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Nordplus Higher Education programme gives funding to 184 networks

The first application round of the new programme period of Nordplus Higher Education (2012–2016] distributed around 4 million euros among 184 networks, of which 52 coordinated from Finland. Funding was made available to student and staff mobility, development projects, intensive courses, joint study programmes and to create and develop networks. As in previous years, the most active networks came from the fields of health care and teacher education.

Nordplus funding was again much sought after, as is customary in the first round of the programme period. A total of 250 networkssubmitted applications amounting to about 13 million euros, which was 29% more than the funding available.

Student and staff mobility received 70% of the funding. The rest went into intensive courses and joint study programmes. Also, 14 networks were granted development project funding, and 21 networks were successful in winning network support.

The number of applications submitted to the Nordplus Higher Education programme has declined in the past years, but the number of participants has grown. In the year ahead, 1,931 faculties, departments, units or programmes will participate in the programme (1,791 participants in 2011). The growth is attributed to the fact that the expansion of old networks has been prioritised over creating new ones. The Nordic countries are more or less equally active participants in Nordplus Higher Education, while roughly half of the projects have Baltic institutions of higher education as members.

The most applications again came from health care networks, 39 of which were granted support. The largest amount of funding, totalling about 670,000 euros, was given to networks of teacher education. At the other end of the scale, Art and Design networks are few, but they tend to be larger than average.

One of the goals of the new programme period is to improve co-operation with the world of work. This was not very apparent in the first application round, perhaps because such collaboration is far from new in Nordplus Higher Education. Practical training is a long-standing part of the programme, working life features prominently in many intensive courses, and collaboration with the world of work has already been improved in many projects.

(8 August 2012)

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