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Swiss sign up to education across borders

Young Swiss will be able to take part in European Union education, training and youth programmes from 2011.

Interior Minister Didier Burkhalter signed a Swiss-EU bilateral education agreement in Brussels on Monday.

The EU commissioner for education, Androulla Vassiliou, called the move “a very important accord with Switzerland”. Young Swiss people would be able to gain important educational experience in the EU and vice versa, she added.

The European programmes, such as the university Erasmus exchange, facilitate student mobility for educational purposes as well as offering cross-border traineeships.

Switzerland’s House of Representatives approved the draft agreement and the necessary funding – SFr111 million ($103 million) – in December 2009 and the Senate is expected to discuss the move in the spring session.

Burkhalter said at the accord signing that after this the programmes would be “made more concrete”. and agencies

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