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Tempus Glossary

Applicant / Coordinating organisation
It is an organisation that submits a grant application on behalf of a consortium, partnership or network of participating organisations; the applicant represents and acts on behalf of the group of participating organisation in its relations with the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA); if the grant application is selected, the Applicant will become the beneficiary (see Beneficiary definition below) and will sign the grant agreement on behalf of the participating organisations.

Beneficiary (grant-holder, grant-coordinator, project coordinator) and co-Beneficiary
The beneficiary (also referred to as “main beneficiary” or “coordinating organisation” or "grant-holder" or "grant-coordinator") is the organisation that, on behalf of the consortium / partnership / network of participating organisation, has signed an agreement with the Agency; the Beneficiary has the primary legal responsibility towards the Agency for the proper execution of the agreement; it is also responsible for the day-to-day coordination and management of the project and for the usage of the Community funds allocated to the project.

Bologna Process
The Bologna Process is the intergovernmental process aiming at creating a European Higher Education Area by 2010 in which students can choose from a wide and transparent range of high quality courses and benefit from smooth recognition procedures. Since 1998, seven ministerial meetings devoted to mapping out the Bologna Process have been held in different European cities, namely Paris (at the Sorbonne University), Bologna, Prague, Berlin, Bergen, London, Leuven / Louvain. Since 1999 an increasing number of countries have joined the process.
The Bologna process is a major reform process to provide responses to issues such as the public responsibility for higher education and research, higher education governance and quality, the social dimension of higher education and research, and the values and roles of higher education and research in modern, globalized, and increasingly complex societies.
The Bologna Declaration of June 1999 has put in motion a series of reforms needed to make European Higher Education more compatible and comparable, more competitive and more attractive for Europeans and for students and scholars from other continents. The three priorities of the Bologna process are: Introduction of the three cycle system (bachelor/master/doctorate), quality assurance and recognition of qualifications and periods of study.

The group of partners involved in a Tempus Joint Project or in a Structural Measure.

Consortium member (partner)
Any university, industry, company or institution involved in a Tempus Project.

Coordinating organisation (see applicant)

Development cooperation instrument (DCI) (2007-2013)
Under this instrument, the European Communities finance measures aimed at supporting geographic cooperation with the developing countries included in the list of aid recipients of the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD/DAC). Its aim is to improve development cooperation whose objectives are poverty reduction, sustainable economic and social development and the smooth and gradual integration of developing countries into the world economy.
The Community's development cooperation policy is guided by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the "European Consensus " provides the general framework for action.

Diploma Supplement (DS)
A document attached to a higher education diploma, which aims to improve international transparency and facilitate academic and professional recognition of qualifications (diplomas, degrees, certificates, etc.). Developed by the European Commission, the Council of Europe and Unesco/CEPES, the DS consists of eight sections describing in a widely spoken European language the nature, level, context, content and status of the studies that were pursued and successfully completed. The DS provides additional information on the national higher education system concerned, so that the qualification is considered in relation to its own educational context.

Dissemination is defined as a planned process of providing information on the quality, relevance and effectiveness of the results of programmes and initiatives to key actors. It occurs as and when the results of programmes and initiatives become available.

Double or Multiple Degree
Double or Multiple Degree are two or more national diplomas issued by two or more higher education institutions and recognised officially in the countries where the degree-awarding institutions are located.

Eastern European, Caucasian and Central Asian countries
Corresponds to the following countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

EU Delegations
The EU Delegations are the diplomatic representation of the European Commission throughout the world. It is a global network encompassing all continents which is essential to the promotion of European Union policies, interests and values around the world.

Enterprises are entities performing all types of economic activity in the public and private sector, irrespective of legal status, size or the economic sector in which they operate, including the social economy (including NGOs). They may include autonomous business organisations, chambers of commerce and industry and/or their equivalents, professional associations, social partners and the training bodies of those.

European Commission
The European Commission is the European Union’s primary executive body. It initiates legislative proposals and also acts as manager and executor of the European Community’s common policies, including the European Community’s external assistance programmes.

