PolyU is the first university to spearhead multilingualism study with 12 overseas universities – supported by EM Mobility Grant of €2.6 million

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The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has been awarded an accumulative total of nearly €2.6 million by the European Commission's Erasmus Mundus (EM) Mobility Grant in two consecutive years to promote academic exchange through a large-scale scholarly language project now involving 12 universities in Europe and South East Asia.

The first batch of EM participants were warmly welcomed by PolyU staff members at a reception.

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has been awarded an accumulative total of nearly €2.6 million by the European Commission's Erasmus Mundus (EM) Mobility Grant in two consecutive years to promote academic exchange through a large-scale scholarly language project now involving 12 universities in Europe and South East Asia.

The 12 universities have formed a consortium and they will collaborate on the project "MULTI – Multilingualism and Multiculturalism" spearheaded by PolyU's Faculty of Humanities (FH). This project "MULTI" is also the first and only EM Mobility programme offered to postgraduate students and academic staff members in South East Asia and Hong Kong.

PolyU remains the first university in Hong Kong and South East Asia selected by the European Commission for the EM Mobility Grant – a flagship European Commission programme promoting international education – with the first allocation of €1.4 million in 2010 and €1.2 million this year. Since 2010, the University’s Faculty of Humanities has been serving as the coordinator of this large-scale project in South East Asia, and Université de Provence as the overall coordinator and coordinator in Europe.

PolyU President Professor Timothy W. Tong thanked the European Commission for their ardent support. He said, "We are pleased to be awarded South East Asia's first Erasmus Mundus Mobility Grant by the European Commission again. This will help us build fruitful partnerships with universities in Europe and the Asia Pacific Region, as well as open up the eyes and minds of our postgraduate students and faculty staff members."

According to Professor Huang Chu-ren, Dean of the University's Faculty of Humanities, the MULTI project aims to address the linguistic, cultural and technological aspects of multilingualism and to understand the impact of multilingualism in both European Union and South East Asia societies. The €2.6 million grant will be allocated to successful applicants of the 12 consortium partners for the three-year project.

With the support of the EM Mobility Grant, 19 postgraduate students and one academic staff from European institutions will carry out academic exchange with PolyU's Faculty of Humanities and other departments for the year 2011/2012. A similar number can be expected for the second grant for 2012/2014. The first batch of EM participants representing four nationalities from five partner universities were warmly welcomed by Executive Vice President Mr Nicholas W. Yang, Vice President (International and Executive Education) Professor Judy Tsui, Vice President (Institutional Advancement and Partnership) Professor Angelina Yuen, Dean Huang and PolyU staff members at a Welcoming Reception held on 12 September.

PolyU is also expected to send forth a total of 13 students at postgraduate level or above and staff to undertake an exchange programme that will last for 1-12 months. The EM Mobility Grant will cover their travel costs, monthly allowance, and tuition fees for participants to study at partner universities in Europe and South East Asia.

Overall, more than 80 students at postgraduate level or above and faculty members from PolyU and its consortium partners in Europe and South East Asia will be selected to participate in the scholarly exchanges at a host university funded by the European Commission, with the support of EM Mobility Grant for the project "MULTI".

The consortium partnership started in 2010 with nine universities, including Université de Provence (France), The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (HK), City University London (UK), Università di Pisa (Italy), Universität des Saarlandes (Germany), Freie Universität Berlin (Germany), National Taiwan University (Taiwan), Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) and University of Macau (Macau). This year, three universities have joined the consortium. The new members are namely Univerzita Karlova v Praze (Czech Republic), Universidad de Sevilla (Spain), Universiti Brunei Darussalam (Brunei).

About Erasmus Mundus (EM)

Erasmus Mundus (EM) is a flagship European Commission programme promoting international education. Its objective is to enhance quality in higher education through scholarships and academic cooperation between Europe and the rest of the world. The EM programme sanctions and sponsors multi-national postgraduate programmes in Europe and offers scholarships for students from all countries.

Press contact: Professor HUANG Chu-ren
Dean, Faculty of Humanities

Tel: (852) 3400 8210

Press contact: Miss Hannah Chin
Faculty of Humanities

Tel: (852) 3400 8223

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