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The future of Erasmus+: More opportunities

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From a bigger budget to more opportunities for disadvantaged people, discover the new Erasmus+ programme.

Parliament adopted the Erasmus+ programme for 2021-2027 on 18 May. Erasmus+ is a flagship EU programme that has proven successful in creating opportunities for young people and increasing their chances of finding a job.

MEPs negotiated an additional €1.7 billion for the programme, helping to almost double the budget from the 2014-2020 period. This should enable about 10 million people to participate in activities abroad over the next seven years, including students, professors, teachers and trainers in all sectors.

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The centres of vocational excellence, which were proposed by MEPs, are now part of the new Erasmus+. These international centres provide quality vocational training so that people can develop useful skills in key sectors.

A priority of the Parliament, the programme is now more accessible and more inclusive. This means more people who are disadvantaged can participate and benefit from language training, administrative support, mobility or e-learning opportunities.

In line with EU priorities, Erasmus+ will focus on the digital and green transitions and promote a healthy lifestyle as well as lifelong learning for adults.

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What is Erasmus+?

Erasmus+ is an EU programme supporting opportunities for education, training, young people and sport in Europe. It started as a student exchange programme in 1987, but since 2014 it also offers opportunities for teachers, trainees and volunteers of all ages.

More than nine million people have taken part in the Erasmus+ programme over the last 30 years and nearly 940,000 people benefited from the programme in 2019 alone. The programme currently covers 33 countries (all 27 EU countries as well as Turkey, North Macedonia, Serbia, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) and is open to partner countries across the world.

According to the European Commission, a third of Erasmus+ trainees are offered a position by the company they trained in. In addition, the unemployment rate of young people who studied or trained abroad is 23% lower than that of their non-mobile peers five years after graduation.

How to apply

Erasmus+ has opportunities for people as well as organizations from all over the world.

The application procedure and the preparation can differ depending on what part of the programme you apply for. Discover more information about it here.

Erasmus+ 2021-2027 

Erasmus 

Education

2021 university ranking show that European universities have a strong degree of co-operation

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U-Multirank, initiated by the Commission and co-funded by Erasmus+, has published its 8th university ranking, scoring almost 2,000 universities from 96 countries across the world. Among other results, it shows that European universities cooperate more intensively in comparison to other regions, especially in the performance areas of teaching & learning, research, knowledge exchange and internationalisation (staff & student mobility, joint diplomas & publications, etc.). Generally, universities working together with other institutions, businesses and industries, governments, regional bodies or across borders generally perform better than those that are less focused on cooperation. Seven aspects were taken into consideration for the ranking: strategic partnerships, international joint degrees, internships, international co-publications, co-publications with industrial partners, regional co-publications and co-patents with industry.

Every year, U-Multirank compares higher education institutions' performance in areas that matter most to students, providing the world's largest customisable online rankings. Universities can use U-Multirank data to assess their strengths and weaknesses and find ways to create or strengthen their strategic plans, including aspects on cooperation. The European Universities initiative is one of the flagship action led by the Commission towards the European Education Area. The objective is to create transnational alliances where students, staff and researchers can enjoy seamless mobility – physically as well as virtually, to study, train, teach, do research, work, or share services in any of the cooperating partner institutions. So far, there are 41 such alliances bringing together more than 280 institutions of higher education across Europe. In total, a budget of up to €287 million from Erasmus+ and Horizon Europe is available for these 41 European Universities. More information is available online.

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Statement by Crisis Management Commissioner Janez Lenarčič on the International Day to Protect Education from Attack

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On the occasion of the International Day to Protect Education from Attack (9 September), the EU reaffirms its commitment to promote and protect the right of every child to grow in a safe environment, have access to quality education, and build a better and more peaceful future, says Janez Lenarčič (pictured).

Attacks on schools, students and teachers have a devastating impact on access to education, education systems and on societal development. Sadly, their incidence is increasing at an alarming rate. This is all too clear from the recent developments in Afghanistan, and the crises in Ethiopia, Chad, Africa's Sahel region, in Syria, Yemen or Myanmar, amongst many others. The Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack has identified more than 2,400 attacks on education facilities, students, and educators in 2020, a 33 percent increase since 2019.

Attacks on education constitute also violations of International Humanitarian Law, the set of rules seeking to limit the effects of armed conflict. Such violations are multiplying, while their perpetrators are seldom called to account. In this view, we are putting compliance with International Humanitarian Law consistently at the heart of the EU's external action. As one of the largest humanitarian donors, the EU will hence continue to promote and advocate for global respect for International Humanitarian Law, both by states and non-state armed groups during an armed conflict.

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Beyond destruction of facilities, attacks on education result in long-term suspension of learning and teaching, increase the risk of school dropouts, lead to forced labour and recruitment by armed groups and forces. School closures reinforce exposure to all forms of violence, including sexual and gender-based violence or early and forced marriage, levels of which have increased drastically during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed and exacerbated the vulnerability of education worldwide. Now, more than ever, we need to minimise disruption to education disruption, and ensure that children can learn in safety and protection.

Safety of education, including further engagement on the Safe Schools Declaration, is an integral part of our efforts to protect and promote the right to education for every girl and boy.

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Responding to and preventing attacks on schools, supporting protective aspects of education and protecting students and teachers requires a coordinated and inter-sectoral approach.

Through EU-funded projects in Education in Emergencies, we help reduce and mitigate the risks posed by armed conflict.

The EU remains at the forefront of supporting education in emergencies, dedicating 10% of its humanitarian aid budget to support access, quality and protection of education.

More information

Factsheet - Education in Emergencies

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European Commission report on adult education and training in Europe

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The European Commission's Eurydice network has published a report on ‘Adult Education and Training in Europe: Building inclusive pathways to skills and qualifications'. The report examines current approaches to promoting lifelong learning, with a particular focus on policies and measures supporting the access of adults with low levels of skills and qualifications, to learning opportunities. It looks at 42 education and training systems across 37 European countries.

Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Commissioner Mariya Gabriel said: “This pandemic has shown that many adults do not have adequate basic skills. In particular, it has revealed the large digital divide among the adult population. It is essential to create systematic learning opportunities allowing people to improve their basic skills at any stage of life. We also need to address the fragmentation of the adult learning sector, so that adults can make straightforward transitions between different types and forms of education.”

Jobs and Social Rights Commissioner Nicolas Schmit said: “To adapt to the rapidly-changing world of work, we must focus our attention and resources on lifelong learning. By 2030, we want at least 60% of adults in the EU to participate in training every year. EU leaders welcomed this ambition and their national recovery and resilience plans include large investments in upskilling and reskilling of adults. Together with Social Partners and all stakeholders, we need to ensure access to learning opportunities especially for people who would benefit from upskilling and reskilling the most. This aspect is central to the Upskilling Pathways initiative which pays particular attention to the most vulnerable.”

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In addition to looking into how adult education and training initiatives are coordinated at national level, this report also presents a unique mapping of publicly-funded and co-funded adult education and training programmes, and the existing guidance and support measures for the least qualified. The Eurydice Network consists of national units in European countries, and is co-ordinated by the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency.

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