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The mainly European Commission-funded Trans-Eurasia Information Network (TEIN), a high-speed telecommunications network linking researchers in the EU and South-East Asia, will get an extra €18 million to upgrade its capacity and geographical reach. In 2003, the Commission announced €10 million funding for the initiative. Thanks to the success of the network, the Commission and the Asian partners have now agreed to allocate an additional €12m and €6m respectively to the network until 2011. TEIN links research and education communities across the Asia-Pacific region. It aims to improve intra-regional connectivity and act as a catalyst for the development of national research networks in the region. In 2004, the TEIN network was directly connected to the pan-European research and education network G?ANT2, identified as the world's most advanced international research and education network. With the increased funding, the upgraded network should become operational by October 2008.
The development of cooperation between the continents is further strengthened as three European higher education organizations, the European University Association (EUA), the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Dutch Organisation for International Cooperation in Higher Education (Nuffic), join forces in establishing an EU-Asia Higher Education Platform. The Platform is part of the EU’s Asia Link programme, which aims to promote cooperation in the field of higher education between Europe and developing countries in Asia. The purpose of this two-year project is to enhance cooperation in higher education and research between the two regions in terms of mobility and institutional development. The Platform will create an interactive website that will act as an information and communication portal. Furthermore, a series of workshops and round tables in Asia and Europe will be organised throughout 2008 and 2009, as well as two major higher education fairs in Asia. EUA will lead the consortium which will launch its first events in autumn 2008.
The success of the TEIN network will hopefully have a positive effect on the development of the EU-Asia Higher Education Platform as well. Asia has a lot to offer for Europe, and not only vice versa.