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EU Neighbourhood

Learning without borders EDUCATION & TRAINING PRESS PACK


EU Neighbourhood

Learning without borders cation,

du Better e

EDUCATION & TRAINING PRESS PACK

pectives s r e p w ne

March 2014

Investing in education, investing in the future

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Erasmus+, student mobility and academic cooperation (2014-2020)

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Building on years of commitment

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Better and more open schools for a quality education

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Developing the potential of human capital

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Vocational Training across the Neighbourhood

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SUCCESS STORIES

Education cooperation with Southern Neighbours also available in Arabic Education cooperation with Eastern Neighbours also available in Russian

This publication exists only in electronic format. It has been prepared by the European Neighbourhood Info Centre, a project funded by the EU. It does not represent the official view of the EC or the EU Institutions. The EC accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to its content.

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Building Modern Qualifications

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Investing in education, investing in the future Investing in education and training is the best investment for the future of Europe’s Neighbourhood partners, enhancing skills, personal development and job prospects. Problems such as youth unemployment, the lack of economic prospects, migration of people and skills, are common to much of the Neighbourhood region. In the Southern Mediterranean, people under 30 account for around 60% of the population, thus exerting considerable pressure on education and training systems and on labour markets. While national education systems have improved, there remains a clear disconnection between the educational structure and the labour market and the lack of quality education remains a worrying issue.

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“Education has always been a high priority in European Union cooperation programmes with non-EU countries, particularly neighbouring ones. Education helps promote stability, prosperity and democracy in these countries.”

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Štefan Füle, European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood

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The Eastern Partnership countries inherited a relatively well-developed education system, with high levels of adult literacy, but the new realities of transition towards democracy and functional market economy have imposed new requirements and a new role for education in a modern knowledge economy. In response to these challenges, the European Union supports a range of education and training activities in its Neighbourhood, aiming to support partner countries in their modernisation efforts, while matching skills to employment needs, and delivering economic growth. At the same time, cooperation in the field of education and training promotes common values and closer understanding between different peoples and cultures. Programmes have a strong focus on the mobility of students, graduates, teachers and academics, and promotion of exchanges between higher education and training institutions.

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SUCCESS STORIES Tunisia Employment, priority n. 1 for the new Tunisia Moldova A chance of a future in your own country Armenia Students without borders

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Erasmus+, student mobility and academic cooperation (2014-2020) Since January 2014, the new Erasmus+, programme brings together all the EU’s previous schemes for education, training, and youth, replacing seven existing programmes with one: the Lifelong Learning Programme (Erasmus, Leonardo da Vinci, Comenius and Grundtvig), Youth in Action, and five international cooperation programmes (Erasmus Mundus, Tempus, Alfa, Edulink and the programme for cooperation with industrialised countries).

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Neighbouring countries can take part as Partner countries in three Erasmus+ actions for higher education, and in the Youth mobility action, without signing any specific agreement.

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The main aim of Erasmus+ is to equip citizens with the education, skills and creativity that they need in a knowledge society. The world is changing fast, and education systems need to modernise and adapt to new ways of teaching and learning and embrace the new opportunities that exist.

Three actions in higher education are proposed to Neighbourhood countries: Degree mobility through joint degrees

Credit mobility (Erasmus type)

Cooperation and capacity building

Erasmus+ funds joint Master degrees and scholarships for students and staff worldwide. Selected university consortia award excellent joint or double degrees at the end of the studies. Students from any country in the world can apply directly to those consortia, which carry out selection procedures for high-level EU-funded scholarship places.

Once they conclude bilateral agreements, universities from EU and Neighbourhood countries can send and receive students, doctoral candidates or staff (with scholarships) for periods of up to 12 months. Under the agreement, higher education institutions commit to recognise credits achieved by their students when abroad, which will contribute to the student’s degree back home. Staff are also able to receive grants for teaching assignments or training at the partner institution.

