WHAT IS ERASMUS+?
Erasmus+ is the EU’s programme to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe. Its budget of €14.7 billion will provide opportunities for over 4 million Europeans to study, train, and gain experience abroad. Set to last until 2020, Erasmus+ doesn’t just have opportunities for students. Merging seven prior programmes, it has opportunities for a wide variety of individuals and organizations.
WHO CAN TAKE PART
Erasmus+ is open to many individuals and organizations, although eligibility varies from one action to another and from one country to another. Individuals can take part in many of the opportunities funded by Erasmus+, although most will have to do so through an organization taking part in the programme. The eligibility of individuals and organizations depends on the country in which they are based. Eligible countries are divided into two groups, Programme countries and Partners countries. Although Programme countries are eligible for all actions of Erasmus+, Partner countries can only take part in some, and are subject to specific conditions.
Erasmus+ has opportunities for people of all ages, helping them develop and share knowledge and experience at institutions and organizations in different countries.
Erasmus+ has opportunities for a wide range of organizations, including universities, education and training providers, think-tanks, research organizations, and private businesses.
The aim of Erasmus+ is to contribute to the Europe 2020 strategy for growth, jobs, social equity and inclusion, as well as the aims of ET2020, the EU’s strategic framework for education and training. Erasmus+ also aims to promote the sustainable development of its partners in the field of higher education, and contribute to achieving the objectives of the EU Youth Strategy. Specific issues tackled by the programme include:
- Reducing unemployment, especially among young people
- Promoting adult learning, especially for new skills and skills required by the labor market
- Encouraging young people to take part in European democracy
- Supporting innovation, cooperation and reform
- Reducing early school leaving
- Promoting cooperation and mobility with the EU’s partner countries
The outcomes of Erasmus+ are available in reports and compendia of statistics, as well as through the Erasmus+ Projects Platform, which includes most of the initiatives funded by the programme, as well as a selection of good practices and success stories.
HOW IS IT MANAGED
The European Commission handles the overall management of the programme, including:
- Managing the budget
- Setting the priorities
- Identifying the programme’s targets and criteria
- Monitoring and guiding the implementation
- Follow-up and evaluation of the programme
The Education, Audiovisual, and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) of the European Commission is in charge of managing the “centralized” elements of the programme, including:
- Promoting the programme and opportunities
- Launching calls for proposals
- Reviewing grant requests
- Contracting and monitoring projects
- Communicating on results
The EACEA and Commission also carry out studies and research, as well as managing and financing the other bodies and networks supported by Erasmus+.
In the EU countries, the Commission entrusts much of the management of Erasmus+ to National Agencies. Outside the EU, and specifically in the field of higher education, this role is filled by the National Erasmus+ Offices. The Commission provides funding to the National Agencies, who use these funds to manage the programme’s “decentralized” activities. This allows the Agencies to adapt the programme to suit their national education, training, and youth systems. The National Agencies are responsible for:
- Providing information on the programme
- Reviewing applications submitted in their country
- Monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the programme in their country
- Supporting people and organizations taking part in Erasmus+
- Promoting the programme and its activities at a local and national level
These Agencies also support beneficiaries of the programme from the application stage to the end of a project. They also work with beneficiaries and other organizations to support EU policy in areas supported by the programme.
For more information, please refer to the Erasmus+ Program Guide.