Tempus is the European Union's programme which supports the modernization of higher education in the Partner Countries of Eastern Europe, Central Asia, the Western Balkans and the Mediterranean region, mainly through university cooperation projects. It also aims to promote voluntary convergence of Partner Country higher education systems with EU developments in the field of higher education. In addition to institutional cooperation Tempus also promotes a ‘people to people’ approach.

Tempus was established in 1990 for the most balanced cooperation and improvement of higher education in the EU Member States and Partner Countries. Today Tempus covers a total of 27 countries in the Western Balkans, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, North Africa and the Middle East.

Tempus Programme finances interuniversity cooperation in the field of development and improvements of curricula, university governance, interaction between academics and civil society, cooperation between education and business, as well as structural reforms in higher education.

Types of Tempus projects:

Joint Projects are based on multilateral cooperation between the EU higher education institutions and Partner Countries. On institutional level these projects are aimed at the development, modernization and the spread of modern educational programmes, upgrading teaching materials and methodological recommendations; strengthening the part of higher educational institutions in society, strengthening ties with the labor market, supporting innovation activities; creating and expanding professional networks, improvement of institution governance, including financial management, development of libraries, HR services and student service, exchange of best practices etc.

Structural Measures are aimed at modernization of system of higher education on the national level, namely implementation of national policy, general development of system of higher education as a whole in order to converge European standards. Structural measures include reforming governance, increasing the autonomy of higher education institutions; introduction of quality assurance system; development of qualification system; development of regulatory support for reforms in higher education; development and expansion of the institutional, administrative and expert capacity to accelerate the reform of education in the light of implementation of the Bologna process; increasing public support for reforms, expansion of their supporters and participants; promoting reforms by organizing international, national and regional conferences and seminars. Participation of the Ministry as a partner of the project is obligatory.

At the very core of the programme is awareness of the important role of higher education in social, economic and cultural development. They are sources of expertise, human resources and training centers of a new generation of leaders. Recently funded projects will be finished in 2016.

Tempus Programme is the most long-termed, its first stage started in 1990:

  • Tempus I – 1990-1994
  • Tempus II – 1994-1998
  • Tempus II ibis – 1998-2000
  • Tempus III – 2000-2007
  • Tempus IV (2008-2013) began in 2008

Objectives of Tempus projects:

  • Curricula reform:
    (modernization of curricula under European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) among subjects – according to the listed ones in competitive documentation – Subject Area).
  • Improving governance processes in system of higher education:
    (university governance and student service, institutional and financial autonomy, introduction of quality assurance mechanisms, equal and transparent access to higher education, development of international relations).
  • Strengthening the links between education and society:
    (training non-academic university staff, cooperation with enterprises, training courses for public servants (ministry, regional and local authorities), lifelong learning, Knowledge Triangle: Education – Research – Innovation, qualification frameworks)

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