The existence and work of the Foundation Tempus is associated with the participation of the Republic of Serbia in EU programmes for cooperation in the field of education from the year 2000 onwards.
It was founded in October 2002 as an organisation that provides a framework for the activities of the National Tempus Office, a national focal point for this EU programme of modernisation of higher education. Several years later, in 2007, the Foundation started to promote the Erasmus Mundus programme, i.e. its joint study programmes and scholarships for students, teachers and other staff in higher education institutions. In 2011 the Lifelong Learning Programme was added to its portfolio, which provided cooperation opportunities for pre-university levels of education.
The number of institutions the Foundation cooperated with was increasing – from universities and colleges of applied studies, to primary and secondary schools and organisations, State institutions, enterprises and organisations of civil society active in the field of education.
When at the end of 2013 all three programmes gave way to a new programme of the European Union, entitled Erasmus+, the Foundation Tempus was appointed as the office in charge of promoting and monitoring the implementation of this programme for projects in the field of education.
Since 2013, national Euroguidance Center has been established within the Tempus Foundation, as part of the European Career Guidance and Counseling Support Network, which Serbia has joined the same year.
Since 2015, Fondation Tempus also has the role of the National CEEPUS Office for the Republic of Serbia. CEEPUS is a Central European student and academic staff exchange programme.
When the preparatory measures for the full participation of Serbia in the Erasmus+ program began in July 2016, the Tempus Foundation became responsible for the implementation of the youth component of this program.
In February 2019, the Republic of Serbia became a full member of the Erasmus+ program, while the Tempus Foundation became the National Erasmus+ Agency.