What is Erasmus+?
Erasmus+ is the EU's programme to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe.
It has an estimated budget of €26.2 billion. This is nearly double the funding compared to its predecessor programme (2014-2020).
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.
It supports priorities and activities set out in the European Education Area, Digital Education Action Plan and the European Skills Agenda. The programme also
- supports the European Pillar of Social Rights
- implements the EU Youth Strategy 2019-2027
- develops the European dimension in sport
Erasmus+ offers mobility and cooperation opportunities in
- higher education
- vocational education and training
- school education (including early childhood education and care)
- adult education
How Erasmus+ is managed
The Erasmus+ programme is managed by the European Commission (the EU's executive body), the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA), a series of National Agencies in Programme countries, and a series of National Offices in some Partner countries.
The European Commission
The European Commission handles the overall management of the programme, including
- managing the budget
- setting the priorities
- identifying the programme's targets and criteria
- monitoring and guiding the implementation
- follow-up and evaluation of the programme
The European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) of the European Commission is in charge of managing the "centralised" elements of the programme, including
- promoting the programme and opportunities
- launching calls for proposals
- reviewing grant requests
- contracting and monitoring projects
- communicating on results
The EACEA and Commission also carry out studies and research, as well as managing and financing the other bodies and networks supported by Erasmus+.
Detailed information on the management of Erasmus+ is available in the Annual Work Programmes published by the European Commission.
The National Agencies
In the EU countries, the Commission entrusts much of the management of Erasmus+ to National Agencies. Outside the EU, and specifically in the field of higher education, this role is filled by the National Erasmus+ Offices.
The Commission provides funding to the National Agencies, who use these funds to manage the programme's "decentralised" activities. This allows the Agencies to adapt the programme to suit their national education, training, and youth systems.
The National Agencies are responsible for
- providing information on the programme
- reviewing applications submitted in their country
- monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the programme in their country
- supporting people and organisations taking part in Erasmus+
- promoting the programme and its activities at a local and national level
These Agencies also support beneficiaries of the programme from the application stage to the end of a project. They also work with beneficiaries and other organisations to support EU policy in areas supported by the programme.
National Erasmus+ Offices
Outside the EU, in the partner countries participating in Erasmus+ in the area of higher education, much of the work of the National Agencies is carried out by National Erasmus+Offices. These offices are the focal point for anyone intending to take part in Erasmus+, and are responsible for
- providing information on the programme and who can take part
- advising and assisting potential applicants
- monitoring Erasmus+ projects
- supporting policy dialogue, studies, and events
- maintaining contacts with experts and local authorities
- monitoring policy developments
There are various other organisations that also support the programme, including
- Eurydice Network – provides information on national education policies and systems
- eTwinning – an collaborative online platform for school staff that also provides tools, support, and services
- EPALE – the Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe is a community for staff and professionals involved in the sector
- Network of Higher Education Reform Experts – supports policy development and dialogue, communicating on Erasmus+ projects, and providing training and counselling in partner countries
- Euroguidance – a network of national resource and information centres for practitioners and policymakers active in education and employment
- National Academic Recognition Information Centres (NARIC) – provides information on the recognition of diplomas and periods of study abroad, as well as advice on studying abroad
- European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training – improves vocational education and training (VET) through effective policy-making
- SALTO-Youth Resource Centres – provides youth work, training and networking resources and activities, supporting Erasmus+ projects, and hosting an Erasmus+ partner-finding tool
- Eurodesk network – offers information services to young people on education, training, and youth opportunities
- Youth Wiki – provides information on national structures, policies and actions supporting young people