60 Years OeAD: A day with CEEPUS, the Central European Exchange Program for University Studies

26. August 2021 OeAD60Higher EducationScholarship
Eine Mann und eine Frau in einem medizinischen Labor
Since CEEPUS came into being more than 25 years ago the OeAD as National CEEPUS Office has been one of the agencies responsible for the successful implementation of the programme in Austria.

Scholarship management is only one aspect of all this. A successful National CEEPUS Office (NCO) knows all CEEPUS projects, has a broad background knowledge and is thus able to provide the best possible support for networks and applicants in cooperation with the Central CEEPUS Office and the other NCOs.

in her article Elisabeth Sorantin, CEEPUS midwife and CEEPUS Secretary General from 1995 to 2020, describes a fictitious working day at the Austrian NCO:

Monday morning, here we go! There is a lot of work waiting for the Austrian National CEEPUS Office today; the CEEPUS software shows the workload: 60 incoming applications are waiting for approval, 50 outgoings are waiting for nomination. No wonder since there are now 86 networks with more than 1,600 participating departments and faculties. The colleague smiles: 26 years ago no one would have thought it possible; the first 18 networks were considered a sensation.

But it worked out. After only 10 years the programme had become a great success, which was duly celebrated with a baroque party at the Lower Belvedere, at which the ministers also danced to baroque music. Previously, at the ministerial conference, it had been decided to go one step further with CEEPUS: Networks should now also develop joint programmes.

In this case, too, the “CEEPUS incubator” delivered: 55 networks have already implemented at least one joint programme, 79 new joint programmes are currently being developed.

Speaking of joint programmes: Here is the application of a colleague from Linz who wants to go to the TU Budapest; the network HU-19, “International Cooperation in Computer Science” has developed six joint programmes, one of them, the “International Master Program in Computer Science (RISC)”, in cooperation with Linz. The length of stay is well chosen, so she might be able to participate in this year's graduation ceremony.

The next applicant would like to spend a semester at the TU Cluj Napoca within the joint programme “Manufacturing Engineering” of the RO-58 network. Ambitious. The “ISO Checker mobile phone app” developed by the network, which makes it easy to determine whether the dimensions of the shaft and shaft holes are in accordance with the standards, will be very helpful during the internship.

How are new networks coping with joint programmes? They are working on it; in the case of CZ-1503, “Development of Computational Thinking”, for example, it is to become a joint master’s programme. Hopefully the network will find an appropriate algorithm!

Now for the registrations for the Summer Schools. As always, the “Summer School on Image Processing (SSIP)” – AT - 42, focusing on paediatric radiology, is one of the fixtures. The participants will have to work hard: lectures in the mornings, project work, presentations and website development in the afternoons.

A phone call: Is there also a possibility for a virtual scholarship? Yes, more and more CEEPUS countries allow the combination of online and face-to-face classes. What subject area are you interested in? Korean studies? This is a happy coincidence: CZ-604, “South and North Korea, Koreans and Koreans: Research, Research-Based Teaching & Networking for Synergies in Central and Eastern Europe” is particularly active in this regard and was able to present its experiences at the CZEducon 2020 conference together with the Central CEEPUS Office.

Break. To relax, a little browsing through the mobility reports: CEEPUS exchange, what has it brought for people? For the teachers, obviously a career boost – becoming a dean with the help of CEEPUS – but above all the opportunity to carry out projects that would not have existed otherwise. What do the students say? What stands out is that, in addition to great new opportunities in terms of subject matter, they are impressed by the warm welcome and the good organisation by the host university. This is the CEEPUS family!

The story of CEEPUS is a success story. It shows what the National CEEPUS Office is committed to and how it makes the magic of new opportunities come true through unbureaucratic and user-friendly work.

CEEPUS – Central European Exchange Program for University Studies

  • Legal form: International agreement between the participating countries: AL, AT, BiH, BG, HR, CZ, HU, MD, ME, NMK, PL, RO, RS, SK, SI
  • The universities of Prishtina, Prizren, Peja and others can also participate in CEEPUS activities.
  • Active since 1995
  • CEEPUS finances mobility grants, mainly within the framework of CEEPUS networks. The incoming principle applies, the internal currency is “1 scholarship month”.

Authors: Elisabeth Sorantin and Michael Schedl

Further information