The Erasmus Programme (EuRopean Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students) allows for staff and students to transfer between learning institutions with full academic recognition of studies and qualifications, tuition waiver, and grants. Changes to the program have resulted in a newly unified program, Erasmus for All. It merges the many different sections of the Lifelong Learning Programme (Erasmus, Leonardo da Vinci, Comenius, Grundtvig, Youth in Action, Erasmus Mundus, Tempus, Alfa, Edulink), into a program that will cater to the people of Europe and beyond.
Who is Eligible?
The Programme is open to higher education institutions and organisation active in the field of higher education and research, as well as to students, doctoral candidates, teachers, researchers and university staff from any part of the world.
Participating countries include:
- Member States of the European Union
- Countries or potential Candidates on the same footing as Member States (includes Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Albania, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo under UNSC Resolution 1244/99, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey and Switzerland) - only if they have an agreement (Memorandum of Understanding or an EEA Joint Committee Decision) establishing the participation of the country concerned in the EM programme is in force by the date of the selection decision
- Third countries (meaning a country that is not a European Country, but in an agreement between the European Union and the European countries).
There 3 primary action groups.
Action 1 - Joint Programmes
Under Action 1, Erasmus supports Joint Programmes: Masters Courses (Action 1 A) and Joint Doctorates (Action 1 B). These are operated by consortia of higher education institutions from the EU and elsewhere in the world. They provide an integrated course and joint or multiple diplomas following study or research at two or more higher education institutions.
Erasmus funds scholarships for students and academics studying or teaching on Erasmus Masters Courses. Fellowships are also available for doctoral candidates following one of the Joint doctorates. Scholarships cover participation costs, subsistence costs, and insurance for the duration of the study period. Many students also have the right to a contribution to travel costs.
Action 2 - Partnerships
Partnerships between European and Third Country higher education institutions are available for students (undergraduates to post-docs) and staff (administrative and academic).
Scholarships cover participation costs, subsistence costs, insurance for the duration of the study period, plus a contribution to travel costs.
Action 3 - Attractiveness Projects
Promotion of European higher education through projects to enhance the attractiveness of Europe as an educational destination and a centre of excellence at world level. The program is open to higher education institutions and to any organisation active in the field of higher education from any part of the world, and activities can take place anywhere in the world. This includes activities related to the international dimension of all aspects of higher education, such as promotion, accessibility, quality assurance, credit recognition, mutual recognition of qualifications between European and third countries, curriculum development, mobility and quality of services for international students.
Note that the language of instruction may be different than that of your home institution. Some institutions organize tests and select the students based on their skills on the language, such as the Deutsches Sprachdiplom in German, Dele in Spanish, or TOEFL in English. Erasmus Intensive Language Courses may be offered at host universities.
How to Apply
Select the course that interests you from the program listings for masters or doctoral. Visit the partnership website to see which courses are available in which disciplines. Apply direct to the consortium via its website.
Check the Erasmus partnerships currently open for nationals of your country at the EACEA site's info for Action 2. Visit the partnership website to see which courses are available in which disciplines. Apply direct to the partnership via its website. If you are registered at one of the partner institutions, you should contact your International Office.
Proposals are selected through a competitive system based on their quality from the content and organisational points of view. Application must include letters of endorsement from each partner organisation. The endorsement letters demonstrate that the partners are aware of the project's structure, objectives and budget and are committed to actively participate in it. There is no official format for these letters, but the endorsement letter should indicate how the project fits within the strategy of each partner organisation and what will be the added value for the organisation in question to participate to it. They should confirm the partner's agreement with the application as submitted. They are usually signed by the Legal representative of the partner organisation or another appropriate authority that is authorised to represent the organisation in legally binding agreements. The endorsement letters must also indicate the value of the financial contribution that the partner organisation has agreed to make to the project activities. The amount indicated in the endorsement letter is an estimation of the financial contribution made by each partner.
The European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) provides uniform credit across different educational institutions. Student workload consists of the time required to complete all planned learning activities such as attending lectures, seminars, independent and private study, preparation of projects, examinations, etc. One credit stands for around 25 to 30 working hours with 60 Credits representing the workload of a year of study (usually 30 Credits per semester and 20 credits per trimester). Those credits allocated to modules and courses can only be obtained after successful completion of the work required and appropriate assessment of the learning outcomes achieved.
To fully understand how the system works, read our article on ECTS.