Erasmus Exchanges
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Erasmus +


The European Commission has integrated its various educational and training initiatives under a single umbrella, the Lifelong Learning Programme. With a significant budget of nearly EUR 7 billion for 2007 to 2013, the new programme replaces the existing education, vocational training and e-Learning programmes, which ended in 2006.

The new Lifelong Learning Programme enables individuals at all stages of their lives to pursue stimulating learning opportunities across Europe. It consists of four sub-programmes: Comenius (for schools), Erasmus (for higher education), Leonardo da Vinci (for vocational education and training) and Grundtvig (for adult education).

A transversal programme complements these four sub-programmes in order to ensure that they achieve the best results. Four key activities focus on policy co-operation, languages, information and communication technologies, effective dissemination and exploitation of project results.

Finally, the Jean Monnet programme stimulates teaching, reflection and debate on the European integration process at higher education institutions worldwide.

As regards the four sectoral programmes, quantified targets have been set in order to ensure a significant, identifiable and measurable impact for the programme. These targets are as follows:

  • For Comenius: to involve at least three million pupils in joint educational activities, over the period of the programme
  • For Erasmus: to contribute to the achievement by 2012 of three million individual participants in student mobility under the present programme and its predecessors
  • For Leonardo da Vinci: to increase placements in enterprises to 80,000 per year by the end of the programme
  • For Grundtvig: to support the mobility of 7,000 individuals involved in adult education per year, by 2013.



Erasmus, the EU's flagship education and training programme, emphasizes student and staff mobility and European co-operation involving higher education institutions and other key players in the knowledge-based economy. It supports the creation of a European Higher Education Area (EHEA) through increased mobility. This allows for more innovation, growth and jobs in the EU. Over 1.5 million students have participated so far with a goal of reaching 3 million by 2012. Together with an enriched study experience, Erasmus also provides exposure to different cultures.

In addition to students, Erasmus also targets teachers, trainers, and others involved in higher education. This includes relevant associations, research centers, counseling organizations, etc. It is also open to enterprises, social partners and stakeholders, as well as public and private bodies providing education and training at local, regional and national levels.

Erasmus supports actions in the fields of mobility (period of study or placement abroad), European projects and networks. 

Erasmus supports the following activities

Student and Teaching Staff mobility

  • Student mobility (SM) 
    Erasmus gives students (up to and including doctorate, except for students enrolled in their first year of Higher Education) the opportunity to study for a period of 3-12 months at a university or higher education establishment in another participating country in the framework of agreed arrangements between universities. The time spent in the other country is fully recognised in the originating university, thanks to ECTS. Students also receive an Erasmus Student Charter which outlines their rights as visiting students and the obligations which they must fulfil at their host institution.
  • Teaching staff mobility (TS) 
    Erasmus provides support for teachers giving, generally short courses, as part of the official curriculum of a partner university in another European country. The grants are intended as a contribution to the additional costs arising from teaching in another country.

Organisation of mobility (OM)

Erasmus provides support to higher education institutions for the creation of optimal conditions: a) for students, to undertake recognised periods of study at partner institutions in other participating countries; b) for teachers, to organise fully integrated teaching assignments of short duration; c) for implementation of ECTS and Diploma Supplement (DS).

These optimal conditions include information, infrastructure and facilities, guidance, follow-up, involvement of local partners and facilities, guidance, follow-up, involvement of local partners and associations, etc.

Intensive programmes (IP)

Community funding may be allocated to universities organising short courses (10 days to 3 month) provided they have a European dimension. Financial support is available for one, two or three consecutive years on the understanding that every year the group of participants must be different and/or the themes involved must be different.

Curriculum Development projects (CD)

At least three establishments from different countries pool their resources to develop a programme of study, a module or a master's programme. This can be done in all academic subject areas. The financial support is for a maximum of three years.