GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE ERASMUS+ PROGRAMME
Erasmus+ is the EU Programme in the fields of education, training, youth and sport for the period 2014-20201. Education, training, youth and sport can make a major contribution to help tackle socio-economic changes, the key challenges that Europe will be facing until the end of the decade and to support the implementation of the European policy agenda for growth, jobs, equity and social inclusion.
Fighting high levels of unemployment - particularly among young people - is one of the most urgent tasks for European governments. Too many young people leave school prematurely running a high risk of being unemployed and socially marginalised. The same risk threatens many adults with low skills. Technologies are changing the way in which society operates, and there is a need to ensure the best use is made of them. EU businesses need to become more competitive through talent and innovation.
Europe needs more cohesive and inclusive societies which allow citizens to play an active role in democratic life. Education, training, youth work and sport are key to promote common European values, foster social integration, enhance intercultural understanding and a sense of belonging to a community, and to prevent violent radicalisation. Erasmus+ is an effective instrument to promote the inclusion of people with disadvantaged backgrounds, including newly arrived migrants.
Another challenge relates to the development of social capital among young people, the empowerment of young people and their ability to participate actively in society, in line with the provisions of the Lisbon Treaty to "encourage the participation of young people in democratic life in Europe". This issue can also be targeted through non-formal learning activities, which aim at enhancing the skills and competences of young people as well as their active citizenship. Moreover, there is a need to provide youth organisations and youth workers with training and cooperation opportunities, to develop their professionalism and the European dimension of youth work.
Well-performing education and training systems and youth policies provide people with the skills required by the labour market and the economy, while allowing them to play an active role in society and achieve personal fulfilment. Reforms in education, training and youth can strengthen progress towards these goals, on the basis of a shared vision between policy makers and stakeholders, sound evidence and cooperation across different fields and levels.
The Erasmus+ Programme is designed to support Programme Countries' efforts to efficiently use the potential of Europe’s talent and social assets in a lifelong learning perspective, linking support to formal, non-formal and informal learning throughout the education, training and youth fields. The Programme also enhances the opportunities for cooperation and mobility with Partner Countries, notably in the fields of higher education and youth.
In accordance with one of the new elements introduced in the Lisbon Treaty, Erasmus+ also supports activities aiming at developing the European dimension in sport, by promoting cooperation between bodies responsible for sport. The Programme promotes the creation and development of European networks, providing opportunities for cooperation among stakeholders and the exchange and transfer of knowledge and know-how in different areas relating to sport and physical activity. This reinforced cooperation will notably have positive effects in developing the potential of Europe’s human capital by helping reduce the social and economic costs of physical inactivity.
The Programme supports actions, cooperation and tools consistent with the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy and its flagship initiatives, such as Youth on the Move and the Agenda for new skills and jobs. The Programme also contributes to achieve the objectives of the Education and Training Strategic Framework for European cooperation in Education and Training and of the European Youth Strategy through the Open Methods of Coordination.
This investment in knowledge, skills and competences will benefit individuals, institutions, organisations and society as a whole by contributing to growth and ensuring equity, prosperity and social inclusion in Europe and beyond.
WHAT ARE THE OBJECTIVES AND IMPORTANT FEATURES OF THE ERASMUS+ PROGRAMME?
The Erasmus+ Programme shall contribute to the achievement of:
- the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy, including the headline education target2;
- the objectives of the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020), including the corresponding benchmarks;
- the sustainable development of Partner Countries in the field of higher education;
- the overall objectives of the EU Youth Strategy (framework for European cooperation in the youth field);
- the objective of developing the European dimension in sport, in particular grassroots sport, in line with the EU work plan for sport;
- the promotion of European values in accordance with Article 2 of the Treaty on the European Union3.
