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: Support for policy reform

Besides the EU member states, further European countries, such as Norway, Turkey or Macedonia have set-up an agreement with the European Commission in order to fully participate in Erasmus+ as programme countries. 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
  • 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)
  • Strategic partnerships: Higher education and multi-sector cooperation projects. These may, for example, include activities that strengthen cooperation between organisations on European level, exchange good-practices and/or the development, testing and implementation of innovative practices in teaching and learning.
  • Knowledge Alliances: Cooperation projects, notably between higher education and business. Knowledge Alliances are aimed at fostering innovation in higher education, business and the broader socio-economic environment. They intend to develop new, innovative and multidisciplinary approaches to teaching and learning; stimulate entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial skills; and facilitate the exchange, flow and co-creation of knowledge.
  • 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.
  • Joint Master’s degrees: Delivery of joint Master’s degree programmes organised through an international consortium of higher education institutions. Scholarships are awarded to excellent students worldwide for participation in Erasmus Mundus study programmes.
  • Jean Monnet activities: Funding of teaching programmes, research projects, conferences and studies focusing on the European integration process.

The Erasmus+ funding lines for mobility and strategic partnerships are administered at national level, by the National Erasmus+ Agencies. Further funding lines in higher education, such as the Knowledge Alliances, Erasmus Mundus Joint Degrees and Jean Monnet actions 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.