European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS)
A student-centred system based on the student workload required to achieve the objectives of a programme – objectives increasingly specified in terms of learning outcomes and competencies to be acquired. ECTS was established initially for credit transfer to facilitate the recognition of periods of study abroad. More recently, it has been developing into an accumulation system to be implemented in all programmes at institutional, regional, national and European levels. The key features of ECTS are:

  • The convention that 60 credits measure the workload of a full-time student during one academic year. The student workload of a full-time study programme in Europe is usually spread over 36/40 weeks a year, in which case one credit corresponds to 24-30 working hours. Workload relates to the notional time in which an average learner might expect to achieve the required learning outcomes.
  • The link with learning outcomes, which are sets of competencies expressing what the student will know, understand or be able to do on completion of a process of learning, regardless of its length. Credits in ECTS can only be obtained on completion of the work required and appropriate assessment of the learning outcomes achieved.
  • The allocation of ECTS credits is based on the official length of a study programme cycle. The total workload necessary to obtain a first-cycle degree lasting officially three or four years is expressed as 180 or 240 credits.
  • Student workload in ECTS includes the time spent in attending lectures and seminars, carrying out independent study, and preparing and taking examinations, etc.
  • Credits are allocated to all educational components of a study programme (such as modules, courses, placements, dissertation work, etc.) and reflect the quantity of work each component requires in relation to the total quantity of work necessary to complete a full year of study in the programme concerned.

European Higher Education Area
The European Higher Education Area is a common qualification framework which is expected to emerge from the Bologna process.

European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI)
The European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) provides financial support for the European Neighbourhood Policy and ENP countries plus Russia.
The main objective of the ENP is the mutual interest of the EU and its neighbours in promoting reform, the rule of law, stable democracies and prosperity – prosperity, security and stability - throughout the neighbourhood of the enlarged European Union.
The ENPI is a “policy driven” instrument that operates in the framework of the existing bilateral agreements between the Community and the neighbouring countries.

European Parliament
The European Parliament is the directly elected expression of political will of the peoples of the European Union. Together with the Council (see above), the Parliament adopts legislation, approves the European Union’s budget and monitors the execution of the European Union’s common policies.

European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning (EQF)

The EQF is a common European reference framework which links countries’ qualifications systems together, acting as a translation device to make qualifications more readable and understandable across different countries and systems in Europe. It has two principal aims: to promote citizens’ mobility between countries and to facilitate their lifelong learning.

The EQF relates different countries’ national qualifications systems and frameworks (see National Qualifications Framework - NQF) together around a common European reference, namely the eight reference levels. The levels span the full scale of qualifications, from basic (Level 1, for example school leaving certificates) to advanced (Level 8, for example Doctorates) levels. As an instrument for the promotion of lifelong learning, the EQF encompasses all levels of qualifications acquired in general, vocational as well as academic education and training. Additionally, the framework addresses qualifications acquired in initial and continuing education and training. The eight reference levels are described in terms of learning outcomes (see Learning outcome).

Exploitation of results
Exploitation consists of “mainstreaming” and “multiplication”. Mainstreaming is the planned process of transferring the successful results of programmes and initiatives to appropriate decision-makers. Multiplication is the planned process of convincing individual end-users to adopt and/or apply the results of programmes and initiatives.

Grant-holder (see beneficiary)

Grant coordinator (see beneficiary)

Higher Education
Higher Education corresponds to all types of courses of study, or sets of courses of study, training or training for research at the post secondary level which are recognized by the relevant national authorities of a participating country as belonging to its higher education system.

Higher Education Institution (HEI)
An higher education institution is a state recognised post-secondary educational and vocational training establishment which offers, within the framework of advanced education and training, qualifications or diplomas of that level, regardless of what such an establishment is called ("university" or "polytechnic", "college" or "institute").

Individual Experts
Individual Experts are individuals invited to participate in specific Tempus project activities at the request of the consortium members and who are not employed by any of the consortium member institutions.

Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA)
The Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) is the Community's financial instrument for the pre-accession process for the period 2007-2013. Assistance is provided on the basis of the European Partnerships of the potential candidate countries and the Accession Partnerships of the candidate countries, namely the Western Balkans and Turkey. IPA is a flexible instrument and provides assistance which depends on the progress made by the beneficiary countries and their needs as shown in the Commission's evaluations and annual strategy papers.

