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