The NA DAAD describes the programme as an “excellent basis” as it responds to the expectations of stakeholders to provide as much stability as possible, while adapting to evolving needs and developments.
The NA DAAD welcomes the increased budget allocation of 30 billion Euros as a minimum amount required to tackle current rate of over-subscription, while at the same time catering for new actions. The NA DAAD opts for a steady allocation of funding during the seven years period and – considering public perception – urges to reflect the overall budgetary increase in all actions, already starting with the first year of the new programme in 2021.
The NA DAAD paper makes a few suggestions how to further improve the higher education component of the Erasmus programme. Among these are:
- Higher education partnerships generally aim at both cooperation, excellence and innovation. From a higher education perspective, the new division of KA2 is therefore not target orientated.
- The NA DAAD strongly supports to keep the term and the objectives of currently existing “strategic partnerships” at decentralised level. A renaming in “cooperation partnerships” does not reflect the ambitions to be expected from these schemes.
- The identification of “forward looking disciplines” shall be undertaken in consultation with stakeholders and shall not complicate implementation or be undertaken at the expense of the current Erasmus-scheme that is open to all disciplines.
- Inclusion in higher education may be achieved through a combination of new forms of mobility, better preparation, digitisation, marketing as well as higher grant levels. These efforts require additional funding and are personnel-intensive. Against this background the formula of 3-times more beneficiaries with 2-times more budget and a lowering of the administrative budget is questionable.
- Virtual exchange and blended learning need to be mainstreamed in the proposal, by providing HEIs with additional support to develop such schemes.
- The programme`s objective to mobilise the potential of former Erasmus participants cannot be achieved through centralised actions only, a decentralised approach is required.
- The programme Europa macht Schule – Europe meets School is an excellent example how to reach the programme’s objective to “encourage participants to actively participate in the local community in the host country”.