Thematic Network Projects
What is a Thematic Network?
Thematic Networks are one of the main innovations of the
Socrates-Erasmus programme. They were created to deal with
forward-looking, strategic reflection on the scientific, educational and
institutional issues in the main fields of higher education. Generally
speaking, a Thematic Network is a co-operation between departments of
higher education institutions and other partners (e.g. academic
organisations or professional bodies). Normally, all countries
participating in the Socrates-Erasmus programmes (EU, EFTA and Candidate
Countries) should be represented in a Thematic Network. The main aim of
the programme is to enhance quality and to define and develop a European
dimension within a given academic discipline or study area. Alternatively,
it can take up a topic of an inter- or multidisciplinary nature, or other
matters of common interest, such as university management or quality
assurance. Co-operation within Thematic Networks is expected to lead to
outcomes which will have a lasting and widespread impact on universities
across Europe in the field concerned.
All the Thematic Networks have taken European integration on board and
have had a very pronounced European dimension. In that sense, European
co-operation has been envisaged at two levels: Firstly, as a policy issue,
where higher education has been called upon to contribute to the cultural,
economic and technical construction of the Union. Secondly, Thematic
Networks have been a means in itself to stimulate and, where necessary,
adapt higher education, improving its quality and effectiveness.
See the information
for Applicants for further
information on selection criteria and types of activities. For concrete
examples of existing networks see the overview.