Mercosur, EU launch university mobility program

13:10, November 21, 2009      

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The Common Market of the South (Mercosur) and the European Union jointly launched here Friday a university mobility program to fund 200 students from Mercosur countries seeking short-term study in another Mercosur country.

The Program of Superior Education Mobility was presented by Uruguayan Education and Culture Minister Maria Simon and the European Commission's representative in Uruguay and Paraguay Geoffrey Barrett.

Describing education as an "indispensable tool to achieve social cohesion and welfare for the people," Barrett said it is one of the main sectors of cooperation with the EU.

Under the program, Simon said, students are allowed to study for a term of six months in another member country of the Mercosur, to boost their "sense of belonging" to the region.

The program will cost 4.5 million euros (about 6.687 million U.S. dollars), with the EU offering 3 million euros (about 4.458 million dollars) and the Mercosur offering the rest 1.5 million euros (about 2.229 million dollars).

The program is part of the EU-Mercosur 2007-2013 Agreement, under which the EU is committed to donating 51 million euros (about 75.8 million dollars) for projects aimed at strengthening the Mercosur.

The Mercosur is formed by Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay as full members, and Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru as associated members. Venezuela is applying for a full membership.

Source: Xinhua
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