Latest Call for Erasmus+

Latest Call for Erasmus+

The EU is now able to use budgets earmarked for cooperation with Partner Countries that were not available when Erasmus+ was launched in 2013, meaning that the upcoming Call for Erasmus+ projects in September 2014 will incorporate some brand new elements. This blog post aims to provide you with an insight into these new elements, helping you stay informed ahead of the Call.  

The four main ‘international’ components of the Erasmus+ programme are as follows:

Jargon busting

There are 33 Programme Countries: these are the 28 EU Member States, plus five other countries that have signed agreements to take part: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Turkey. Many activities within Erasmus+ are ‘decentralised’. This means they’re not managed by the European Commission or Executive Agency in Brussels, but by the Programme Countries themselves. All Programme Countries have a National Agency to do this. All other countries in the world are Partner Countries. Under Erasmus+, not all countries or regions throughout the world are eligible for all activities. For example, industrialised countries like the US or South Korea cannot take part in capacity-building projects.

Joint Master Degrees

Joint Master Degrees (JMDs) are very similar to the former Erasmus Mundus Master’s Courses, and those selected under Erasmus+ will continue to bear that ‘brand name’. For those of you who don’t know them, these are integrated Master’s courses offered by a consortium of higher education institutions (HEIs). Consortiums must have a minimum of three HEIs from different Programme Countries; beyond this minimum, additional partners can be from Programme Countries or Partner Countries. Together they offer a course of between 60 and 120 ECTS (12 to 24 months). Study must be in at least two partner HEIs, and the programme offers either a joint degree, or degrees from each of the universities attended.

With the EU funds, the consortia are able to offer scholarships covering participation costs, travel, subsistence and insurance for excellent students from anywhere in the world. A typical Master’s scholarship will be around €45 000 for a two-year course.

JMDs are selected each year in the Call for Proposals, and given a contract covering a preparatory year and three annual intakes of students. The first selection of nine JMDs was made this summer: after this modest start the number of JMDs selected will increase yearly as from the forthcoming Call.

From September 2014 there will be some 115 Erasmus Mundus JMDs, including a number of continuing Erasmus Mundus Master’s Courses and the nine new courses selected this year. All these programmes will be offering scholarships for students starting their programme in September 2015. Find out more info on how to apply here.

Short-term mobility

International credit mobility is totally new. This extends the classic Erasmus that we’ve known in Europe for the past 27 years, and allows for short-term mobility for students and staff between Programme Countries and Partner Countries, in either direction.

This will be managed by the National Agencies in the Programme Countries, each of which will be allocated money from the EU cooperation budget. This budget can help to fund mobility agreements between one of the country’s HEIs and a HEI in another country. For example, the Italian National Agency could select a mobility agreement between an Italian university and a university in Argentina.

Students or staff selected by their home university to go to one of its partner universities will get a grant to cover travel, and the subsistence costs of living in the host country. Under the agreement, the universities agree on recognition issues, so that the student’s courses and results will be recognised once they are back home, and will count towards their final degree. While the Partner-Country universities will not (and cannot) be granted an Erasmus Charter for Higher Education, they are required to adhere to its provisions.

The first agreements will be signed following the Call for proposals, so the first international mobility will take place during the European academic year 2015–2016. You can only apply for this (via your National Agency) if your institution is from a Programme Country. If you’re from another country, then you should speak to the contacts you have within European universities about their plans for setting up agreements with Partner Country universities.

Capacity-building for higher education

Capacity building is a new name for activities that will be largely familiar to people who knew the Tempus, ALFA, Edulink or – for those with a particularly good memory – Asia-Link programmes. These are transnational projects designed and run by partnerships of HEIs, aimed at strengthening HEI capacities, teaching and management, and supporting more structural reform in the higher education sector. There will be two main types of projects: joint projects operate at an institutional level and can develop curricula, improve governance and management systems, and link HEIs with wider socio-economic players. Structural projects operate more on a macro level. Their activities will seek to modernise policies, governance and management of HE systems, and to link higher education systems with the wider world.

Many projects will choose to focus on a region. But something new in capacity-building (compared to the previous programme) is that you can set up a partnership that brings together HEIs from different partner regions in the world (for example a project focusing on forestry might include partners from Brazil and Indonesia). Find out more information on how to apply here.

Jean Monnet

Jean Monnet activities aim to develop EU studies worldwide. For over 25 years they’ve been supporting study modules, chairs and centres of excellence, promoting excellence in teaching and research on the European integration process at higher education level, while networks and projects foster cooperation and transfer of knowledge and good practice in this area. The programme also supports a number of associations and specialist institutions in this domain. 2014 saw the first selection of Jean Monnet projects under Erasmus+. A new focus within the programme is to seek ways to mainstream an EU focus into other areas of study. Find out more information on how to apply here.

Keep your eyes peeled as we expect the new Call to be launched in September 2014 with a deadline set for February 2015.


Adrian Veale, European Commission, Belgium