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Erasmus+ is the European Union's programme in the fields of education, training, youth and sport for the period 2021-2027.

The 2021-2027 programme places a strong focus on social inclusion, the green and digital transitions, and promoting young people’s participation in democratic life.

The main aim of Erasmus+ is to provide financial support:

  • for mobility and activities carried out by learners (pupils, students, young people and adult learners),

  • for mobility and cooperation activities among workers in education, training, youth and sport who act as examples to be followed in contact with learners (young people and adults).

It is not possible for individuals to apply for Erasmus+ personally, except for applications submitted on behalf of a group of young people active in socio-educational leadership. For an institutional application, they must associate their organisation with the Erasmus+ project to which funding could be allocated and for which project the organisation will receive the co-funding granted.

01 Key Actions

The Erasmus+ programme focuses on three Key Actions.

Key Action 1 - Learning mobility of individuals

Mobility opportunities in the sectors of school education, vocational education and training, higher education, adult education and youth are priority activities in the Erasmus+ programme.

People of any age whatever their level of training are given the opportunity to take an active part in the labour market and in society and to contribute to social inclusion and the development of a European identity.

The people concerned are:

  • pupils in school education interested in individual or group mobility in another country

  • apprentices, learners and young people with a recent vocational training qualification for placements in businesses or vocational institutions in Europe or further afield, study periods, or participation in vocational competitions

  • students, doctoral candidates and recent graduates for study periods or placements in Europe or further afield and for intensive hybrid programmes1

  • adult learners wishing to take advantage of opportunities for personal development or improve their basic skills through individual or group mobility

  • young people wishing to take part in 'youth exchanges' and 'youth participation activities'

  • people working in the fields of education, training, and youth for teaching or training missions and staff training activities, and members of the staff of higher education institutions interested in taking part in intensive hybrid programmes.
    Trainee teachers and social education workers can carry out their placement in another country.
    Experts may also be invited by organisations active in the education and training sectors for the enhanced development of the teaching and learning methods used by these organisations.

1 Intensive hybrid programmes combine a shorter physical mobility activity with a virtual element. The period of physical mobility may last 5 to 30 days, and must be combined with a compulsory virtual element promoting collaborative online learning based on discussion and teamwork. A hybrid mobility activity for study purposes should make it possible to obtain at least 3 ECTS credits.

Key Action 2 - Cooperation among organisations and institutions

Partnerships in favour of cooperation meet the need for innovative practices, cooperation and the pooling of experience at the European level. They are open to all types of organisations active in the fields of education, vocational training, social and educational work and other socio-economic sectors.

There are two types of partnership, defined by their aims and the composition of the partnership:

  • cooperation partnerships
    • are aimed at developing initiatives in one or more of the fields of education, training and youth
    • may last for 12 to 36 months
    • must involve at least three partners in 3 different countries
    • may receive a European grant of either 120.000, 250.000 or 400.000 euros per project
  • small-scale partnerships
    • are aimed at developing initiatives in one or more of the fields of education, training, and youth, excluding the higher education sector
    • may last for 6 to 24 months
    • must involve at least two partners in two different countries
    • may receive a European grant of either 30.000 or 60.000 euros
Key Action 3 - Support to policy development and cooperation

Key Action 3 is managed directly by the European Commission.

It supports:

  • the "European Youth Together" action which targets youth organisations which want to establish partnerships across borders, promoting regional partnerships in close collaboration with young people from all over Europe.

Key Action 3 also supports Jean Monnet Actions in the field of higher education and research and Jean Monnet Networks in the higher education sector, as well as teacher training, Learning EU initiatives, and Jean Monnet Networks in the other sectors of education and training. All these actions promote the spread of knowledge about European Union integration topics.

02 Example

Mobility of individuals for learning purposes (Key Action 1 - Vocational Education and Training)

Nathalie, who is 19 years old, is a student preparing for her technician's diploma at the Lycée Technique Agricole (LTA), an agricultural secondary school. The training syllabus in the "Agriculture" section includes compulsory work experience in another country with a view to supplementing the initial vocational training dispensed at the secondary school.
Nathalie is interested in an initial vocational experience in the equestrian sector, and would like to spend two months at an equestrian centre in Ireland. She contacts the placement office at her school to find out about the organisational aspects of a placement, and the possibilities for obtaining a grant. As part of the LTA's Erasmus+ mobility project, Nathalie will be able to receive an Erasmus+ grant of nearly 3.500 euros to help cover the cost of her placement abroad.

Last update - 21.03.2022
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