Cooperation partnerships in the field of higher education

Cooperation partnerships in the field of higher education enable organizations to gain experience in international cooperation and strengthen their capacities, but also to produce innovative results.

What types of activities can be implemented within these projects?

Organizations have the flexibility to choose the best combination of activities that contributes to the achievement of the project objectives, in relation to its scope and in proportion with the partnership’s capacity. These activities can be related to the realization of the project activities (which may include networking events, working sessions for exchanging practices and developing results, training of staff and students, etc.), project management and promotion of project results.

Are there the subjects or the themes which have to be tackled by the project?

Projects are required to frame their work in one or more priorities, which are prescribed annually by the European Commission, and to select them at the application stage.

In the Call 2022, Partnerships for cooperation must address at least one priority from the list that can be found at the end of this page.

In addition, National Agencies responsible for the Erasmus + programme have the possibility to identify one or more of these European priorities as particularly relevant in the national context.

Who can participate in the project?

Any public or private organization from the EU Member States, third countries associated to the Programme (formerly known as Programme countries) and third countries not associated to the Programme (formerly known as Partner countries), can participate in the project. The participation of various actors is encouraged, in accordance with the set priorities and goals of the project. 

All higher education institutions from the EU Member States and third countries associated to the Programme  participating in the project in the field of higher education must be holders of a valid Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (ECHE).

Who can apply for the project?

Any institution from an EU Member State or a third country associated to the Programme participating in the project can act as the applicant, i.e. the project coordinator.

Is there a prescribed number of partner organizations in the project?

The minimum composition of the consortium consists of at least three organizations from three different EU Member States and/or third countries associated to the programme. The maximum number of partner organizations is not prescribed.

Projects should focus on the cooperation of organizations from EU Member States and/or third countries associated to the programme. Organizations from third countries not associated to the Programme can be partners (not coordinators) in the project, if it is possible to justify that their participation brings the added value of key importance to the project.

Can additional partners be involved without a formal connection to the project?

In addition to Full partners, who are formally involved in the project (coordinator and partner institutions), other organizations can be involved that can contribute to the implementation of the project or to support its promotion or sustainability. These partners would be called “Associated partners” and their role needs to be explained in the application, however they do not have a contractual obligation and do not receive Erasmus+ funding for these activities.

What is project duration?

Projects can last from 12 to 36 months and the duration is chosen by the applicant in the project application phase.

Where to apply?

The application is submitted to the National Agency responsible for the Erasmus + programme in the applicant’s country. If you wish to submit the application in Serbia, the responsible Agency is the Tempus Foundation. The application is submitted electronically through the prescribed electronic form on the platform.

Exceptions are project applications in the field of education, training and youth for which the applicant is a European non-governmental organization (NGO). In these cases, the application is submitted to the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). The term European NGO refers to formally recognized organizations constituted of a body/secretariat established in one of the EU Member States or third countries associated to the Programme and at least nine national branch organizations in the EU Member States and/or third countries associated to the Programme.

What is the budget for this type of projects?

The amount of grants that can be awarded to Cooperation Partnerships supported by the National agencies, as well as for Cooperation Partnerships supported by the Executive Agency, in the form of lump sums of 120 000, 250 000 or 400 000 EUR.

What is the deadline for submission of the application?

The exact deadline for the current call you can find at our webpage Calendar of Calls.

Can one consortium submit the same project application to different National Agencies?

No. Within one Call for proposals, the same consortium may submit one project application at the level of all the Agencies.

More details about the Cooperation partnerships in the field of higher education can be found in the Erasmus+ Programme Guide, on the website of the European Commission.

