Strategic Partnerships are international projects which support the development, transfer and/or implementation of innovative practices and joint initiatives that promote cooperation, mutual learning and exchange of experience at European level. They involve at least three organisations from 3 programme countries.
Depending on the objectives and the composition of the Strategic Partnership, projects may be of two types:
- Strategic Partnerships supporting innovation;
- Strategic Partnerships supporting exchange of good practices with primary goal to allow organisations to develop and reinforce networks, increase their capacity to operate at transnational level, share and confront ideas, practices and methods.
To be funded, Strategic Partnerships must address either a) at least one horizontal priority or b) at least one specific priority.
- Supporting individuals in acquiring and developing basic skills and key competences, in order to foster employability and socio-educational and personal development, as well as participation in civic and social life; in a fast-changing world, this also includes language skills, entrepreneurial mind-set, critical thinking and creativity, as well as forward-looking skills in fields that are strategic for smart economic and social development. This priority will include, among others, actions to: develop partnerships between learning institutions, businesses and intermediary bodies; support work-based learning; improve the quality and effectiveness of learning mobility experiences; support effective and innovative pedagogies, teaching, assessment and learning environments; apply competence-based approaches and assess their quality, impact and relevance; promote interdisciplinary co-operation in science, technology, engineering, arts and maths (STE(A)M) fields; support the development of national and cross-country sectoral skills strategies. This can contribute to higher quality of education and training and support permeability between the different education and training pathways.
- Social inclusion: priority will be given to actions that help address diversity and promote –in particular through innovative and integrated approaches– ownership of shared values, equality, including gender equality, and non-discrimination and social inclusion, including for people with health-related conditions, through education, training, youth and sport activities. The Programme will support projects that aim to foster the development of social, civic and intercultural competences, online safety and digital well-being, and tackle discrimination, segregation, racism, bullying (including cyberbullying), violence, fake news and other forms of online misinformation. The Programme will also sup-port and assess new approaches to reducing disparities in access to and engagement with digital technologies in formal and non-formal education. Particular attention will be given to addressing gender differences in relation to the access and use of digital technologies and the uptake of studies and careers in ICT by female students.
- Open education and innovative practices in a digital era: priority will be given to actions that promote innovative pedagogies and methods for teaching, learning and assessment, and that support educators and learners to use digital technologies in creative, collaborative and efficient ways. Priority will be given to supporting educational and training institutions to take up digital technologies as set out in the European Framework for Digitally Competent Educational Organisations, and the Digital Education Action Plan, including in particular the use of the SELFIE self-reflection tool for general education and VET schools at all levels. A further priority will be updating and developing digital learning materials and tools, in particular Open Educational Resources, open textbooks, and Free and Open Source Educational Software, as well as supporting the effective use of digital technologies and open pedagogies in education, training, youth and sport. This will include fostering synergies with research and innovation activities, and therefore includes Open Science and promoting new technologies as drivers of improvements in education, training, youth and sport policies and practices. The Programme will also support new teaching methods and tools and the use of the European frameworks on the digital competence of educators, citizens and organisations.
- Supporting educators: priority will be given to actions that strengthen the recruitment, selection and professional development of educators (e.g. teachers, trainers, professors, tutors, mentors, coaches), youth workers, educational leaders (e.g. school heads, rectors, department heads) and support staff (e.g. teaching assistants, career counsellors, human resource specialists in companies) as well as to actions supporting high-quality and innovative teaching and learner assessment. This includes professional development on such issues as communication, collaboration and ex-change among educators, linking education with research and innovation, work-based and informal learning, dealing with early school leaving, supporting learners from disadvantaged backgrounds, and dealing with cultural and linguistic diversity.
- Transparency and recognition of skills and qualifications: priority will be given to actions that support learning and labour mobility and facilitate transitions between different levels and types of education and training, between education/training and the world of work, and between different jobs. Priority will be given to actions enabling and promoting automatic mutual recognition, as well as transparency and comparability of qualifications and learning outcomes, including through the provision of better services and information/guidance on skills and qualifications. This includes promoting innovative solutions to improve recognition and supporting the validation –at local, regional, national or European/international level– of competences acquired through informal and non-formal learning, including the use of digital badges and blockchain technologies.
- Sustainable investment, quality and efficiency of education, training and youth systems: priority will be given to actions supporting the implementation of the Investment Plan for Europe, including by promoting funding models attracting private actors and capital such as the European Student Loan Guarantee Facility; supporting the development of evidence-based policies and reforms that aim at delivering quality education and training more efficiently; exploring innovative ways to ensure sustainable investment in education, training and youth, including performance-based fund-ing and cost-sharing, where appropriate.
- Social and educational value of European cultural heritage, its contribution to job creation, economic growth and social cohesion: priority will be given to actions contributing to raising awareness of the importance of Europe’s cultural heritage through education, lifelong learning, informal and non-formal learning, youth as well as sport, including actions to support skills development, social inclusion, critical thinking and youth engagement. New participatory and intercultural approaches to heritage, as well as educational initiatives aimed at fostering intercultural dialogue involving teachers and pupils from an early age will be promoted.
Detailed information on horizontal priorities (higher education, school education, vocational education and training, adult education, field of youth) is available here.
In the field of school education, priority will be given to:
- Strengthening the profiles of the teaching professions, including in particular teachers, school leaders and teacher educators, for example by: making careers more attractive and diverse; strengthening selection, recruitment and appraisal; enhancing teachers’ education and professional development and linking its different phases; facilitating teacher mobility; supporting teachers in developing innovative teaching and assessment methods; strengthening leadership in education, including distributed leadership and teacher leadership.