Universities from Neighbourhood countries can take part in collaborative projects with universities from EU countries, including mobility of students and staff. These projects can be Joint Projects helping partners to develop, modernise and disseminate new curricula, teaching methods or materials, or Structural Projects to develop and reform higher education institutions and systems.

http://ec.europa.eu/education/opportunities/higher-education/joint-master_ en.htm

http://ec.europa.eu/education/opportunities/higher-education/capacitybuilding_en.htm

http://ec.europa.eu/education/opportunities/higher-education/study-mobility_ en.htm

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Building on years of commitment

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Three programmes whose actions will continue under Erasmus+ have played a key role in recent years – Erasmus Mundus, Tempus and Youth in Action.

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Southern Mediterranean

Eastern Partnership

Between 2007 and 2011, Erasmus Mundus funded:

From 2007-13, the EU provided:

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short-term study opportunities in Europe for around 1,400 students from North Africa and the Middle East; study/ teaching opportunities for around 200 academics.

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nearly €115 million to Erasmus Mundus partnerships, enabling over 5,000 students and staff from the region to spend part of their studies/research in Europe;

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more than 200 universities, including 160 in Eastern Partnership countries, were involved in these exchanges.

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For the period 2004–11 the EU also provided:

full scholarships for around 280 students from the region to participate in joint Erasmus Mundus Masters and doctoral programmes.

In 2012, the Erasmus Mundus budget was doubled to more than €35 million which allowed:

more than 1,500 non-EU and 400 EU nationals to study or learn abroad.

Since 2008 Tempus funded:

projects, involving nearly 200 higher education institutions.

Since 2008, the Tempus IV programme supported over 150 projects in the Eastern Partnership countries worth around €130 million.

In the aftermath of the Arab Spring, additional funding in 2011 supported:

the creation of 4 new university partnerships and nearly 560 extra scholarships.

Youth exchanges and cooperation

Between 2007 and 2013, the Youth in Action programme has supported mobility and non-formal education targeting young people aged between 13 and 30 years as well as youth workers, with Neighbouring Partner Countries participating in youth exchanges, European Voluntary Service or training of youth workers. In 2012-13, an Eastern Partnership Youth Window was set up within the Youth in Action Programme - with the aim to increase cooperation with this region. This cooperation will be continued under Erasmus+.

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‘The greatest experience of my life’ “I’ll be forever thankful to this project, because it gave me the opportunity to study and live in a multicultural environment, to deepen my professional knowledge and to create new and useful contacts. It was a huge life experience.” Armenian student Shushanik Khachatryan spent ten months studying in Europe under an Erasmus Mundus partnership project. Read our feature stories to find out how Erasmus Mundus and Tempus transformed the experience of thousands of other students and academics across the Neighbourhood. Students without borders Education with European standards

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Better and more open schools for a quality education EU support to education at school level is an important contribution to achieving socio-economic development and reducing poverty in the Neighbourhood partner countries, helping to improve overall levels of quality in education and achieve greater relevance of qualifications to the labour market. For example: Egypt Using budget support, which involves financial transfers to the partner country, the EU is supporting government reforms preuniversity education through the €140 million Education Sector Policy Support Programme (ESPSP). The ultimate goal is to provide higher quality of education to all Egyptian students, while enhancing public spending effectiveness through a decentralized, school-based approach, with a focus on community participation and effective management. Morocco Between 2009 and 20013, the EU has contributed €113 million in budget support to the reform of Morocco’s education system, through which the government aims to provide a quality compulsory education, accessible to all pupils under the age of 16. The reform aims to achieve lower school drop-out rates in both primary and secondary, and to improve the quality of both teaching and administrative staff. e-Twinning Plus eTwinning Plus is a pilot opening of the eTwinning initiative to Eastern Partnership countries and Tunisia. eTwinning enables schools across Europe to link online and engage in ICT-based partnerships. The pilot eTwinning to Eastern partnership countries was decided in the framework of the EaP Platform 4 and officially launched in 2013. The project aims to provide a safe, online environment for schools to engage with other schools in the EU and different countries. The idea is for teachers, head teachers, librarians, etc. to work on projects and share resources with like-minded education professionals in the existing eTwinning network. The platform is offered as a free service. Participation in Neighbourhood countries has been active: 1,432 teachers and 557 schools for the EaP are registered so far and 199 schools are already active in projects. http://plus.etwinning.net/en/pub/index.htm

