Erasmus+ is the EU programme for education, training, youth, and sport. This seven-year programme covers three key actions:
The aim of the programme is to boost skills and employability as well as support the modernisation of education, training and youth welfare services. Information on the Erasmus+ programme is available on the website of the European Commission.
These funds are used primarily to strengthen mobility in Europe and, since 2015, in other parts of the world to a lesser extent. The programme is open to students from all study cycles, up to and including PhD level, who want to complete part of their studies abroad or who want to do a placement abroad.
It will also be possible for students to go on placement abroad after they have completed their studies. Finally, Erasmus+ offers students wishing to complete their entire master’s studies in Europe the opportunity to acquire low-interest loans.
Erasmus+ also contributes to the further internationalisation of universities through the sponsorship of both visiting lectureships and assignments abroad for the further education and training of teaching and administrative staff. Furthermore, universities can invite business representatives from abroad to take part in teaching assignments. They can also participate in multilateral strategic partnerships with other European partners (also from the non-academic sphere) and develop joint innovative projects (in the area of curriculum development or on topics affecting multiple areas of education and training, for example). Erasmus+ also provides funding for cooperation with industry by means of new projects known as knowledge alliances. Universities that wish to engage in capacity building projects in third countries can do so through the programme’s international university partnership scheme.
The funding for most of the mobility opportunities and strategic partnerships will be assigned by national agencies in the 34 countries participating in the programme (28 EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Northern Macedonia, Norway, Serbia and Turkey). In Germany, this responsibility continues to fall to the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Exchanges with Switzerland are not currently possible under the Erasmus+ programme.
Every higher education institution wishing to participate in and/or apply for the EU programme for education, training, youth and sport must have a valid Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (ECHE). It demonstrates that a university fulfils all the requirements needed to participate successfully in the Erasmus+ programme. Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University of Applied Sciences was awarded the Erasmus-Charta (ECHE) based on its Erasmus statement on university policy (European Policy Statement - EPS) for the entire duration of the programme (2014-2020).
2021 sees the start of a new seven-year generation of programmes for which Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University of Applied Sciences has already been awarded the ECHE. Four overarching themes of sustainability, inclusivity, digitalisation and community engagement define the new generation of programmes, which otherwise builds on the successes of the previous generation. On one hand, the digital transition substantially affects mobility as a key element of Erasmus. With formats such as blended mobility, blended intensive programmes and virtual mobility, the traditional concept of physical mobility undergoes an invaluable digital expansion.
On the other hand, it also affects how the programme is run: as part of Erasmus Without Paper (EWP), the administration of the Erasmus+ programme is being fully transferred to digital data flows between universities.
Further information and advice on the Erasmus+ mobility programme is available from the German Academic Exchange Service.
This project was financed with the support of the European Commission. The author alone is responsible for the contents of this publication; the European Commission cannot be held liable for the use of the information contained herein.
International Office, Funding and Career Service (IFC)
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DAAD Erasmus+ information page (in German)
Erasmus+ annual report 2019 (in German)