ALFA - Building the Future on Education

The programme "América Latina - Formación Académica" (ALFA) is a programme of cooperation between Higher Education Institutions of the European Union and Latin America.

The ALFA Programme started in 1994 with the first phase (ALFA I). In this first phase about 3.000 applications were submitted. During 1994 and 1999 about 800 projects were supported and about 1050 institutions were involved. €31m was the contribution of the EC.

The second phase (ALFA II) started in 2000 with an EC contribution of 55 million euros. More than 200 projects were funded and about 770 institutions were engaged in these projects. The institutions were organised in networks with an average of 9 members.


The third phase (ALFA III) is running since 2007 and has an EU budget of 75 million euros. It has a duration of six years.

The objectives and priorities of the current third phase of ALFA are:
  • Improve the quality, relevance and accessibility of Higher Education in Latin America,
  • Contribute to the process of regional integration in Latin America,
  • Fostering progress towards the creation of a Joint Education Area in the region and
  • Exploiting its synergies with the European Union.
  • Reform the Higher Education Institutions and their structural systems,
  • Development of skilled human resources,
  • Support of Higher Education Institutions in the creation of a Joint Higher Education Area in Latin America and
  • Promotion of cooperation between European-Latin America networks.

In the third phase there is a different structure. Now there are three components
  • Joint Projects:
institutional and academic management
  • Structural Projects:
reform, modernisation and harmonisation of Higher Education systems at regional level
  • Accompanying Measures:
Creation of synergies, coordination among projects

The second Call for Proposals was launched in March 2010. About 160 applications were submitted. 19 of these were approved. The average funding is 1.5 million euros. 378 partners are involved in these 19 projects and about 80% came from Latin America. One of the 19 approved projects is CapWEM.
More information can be found on their website, including the newest booklet "ALFA III: Supporting social equality and integration between Latin America and the European Union", about the programme`s key results.