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Erasmus+ Funding will see Mary Immaculate College create new links in Serbia, Lebanon and Morocco

Mary Immaculate College has successfully bid for funding under the new Erasmus+ Mobility Action to engage with partner universities in Morocco, Lebanon and Serbia. The funding, which totals €39,770, is to be spent on student and staff mobility between Mary Immaculate College and its partner universities in those countries.

At the first Erasmus+ Awards ceremony hosted by the HEA at Iveagh House, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, in Dublin recently, the College was presented with a certificate by Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English, T.D., who hailed MIC as one of “the twelve apostles.” Twelve higher education institutions in total submitted proposals for international credit mobility funding under the 2015 Erasmus+ call.

Under the new Erasmus+ programme, higher education institutions in the EU will now be funded to engage in educational mobility with a range of universities on all continents. In Ireland, this innovation has been made possible by the allocation of almost €1.1m by the Irish National Agency for Erasmus+ at the HEA, under the inaugural “International Credit Mobility” action of the programme.

The successful projects proposed by Mary Immaculate College will see the College’s international work developing in exciting directions. The proposal for Lebanon, submitted by Dr Patricia Kieran, Dr Gerard Downes, Brighid Golden and Holly Cowman was to fund travel and living expenses for three students from conflict areas, who are based at The Holy Spirit University of Kaslik, Lebanon, to come to study at Mary Immaculate College for a year. Under the initiative, the College will waive the students’ tuition fees.

Commenting on this proposal, Gerry O’Sullivan, Head of International Education, HEA, said, “The National Agency at the HEA is particularly pleased that MIC is the first Irish institution to exploit opportunities under this European action to alleviate the distress being experienced by learners in conflict zones.”

Two very interesting staff mobility projects received funding. The first links with partner institutions at second and third level in Serbia, in the area of Mathematics and ICT and was submitted by Dr Niamh Armstrong. The second was submitted by Dr Tony Langlois and will develop the College’s links in Morocco in the field of Ethno-musicology.
Prof. Michael Healy, AVP Research, who received the award on behalf of the College, said, “This is a very heartening first engagement with Erasmus+ for Mary Immaculate College. We are hopeful of even greater success in the 2016 call.”

Only €1,049,549 out of a possible €1.6 million available to Ireland was spent in 2015. The total budget available in the 2016 call will be €1,697,637. The HEA is hoping to see an increase in applications this year. The deadline for applications is the 2nd of February 2016, with faculty having been asked to make all of their submissions to the Research & Graduate School by Friday 22nd of January.

Further information on Erasmus+ is available here.

Mr. Tom Boland, CEO, HEA; Prof. Michael Healy, AVP Research, MIC; and Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English, TD.

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