Higher Education Funding

There are different funding schemes that Higher Education (HE) institutions can apply for and these fall under two categories: Decentralised funds or Centralised funds.  Decentralised funds are run by the Maltese National Agency (MT NA) which means that organisations apply directly to us for funding.  Centralised funds are run by the European Commission’s Executive Agency in Brussels but the MT NA is still available to guide and provide information to applicants when applying.

Higher Education Students and Staff Mobility (KA1)

This action supports physical and blended mobility of higher education students in any study fields and cycle (short cycle, bachelor, master and doctoral levels). Students can either study abroad at a partner higher education institution or carry out a traineeship in an enterprise, a research institute, a laboratory, an organisation or any other relevant workplace abroad. Students can also combine a study period abroad with a traineeship, further enhancing the learning outcomes and development of transversal skills. While long term physical mobility is strongly encouraged, this action recognises the need to offer more flexible physical mobility duration to ensure the programme is accessible to students from all backgrounds, circumstances and study fields.

This action also supports higher education teaching and administrative staff to take part in professional development activities abroad as well as staff from the world of work to teach and train students or staff at higher education institutions. These activities may consist of teaching as well as training periods (such as job shadowing, observation periods, training courses).

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STUDENT MOBILITY

Student mobility can be carried out from any Programme Country to any other Programme Country or any Partner Country and in any study field and cycle (short cycle/bachelor/master/doctoral). To ensure high-quality mobility activities with maximum impact on the students, the mobility activity has to be compatible with the student’s degree related learning and personal development needs.

Students may carry out the activities described below:

  • A study period abroad at a partner higher education institution. The study period abroad must be part of the student’s study programme to complete a degree at any study cycle. A study period abroad may include a traineeship period as well. Such a combination creates synergies between the academic and professional experience abroad.
  • A traineeship (work placement, internship) abroad in an enterprise, a research institute, a laboratory, an organisation or any other relevant workplace. Traineeships abroad are supported during studies at any study cycle and for recent graduates. This also includes teaching assistantships for student teachers and research assistantships for students and doctoral candidates in any relevant research facility. To further enhance the synergies with Horizon Europe, these mobilities can also take place in the context of Horizon Europe funded research projects, in full respect of the principle of no double EU funding of activities. Wherever possible, the traineeships should be an integrated part of the student’s study programme.
  • Doctoral mobility to better meet the diverse learning and training needs of doctoral candidates and to ensure equal opportunities,
    doctoral candidates and recent graduates (‘post-docs’) can undertake short-term or long-term physical study or traineeship mobility periods abroad. Adding a virtual component to the physical mobility is encouraged.
  • Blended mobility any study period or traineeship abroad of any duration, including doctoral mobility, may be carried out as a blended
    mobility. Blended mobility is a combination of physical mobility with a virtual component facilitating a collaborative online learning exchange and teamwork. For example, the virtual component can bring learners together online from different countries and study fields to follow online courses or work collectively and simultaneously on assignments that are recognised as part of their studies. 

Any student can also undertake blended mobility by participating in a blended intensive programme. In addition, students (short cycle/bachelor/master) who are not able to participate in long-term physical study or traineeship mobility, for example, due to their study field or because they have fewer opportunities for participation, will be able to carry out a short-term physical mobility by combining it with a compulsory virtual component.

STAFF MOBILITY

Staff mobility can be carried out from any Programme Country to any other Programme Country or any Partner Country. To ensure high-quality mobility activities with maximum impact, the mobility activity has to be related to the staff’s professional development and to address their learning and personal development needs.

Staff may carry out the following activities:

  • A teaching period abroad at a partner higher education institution. The teaching period abroad enables any teaching staff at a higher education institution or staff from enterprises to teach at a partner higher education institution abroad. Staff mobility for teaching can be in any study field.
  • A training period abroad at a partner higher education institution, enterprise or any other relevant workplace. The training period abroad enables any staff at a higher education institution to take part in a training activity abroad that is relevant to their day-to-day work at the higher education institution. It may take the form of training events or job shadowing.

staff mobility period abroad can combine teaching and training activities. Any teaching or training period abroad may be carried out as a blended mobility.

NB: All involved higher education institutions from eligible Programme countries must hold an Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (ECHE)

The Higher Education sector is also supporting the efforts of EU countries to integrate refugees in Europe’s education systems and ensure their skills development is an urgent task in the light of the current migration crisis. Click here for more information.

Disadvantaged background top-ups for student mobility

EQUITY AND INCLUSION

The Erasmus+ Programme aims at promoting equity and inclusion by facilitating the access to participants with disadvantaged backgrounds and fewer opportunities compared to their peers whenever disadvantage limits or prevents participation in transnational activities for reasons such as:

  • educational difficulties: young people with learning difficulties; early school-leavers; low qualified adults; young people with poor school performance;
  • economic obstacles: people with a low standard of living, low income, dependence on social welfare system or homeless; young people in long-term unemployment or poverty; people in debt or with financial problems;
  • cultural differences: immigrants or refugees or descendants from immigrant or refugee families; people belonging to a national or ethnic minority; people with linguistic adaptation and cultural inclusion difficulties;
  • health problems: people with chronic health problems, severe illnesses or psychiatric conditions;
  • social obstacles: people facing discrimination because of gender, age, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, disability, etc.; people with limited social skills or anti-social or risky behaviours; people in a precarious situation; (ex-)offenders, (ex-)drug or alcohol abusers; young and/or single parents; orphans;
  • geographical obstacles: people from remote or rural areas; people living in small islands or in peripheral regions; people from urban problem zones; people from less serviced areas (limited public transport, poor facilities).

