The European Commission published its 2020 call for proposals for the Erasmus+ programme on Tuesday, for the last year of the current European Union programme for mobility and cooperation in education, training, youth and sport. The expected budget of over EUR 3 billion, an increase of 12 percent compared to 2019, will provide even more opportunities for young Europeans to study, train or gain professional experience abroad, the Commission says.
As part of the 2020 call for proposals, the Commission will launch a second pilot on European Universities. Moreover, the EU aims to create 35,000 opportunities for African students and staff to participate in the programme as part of the Africa-Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobs.
“I am very pleased that in 2020 the European Union is set to invest more than €3 billion in Erasmus+. It will allow us to open up more opportunities for young Europeans to study or train abroad, enabling them to learn and develop a European identity. And it will help us to take the European Universities initiative forward, showing our continued investment in the European Education Area. I am proud to see higher education institutions form strong new alliances, paving the way for the universities of the future, for the benefit of students, staff and society across Europe,” said Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport.
Any public or private body active in the fields of education, training, youth and sport may apply for funding under this call for proposals. In addition, groups of young people who are active in youth work, but not formally established as youth organisations, may also apply.
Together with the call for proposals, the Commission also published the Erasmus+ Programme Guide, which provides applicants with details on all opportunities open to them in higher education, vocational education and training, school education and adult education, youth and sport under Erasmus+ in 2020.
“The new Erasmus funding opportunities for the vocational education and training sector will strengthen the Vocational Education and Training community; bridging sectors, regions and countries. Reinforcing ErasmusPro will make those bonds still tighter while giving more Vocational Education and Training learners more opportunities,” added Marianne Thyssen, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility.
Education, vocational training and adult learning
This will be the third year of the School Exchange Partnerships – an Erasmus+ action offering opportunities for European schools to exchange pupils and teachers. Over the past two years, more than 15,000 schools have participated. In 2020, another 9,000 schools will have the opportunity to take part.
In vocational education and training, investment focuses on ErasmusPro – opportunities for learners and apprentices to spend between three months and a year abroad, developing their professional and linguistic skills.
Since its launch in 2018, ErasmusPro has succeeded in increasing the interest for long-term placements in vocational education and training, and has supported more than 12,000 learners per year. Support will also help set up “pilot” transnational vocational education and training Centres of Excellence, integrated in local and regional development strategies. The Centres will work closely with other education and training sectors, the scientific community and business to develop high quality curricula focused on sectoral skills.
In adult learning, financial support will help set up or strengthen regional or national networks of adult learning providers, so that they can offer an increased number of quality projects for the next Erasmus programme.
Erasmus+ is the EU’s programme for mobility and transnational cooperation in the areas of education, training, youth and sport for the period 2014-2020. The current programme as well as its successor, coming into effect in 2021, have a key role in making the European Education Area a reality by 2025. Erasmus+ aims to facilitate access to the programme for participants from all backgrounds, with a particular focus on reaching out to people with social, economic, physical or geographic disadvantages.
In May 2018, the Commission proposed to double the Erasmus budget to EUR 30 billion for 2021-2027, making it possible for up to 12 million people to have an experience abroad.