"No matter where you're from, what you do, or how old you are, it's never too late to discover what Erasmus+ could mean for you!"
It's the slogan that welcomes you on the Erasmus+ official website. Indeed, Erasmus+ has opportunities for a wide range of organisations including universities, education and training providers, think thanks, research organisations, and private businesses.
We will bring you to discover them step-by-step and to find the best opportunity for you!
Let's start with the Key Action (KA) 1: Learning Mobility of Individuals.
Learning mobility opportunities aim to encourage the mobility of students, staff, trainees, apprentices, volunteers, youth workers and young people.
The role of the organisations in this process is to organise these opportunities for individuals. The benefits for the participating organisations equally include an increased capacity to operate at an international level, improved management skills, access to more funding opportunities and projects, increased ability to prepare, manage, and follow-up projects, a more attractive portfolio of opportunities for students and staff at participating organisations, the opportunity to develop innovative projects with partners from around the world.
FOCUS ON: Higher Education Students and Staff
What is the opportunity?
Erasmus+ offers the opportunity for higher education institutions to send students and staff abroad (in other Programme countries or other Partner countries) to study, teach, or train at participating institutions, as well as to participate in a traineeship. They can also host incoming students and staff from abroad. Traineeships between Programme and Partner Countries are not available yet.
How does it work?
Organisations wanting to take part in these opportunities can either apply as an individual higher education institution, or as part of a "national mobility consortium", a group of organisations managed by a single coordinating organisation.
These organisations fall into one or more of the four main categories:
Applicant Organisations - responsible for applying for and managing the project, but can also act as a sending organisation;
Sending Organisations - in charge of selecting students/staff to send abroad or to manage incoming students and staff from partner countries, as well as invited staff from enterprises;
Receiving Organisations - responsible for receiving students/staff from abroad and offering a study/traineeship programme;
Intermediary Organisations - as a partner in a mobility consortium, intermediaries can be involved in supporting and facilitating the work of a consortium.
Higher education institutions established in a Programme country must hold an Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (ECHE) whether applying individually or as part of a consortium. Consortia intending to take part must also hold a Mobility Consortium Accreditation. Other organisations from Programme countries can also participate, but do not need an ECHE.
Although organisations from Partner countries can participate in mobility activities, Partner country higher education institutions are not eligible for an ECHE. Instead, they commit themselves to the principles of the charter and make the support they intend to offer to participants clear in the Inter-Institutional Agreement.
After receiving an ECHE and/or mobility consortium accreditation, the applicant organisations can apply for EU funding.
What else should you know?
The study activities offered to students have to be part of the student's study programme, while the activities offered to student trainees should also be integrated into the trainee's study programme. Both sending and receiving organisations, as well as the student, must sign a Learning Agreement before the start of the activities, outlining:
the educational components to be carried out by the student at the receiving institution,
the educational components to be replaced in the student's degree at the Sending Institution upon successful completion of the study programme abroad, and
the rights and obligations of the various parties.
The activities of staff sent abroad should be agreed on, in advance, by both the individual's sending organisation and the receiving organisation. As above, all parties to the mobility activity must sign a Mobility Agreement, outlining:
the target learning outcomes,
the provisions for formal recognition (for example through ECTS), and
the rights and obligations of the various parties.
In addition to this, any organisation that has signed the ECHE must also provide the necessary support to participants, including linguistic preparation. For long-term mobility activities beyond two months, the European Commission provides the Online Linguistic Support tool to assess and improve language competences.
How do you apply?
The application process for mobility projects is managed by the relevant National Agency (NA) on an annual basis. For individual organisations this is the NA in the country where the organisation is based, and for a consortium this is the NA where the consortium coordinator is based.
A call for proposals for the ECHE is held on an annual basis, and is managed by the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency. The award of an ECHE is valid for the duration of the programme.
A call for consortium accreditation is published on an annual basis by the National Agencies. A consortium accreditation is valid for three years. Organisations can request accreditation and grants at the same time.
(source: Erasmus+ Official Website)
In the next articles, we'll talk about other KA1 Opportunities... Stay tuned!!