Tempus programme

Modernising EU's surrounding area higher education

TEMPUS is the European Union’s programme which supports the modernisation of higher education in the EU's surrounding area.

Tempus promotes institutional cooperation that involves the European Union and Partner Countries and focuses on the reform and modernisation of higher education systems in the Partner Countries of Eastern Europe, Central Asia, the Western Balkans and the Mediterranean region.

It has entered its fourth phase - running from 2007 to 2013 - and promotes voluntary convergence of the higher education systems in the Partner Countries with EU developments in the field of higher education.

Its specific objectives are as follows:

  • To promote the reform and modernisation of higher education in the Partner Countries;
  • To enhance the quality and relevance of higher education to the world of work and society in the Partner Countries;
  • To increase the capacity of higher education institutions in the Partner Countries and the EU, in particular their capacity to co-operate internationally and to continually modernise, and to assist them in opening up to the world of work and the society at large in order to:
    - overcome inter-country fragmentation in the area of higher education and inter-institutional fragmentation in the countries themselves;
    - enhance inter-disciplinarity and trans-disciplinarity between university faculties;
    - enhance the employability of university graduates;
    - make the European Higher Education Area more visible and attractive to the world.
  • To foster the reciprocal development of human resources;
  • To enhance mutual understanding between the peoples and cultures of the EU and the Partner Countries.

Tempus finances 3 types of actions:

  1. Joint Projects: exchanging knowledge and know-how between EU universities and institutions in the Partner Countries and between Partner Country institutions themselves in certain cases to help develop curricula, enhance university governance and address issues relevant for higher education and society.
  2. Structural Measures: development and reform of education institutions and systems at national level in the Partner Countries, reform of governance structures and systems (qualification systems, quality assurance, etc.) or enhancing the links between higher education and society.
  3. Accompanying Measures: dissemination and information activities, such as thematic conferences, studies and activities aimed at the identification and exploitation of good practice, stakeholder consultations, etc.