The European Union (EU) is ramping up campaigns, fairs and events for scholarships available in Europe to raise Filipino students, faculty, staff and researchers’ awareness on “possibilities” of higher education in different universities and institutions in various European countries.
Fernando Zapico, education adviser for the Spanish Embassy to the Philippines, told reporters on the sidelines of the European Higher Education Fair on Tuesday that the EU aims to increase the estimate 40 Filipino students who avail the Erasmus Mundus scholarship every year.
“Right now, this is one of the priorities of the European Union to increase the number of students from other continents visiting and studying in European Union to get extra value from the talented and gifted students from other continents…It is not only for students, but also for professors and researchers,” Zapico told in a sit-in interview.
“At the same time, students also take advantage of the brand and are able to study in Europe and acquire experience. And they also leave feedbacks on the continents [where they come from]. So it is very enriching not only for students but also for our institutions,” he added.
The Erasmus Mundus scholarship, according to Zapico, covers the expenses of the students such as all of the tuition fees, transport costs, medical insurance and money enough for subsistence of the students in the country of their choice.
“The goal [of ramping up international exchange in education]is to make the European system more international. Bring talent to our universities and also to increase exchange and joint research,” Zapico said.
The education adviser said that the program include scholarship in all public and some private universities and institutions in 47 countries worldwide.
Since 2003 when it started up to present, the EU recorded only total of 250 Filipino scholars who graduated availing the Erasmus Mundus scholarship, mostly for post-graduate studies such as masters and doctorate degrees.
Zapico said that the Filipino students and graduates in European universities and institutions would have “more possibilities” in terms of work opportunities worldwide as Europe has the highest standards of education in the world.
“When it comes to choosing a place to study, there really is no place quite like Europe. Here, the world’s oldest and most prestigious universities sit alongside some of the most innovative and creative higher education institutions anywhere,” EU Ambassador Guy Ledoux said in a statement. KRISTYN NIKA M. LAZO