On 11-12 November 2015, EU and African leaders convened in Valletta, Malta on the occasion of the Valletta summit on Migration. Seeking solutions to mutual challenges, the leaders agreed to a new joint action plan to advance the management of legal migration and mobility between the continents.
With respect to the mobility of students, researchers and entrepreneurs between Africa and Europe the plan outlines a number of actions, including:
- improve the legal framework governing entry and residence of third-country nationals in the EU for the purpose of research, studies, exchange, and training;
- make use of the Erasmus+ scheme, national funding mechanisms and Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions calls to foster the mobility of students and researchers between Africa and the EU;
- support the harmonisation of professional qualifications through the Africa-EU Harmonisation Tuning, Quality and Accreditation initiatives; and
- strive for the mutual recognition of professional and academic qualifications through bilateral or other approaches.
To these ends, the parties committed to their first initiative in the area of higher education under the new plan: doubling the number of scholarships provided in 2014 to students and academic staff through Erasmus+ programme by the end of 2016.