Erasmus Mundus - External cooperation window as a framework for higher education cooperation in the middle east region: opportunities and challenges

A. Abkar, A. Skidmore, L. Eelderink, Raymond Nijmeijer, Angelique Holtkamp

Research output: Contribution to journalConference paperpeer-review


"Erasmus Mundus External Co-operation Window" - student and academic staff exchange co-operation between Europe and Partner Countries - launched by the European Commission in December 2006 as a complement to the original Erasmus Mundus programme (EuropeAid/124352/C/ACT/Multi). The programme provides scholarships for third-country and European nationals/students to facilitate mobility of Undergraduate, Masters, Doctorate and Post-Doctoral students between partner countries and Europe, as well as exchange of Academic Staff for the purposes of teaching, training and research. The Erasmus Mundus External Co-operation Window (EM ECW) is a co-operation and mobility scheme in the area of higher education co-operation launched by the Europe Aid Cooperation Office and implemented by the Education, Culture and Audiovisual Executive Agency. The EM ECW objective is to achieve better understanding and mutual enrichment between the European Union (EU) and third countries in the field of higher education through promoting the exchange of persons, knowledge and skills at higher education level. This will be achieved through the promotion of partnerships and institutional co-operation exchanges between European Higher Education Institutions and Third Country institutions and a mobility scheme addressing student and academic exchanges. ITC coordinates the External Co-operation Window Lot 8, former Lot 7 (Iran, Iraq and Yemen) phases 1, 2 and 3 comprising 20 university partners (in Europe, Iran, Iraq and Yemen). In view of the implemented three successful phases of the ECW for the geographical window/Lot 8 and the prospects for new windows lunched this year by the EU for the Middle East region, in this paper we will highlight the opportunities and challenges experienced so far in higher education cooperation. The launch of the windows for the Middle East region and specifically the experience of the Lot 8 EM ECW exchange framework can be potentially considered as a framework for designing and developing other frameworks that can provide a better understanding of the challenges and prospects of the countries in the region and how we can deal with joint educational programmes in a good manner.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalThe International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
EventISPRS Mid-Term Symposium Commission VI Cross-Border Education for Global Geo-information - Enschede, Netherlands
Duration: 2 Jun 20104 Jun 2010


  • challenges
  • Erasmus Mundus External Cooperation Window (EM ECW)
  • higher education cooperation
  • Middle East region
  • opportunities


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