Erasmus plus: what is it all about?

Erasmus plus is the EU’s European funding program for education, training, youth and sport. With the new European programming for 2021-2027, more than 26 billion euros have been allocated to Erasmus+, with a substantial budget increase compared to the 2014-2020 period. The budget increase was planned to further strengthen the program by making it even more inclusive and make some improving changes while maintaining continuity with the previous program. The program pursues the following objectives:

  • Improving basic skills to help building cohesive societies through strengthened cooperation between the world of training and education and the world of work;
  • Strengthening the quality, excellence, innovation and internationalization of educational institutions and training providers;
  • Supporting the modernization of education and training systems in the European Union;
  • Developing the international dimension of education and training, increasing the attractiveness of European organizations active in these fields.

Accessing European funds through Erasmus plus: who can participate?

Erasmus plus offers several opportunities for individuals and organizations to participate in education and training initiatives. In fact, the program is open to the following areas:

  • School education through initiatives involving staff and pupils in pre-school, primary and secondary schools;
  • Higher education, including mobility and training initiatives targeting both students and faculty members;
  • Vocational education and training for staff of VET organizations, trainers, professionals in enterprises, apprentices and students in vocational institutions;
  • Adult education for non-vocational adult education trainers, staff and learners;
  • Youth through initiatives targeting young people, youth workers, organizations active in the youth sector;
  • Sports through initiatives aimed at professionals, organizations and associations active in the world of sports.

The new priorities of the Erasmus plus program

The Erasmus plus program aims to promote professional and personal educational development and contribute to the specific objectives of growth, employment, social cohesion and the strengthening of European identity and citizenship. With the new programming, new cross-cutting thematic priorities have been identified:

  • Social inclusion: encouraging disadvantaged people to participate  in the program, reducing social inequalities due to discrimination or economic and social barriers;

  • Digital innovation: supporting digitization and innovation through the use of technology in education, training and sports;

  • Environmental sustainability: raise awareness about environmental and climate challenges, develop knowledge in areas related to environmental sustainability, and develop methodologies and strategies to foster green transition;

  • Participation in democratic life: raising awareness of a European identity and developing active citizenship through lifelong learning.

The 3 Key Actions

The structure of the program consists of 3 Key Actions, each with specific objectives and rules for participation and funding.

This action includes European-wide transnational mobility activities for students and staff of organizations active in education and training, thus providing people of all ages with the opportunity to:

  • Acquire knowledge and skills to support their personal development and to develop their role as active citizens in society;
  • Acquire knowledge and skills to support their own professional development and improve their level of employability in the labour market at European level;
  • Improve their language skills and develop a greater understanding of other cultures and countries to strengthen a European identity;
  • Increase the attractiveness and international dimension of organizations active in the education, training and youth sectors.

They aim to create impact in different areas related to training through forms of cooperation within public-private partnerships with the goal of strengthening European-wide networks, increasing internationalization and developing new practices to improve European training and education systems. 

Small-scale partnerships

Established under the new Erasmus+ program, they aim at encouraging the participation of new players who have never approached the program before or organizations with limited innovative capacity. 

  • Partnership: minimum 2 organizations from 2 different countries associated to the program 
  • Duration: 6 to 24 months 
  • Funding provided through “Lump sum.” 

Partnerships for cooperation

They are aimed at fostering transnational cooperation between different actors for the development of innovation in the field of training and education, promoting a multi-actor and cross-sectoral approach for cooperation in different fields. 

  • Partnership: minimum 3 organizations from 3 different countries associated to the program 
  • Duration: 12 to 36 months
  • Funding provided through “Lump sum” (amounts: €120,000, €250,000 or €400,000).

Key Action 3 supports initiatives in support of European-level policy reforms in education, training, and youth aimed at:

  • Improve the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of education and training systems and youth policies;
  • Promote transnational cooperation among relevant political authorities to improve systems, structures and processes;
  • Actively involve civil society organizations and encourage active participation in democratic life.

Do you want to enter the world of European funding?

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