Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Minutes of Evidence

Supplementary memorandum from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office


  In light of the Foreign Secretary's letter of 22 March to the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, you asked for further information on whether there was any interrelation between Chevening and SOCRATES, and how the UK was preparing for the introduction of SOCRATES in Turkey.

  Turkey is expected to be eligible for funds under some SOCRATES programmes from September 2002. Our preparations for this must dovetail with Turkey's own, chiefly the priorities and working methods of the relevant bureaucracy. This is the Turkish National Agency, which has yet to launch the scheme or publicise criteria for application. Once it has done so, the British Council will be able to promote the UK as a partner in the scheme. Already, however, the British Council has supplied general information on the UK University sector to Turkish universities and has invited the head of the Turkish National Agency to the UK later this year.

  The Committee's interest in our preparations for SOCRATES extended to the provision of visas for students. In his letter of 22 March, the Foreign Secretary provided details of the measures recently taken to ensure that our posts in Turkey meet targets in this area for speed and quality of service. These measures should ensure that applications from SOCRATES students are dealt with as quickly as possible.

Parliamentary Relations and Devolution Department,
Foreign and Commonwealth Office

April 2002

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