IMPORTANT FEATURES OF THE ERASMUS+ PROGRAMME
- RECOGNITION AND VALIDATION OF SKILLS AND QUALIFICATIONS
- DISSEMINATION AND EXPLOITATION OF PROJECT RESULTS
- ERASMUS+ OPEN ACCESS REQUIREMENT FOR EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS
- ERASMUS+ OPEN ACCESS FOR RESEARCH AND DATA
- INTERNATIONAL DIMENSION
- EQUITY AND INCLUSION
- PROTECTION AND SAFETY OF PARTICIPANTS
WHAT IS THE STRUCTURE OF THE ERASMUS+ PROGRAMME?
In order to achieve its objectives, the Erasmus+ Programme implements the following main Actions:
KEY ACTION 1 – MOBILITY OF INDIVIDUALS
This Key Action supports:
- Mobility of learners and staff: opportunities for students, trainees and young people, as well as for professors, teachers, trainers, youth workers, staff of education institutions and civil society organisations to undertake a learning and/or professional experience in another country;
- Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees: high-level integrated international study programmes delivered by consortia of higher education institutions that award full degree scholarships to the best master students worldwide;
- Erasmus+ Master Loans: higher education students from Programme Countries can apply for a loan backed up by the Programme to go abroad for a full Master Degree. Students should address themselves to national banks or student loan agencies participating in the scheme.
KEY ACTION 2 – COOPERATION FOR INNOVATION AND THE EXCHANGE OF GOOD PRACTICES
This Key Action supports:
- Transnational Strategic Partnerships aimed to develop initiatives addressing one or more fields of education training and youth and promote innovation, exchange of experience and know-how between different types of organisations involved in education, training and youth or in other relevant fields. Certain mobility activities are supported in so far as they contribute to the objectives of the project;
- Knowledge Alliances between higher education institutions and enterprises which aim to foster innovation, entrepreneurship, creativity, employability, knowledge exchange and/or multidisciplinary teaching and learning;
- Sector Skills Alliances supporting the design and delivery of joint vocational training curricula, programmes and teaching and training methodologies, drawing on evidence of trends in a specific economic sector and skills needed in order to perform in one or more professional fields;
- Capacity-building projects supporting cooperation with Partner Countries in the fields of higher education and youth. Capacity-building projects aim to support organisations/institutions and systems in their modernisation and internationalisation process. Certain types of capacity-building projects support mobility activities in so far as they contribute to the objectives of the project;
- IT support platforms, such as eTwinning, the School Education Gateway, the European Platform for Adult Learning (EPALE) and the European Youth Portal, offering virtual collaboration spaces, databases of opportunities, communities of practice and other online services for teachers, trainers and practitioners in the field of school and adult education as well as for young people, volunteers and youth workers across Europe and beyond. In addition, since 2018, the Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange initiative offers intercultural learning experiences between young people in Europe and the Southern Mediterranean countries.
KEY ACTION 3 – SUPPORT FOR POLICY REFORM
This Key Action supports:
- Knowledge in the fields of education, training and youth for evidence-based policy making and monitoring, in particular: o country-specific and thematic analysis, including through cooperation with academic networks; o peer learning and peer reviews through the Open Method of Coordination in education, training and youth.
- Initiatives for policy innovation to stimulate innovative policy development among stakeholders and to enable public authorities to test the effectiveness of innovative policies through field trials based on sound evaluation methodologies;
- Support to European policy tools to facilitate transparency and recognition of skills and qualifications, as well as the transfer of credits, to foster quality assurance, support validation of non-formal and informal learning, skills management and guidance. This Action also includes the support to networks that facilitate cross-European exchanges, the learning and working mobility of citizens as well as the development of flexible learning pathways between different fields of education, training and youth;
- Cooperation with international organisations with highly recognised expertise and analytical capacity (such as the OECD and the Council of Europe), to strengthen the impact and added value of policies in the fields of education, training and youth;
- Stakeholder dialogue, policy and Programme promotion involving public authorities, providers and stakeholders in the fields of education, training and youth for raising awareness about the European policy agendas, in particular Europe 2020, Education and Training 2020, the EU Youth Strategy, as well as the external dimension of European education, training and youth policies. These activities are essential to develop the capacity of stakeholders to actively support the implementation of policies by stimulating the exploitation of the Programme results and generating tangible impact.