Capacity Building in the Field of Higher Education

The Capacity Building in Higher Education (CBHE) action supports international cooperation projects based on multilateral partnerships between higher education institutions (HEI) and other organisations active in the field of higher education. These projects provide significant opportunities for cooperation, with a special focus on the transfer of good practices to third countries not associated to the Programme by EU Member states and third countries associated to the Programme.

These projects aim to support the relevance, quality, modernisation and responsiveness of higher education in third countries not associated to the Programme.

Within this action, projects are divided into 3 Strands:

  • Strand 1: Fostering access to cooperation in higher education
  • Strand 2: Partnerships for transformation in higher education
  • Strand 3: Structural reform projects

Given that the Republic of Serbia has the status of a third country associated to the Programme, the role of the HEIs from Serbia in CBHE projects is to transfer the knowledge and experience to third countries not associated to the Programme.

Types of activities

Strand 1 projects – Fostering access to cooperation in higher education aim to include less experienced HEIs in CBHE and to serve as a tool for these institutions to reach people with fewer opportunities as well as to reduce the internationalisation gap among HEIs from eligible third countries not associated to the programme, from the same country or Region.

These projects should include activities aiming at enhancing the management/administrative capacity of the targeted HEIs, activities aiming at ensuring high quality and relevant education, as well as activities aiming at increasing the accessibility of the students/staff with fewer opportunities.

Strand 2 projects – Partnerships for transformation in higher education aim to introduce new approaches and initiatives in higher education, based on peer learning and transfer of experience and good practice affecting not only the institutions but also the society at large.

These projects should combine innovation in higher education as well as promoting reform in HEIs. Within these projects it is possible to deal with development, testing and adaptation of innovative curricula, learning methods, tools and materials, introduction of Bologna-type reforms, modernisation of governance, management and functioning of HEIs, development of other capacities of institutions.

For Strands 1 and 2, proposals must respect pre-defined regional priorities, which are available here.

Strand 3 projects: Structural reform projects support efforts in third countries not associated to the Erasmus+ programme to develop coherent and sustainable systems of higher education to meet their socio-economic needs. These projects should support sustainable systemic and structural improvement and innovation at the level of the higher education sector.

These projects should include activities that foster national ownership by experimenting and mainstreaming positive and best practices in higher education at national and/or regional level, Contribute to efficient and effective policy making in the field of higher education, Foster regional academic cooperation, Foster the introduction of funding mechanisms, Enhance the attractiveness of the teaching profession by introducing different measures.

Consortium composition

Eligible applicants are HEIs, associations or organisations of HEIs, established in an EU Member state or third country associated to the Erasmus+ programme, or in an eligible third country not associated to the Erasmus+ programme. In addition for Strand 3, applicant could be legally recognised national or international rector, teacher or student organisations established in an EU Member state or third country associated to the Erasmus+ programme or in an eligible third country not associated to the Erasmus+ programme. The exception is that institutions from Syria and the Russian Federation cannot be project applicants, while institutions from Belarus cannot participate either as partners or as coordinators of these projects.

HEIs located in an EU Member state or third country associated to the Erasmus + programme must hold a valid Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (ECHE). An ECHE is not required for participating HEIs in eligible third countries not associated to the Erasmus+ programme. All third countries not associated to the in Regions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 (with the exception of high income countries (HICs) in Regions 5, 7 and 8) can participate in CBHE projects.

In case of national projects, minimum 1 HEI from at least two EU Member state or third country associated to the Programme, and minimum 2 HEIs from the third country not associated to the Programme must participate.

In case of regional and cross-regional projects, involving two or more third countries not associated to the Programme from one or more regions, minimum 1 HEI from at least two EU Member states or third countries associated to the Programme, and minimum 2 HEIs from each of the participating third countries not associated to the Programme.

In addition to above, in all Strand 3 projects, the national competent authority (e.g. Ministry) responsible for higher education of the eligible third country not associated to the programme targeted by the project must be involved as full partners.

The number of HEIs from EU Member states or countries associated to the Programme must not be higher than the number of HEIs from third countries not associated to the programme.

Exception: In third countries not associated to the Programme where the number of HEIs is lower than 5 in the whole country, or in cases where one single institution represents more than 50% of the overall student population of the country, applications counting only one HEI from those countries will be accepted. In the Western Balkans region, only Montenegro meets this criterion.

Duration of the project

Strand 1 and Strand 2 projects can last 24 or 36 months.

Strand 3 projects can last 36 or 48 months.

Funding rules

Funding amounts per Strand:

  • Strand 1: Between EUR 200,000 and EUR 400,000 per project
  • Strand 2: Between EUR 400,000 and EUR 800,000 per project
  • Strand 3: Between EUR 800,000 and EUR 1,000,000 per project

This action follows a lump sum funding model. The budget should be detailed as necessary by beneficiaries and organised in coherent work packages (for example divided into ‘project management’, ‘training’, ‘organisation of events’, ‘mobility preparation and implementation’, ‘communication and dissemination’, ‘quality assurance’, “equipment” etc.). The grant can cover staff costs, travel and subsistence costs, equipment costs and subcontracting as well as other costs (such us dissemination of information, publishing or translation).

More details about the Capacity Building in Higher Education projects can be found in the Erasmus+ Programme Guide on the website of the European Commission.

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