The EU programme for Education, Training, Youth and Sport, Erasmus+, was launched on 1st January 2014. The programme has a budget of €14.7 billion to support cooperation in higher education, primary education, vocational education and training, adult education, youth and sport for the period 2014-2020. Additionally, €1.68 billion is available for the programme’s international dimension; to fund mobility and higher education cooperation with partner countries outside Europe.

The programme is based on three Key Actions:

  • Key Action 1: Learning mobility of individuals
  • Key Action 2: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices
  • Key Action 3: Erasmus+ support for policy reform

33 so-called "programme countries" fully participate in Erasmus+. Among them are, besides the EU member states, other European countries, such as Norway, Turkey or Macedonia. Further information about the participation in the programme are available on the European Commission's website.

Within the overarching architecture of Erasmus+, higher education assumes a central role.
A minimum of 33.3% of the total budget for Erasmus+ is earmarked for higher education.

What funding opportunities are available under Erasmus+ for the higher education sector?

  • Student mobility: Mobility for a study or training period abroad (intra-European mobility).
  • Staff mobility: Teaching and training opportunities for staff of higher education institutions (intra-European mobility).
  • International mobility: Student and staff mobility for learning and teaching purposes from partner countries to Europe, and (to a lesser extent) from Europe to partner countries - just recently also for student placements.
  • Erasmus+ Master’s degree loans: Loans for students accepted for a full Master’s degree programme in another Erasmus+ programme country (this scheme is currently only offered in selected countries).
  • Erasmus+ strategic partnerships: Higher education and multi-sector cooperation projects, which support i.a. innovation and exchange of good practices in higher education  through cooperation between universities and/or institutions from different social sectors.
  • Knowledge alliances: Knowledge alliances are aimed at fostering innovation in higher education, business and the broader socio-economic environment. They intend to develop structured and long-term cooperation between universities and business in order to boost Europe's innovation capacity.
  • Capacity building projects: Cooperation with partner countries and regions outside of Europe. Projects aim to support the modernisation, accessibility and internationalisation of higher education systems in the partner countries.
  • Erasmus Mundus Joint Master’s degrees: Establishment of trans-European Master's degrees for excellent students from all over the world.
  • Jean Monnet activities: Support for teaching and research in the field of EU studies.
  • Forward-looking cooperation projects: Transnational cooperation projects for the development and evaluation of new, innovative approaches in the fields of training, education and youth.
  • European policy experimentations: Europe-wide cooperation throughout all fields of education with a view to implement innovative policies under the leadership of high-level public authorities.
  • Social integration projects: Social integration through projects in the fields of education, training and youth. Cooperation/ partnerships and networking models, which involve combinations of relevant (public/private) stakeholders across different sectors.

The Erasmus+ funding lines for mobility and Erasmus+ strategic partnerships are administered at national level, by the National Erasmus+ Agencies. Further funding lines in higher education, such as the capacity building projects, the knowledge alliances, Erasmus Mundus Joint Master's Degrees, Jean Monnet actions as well as the funding lines for Erasmus+ support for policy reform are administered centrally by the Executive Agency for Culture, Education and Audiovisual (EACEA) of the European Commission in Brussels.
To the EACEA website.

Further information

The website of the National Agency for EU Higher Education Cooperation within the DAAD provides further information on the Erasmus+ programme, the three key actions and the political framework for the higher education sector. Please note that the website is available in German only.