European school partnerships on the rise

The number of European schools creating international ‘virtual’ partnerships over the internet more than doubled in 2006, according to recent findings.

An increasing number of European schools are taking part in the Commission’s eTwinning initiative, which promotes the creation of international ‘virtual’ school partnerships over the internet. These partnerships aim to encourage greater use of computers for communicating between schools and thus promote intercultural dialogue. 

Launched in 2005, the scheme does not provide any financing for the participating schools, but offers free access to the eTwinning portal, which helps schools to find partners across the continent. The initiative saw the number of participating schools double in 2006, from 4% to more than 8%.

“By participating in eTwinning, schoolchildren get to appreciate other cultures and other languages, while sharpening their computer skills,” said Education and culture Commissioner Ján Figel. 

The eTwinning action is part of the Lifelong Learning Programme 2007-2013 and leaves schools free to decide on the type, subject and length of their co-operation. Annually, the Commission awards prizes to the best examples of partnerships and projects.

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