The Tempus III Programme (2000-2006) focuses on the development and modernisation of higher education in the 26 partner countries of the Western Balkans, Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean region and Central Asia. Higher education institutions are considered to be of particular importance for the social and economic transition process in the partner countries.
Higher education institutions are also pools of expertise and centres for the development of human resources. They provide for the training of new generations of leaders both in the EU and the partner countries.
In addition, people-to-people exchanges as promoted by the Tempus programme contribute to enhancing mutual understanding between the European Union and the partner countries.[extract]
COM(2007) 420 final