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EPI Tasked as Lead Evaluator in EU Initiative

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA, February 3, 2010 — The Educational Policy Institute (EPI), a non-profit think tank on education, will serve as a lead evaluator this spring in the evaluation of the European Union Centres, a major EU educational initiative.

In partnership with the U.K.’s Evaluation Partnership Limited, EPI will contribute to an international evaluation of the European Union (EU) Centres initiative. This international initiative, spanning the US, Canada, Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, aims to promote a greater understanding of the European Union, its institutions, and policies through the establishment of a network of EU Centres in universities providing information and educational activities. The Centres enable universities to inform future decision makers and regional communities about the EU, its structures and policies, and its relationship with the host country. The concept, started in the US and Canada in 1998, was then extended to other industrialized countries. Currently, there are 26 EU Centres in 8 industrialized countries, including 10 in the US and 5 in Canada. All Centres exist within well known universities in recognition of the high quality, variety and depth of their academic activities.

The international evaluation will assess the extent to which the Centres meet their specific objectives. It also will examine the desirability/feasibility of continuing the initiative and make recommendations for possible revision of the format, including geographical spread and number of Centres in the network, type of measures, and improvements in the management and financial framework. For this evaluation, EPI will act as a local consultant in Canada and the U.S. Dr. Watson Scott Swail, EPI President, will personally lead site visits to EU Centres across the U.S. and Canada and contribute to the final evaluation report.

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The Educational Policy Institute is a 501(c)3 corporation based in Virginia Beach, Virginia, with offices in Winnipeg, Canada, and Melbourne, Australia. The mission of the Educational Policy Institute is to “expand educational opportunity for low-income and other historically-underrepresented students through high-level research and analysis.” For more information on EPI or its evaluation work, visit