The European Union-driven Erasmus Mundus, a cooperation and mobility programme in the field of higher education, is a big draw among Delhi University students, researchers and faculty.

Delhi University, which became a partnering university of the Erasmus Mundus programme in 2008, has already sent one batch of 35-40 scholars to universities in EU countries in addition to hosting students from European countries.

“Twelve students from the Netherlands, Germany, Lithuania, Sweden and Belgium came to DU in 2009 and are studying economics, history, Hindi, social sciences, mathematics and other subjects,” says the Delhi University International Relations Dean, Prof. K. Sreenivas.

The 2009-10 Erasmus Mundus programme also has two sub-programmes titled Lot 13A and Window India Learning Link Power or WILLPower. Lot 13A focuses on exchanges between Europe and India and aims at giving students, researchers and academic staff the opportunity to study or work in one of the partner universities through a scholarship that will cover all expenses. Twelve European and eight Indian universities are partnering institutions in Lot 13A.

The Indian partnering universities include Delhi University; Jadavpur University, Kolkata; Pune University; Kerala University; Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur; Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai; Pravara Institute of Medical Sciences, Loni; and Anand Agricultural University, Gujarat.

Lot 13A aims at furthering the Millennium Development Goals. The mission is to create a partnership for research and development that would strengthen ties between India and the EU. The topics that would be included in the education and research collaboration are agriculture, climate change, energy, environment, biotechnology and nanotechnology.

The objective of the WILLPower programme is to strengthen the existing network of cooperation among Indian and European universities. The programme has 17 partnering institutes including 10 in Europe and seven in India which include Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore; Anna University, Chennai; Delhi University; IIT Guwahati; IIT Kanpur; IIT Madras and IIT Rajasthan.

The project encourages participation in the subject areas of architecture, urban and regional planning, business studies and management sciences, education, teacher training, engineering, technology, natural sciences and social sciences. Each scholarship covers tuition fees, subsistence costs, travel expenses and insurance.

A total of over 300 students will study in European universities under Lot 13A and WILLPower. While nearly 1,500 applications have been received from India under Lot 13A, 800 students have applied under WILLPower.

“The results should be declared by February-end. We are processing the applications of European students who wish to study here. In April, Indian faculty will begin going to the partnering universities in Europe while students will proceed in September,” Prof. Sreenivas says.