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Frontpage News 2008 Boosted student exchanges to Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway

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Boosted student exchanges to Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway

The number of students from Central and Eastern Europe in Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway has increased significantly with the €21 million scholarship funds under the EEA and Norway Grants.

Scholarships to students

The EEA and Norway Grants' student exchange programmes are growing in popularity in Central and Eastern Europe. Scholarship funds are already in place in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Portugal and Slovakia, with funds amounting to an additional €7.5 million in the pipeline in Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Hungary, Slovenia and Spain.

Some 140 students have already studied in Norway with help from the Czech and Portuguese scholarship funds, and the amount of students coming to Norway is set to increase to 400 this fall when the scholarships from the funds in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Poland and Slovakia are set to kick in. Both the Czech Republic and Hungary are looking at a doubled number of students in Norway following the set up of EEA and Norway Grants scholarship funds in these countries.

Enhanced educational cooperation

Cooperation between educational institutions is an important element of the scholarship funds. By end-2008 more than 100 partnership projects between institutions in the EEA EFFTA states and institutions in Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary will have received support.

A total 21 cooperation projects between Czech schools and partners in Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are already underway, and 50 Hungarian partnership projects are expected to be launched this autumn, along with further Czech, Polish and Slovakian projects.
"Czech schools are really appreciating the opportunity to work with schools in Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. With different systems and different education, we have a lot to learn from each other", commented Barbora Zavodska, manager of the Czech scholarship fund.

Cooperation activities supported by the scholarship funds also include exchanges of staff within both secondary and higher education. Over the coming year, more than 200 Hungarian teachers and lecturers are up for a work stay in Norway, and several Latvian teachers are off to Iceland.