Joint Degree
A joint degree is a single diploma issued by at least two higher education institutions offering an integrated programme and recognised officially in the countries where the degree-awarding institutions are located.

Learning outcome
A learning outcome is defined as a statement of what a learner knows, understands and is able to do on completion of a learning process. This concept emphasises the results of learning rather than focusing on inputs such as length of study. Learning outcomes are specified in three categories – as knowledge, skills and competence. As a result, qualifications capture a broad scope of learning outcomes, including theoretical knowledge, practical and technical skills, and social competences where the ability to work with others is crucial.

Life long learning (LLL)
Lifelong learning is a term that is widely used in a variety of contexts. It recognises that learning is not confined to childhood or the classroom, but takes place throughout life and in a wide range of situations (including workplace).

Lisbon Strategy
During the meeting of the European Council in Lisbon (March 2000), the EU Heads of State or Government launched the "Lisbon Strategy" aimed at making the European Union (EU) the most competitive economy in the world and achieving full employment by 2010. This strategy, developed at subsequent meetings of the European Council, rests on three pillars:

  • An economic pillar preparing the ground for the transition to a competitive, dynamic, knowledge-based economy. Emphasis is placed on the need to adapt constantly to changes in the information society and to boost research and development.
  • A social pillar designed to modernise the European social model by investing in human resources and combating social exclusion. The Member States are expected to invest in education and training, and to conduct an active policy for employment, making it easier to move to a knowledge economy.
  • An environmental pillar, which was added at the Göteborg European Council meeting in June 2001, draws attention to the fact that economic growth must be decoupled from the use of natural resources.

Education is seen as a major element in that process and the ambition is to make Europe a world leader in the quality of the education and training it provides. This ambition leads to the modernisation of Europe’s education and training systems.

The goals of the Lisbon Strategy and their implications for higher education are closely linked with the objectives of the Bologna Process. Areas where these goals affect higher education systems include in particular: enhancing quality in HE across Europe; removing barriers to student and teacher mobility; promoting lifelong learning and guidance; and encouraging language learning.

Mediterranean countries
Corresponds to the following countries: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, occupied Palestinian territory, Tunisia.

Mobility means moving physically to another country, in order to undertake study, work experience, research, other learning or teaching or research activity or related administrative activity, supported as appropriate by preparation in the host language.

National Contact Point (NCP)
National contact points (NCP) are contact and information points located in each of the participating European countries. They inform the public about the programme, offer assistance and advice to potential applicants and actual participants; they can provide useful information about the particularities of national education systems, visas requirements, credit transfers, and other tools. NCPs are supported by the authorities of the countries concerned.

National Qualifications Framework (higher education) (NQF)
A National qualifications framework is the single description, at national level or a particular level of an education system. In particular it clarifies and explains the relationship between higher education qualifications. National qualifications frameworks are internationally understood and clearly describe all qualifications and other learning achievements in higher education and relate them coherently to each other.(see  also European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning - EQF).

National Tempus Office (NTO)
National Tempus Offices are contact and information points located in each of the Partner Country. They inform the public about the programme, offer assistance and advice to potential applicants and actual participants and provide feedback on programme implementation to the Commission and are consulted during the selection process; they can provide useful information about the particularities of national education systems, visas requirements, credit transfers, and other tools. NTOs are financially supported by Tempus.

Partner (see consortium member or partner)

Project coordinator (see beneficiary)

Promotion and awareness raising
Promotion and awareness raising is used primarily in the context of publicising the existence of programmes and initiatives, their aims, objectives and activities and the availability of funding for given purposes. This definition excludes the publicising of results. As such, promotion and raising awareness occurs primarily before and during the actual implementation of the programmes or initiatives.

Quality assurance
An all-embracing term referring to an ongoing, continuous process of evaluating (assessing, monitoring, guaranteeing, maintaining, and improving) the quality of a higher education system, institution or programme.

University (see Higher Education Institutions)

Western Balkan countries
Corresponds to the following countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, as well as Kosovo under UNSC Resolution 1244/99.

Last update: 12/12/2013  Print | Top of page