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EU scholarships offered in Makati fair

MANILA, Philippines—Want to study in the European universities that produced renowned British writers, award-winning scientists and one of Lady Gaga’s fashion designers?

The European Union is offering scholarships to Filipinos through its Erasmus Mundus Scholarship Programme as it holds its second European Higher Education Fair on November 14 at Peninsula Hotel, Makati City.

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To mark the scholarship program’s 25th anniversary, the EU’s Philippine mission collaborated with the Commission on Higher Education to hold the fair, which will feature 22 European institutions. The first fair was held in February 2008.

Dr. Julian Vassallo, political counselor of the Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines, said school representatives will be on hand to provide information on the scholarship grants and available courses.

Among the participating institutions are the University of East Anglia (UAE) and University of the Arts London (UAL). UAE is the alma mater of British writers Kazuo Ishiguro and Ian McEwan, while UAL’s alumni include shoe designer Jimmy Choo and the late Alexander McQueen who made suits for Prince Charles and some of Lady Gaga’s outrageous outfits.

Vassallo said the scholarship program also aims to fill the need for experts or practitioners in certain sciences and disciplines in the country. For example, he said, “there is a lack of Filipinos following science courses. That is where Europe specializes.”

The German Institute of Science and Technology, one of the top three universities in Germany, is one of the schools offering scholarship grants. It has produced 13 Nobel Prize winners, among others.

“We also want it to be an opportunity for Filipinos to have a full European experience,” Vassallo said. “Erasmus Mundus is very interesting because you do your studies in two or three different countries.”

The EU Erasmus Mundus Scholarship covers air travel to Europe, tuition and a monthly stipend of P80,000 to P120,000.

Vassallo said 200 Filipinos have earned scholarships under the program since 2004.

Not knowing how to speak European languages need not be a problem since most of the courses in European institutions are taught in English, he  said.

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Other participating institutions include the Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research, France’s Audencia Nantes School of Management, HEC Paris, MOD-ART International, Sciences Po, Germany’s German Academic Exchange Service, International University of Cooperative Education and Rheinland Institut, Italy’s Instituto Europeo di Design, The Netherland’s Amsterdam Foundation Campus in the Netherlands, Spain’s IE University and Universidad Nacional de Educacion a Distancia, Sweden’s Lund University and Britain’s Anglia Ruskin University, Bradford University, among others.

Cristina Moricca of the Italian Embassy said interested parties may register at ehef2012.edukexhibitions.org, visit the Facebook page of  EHEFManila2012, or follow the Twitter account @EHEFManila2012.

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