Erasmus Mundus programme was aimed at supporting higher education institutions from partner countries in developing joint study programmes at Master and PhD level as well as in developing international cooperation with other universities. This programme also provided a number of scholarships for students at all levels for study periods or continuation of studies abroad, as well as scholarships for researchers and teaching staff.
The higher education institutions from Serbia have been participating in a significant number of the Erasmus Mundus projects, especially in part of the programme that supported the establishment of exchange networks between institutions of higher education from the Western Balkans and the EU. These networks resulted in acquiring valuable experience within the common European academic and cultural context and were considered to be a good preparation for Serbia’s participation in mobility programmes in the future. One could also say that the Erasmus Mundus exchange networks have had a systemic impact on the international cooperation of universities during the five years of their implementation.
The universities in Serbia which participated in the Erasmus Mundus action 2 projects are the University of Belgrade, University of Novi Sad, University of Kragujevac, and University of Nis.
Six university exchange networks have been funded (some of them are still running): BASILUES, JoinEU-SEE, SIGMA, ERAWEB, EUROWEB and STEM. Two networks had several extensions, and therefore, are considered to be very successful – BASILEUS, coordinated by the University of Ghent, and JoinEU-SEE, coordinated by the University of Graz.
As for the teaching staff, the exchange networks contributed to building and strengthening relations with their colleagues in the EU in terms of educational and scientific work.
It is also worth mentioning that a significant number of students from the EU came for an exchange period to universities in Serbia through EM Action 2 projects.
Apart from student exchanges, Erasmus Mundus Action 2 networks provided graduates from higher education institutions in Serbia with an opportunity to apply for a scholarship and enrol a Master or PhD programme at one of the EU universities from the network.
Furthermore, there were over 150 joint Erasmus Mundus Master and some 40 joint PhD programmes for which students could apply within Erasmus Mundus Action 1. All these programmes lead towards joint or multiple diploma. During the past seven years, more than 400 students from Serbia were awarded scholarships for attending EM joint Master and PhD courses at prestigious EU universities.
Institutions from Serbia also participated in four small Erasmus Mundus projects aimed at the improvement and promotion of European Higher Education Area which were coordinated by prominent universities in the EU (University of Bordeaux 1, Technical University of Vienna, “La Sapienza”, University of Rome and Catholic University of Porto).