“Education has a tremendous transformational potential. Let us put our trust in what we know can be a force for the good: the spread of literacy, the sharing of knowledge, the empowerment of women. We will all reap the benefits from these processes, and democracy will grow stronger from that.”

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Higher education and research: a UfM priority Higher education and research is on of the six priority areas of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM). Initiatives include:

• Support for the planned Euro-Mediterranean University

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of Fez, which aims to be a unique centre of excellence, welcoming some 6,000 students from across the region with a wide range of programmes, from humanities and social sciences, to engineering.

• Higher Education on Food Security and Rural Development:

a project aiming to improve the employability and skills of professionals enrolled in master programmes and advanced short term courses offered by the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies.

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Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth.

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Images from across the Neighbourhood highlighting EU cooperation projects in the field of education and training. High-resolution pictures available for download: South and East.

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Developing the potential of human capital With high youth unemployment levels, one of the main employment challenges in the Neighbourhood remains the mismatch between educational systems and labour market needs. The European Parliament underlined the importance of Vocational Education and Training (VET) in its resolution on the European Neighbourhood Policy, working towards a stronger partnership (October 2013) and called for a Euro-Mediterranean Leonardo da Vinci programme with the aim of fostering mobility for young apprentices who want to acquire professional training abroad. The commitment to help partner countries in the Neighborhood to strengthen vocational educational and training (VET) and labour market institutions through the reform of education, training and labour market systems is partly met by the European Training Foundation (ETF), a specialized EU agency based in Turin.

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“The European Parliament expresses deep concern at the employment situation in particular among young people, and urges the Commission to support effective employment policies, thus contributing to the fight against youth unemployment, which is endemic in the Southern Mediterranean.”

“We continue fighting with the perceptions in societies, both in the minds of authorities and citizens, that VET is a second-best choice.” Madlen Serban, ETF director Interview with Madlen Serban

European Parliament resolution, 23 October 2013

However, VET is also the focus of major EU programmes across the Neighbourhood, including budget support programmes (for example in Tunisia or Armenia), Twinning activities, or regional programmes. It is also a crosscutting issue across EU support to partner countries, and is often part of other programmes and activities. DOCUMENTS

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The commitment to help Neighbourhood partner countries to strengthen vocational educational and training (VET) through the reform of education, training and labour market systems is principally met by the European Training Foundation (ETF), a specialised EU agency based in Turin. The European Training Foundation embraces 31 partner countries, including all the countries in the Neighbourhood region. ETF works towards assisting partners to carry through reforms of education, training and labour market systems. So, the first to benefit are the policy makers but the final beneficiaries are the people who acquire the skills that can match their aspirations, thus benefiting communities and economies. The Foundation organises targeted seminars, facilitates study visits and focus groups among policy makers, and supports the development of reliable information and analysis on the reform processes through studies on partner countries. The work of the ETF is also structured around a series of projects in partner countries to facilitate the reform of vocational education and training and employment systems. The agency also received funding through the SPRING programme in addition to a literacy programme in Morocco to allow the expansion of the work with Southern Partners in vocational education and training, as a valid alternative to higher education for young people. In the Eastern Neighbourhood, the ETF has Mobility Partnerships with Moldova, Armenia and Georgia. These partnerships help manage legal migration, in a process that emphasises the development of the right professional skills.

