Tuesday 23 December 2014


  •  Wales has been awarded €4.1 million for projects through Erasmus+ - the EU’s new programme for education, training, youth and sport.
  •  This is the first year of the programme, managed by the UK National Agency, a partnership between the British Council and Ecorys UK, with a major part of the organisation located in Cardiff at British Council Wales.

In the first rounds of Erasmus+ funding Wales has been awarded €4.1m (just over £3m). Of the funding €3.2m will go to help Welsh youngsters study, train or volunteer abroad and €900K will help the country’s schools, colleges and universities work with their European partners to share best practice.

This is the first year of the new Erasmus+ European Union programme in the UK, aimed at organisations from the education, training, youth and sport sectors, with €97.6 million awarded to 818 successful projects in the UK so far.

Welsh higher education organisations were particularly successful in securing funding for sending students to study or train abroad and staff to job shadow and train with their counterparts, as well as forging partnerships with others in the education and training, sport and youth fields across the 28 plus European Union countries and beyond, winning more than €2.5m.

In Wales €0.7m has been awarded for vocational education and training projects; €0.6m for schools; €0.01m for adult education and €0.2m for youth, with the youth funding allocated across ten different projects.

In total 71 applications were received from organisations based in Wales during the first two rounds of the 2014 call for applications.

Jenny Scott, director at British Council Wales said: “We’re pleased to see Erasmus+ funding coming to Wales and congratulate all the Welsh organisations who have been successful in their bids for funding. Erasmus+ opens doors to new opportunities for young people across Wales – opportunities that will enhance their career opportunities and develop their ability to work in today’s global economy. The programme also helps our schools, colleges and universities develop partnerships in Europe and share best practice.

“Another round of funding for the youth and vocational education sectors recently closed, which should mean more funding for Wales. The application process for the 2015 funding rounds will soon open and we’d like to see even more bids from Wales. There is still plenty of time to apply before the 2015 deadlines. Interested organisations can keep up to date with the latest application advice and deadlines through the Erasmus+ website.”

Cardiff University has long supported the Erasmus programme and is continuing to offer its staff and students the opportunities to gain an international experience through the new Erasmus+ programme.

The university has regularly sent around 300 students abroad every year through Erasmus to take part in work experience or to study at one of its partner institutions across Europe.

Annika Axelsen, Institutional Erasmus+ Co-ordinator at Cardiff University, explains why they continue to participate in Erasmus+: “We believe that studying or working abroad enables our students to gain skills over and above those that they can gain through just studying in the UK. Our university supported the predecessor programme for many years and will continue to do so as we believe offering our students and staff an international opportunity is paramount to their education and careers, broadening their horizons and improving employability.  Students return with greater confidence, maturity and life-skills. Staff return enthused and pass on their inspiration to our students.”

A full list of the successful projects will be published in due course.

Erasmus+ replaced the former Lifelong Learning Programme and Youth in Action programme when it was launched across the EU earlier this year. In the UK around £840 million is being made available over seven years up until 2020.

The UK National Agency for Erasmus+ is a partnership between the British Council and Ecorys UK.

Ruth Sinclair-Jones, Director of the Erasmus+ UK National Agency, said of the awards: “We have made huge strides this year in setting up a new team, across a formal partnership between the British Council and Ecorys as the National Agency in the UK, establishing new joint processes, working with a new European Commission IT system and overcoming delays, communicating the benefits and encouraging applications by explaining this large and often complex programme to the organisations, young people, students and staff.”

 The majority of the British Council staff managing and delivering the Erasmus+ programme in the UK are now based in the Cardiff office.

Notes to Editor

Deadlines for Erasmus+ 2015 have been announced and can be found at www.erasmusplus.org.uk.

About Erasmus+

Erasmus+ is the new European Union programme for education, training, youth and sport for 2014-2020. It significantly increases EU funding (+40%) with an overall budget of €14.7 billion (£12 billion) for the development of knowledge and skills and aims to increase the quality and relevance of qualifications and skills. Two-thirds of its funding will provide grants for more than 4 million people to study, train, gain work experience or volunteer abroad in 2014-2020 (compared with 2.7 million in 2007-2013). The period abroad can range from a few days up to a year. In the UK, it is expected that nearly 250,000 people will undertake activities abroad with the programme. Erasmus+ aims to modernise education, training and youth work across Europe. It is open to education, training, youth and sport organisations across all sectors of Lifelong Learning, including schools education, further and higher education, adult education and the youth sector. Erasmus+ provides funding for organisations to offer opportunities to students, teachers, apprentices, volunteers, youth leaders and people working in grassroots’ sport. It will also provide funding for partnerships between organisations such as educational institutions, youth organisations, enterprises, local and regional authorities and NGOs, as well as support for reforms in Member States to modernise education and training and to promote innovation, entrepreneurship and employability. Erasmus+ replaces the former Erasmus, Comenius, Youth in Action, Leonardo, Grundtvig and Transversal programmes which ran from 2007-2013.

When referring to Erasmus+, please use the phrase `The Erasmus+ UK National Agency is a partnership between the British Council and Ecorys UK’.

Further information from www.erasmusplus.org.uk

About Ecorys UK

Ecorys UK, part of the international research, consulting and management services company Ecorys, provides high-quality communication, research and technical assistance services across education, economic and social policy areas. Ecorys employs over 150 staff in the UK specialising in education and culture, employment and labour markets, economic and international development, communications, public grant managed programmes and capacity building. Our mission is to add value to public service delivery through our experience of the entire policy cycle.

 Further information from https://www.ecorys.com/

About the British Council

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide.

We work in more than 100 countries and our 7000 staff – including 2000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year by teaching English, sharing the Arts and delivering education and society programmes.

We are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter. A core publically-funded grant-in-aid provides less than 25 per cent of our turnover which last year was £781m. The rest of our revenues are earned from services which customers around the world pay for, through education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. All our work is in pursuit of our charitable purpose and supports prosperity and security for the UK and globally.

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