Cooperation partnerships priorities
  • Inclusion and diversity in all fields of education, training, youth and sport: the Programme will support projects that promote social inclusion and aim at improving the outreach to people with fewer opportunities, including people with disabilities and people with a migrant background, as well as people living in rural and remote areas such as outermost regions, people facing gender inequalities, socio-economic difficulties or any other potential source of discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation. These projects will help addressing the barriers faced by these groups in accessing the opportunities offered by the programme, as well as contributing to creating inclusive environments that foster equity and equality, and that are responsive to the needs of the wider community. Under this priority, the Programme will support projects that promote educational activities and facilitate the integration of people fleeing the war in Ukraine into their new learning environments.
  • Environment and fight against climate change: the Programme aims to support, across all sectors, awareness raising about the green transition, environmental and climate-change challenges. Priority will be given to projects aimed at developing competences in various sustainability-relevant sectors, developing green sectorial skills strategies and methodologies, as well as future-oriented curricula that better meet the needs of individuals. The Programme will also support the testing of innovative practices to prepare learners, staff and youth workers to become true agents of change (e.g. save resources, reduce energy use and waste, compensate carbon footprint emissions, opt for sustainable food and mobility choices, etc.). Priority will also be given to projects that – through education, training, youth and sport activities – enable behavioural changes for individual preferences, consumption habits, and lifestyles, in line with the New European Bauhaus initiative146; develop sustainability competences of educators and education leaders and support the planned approaches of the participating organisations regarding environmental sustainability.
  • Addressing digital transformation through development of digital readiness, resilience and capacity: The Programme will support digital transformation plans of primary, secondary, vocational education and training (VET), higher, and adult education institutions. Priority will be given to projects aiming to increase the capacity and readiness of institutions to manage an effective shift towards digital education. The Programme will support the purposeful use of digital technologies in education, training, youth and sport for teaching, learning, assessment and engagement. This includes the development of digital pedagogy and expertise in the use of digital tools for teachers, including accessible and assistive technologies and the creation and innovative use of digital education content. Equally, it includes developing the digital skills and competences of all the population through appropriate programmes and initiatives. Particular attention will be given to promoting gender equality and addressing differences in relation to the access and use by underrepresented groups. The Programme will further support the use of the European frameworks on digital competences of educators, citizens and organisations.
  • Common values, civic engagement and participation: The Programme will support active citizenship and ethics in lifelong learning; it will foster the development of social and intercultural competences, critical thinking and media literacy. Priority will also be given to projects that offer opportunities for people’s participation in democratic life, social and civic engagement through formal or non-formal learning activities, such as for example activities raising awareness about and promoting participation in the 2024 elections to the European Parliament. The focus will also be on raising awareness on and understanding the European Union context, notably as regards the common EU values, the principles of unity and diversity, as well as their cultural identity, cultural awareness and their social and historical heritage.
  • Promoting inter-connected higher education systems: the programme will aim to strengthen the strategic and structured cooperation between higher education institutions through: a) support for developing and testing various types of cooperation models, including virtual and blended cooperation and the use of different digital tools and online platforms; b) improving mobility by implementing automatic mutual recognition of qualifications and learning outcomes, and by embedding mobility in curricula; c) support for higher education institutions to implement the Bologna principles, including promoting fundamental academic values and the standards and guidelines for quality assurance, and tools to enhance mobility for all; d) support for higher education institutions, in strong cooperation with the representatives of Member States to pilot innovative cooperation and actions; e) support for implementing Erasmus Without Paper, deploying the European Student Identifier and the European Student Card.
  • Stimulating innovative learning and teaching practices: to tackle societal challenges and promote innovation and entrepreneurship through support for: a) the development of learning outcomes oriented and studentcentred curricula that better meet the learning needs of students and reduce skills mismatches, and promote entrepreneurship, while also being relevant for the labour market and for the wider society, for example by inviting staff from enterprises and the world of work or by codesigning curricula with the industry, including SMEs; b) the development, testing and implementation of flexible learning pathways and modular course design (part-time, online or blended) and appropriate forms of assessment, including the development of online assessment; c) promoting the lifelong learning dimension of higher education, including by exploring the possibilities for take-up, validation and recognition of short learning courses leading to micro-credentials; d) implementation of trans-disciplinary approaches and innovative pedagogies such as inverted learning, collaborative online international learning, research-based learning and blended intensive programmes, which support the acquisition of transferable forward-looking skills and entrepreneurship through a challenge-based approach;
  • Developing STEM/STEAM in higher education, in particular women participation in STEM: This priority supports the development and implementation of fit-for-purpose STEM higher education curricula, following a STEAM approach; promoting participation of women in STEM fields of study and especially in engineering, ICT and advanced digital skills; development of guidance and mentoring programmes for students, especially girls and women, to pursue STEM and ICT fields of study and occupations; fostering gender sensitive education and training practices in STEM education; eliminating gender stereotypes in STEM;
  • Rewarding excellence in learning, teaching and skills development, through a) developing and implementing strategies and quality culture to reward and incentivise excellence in teaching, including online teaching, enhanced quality of study experience and teaching for learners with fewer opportunities, student-centred learning and teaching in higher education, as well as through support for flexible and attractive academic careers, valuing teaching, research, entrepreneurship, management and leadership activities; b) training of academics in new and innovative pedagogies, including teaching in online or blended environments, transdisciplinary approaches, new curriculum design, delivery and assessment methods linking education with research and innovation where relevant, c) developing new practices in instructional design, based on educational research and creativity.
  • Supporting digital and green capabilities of the higher education sector; through support for a) digital transformation of higher education institutions(including interoperability) and the digitalisation of student mobility linked to the European Student Card initiative, b) the development of digital skills of students and staff, and c) graduate tracking databases. With regard to the green transition, the programme will support a) whole-institutional approaches, b) transdisciplinary approaches coupled with a strong disciplinary background and life-long learning, including through micro-credentials, c) curricula development in line with the required green skills, d) supporting transnational partnerships between students, academics, universities, employers, communities and other stakeholders on climate challenges to create true higher education climate frontrunners.
  • Building inclusive higher education systems: The programme will foster inclusive approaches for mobility and cooperation activities such as a) support to the education of refugee students and staff, and support to the institutions and staff of host countries in dealing with this endeavour, b) increased access, participation and completion rates of people with fewer opportunities, including underrepresented groups, also through developing voluntary quantitative targets; c) active support to incoming mobile participants throughout the process of finding accommodation, including through collaboration with the relevant stakeholders for the provision of appropriate and affordable housing; d) support to mental health of students and academics; e) foster gender balance in higher education institutions, across fields of study and in leadership positions; f) fostering civic engagement through the promotion of informal learning and extra-curricular activities and recognition of voluntary and community work in students’ academic results.
  • Supporting innovation and entrepreneurial skills of students: The programme will provide support for innovation and entrepreneurship in higher education, including for example through a) support for the set-up and functioning of living labs and incubators within higher education institutions, in close cooperation with the entrepreneurial sector and other relevant actors, to support innovative learning and teaching and help student entrepreneurs to develop their ideas into businesses, b) support for learning and teaching partnerships with commercial and non-commercial organisations in the private sector that foster students’ exposure to innovation and entrepreneurship.
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