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Vocational Training across the Neighbourhood Strengthening employment policies and efficient VET are high in the EU’s cooperation policy priorities. In the Neighbourhood region, this is done through many instruments that have the same goal: curbing youth unemployment and ensuring decent work for all. Here are some examples.

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The Youth Employment Promotion pilot project (2014-2017) builds on experience gained with the EU programme “Erasmus for young entrepreneurs” and the general objective is to facilitate learning, networking and exchange of experience for new young professionals (between 18 and 35 years of age) through periods spent working in small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) run by experienced entrepreneurs in another country. These exchanges of experience will be done following a twoway flow (EU-Southern Mediterranean and vice-versa) of young professionals.

GEMM: Governance for Employability in the Mediterranean This project, managed by ETF aims to enhance the quality and relevance of vocational education and training systems by helping to reinforce the capacities of stakeholders, aiming to enhance employability of young people, and increase the capacities of training providers to better respond to labour market needs. The €2 million project (20132015) runs in Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia.

Investing in people is a thematic instrument supporting social and human development. It promotes universal access to quality primary education and access to vocational and skills training. In 2011-2013, €72 million (14.5% of the total budget of €502 million) were dedicated to education, knowledge and skills.

Armenia

The EU supports vocational education and training in Armenia through a €21 million budget support programme (2010-15) that encourages reforms in the education sector, adapting it to current job market needs. Among the impacts of the programme, 12 colleges have been renovated and equipped as multifunctional VET centres, over 1,200 teachers and training instructors have been trained, and dozens of new, resultsoriented curricula have been introduced in VET colleges.

As part of the 2013 ENP Package for Libya, a Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) project of €6.5 million runs from 2013 to 2015. The project works with vocational schools and colleges across Libya, along with national and regional stakeholders, to establish sustainable ways to respond to the challenges of unemployment, private sector growth and the changing role of the technical and vocational education (TVE) system in today’s economy. Employers were involved from the start in developing competency standards, ensuring that new training is developed to meet employer needs.

In Tunisia and in Jordan the EU is using the instrument of budget support, which involves financial transfers to the partner country, to support reforms. In Jordan a four-year €35 million programme contributes to Jordan’s National Employment Strategy by supporting reform of the national Employment and Technical Vocational Education and Training (E-TVET) system. In Tunisia, the PEFESE programme has a budget of €65 million and aims at supporting the efforts of the Tunisian government to implement reforms to the educational system and in particular a more active partnership between the educational system and the professional world.

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Tunisia and Jordan

In Morocco a twinning project involving France, Spain and Morocco has been launched in 2013 to reinforce the institutional capacities of the Vocational Training and Employment promotion Office in Morocco. This is part of the programme to support the implementation of the action plan for Morocco, P3A.

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Libya

Morocco

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Ukraine A Twinning programme in Ukraine is helping to modernise legislative standards and principles of education and training – bringing them in line with EU policies. The €1.4 million EU-funded Lifelong Learning Twinning Project aims to assist Ukraine in developing quality assurance and implementing a system of standard qualifications or vocational education and training.

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Useful Links

EDUCATION & TRAINING PRESS PACK

Erasmus+ http://ec.europa.eu/programmes/erasmus-plus/index_en.htm DG Education and Culture http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/education_culture/index_en.htm

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Erasmus+, opportunities for cooperation in Higher Education and Youth for ENP partners http://eeas.europa.eu/enp/eu-programmes/pdf/6-erasmus-presentation_en.pdf

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eTwinning Plus http://plus.etwinning.net/en/pub/index.htm

EU Neighbourhood Handbooks From the EU Neighbourhood Info Centre website, a number of different handbooks can be downloaded, offering tips to media professionals for improved coverage of EU cooperation activities, but also providing information on how to access EU funding or to navigate through EU jargon. A wealth of knowledge at your disposal, just a click away on www.enpi-info.eu.

