Tempus is one of a number of European Community programmes designed to help the process of social and economic reform and/or development in its partner countries: Western Balkan countries, the Eastern European and Central Asian countries, and the Mediterranean countries.
The Tempus Programme focuses on the development of the higher education systems in these countries through co-operation with institutions from the Member States of the European Community.
The programme is based on the understanding that higher education institutions are of particular importance for the social and economic transition process as well as cultural development.
The Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) is responsible for the management / implementation of all Tempus Actions and acts under powers delegated by the European Commission.
The overall objective of Tempus is to contribute to the creation of an area of cooperation in the field of higher education between the European Union and Partner Countries in the countries neighbouring the EU.
The specific objectives of Tempus 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 modernize, and to assist them in opening up to society at large, the world of work and the wider world in order:
To overcome inter-country fragmentation in the area of higher education and inter- institutional fragmentation in countries themselves;
To enhance inter-disciplinarity and trans-disciplinarity between university faculties;
To enhance the employability of university graduates;
To make the European Higher Education Area more visible and attractive in the world;
To foster the reciprocal development of human resources;
To enhance mutual understanding between peoples and cultures of the EU and the Partner Countries.
Tempus finances three types of Actions:
Joint Projects based on multilateral partnerships between higher education institutions in the EU and the Partner Countries aimed at exchanging knowledge and know-how between EU universities and institutions in the Partner Countries and between Partner Country institutions themselves in certain cases. Joint Projects are implemented at institutional level. They aim to help develop curricula, enhance university governance and address issues relevant for Higher education and society. Joint Projects may include small scale mobility activities of short duration for students, academic staff, researchers, university administrators and companies.
Structural Measures seek to contribute to the development and reform of education institutions and systems at national level in the Partner Countries. They can address issues linked to the reform of governance structures and systems (qualification systems, quality assurance, etc.) or enhancing the links between higher education and society. Structural Measures can include studies and research, conferences and seminars, training courses, policy advice and dissemination of information.
Accompanying Measures comprise of dissemination and information activities, such as thematic conferences, studies and activities aiming at the identification and exploitation of good practice, stakeholder consultations, etc.