Erasmus+ Special | 25/11/2016
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Erasmus+ mid-term review: EUA members have their say

The European Commission is currently conducting the mid-term review of Erasmus+ in order to prepare the new programme for 2020. In this effort, the Commission has scheduled a public consultation from February to March 2017. As it is very important that higher education institutions as key stakeholders take an active stand in these discussions, EUA consulted its members on their experiences with Erasmus+.

member consultationThis EUA Special Edition Newsletter is dedicated to the results of the member consultation, together with some further reflections on the programme. The report itself, “EUA member consultation: A contribution to the Erasmus+ mid-term review,” showcases the responses of more than 200 higher education institutions from 36 countries that participated in the survey. There are some clear lines of agreement that emerge from the findings:

Institutions appreciate the new streamlined programme structure, the opportunities for more cooperation and exchange with universities outside of Europe, and cooperation with non-university entities. However, many feel that there has been no real simplification, that flexibility has not improved and that administrative burdens have increased. In addition, respondents report issues with management support and tools. While the majority of institutions agree that assistance from the National Agencies and from the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency is quite efficient, they struggle with cumbersome processes, complicated and patchworked instructions and support tools that are welcome, but need improvement.

Another key issue addressed in the findings is funding and funding rules, which are likely to have a negative impact on participation especially considering the complex differences between the economic situations of member states. Survey respondents widely acknowledge that Erasmus+ funding is insufficient. Meanwhile, they describe rules and conditions as being rather clear, but unfavourable to institutions and individuals. Importantly, respondents also appeal for more support for the inclusion of priority groups of vulnerable learners, such as refugees.

In general, while universities are satisfied with the overall structure and approach of the Erasmus+ Programme, they call for institutional realities and needs to be better considered, more simplification and streamlining of administrative processes and more user-friendly IT instruments. 

The survey results also include specific findings on the three Erasmus+ Key Actions. To read the full report, please click here.

To read the report summary, please click here.

EUA would like to offer its gratitude to those who participated in the consultation. In the coming months, the Association will work with its members to develop the findings into recommendations for the 2020 programme.

The results of the EUA member consultation on the mid-term review of Horizon 2020, also conducted earlier this year, will be available in December 2016.

The architecture of Erasmus+: Further streamlining and simplification welcome

In 2014, the Erasmus+ Programme arrived with a new streamlined architecture. Previously separate programmes in the fields of education, training, youth and sport were integrated under one single umbrella covering three pillars, or Key Actions. The aim was to maximise European added value by minimising fragmentation through different instruments, programmes and rules. The impact and efficiency of this change is subject to review in the current mid-term evaluation of Erasmus+: Has it reached its goals regarding streamlining and simplification?
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More and better funding for the future of Erasmus+

The budget for Erasmus+ was recently increased to 2.5 billion euros for 2017, representing 13% more funding compared to the previous year. However, given the high demand and the low success rates in some Erasmus+ actions, this is not only welcome, but necessary. 
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Ghent University: Erasmus+, a vital programme with room for improvement

Andries Verspeeten of Ghent University discusses the effectiveness of Erasmus+ and the need for increased funding, further simplification, reinforced European added value and more sustainable international cooperation.
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University of Granada: Three suggestions for the future of Erasmus+

Dorothy Kelly of the University of Granada highlights the positive improvements brought by Erasmus+ but expresses concern on decentralisation, International Credit Mobility and an important capacity-building instrument that has been lost.
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University College London: Streamlined and digitised approach needed for Erasmus+

Lucy Gaunt and Conor Rickford of University College London discuss the advantages of making Erasmus+ more user friendly through further digitalisation. They also touch on Brexit and the University’s hopes for future participation in the programme. 
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Deggendorf Institute of Technology: Erasmus+ making strides, but tools and financing need work

Lisa Werner and Albrecht Friess of the Deggendorf Institute of Technology discuss their impressions of the Erasmus+ programme, particularly regarding the Mobility Tool, Strategic Partnerships and funding.
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European University Association (EUA)
Next newsletter: 2 December 2016

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