- Promoting a comprehensive approach to language teaching and learning, building on the increasing linguistic diversity in schools, for example by: encouraging early language learning and awareness; developing bilingual teaching options, especially for border regions and/or in areas where inhabitants use more than one language; mainstreaming the use of new technologies to support language learning; supporting the integration of the language dimension across the curricula.
- Tackling early school leaving and disadvantage, enabling success for all learners, including children with a migrant background, for example by: strengthening collaboration among all actors within schools, as well as with families, and other external stakeholders; improving transition between different stages of education; supporting networking by schools which promote collaborative and holistic approaches to teaching and learning; improving evaluation and quality assurance.
- Increasing access to affordable and high quality early childhood education and care, and enhancing the quality of systems and provision, in order to foster age appropriate development of children, to achieve better learning outcomes and ensure a good start in education for all, for example by: taking the EU quality framework further; ensuring that the benefits of early childhood education are carried through to other school education levels; and developing new models of implementation, governance and funding.
- Building capacity for organisation and recognition of learning periods abroad, including recognition of formal education and transversal competences developed through non-formal and informal learning, for example by: developing and disseminating recognition tools and mechanisms; sharing and promoting best practices; building administrative capacity of schools to support participation of pupils in transnational projects and peer exchanges; ensuring appropriate safety standards for pupils participating in transnational mobility; and establishing sustainable partnerships between organisations organising cross-border learning exchanges in general education.
What are the activities supported in a strategic partnership?
Over the lifetime of a project, and depending on the type of Strategic Partnership, projects may typically realise a broad range of activities, for example:
- activities that strengthen the cooperation and networking between organisations;
- testing and/or implementation of innovative practices in the field of education
- activities that facilitate the recognition and validation of knowledge, skills and competences acquired through formal, non-formal and informal learning;
- activities of cooperation between regional authorities to promote the development of education
- activities to support learners with disabilities/special needs to complete education cycles and facilitate their transition into the labour market, including by combating segregation and discrimination in education for marginalised communities;
- activities to better prepare and deploy the education and training of professionals for equity, diversity and inclusion challenges in the learning environment;
- activities to promote the integration of refugees, asylum seekers and newly arrived migrants and raise awareness about the refugee crisis in Europe;
- transnational initiatives fostering entrepreneurial mind-sets and skills.
Strategic Partnerships may also organise transnational learning, teaching and training activities of individuals, in so far as they bring added value in the achievement of the project’s objectives.
Who can participate in a Strategic Partnership?
The participating organisations can be schools (i.e. institutions providing general, vocational, or technical education on any level from pre-school to upper secondary education), either public or private (private schools must be accredited by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia), and any other organisations active in the field of education, training and youth: institute/educational centre; a non-profit organisation, association, NGO; a public or private, a small, medium or large enterprise (including social enterprises); a public body at local, regional or national level; a social partner or other representative of working life, including chambers of commerce, industry, craft/professional associations and trade unions; a cultural organisation, library, museum; etc.
How to apply?
To submit an Erasmus+ project, applicants must follow the four steps described below:
- Each organisation involved in the application must register in the Participant Portal and receive a Participant Identification Code (PIC). Organisations/groups that have already obtained a PIC through their participation in other EU programmes do not need to register again. The PIC obtained from this previous registration is valid also for applying under Erasmus;
- check the compliance with the Programme criteria for the relevant Action/field;
- check the financial conditions;
- fill in and submit the application form.
To register in the Participant Portal, the person representing an organisation (or an informal group of young people) must carry out the following steps:
- Create an EU login account (unless the person representing the organisation/group already has an account). For more information consult ECAS user manual;
- Access the Participant Portal and register on behalf of the organisation/group. The organisation/group need to register only once in the Participant Portal. Once the registration is completed, the organisation/group will obtain a Participant Identification Code (PIC). The PIC, which is a unique identifier and is necessary for the submission of applications, enables the organisation/group to fill-in the Erasmus+ electronic application forms in a simpler manner (i.e. by inserting the PIC number in the form, all the information provided by the organisation/group at registration stage will be automatically displayed in the form).
At the time of the registration, organisations must also upload the following documents in the Participant Portal: the Legal Entity form and the Financial Identification form. Each form must not exceed 6Mb. It is advisable that each document is scanned original in pdf format.
Step-by-step guide to submitting project application is available here.
How to find partners?
You can use some of the following resources:
The School Education Gateway is Europe’s online platform for school education, currently available in 23 EU languages, intended to provide everything that teachers need in terms of information, learning and professional development, peer support and networking, collaborative project and mobility opportunities, policy insights etc. The SEG offers a wide range of content, such as good practices from European projects; monthly blog contributions and video interviews of European school education experts; online courses for teachers to help tackle topical classroom challenges; resources such as teaching materials, tutorials and the European Toolkit for Schools; information on school education policies; topical news and events; etc. It offers special tools to support teachers and school staff in finding training and mobility opportunities for professional development (on-site courses, job shadowing, teaching assignments etc), which can be funded under Erasmus+ Key Action 1.
eTwinning is a community of teachers from pre-primary to upper secondary schools, hosted on a secure platform accessible only to teachers vetted by national authorities. eTwinning promotes school collaboration and school networking in Europe through the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). It provides advice, ideas and tools to make it easy for schools to set up partnerships and start collaborative projects in any subject area.
What are the funding rules?
The budget of the project must be drafted according to the following funding rules:
- Project management and implementation – planning, finances, coordination and communication between partners, small scale learning/teaching/training materials, information, promotion and dissemination (e.g. brochures, leaflets, web information, etc.)
- Transnational project meetings;
- Travel, individual support;
- Special needs support;
- Linguistic support;
- Intellectual outputs;
- Multiplier events;
- Exceptional costs (subcontracting or purchase of goods and services).
For additional information please contact Group for schools, pre-schools and adult education at Foundation Tempus: