As previously announced, the CEEPUS Joint Committee of Ministers has met in Warsaw to agree on the upcoming IV Programme starting from 2025. Their main objective for the 15 participating countries, coordinated by the Polish chairmanship, was to develop the text of a new CEEPUS IV agreement, enabling a smooth transition from CEEPUS III to CEEPUS IV in 2025.
The CEEPUS IV agreement provides an appropriate legal framework not only for the development of existing regional cooperation within the programme, but also provides new opportunities for countries in the region in terms of academic exchange.
Within the framework of CEEPUS IV:
- Support will be directed not only to those going away to do part of their studies, to teach or to carry out research projects, but also to those taking part in remote learning, remote teaching and hybrid forms of learning and teaching;
- the CEEPUS IV scholarship will also be available to staff of universities forming CEEPUS IV academic networks for the implementation of joint activities undertaken by partners within a given network;
- the sending country will be able to introduce additional benefits for economically disadvantaged people or people with disabilities to encourage new groups of scholarship holders to take part in the exchange;
- it will be possible for CEEPUS countries, on the basis of an individual decision by each country and within the framework of an additional pool of scholarships, to open up to participation in CEEPUS IV academic network exchanges by students and academics from higher education institutions operating in countries not party to the agreement. This solution will allow cooperation with institutions from third countries and enrich the implemented forms of education through a different academic perspective;
- the new CEEPUS IV agreement also allows the Joint Committee of Ministers to unanimously recognise cooperation with a selected non-party country as a common interest. This will allow CEEPUS countries to award scholarships to students and academics from the above country from the pool of CEEPUS IV scholarship months not used within the CEEPUS IV academic networks.
Ultimately, the implementation of CEEPUS IV by 2032 will be an important element in the cooperation of Central and Southern European countries, positively influencing the improvement of the level and quality of education and research through academic exchanges and the development of young academics.