UfM – Higher education and research http://ufmsecretariat.org/higher-education-research/ European Training Foundation (ETF) www.etf.europa.eu/web.nsf/pages/home Governance for Employability in the Mediterranean (GEMM) www.etf.europa.eu/web.nsf/pages/GEMM ETF Mobility partnerships http://etf.europa.eu/web.nsf/pages/PRJ_2011_WP11_31_32

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Investing in people – EuropeAid http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/how/finance/dci/investing_en.htm A New Response to Changing Neighbourhood http://ec.europa.eu/world/enp/pdf/com_11_303_en.pdf

key quotes Browse key quotes on education issues by top EU officials, projects and beneficiaries on the ground: EAST and SOUTH

press packs Other Info Centre Press packs are available online: EAST and SOUTH

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Documents

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EU Neighbourhood Info Centre library – education and training http://www.enpi-info.eu/library/theme/Education%20and%20Training

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Erasmus+ programme guide

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http://ec.europa.eu/programmes/erasmus-plus/documents/erasmus-plus-programme-guide_en.pdf

Erasmus Mundus in Eastern Partnership countries (2013)

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http://www.enpi-info.eu/library/content/erasmus-mundus-eastern-partnership-countries-2013

Tempus publications

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http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/tempus/tools/publications_en.php

ETF yearbook 2012 - Evaluation and monitoring of vocational education and training systems and the role of evidence-based policy in their reforms

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http://www.etf.europa.eu/web.nsf/pages/ETF_Yearbook_2012

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SME Policy Index: Eastern Partner Countries 2012 http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/finance-and-investment/sme-policy-index-eastern-partner-countries-2012_9789264178847-en

Torino Process 2012: Southern and Eastern Mediterranean – ETF Report 2013 http://etf.europa.eu/web.nsf/pages/TRP_2012_SEMED

Torino Process 2012: Eastern Europe - ETF Report 2013

http://etf.europa.eu/webatt.nsf/0/72BC790DC1E087FCC1257B640063AF97/$file/TRP%202012%20Eastern%20Europe.pdf

Social Partners in Vocational Education and Training in the Southern Mediterranean – ETF Report 2013 http://www.enpi-info.eu/library/content/social-partners-vocational-education-and-training-southern-mediterranean

EU Neighbourhood Library Our online database Action plans Agreements

Continuing vocational training – Mutual learning in Eastern Europe – ETF Report 2013 http://etf.europa.eu/web.nsf/pages/Continuing_vocational_training_Eastern_Europe

Country reports Declarations

Youth employment: challenges and policy responses in the Arab Mediterranean countries http://etf.europa.eu/web.nsf/pages/Youth_employment_AMC

Resolutions Strategy documents

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EDUCATION & TRAINING PRESS PACK The EU: a major donor for the Neighbourhood

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EU support to the region is mainly channeled through the European Commission’s Directorate General for Development and Cooperation – EuropeAid. http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid

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The European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) funding approved for the period 2014-2020 is € 15.4 billion. The ENI replaces the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI), for which the funding was € 11.2 billion for the period 2007-2013. The new instrument provides faster and more flexible funding, allowing for incentives for best performers, to 16 partner countries to the East and South of the EU’s borders.

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East: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine. South: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Syria*, Tunisia. * EU Cooperation with Syria is currently suspended due to the political situation

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The EU Neighbourhood Info Centre is an EU-funded Regional Communication project highlighting the partnership between the EU and Neighbouring countries. www.enpi-info.eu

Stay connected Stay connected Stay connected A project implemented by

EU Neighbourhood Info Centre An ENPI project The EU Neighbourhood Info Centre is an EU-funded Regional Communication project highlighting the partnership between the EU and Neighbouring countries. This presspack has been produced by the EU Neighbourhood Info Centre.

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Photos: AFP/EPA for the EU Neighourhood Info Centre Copyright EU/EU Neighbourhood Info Centre 2014

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Press pack in English on education and training in the Neighbourhood

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