COST is the longest-running European framework supporting trans-national cooperation among researchers, engineers and scholars across Europe.
It is a unique means for them to jointly develop their own ideas and new initiatives across all fields in science and technology, including social sciences and humanities, through pan-European networking of nationally funded research activities. Based on a European intergovernmental framework for cooperation in science and technology, COST has been contributing - since its creation in 1971 - to closing the gap between science, policy makers and society throughout Europe and beyond. As a precursor of advanced multidisciplinary research, COST plays a very important role in building a European Research Area (ERA).
It anticipates and complements the activities of the EU Framework Programmes, constituting a “bridge” towards the scientific communities of COST Inclusiveness Target Countries. It also increases the mobility of researchers across Europe and fosters the establishment of scientific excellence.
The former science organisation which was structured into nine science and technology domains has been replaced by a new organisation aiming at guaranteeing a fully open and bottom-up approach through the establishment of a single Scientific Committee. This also includes a renewed evaluation and selection procedure aiming at identifying breakthrough ideas and favouring interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary projects.
CA COST Action CA15130 Study Abroad Research in European Perspective (SAREP)
In the context of increasing international education and study abroad at both European and international level, this project aims to explore the nature, experiences, benefits and limitations of study and residence abroad in the case of second language learners who participate in growing numbers in such international exchange programmes. We do so through a multi-thematic prism, drawing on research relating to the learner's linguistic, intercultural, social, personal, academic and professional development, reflecting the folk-belief in the wide-ranging benefits that can accrue to the learner in a study abroad context. With a view to exploring the specificity of those benefits from a trans-disciplinary perspective, the project includes researchers who bring cross- and inter-disciplinary insights, such as from the fields of second language acquisition, applied linguistics, language testing, language education, psychology, sociology and statistics. The project includes researchers working on different European languages among study abroad learners in different target language cultures, thereby offering insights at pan-European level into the potential of study abroad to enhance multilingual development and intercultural awareness among citizens of contemporary Europe. The project offers different insights into the complexity of study abroad as a context of second language learning through both quantitative and qualitative analysis, drawing on wide-ranging methodological approaches and tools of investigation. At a time when increased importance is attached to foreign language learning at European level, the project illuminates wide-ranging factors which may impact on study abroad as a context which can facilitate such an aim to varying degrees.
(Descriptions are provided by the Actions directly via e-COST.)