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2018 Erasmus+ Annual Work Programme published

21 September 2017

Last month, the European Commission published the 2018 Erasmus+ Annual Work Programme, which defines the structure and funding of Erasmus+ for 2018, outlining the link between the policies and changes from the previous year. In terms of policy priorities, the Commission proposes a high degree of continuity with 2017, with emphasis on activities that address social inclusion and equity in education, training, youth and sport, in line with the Paris Declaration of March 2015.

In 2018, due to its budgetary profile, Erasmus+ will experience a sizable increase compared to the previous year, with a total of around 2.5 billion EUR to be spent on the various fields and actions of the programme.

In the field of higher education, priority will be given to actions and projects that tackle “skills gaps and mismatches”, support the development of graduate tracking systems in programme countries, and enhance the quality of teaching, in particular by supporting the use of digital technologies. Among others, initiatives that aim to contribute to transnational teacher training courses and promote excellence in teaching and skills development, will also be prioritised. Also high on the agenda are projects intended to build inclusive higher education systems connected to surrounding communities, and those ensuring that universities and research institutes contribute to innovation. 

Under KA1 (Learning Mobility of Individuals), in the field of higher education, emphasis will be placed on developing digital skills of students and on supporting teachers in acquiring skills for excellent and innovative teaching and curriculum design. In addition to the grants for mobility for the third year, study loans will be provided under the Erasmus+ Master Loan Scheme, which is being implemented by the European Investment Fund. 

Under KA2 (Cooperation for Innovation and the Exchange of Good Practices), in addition to the already established strands, the pilot Erasmus+ Virtual Exchanges will be extended for a second year. The latter aims to increase cultural awareness, understanding and cooperation between young people from the EU and the Southern Mediterranean region via a structured online platform – hence it might not be of immediate relevance for higher education institutions. 

Among the main actions planned for 2018 under KA3 (Support for Policy Reform), a specific call for proposals on social inclusion, values and fundamental rights will be released. In addition, work will be pursued on the European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning (EQF) with a specific focus on strengthening its communication. 

A review of the U-Multirank is to take place so as to enhance its compatibility with other EU data collection tools. This is part of the “Knowledge Hub” announced in the 2017 Work Programme and in the Renewed EU agenda for higher education (May 2017) and which aims to “optimise synergies between EU evidence tools” by incorporating the European Tertiary Education Register (ETER), the Pilot European Graduate Tracking survey and the U-Multirank. In addition, an external study is to provide suggestions on how U-Multirank can be developed further to meet the needs of students, higher education institutions and national policy makers. The Commission will also support the VII edition of the Eurostudent survey which measures the study and living conditions of students in higher education and which is implemented in most EU States. 

The priorities of these activities are aligned with the Commission’s Communication on a Renewed EU Agenda for Higher Education – to which EUA responded in July. 

European University Association (EUA)

Brussels office:
Avenue de l’Yser, 24
1040 Brussels
Tel: +32 (0) 2 230 55 44

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