Erasmus+, which started on 1st January 2014 and will continue to run until 2020, is the new EU programme dedicated to education, training, youth and sport in all sectors of lifelong learning including Higher Education, Further Education, adult education, schools, and youth activities. The programme aims to comply with the Europe 2020 targets, that is, to raise higher education achievements from 32% to 40%, and reduce the share of early school leavers from 14% to less than 10%.

Raising higher education achievements from 32% to 40%

The programme brings 7 existing programmes into a single coherent framework which is based around 5 Actions: Key Action 1, Key Action 2, Key Action 3, Jean Monnet Activities and Sport. The seven year programme will have a budget of of €14.7 billion, which shows a 40% increase compared to current spending levels and most importantly shows the EU’s commitments towards investing in these areas.

Over 4 million Europeans will benefit from Erasmus+ which will give them to opportunity to study, train, gain work experience and volunteer abroad. The programme doesn’t only provide grants for individuals but will also support multinational partnerships among education, training and youth institutions and organisations to help connect the worlds of education and work so the skills gap, which Europe is currently facing, can be tackled more effectively.

Erasmus+ will help 2 million higher education students to study and train abroad, 650,000 vocational students to spend part of their education and training abroad, 200,000 Master’s students to benefit from a new loan guarantee scheme and more than 25,000 scholarships for Joint Master Degrees, 500,000 young people to volunteer abroad and take part in youth exchanges and 800,000 lecturers, teachers, trainers, education staff and youth workers to teach or train abroad. Individuals will not be the only ones benefitting from this programme.

Opportunities for innovation projects and exchange of good practices include 25,000 Strategic Partnerships, involving 125, 000 institutions and organisations, to implement joint initiatives and promote exchange of experience and know-how and links with the world of work, nearly 300 Knowledge Alliances and Sector Skills Alliances, involving 3500 education institutions and enterprises working together and more than 200,000 teachers collaborating on line and involving more than 100,000 schools through eTwinning.

Refresh your thinking and broaden your horizons

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Applying to any area from the Erasmus+ programme will help you learn and share new ideas, be inspired by new colleagues and different outlooks, refresh your thinking and broaden your horizons, return more motivated, independent and confident, discover a different culture, gain an international perspective and travel, explore new tools and technologies in your field, establish a good network of new international contacts and most importantly, have an enjoyable and unforgettable experience abroad.