Please follow the link to download the full press release at http://repository.ruforum.org/node/33692
 The Intra-ACP Academic Mobility Scheme offer scholarships for students and academics from Uganda to carry out studies, research or teaching in another African country.
 Erasmus+ offer scholarships to carry out studies at a range of academic levels in European universities. One can study for a part of their degree in Europe or follow an entire degree in Europe (http://ec.europa.eu/programmes/erasmus-plus/discover/index_en.htm).