Information on the seven current Emerging Regional Centres of Excellence (ERCE) centres is available in the links below.
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ERCE is a label of quality awarding those institutes that show an outstanding level in their own area of influence in research and education, being an attractor of students from other regions and countries. The label is granted for a period of 4 years with possibility of being renewed. The focus of this project is the education of students in the developed world to the Masters level and possibly PhD.
To train mathematicians from the least developed regions to say the Masters level, it is neither efficient nor necessary to send them to institutions of the highest level. Indeed among the emerging economical regions there are very good centres which can train mathematicians to the Masters level and higher. Indeed after obtaining a Master degree and equipped with strong background, the capable student can access any PhD program, within the region and beyond, say e.g. Europe.
Our successes so far have included, in collaboration with CIMPA, the education of Cambodian students in Vietnam to Masters level; as well as the education of Indonesian students in Pakistan, at the Abdus Salam School of Mathematical Sciences in Lahore.
It is important that institutes that play a central role in education at a regional leval are supported in their activity. It is in this spirit that our committee has initiated a scheme of Emerging Regional Centres of Excellence (ERCE). The idea is for EMS to select, endorse and help a number of such centres to offer training to M.Sc. level to students from less developed countries in their region. Following the above encouraging examples, provided there are institutions in the emerging economies who are interested in participating, and with the backing of the EMS, our committee is confident that such a scheme can reap dividends.
In sum, ERCE centres play a crucial role in the mathematical education and the development of quality and resources at a regional level. Indeed the scheme serves several goals at global, regional, and national level:
- the development of mathematical knowledge to Masters level;
- raising the number of mathematically qualified people with academic and industry perspective;
- increasing the visibility and prestige of the centre itself.
Thanks to this scheme, the ERCE centres provide education in less developed regions and will, in exchange, get help to further develop themselves. It looks to be a very advantageous scheme for all: at the same time, with relatively small expenditure a larger number of students can receive their first graduate education, in a culture not too removed from their own. This will be a practical and efficient way for mathematicians to help other mathematicians.