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City University London leads Erasmus Mundus project to boost STEM entrepreneurship across Europe and the Western Balkans

University staff and students from across Europe and the Western Balkans are to benefit from a new Erasmus Mundus mobility programme.
by Luke Nava

City University London is leading a Euro 3.8 million Erasmus Mundus project, enabling the exchange of staff and students across higher education institutions in the European Union (EU) and the Western Balkans, while fostering entrepreneurship and management skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

The European Commission's Erasmus Mundus Action 2 initiative aims to enhance quality in higher education through scholarships and academic cooperation between Europe and the rest of the world. City proposed, developed the consortium for, and will manage this latest mobility programme, known as EM2-STEM.

It will see more than 260 Bachelor and Masters students, early career PhD or post-doctoral researchers, and administrative, academic and research staff from eight HEIs in the European Union and eight HEIs in the Western Balkans study or work in countries other than their own.

The project will be led by City's Professor Sanowar Khan. A key aspect will be intensive modules and summer schools focussed on entrepreneurship and management skills, aiding the development of high-tech research, and hence enterprise, across the continent.

"Those working in STEM must be increasingly interdisciplinary in their approach, balancing technical knowledge with the ability to present ideas, secure funding, run international projects, and disseminate and commercialise results. Our aim is to enable the future employees of both academia and industry to gain these vital skills."

Professor Ken Grattan, Dean of the Conjoint Schools of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, and Informatics, City University London

"The University is committed to building links with the world's emerging economies, including the Western Balkans. Through this project, we hope to enable the sharing of skills, cultures and languages across borders that will allow the entire European community to benefit from the impact of STEM research and development."

Professor Dinos Arcoumanis, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and International), City University London

City is already a partner in two other current Erasmus Mundus Action 2 projects - MULTI and Flow by Flow - and is also a founding member of the World Cities World Class network, which launched in autumn 2010 to build closer links between universities, local governments and business communities in world cities. HEIs in Berlin, Hong Kong, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Seoul and St Petersburg are already involved.

Participants on the EM2-STEM scheme will receive a generous scholarship for living expenses, travel and insurance, as well as tuition fees where applicable, and can apply at http://www.em2stem.eu by the deadline of Friday 15 April 2011. At least 70% will come from the Western Balkans.

Alongside City University London, the EU HEIs taking part are: Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland; Freie University Berlin, Germany; University of Limerick, Ireland; Wroclaw University of Technology and University of Warsaw, Poland; and University of Bucharest, Technical University of Cluj-Napoca and Horia Hulubei Institute of Research and Development for Physics and Nuclear Engineering, Romania.

The Western Balkan participating HEIs are: Polytechnic University of Tirana, Albania; University of Tuzla and University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina; University of Split, Croatio; University of Business & Technology, Kosovo; University St Kliment Ohridski Bitola, Macedonia; and University of Nis and University of Novi Sad, Serbia.

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City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.