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The Erasmus Mundus project Humanities Education Revitalized via Mundus ExperienceS (HERMES) is aimed at enhancing cooperation among countries of the European Union and neighbouring countries in Neighbourhood East.

The consortium, consisting of 14 universities in 11 countries, will provide a total of 135 scholarships for students (undergraduate, postgraduate and post-doctoral) and staff. The beneficiaries will move from one of the 6 participating EU countries to one of the 5 third countries (27 scholarships) and vice versa, i.e. from a third country to the EU (108 scholarships). For a look at one of HERMES' brochures click here.

HERMES is one of the few Erasmus Mundus projects with a specific thematic field:

The Humanities

In focusing on the Humanities, the partnership responds to the priority in European Commission Horizon 2020, where research in the field is emphasized as an essential aspect of all societal challenges. It also responds to our own beliefs about this academic field. In today’s world of technological domination, the Humanities seem to have moved lower on the priority list of most universities and educational systems worldwide. It is our conviction that it is precisely in times of rapid technological advancement that they are needed most urgently. The Humanities provide not only the tools of logical thinking, which form the basis of all scientific research, but also, importantly, the moral principles which ensure the optimal use of science and technology in the interests of humanity. The necessity of a humanist education becomes even more pronounced in times of crisis; many of the partner countries are at present facing varying types of crisis. Through research into the human experience, past and contemporary, the Humanities constitute a field which truly affords a vision for the future.

The Humanities contribute importantly to European integration and mutual understanding among national, ethnic and social groups within and outside Europe. Academic research in the many relevant fields reveals the history of the various cultures and their contemporary structure, their beliefs and values, their differences and commonalities. The HERMES consortium believes that there is no firmer foundation than this for the creation of genuine tolerance and for the preservation of peace.

The Humanities, moreover, have always formed an integral part of European education and hence an equally salient aspect of the European identity. As a result of the long tradition of a fundamentally humanistic tradition in education, along with the fact that Europe’s cultural tradition is one of its most important assets, the Humanities, while not directly connected to the markets, should be understood as an important indirect economic asset for the countries of Europe and the surrounding area.

Cross-border mobility

The HERMES project also responds to the priority accorded to the improvement of cross-border mobility and more open access to research results, which encourage innovation and ensure the ongoing growth of the various academic fields. Aside from purely academic practices, the consortium believes that the project will have a positive impact on institutional and management capacities of the partner universities.

Sustainability (long-term impact) of the Project

HERMES will be the first step towards establishing a long-term network of partners who collaborate on research, share knowledge, and pursue excellence in the Humanities. We look forward to new bilateral agreements, collaborative research proposals, and all other forms of institutional cooperation.

The skills and competencies acquired by staff members during mobilities to EU Partner HEIs and from EU Partners to 3rd Country Partner HEIs will hopefully lead to the development of new academic courses, of training courses for university administrative staff etc., initiatives which will benefit not only the participating individuals, but their institutions as a whole.

Students who benefit from mobility opportunities also contribute to the long-term impact of the project. Their experiences abroad translate into new perspectives, new skills and competencies that they will be able to apply not only to their future academic careers, but also their lives. Such students will be able to contribute to high quality academic work produced within their home institutions, and they will also have a significant amount of talent and ability to offer to the labour markets of their countries.