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More about Erasmus+

Erasmus+ is the new EU programme for Education, Training, Youth and Sport for 2014-2020, starting in January 2014.

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Erasmus+ aims at boosting skills and employability, and modernising Eductaion, Training and Youth work. The seven year programme will have a budget of €14.7 billion. This represents a 40% increase compared to current spending levels and shows the EU's commitment to investing in these areas.

Erasmus+ will provide opportunities for over 4 million Europeans to study, train, gain work experience and volunteer abroad. In addition to providing grants for individuals, Erasmus+ will support transnational partnerships among Eductaion, Training and Youth institutions and organisations to foster cooperation and bridge the worlds of Eductaion and work in order to tackle the skills gaps we are facing in Europe.

Erasmus+ brings together seven existing EU programmes in the fields of Eductaion, Training and Youth

Erasmus+ Frequently Asked Questions

What is Erasmus+?

Erasmus+ is the new European Union programme for education, training, youth and sport for 2014-2020.

The new programme builds on the experience and success of existing programmes such as Erasmus, but will have an even greater impact. It is based on the premise that investing in education and training is the key to unlocking potential, regardless of age or background.

What will change for students under Erasmus+?

Access to the programme will be increased in several ways. For example, Erasmus+ will offer stronger support to students wishing to improve their language skills before going to their Erasmus university or job placement. In addition, the development of flexible learning, such as distance or part-time learning, will be encouraged through improved use of information technologies.

Erasmus+ grants will more strongly target specific needs (such as the living cost in the destination country) and offer strengthened support for students from less privileged backgrounds, as well as those with disabilities or coming from outermost regions. Countries can complement the EU grant with top-up grants financed by their own national or regional budget.

A new Erasmus Charter will contribute to a high quality learning experience through more rigorous agreements between higher education institutions which will specify the minimum expected level of student language skills and provide detailed information on housing and visa issues.

Will the level of student grants be better harmonised across countries under Erasmus+?

Yes. The objective is to better harmonise the criteria for fixing the level of the EU student grant, while at the same time allowing flexibility to take into account the level of demand for grants and other sources of funding, which vary from country to country. On top of the EU grant, students might also receive other contributions from national, regional or local authorities.

The level of the EU grant will first depend on the destination country.

Countries taking part in Erasmus+ will be divided into three groups, based on their living costs. Any student moving to a country within the same group (ie with similar living costs) for study purposes will receive an EU grant within the medium range €200-450/month. The amount of the grant will be defined by the National Agency responsible for managing Erasmus+ grants in their country. The National Agency will take account of the level of demand and other sources of funding. It might, for example, give their higher education institutions a minimum-maximum range for the grants in case co-financing is available in only some regions or institutions.

Students moving to a country with higher living costs will get the medium range plus at least €50/month (but not higher than €500/month). Students moving to a country with lower living costs will get the medium range minus at least €50/month (but not lower than €150/month). Students from outermost regions and outermost programme countries will get a higher EU grant.

The level of the EU grant will also depend on whether the student plans to study abroad or undertake a traineeship. Students on a traineeship will get €100-200/month on top of the EU grant given for studies as they often have no access to cheaper student housing or restaurants etc. The level will be decided by the National Agency or higher education institution in case of regional or local co-financing.

Special arrangements for students from low-income backgrounds are also foreseen: National Authorities may decide, depending on the support already provided at national level for this target group, to give an additional €100-200 /month from the EU budget, on top of the normal EU grant, to those students moving abroad for studies.

Finally, students with special needs can receive a higher EU grant to contribute to their additional costs.

Will students be able to participate in Erasmus+ if they already benefitted from an Erasmus grant under the previous Lifelong Learning Programme?

Yes. It will now be possible to study and train abroad more than once as an Erasmus+ student.

Students will be able to study and/or train abroad for up to 12 months within each study cycle (bachelor, master or doctorate), irrespective of the mobility type (studies or traineeships) and number of mobility periods (for example, 2 periods of 6 months or 3 periods of 4 months). However, higher education institutions may give priority to students who have never benefited from a mobility experience abroad before.

For students who have already benefited from an Erasmus exchange under the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP), this will be taken into account under Erasmus+ if they apply for a grant within the same study cycle. For example, if a student has already done an Erasmus exchange of six months at Master level under the LLP, he/she could benefit from an Erasmus+ mobility grant at Master level for up to 6 months. However if the same student goes on to do a doctorate, he or she could be supported for up to 12 months under Erasmus+ as it would be at a higher study cycle.

Will mobility still be a key aim for Erasmus+?

Yes: mobility will continue to receive the largest portion (two-thirds) of the Erasmus+ budget. While maintaining a strong emphasis on student mobility, support for teachers, trainers and youth workers will be strengthened because of their 'multiplier' effect – they are more likely to achieve a systemic impact when they put into practice what they have learned abroad when they return to their home institutions.

How will Erasmus+ address youth unemployment?

Erasmus+ will contribute to fighting youth unemployment by helping young people to improve key skills such as proficiency in a foreign language, communication, adaptability or in learning how to live and work with people of different nationalities and cultures.

The programme will facilitate better cooperation between universities and employers to ensure that students benefit from curricula which are relevant to the skills they need in the world of work. In addition, it will help education establishments and youth organisations to develop closer links with enterprise. It will also support policy reform in priority areas, such as digital skills and increased labour market relevance of vocational education and training.

Erasmus+ also emphasises the importance of informal learning. Evidence shows that employers appreciate skills acquired through non-formal learning experiences, such as volunteering. Indeed, 75% of participants in the European Voluntary Service said that their career prospects had improved thanks to this experience.

Studies also show that students who spent part of their studies in a foreign country are more likely to take up a job abroad when entering the labour market.

Which countries can participate in Erasmus+?

1.    The EU Member States

2.    Acceding countries, candidate countries and potential candidates benefiting from a pre-accession strategy

3.    European Free Trade Area (EFTA) countries that are party to the European Economic Area (EEA) Agreement

4.    The Swiss Confederation, provided it has signed a specific international agreement

5.    Countries covered by the European Neighbourhood Policy, where a bilateral agreement has been concluded.

EU Member States are automatically Erasmus+ programme countries. The other countries in the list above can become 'programme countries' subject to fulfilling specific administrative conditions and the setting up of a National Agency to manage the programme.

All other countries in the world are 'partner countries' and may participate in certain actions or according to specific conditions.