Erasmus+ is the European Union programme for education, training, youth and sport, which aims to boost skills and employability as well as modernise education, training, and youth work and promote innovation, entrepreneurship and employability across Europe. Erasmus+ succeeds the former Erasmus, Comenius, Youth in Action, Leonardo, Grundtvig and Transversal programmes which ran from 2007-2013.
It has a budget of approximately €14.7 billion (£12 billion) across Europe to help more than four million people to study, train, gain work experience or volunteer abroad. It also supports transnational partnerships between education, training and youth organisations as well as grassroots sport projects. Almost €1 billion will be allocated to the UK over seven years, where it is expected to enable around 250,000 people to take part. The British Council manages the Erasmus+ programme in the UK, in partnership with Ecorys UK.
Who can apply?
Erasmus+ is aimed at schools, further and higher education institutions, vocational education and training providers, adult education and youth organisations actively involved in delivering formal and non-formal education, training and youth work. It will also provide funding for partnerships between organisations such as educational institutions, youth organisations, enterprises, local and regional authorities and NGOs. In its first year (2014) it awarded over €5m of funding to organisations, schools, universities and youth organisations across Wales. Only organisations can apply for funding, except for informal groups of young people who can apply for some youth funding in certain circumstances. Please visit the Erasmus+ website for full details on applying.
Why take part?
Erasmus+ funding supports organisations to offer exciting opportunities for their students, young people, teachers, apprentices, youth leaders and people working in grassroots’ sport. It is of particular benefit to young people who can study, work or volunteer abroad in Europe to learn new skills to improve their employability. Participants acquire life-skills and greater confidence; develop personally and professionally; gain valuable international experience; enhance their CVs; broaden horizons; experience new cultures; improve language skills and discover new ways of working.
Teachers and support staff in schools can spend time abroad through a Key Action 1 Mobility project undertaking courses, observation, job shadowing, training, and teaching.
Under Key Action 2, funding is available for Strategic Partnerships between schools and also between schools and local/regional school authorities, teacher training institutions and departments, and other types of organisations active in education, training and the youth sector. The aim of the partnership is to create a group to tackle particular issues related to schools education, such as teaching standards, entrepreneurship, citizenship, basic skills or linguistic skills, through collaboration and innovation.
Schools can also apply for funding through Key Action 2 to run collaborative projects aimed at improving provision across more than one sector.
Under Key Action 1 higher education institutions (HEIs) which hold an Erasmus Charter for Higher Education can apply for funding to offer their students the opportunity to study in a partner university or carry out a traineeship abroad and for staff to take part in teaching or training abroad. Students can improve their skills, enhance their employability and gain valuable international experience. Staff can discover new ways of working and support their professional development.
Charter-holding institutions can also apply for funding for Strategic Partnerships through Key Action 2 to run collaborative projects which enable institutions to work together in order to improve their provision for learners and share innovative practices. HEIs can also apply for funding to run collaborative projects aimed at improving provision across more than one sector.
Members of a youth organisation can take part in youth exchanges or European Voluntary Service and youth workers can take part in training/networking through Key Action 1. Youth organisations and informal groups of young people can take part in collaborative projects, through Key Action 2, known as Strategic Partnerships, which aim to improve and develop innovative youth work practices. They can also apply for funding to run collaborative projects aimed at improving provision across more than one sector.
Youth organisations can also apply for Structured Dialogue funding, Key Action 3 projects, which give young people the opportunity to interact with decision-makers on issues of concern to young people and to influence policy.
Vocational Education Training (VET)
Organisations involved in VET can apply for funding to offer apprentices and students the chance to experience a vocational training placement in another country. Learners can spend time in a workplace to gain real life experience or at a VET school where they will also spend time in industry. Staff can also benefit from funding opportunities to support their professional development or by job shadowing. All of this activity is through Key Action 1. UK organisations involved in VET can also apply for funding to run collaborative projects and collaborative projects across more than one sector, through Key Action 2.
Organisations involved in adult education can apply for funding to offer their staff in charge of adult education opportunities to carry out staff training or carry out teaching/training assignments. Staff can benefit from increased professional and career development through structured courses and training events, job shadowing and observations. All of this activity is through Key Action 1. UK adult education organisations can apply for funding to run collaborative projects and collaborative projects across more than one sector, through Key Action 2.