Cooperation Among Organisations and Institutions (KA2)

PARTNERSHIPS FOR COOPERATION

WHAT ARE THE AIMS AND PRIORITIES OF A STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP?

This action enables participating organisations to gain experience in international cooperation and to strengthen their
capacities, but also to produce high-quality innovative deliverables. Depending on the objectives of the project, the
participating organisations involved, or the expected impact, among other elements, Partnerships for Cooperation can
be of different sizes and scope, and adapt their activities accordingly. The qualitative assessment of these projects will
be proportional to the objectives of the cooperation and the nature of the organisations involved.

  • Cooperation Partnerships

WHICH ACTIVITIES ARE TYPICALLY CARRIED OUT BY PARTNERSHIPS FOR COOPERATION?

Over the lifetime of a project, organisations may typically carry out a broad range of activities. From traditional activities to more creative and innovative ones, organisations have the flexibility to choose the best combination that contributes to reaching the project’s objectives in relation to its scope and in proportion to the capacities of the partnership.

For example:

  • Project management: activities that are necessary to ensure the adequate planning, implementation and follow-up of the projects, including smooth and efficient collaboration between project partners. In this phase, activities typically include organisational and administrative tasks, virtual meetings among partners, preparation of
    communication materials, preparation and follow-up of participants taking part in activities, etc.
  • Implementation activities: can include networking events, meetings, working sessions to exchange practices and to develop results. These activities may also involve the participation of staff and learners (provided that their participation contributes to the achievement of project objectives).
  • Sharing and promotion activities: organisation of conferences, sessions, events aimed at sharing, explaining and promoting the results of the project, whether they are in the form of tangible results, conclusions, good practices or any other form.

COOPERATION PARTNERSHIPS

The primary goal of Cooperation Partnerships is to allow organisations to increase the quality and relevance of their activities, to develop and reinforce their networks of partners, to increase their capacity to operate jointly at transnational level, boosting internationalisation of their activities and through exchanging or developing new practices and methods as well as sharing and confronting ideas. They aim to support the development, transfer and/or implementation of innovative practices as well as the implementation of joint initiatives promoting cooperation, peer
learning and exchanges of experience at European level. Results should be re-usable, transferable, up-scalable and, if possible, have a strong transdisciplinary dimension. Selected projects will be expected to share the results of their activities at local, regional, national level and transnational level.

Cooperation Partnerships are anchored to the priorities and policy frameworks of each Erasmus+ sector, both at European and national level, while aiming at producing incentives for cross-sectoral and horizontal cooperation in thematic areas.

SECTOR SPECIFIC PRIORITIES:

Priority will be given to actions that are key to achieving the objectives of the European Education Area. The aim is to support the higher education sector in becoming even more inter-connected, innovative, inclusive and digital. For this purpose, the Programme will encourage much deeper and inter-disciplinary cooperation between higher education institutions, as well as with their surrounding innovation ecosystems, and the strengthening of links between education, research and innovation. The focus will in particular be on strengthening inclusion, mobility, digitalisation, lifelong learning, quality assurance and automatic recognition. The underlying objective is to accelerate the higher education
transformation throughout Europe, in order to train the future generations in co-creating knowledge for a resilient, inclusive and sustainable society.

  • 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 and tools to enhance mobility for all.
  • Stimulating innovative learning and teaching practices: to tackle societal challenges through support for: a) the development of learning outcomes and student-centred curricula that better meet the learning needs of students and reduce skills mismatches, while also being relevant for the labour market and for the wider society; 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 facilitating the 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 and research-based learning; e) mainstreaming sustainable development in all curricula for students in all disciplines and at all levels.
  • 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, and teaching for disadvantaged learners; b) training of academics in innovative and/or online pedagogies, including trans-disciplinary approaches, new curriculum design, delivery and assessment methods linking education with research and innovation where relevant, c) fostering an entrepreneurial, open and innovative higher education sector, by promoting learning and teaching partnerships with commercial and non-commercial organisations in the private sector; e) developing of new practices in instructional design, based on educational research and creativity.
  • Building inclusive higher education systems: The Programme will foster inclusive approaches for the mobility and cooperation activities such as a) increased access, participation and completion rates of target groups with fewer opportunities; b) 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; c) supporting the development of flexible career pathways between education and research; d) foster gender balance in higher education institutions, across fields of study and in leadership positions; e) fostering civic engagement through the promotion of informal learning and extracurricular activities and recognition of voluntary and community work in students’ academic results.
  • Supporting digital capabilities of the higher education sector: through a) actions that enable the implementation of the European Student Card initiative through secure electronic transfer of students’ data between higher education institutions, in full respect of personal data protection and linking where possible with the new Europass; b) development of digital skills and competences of students and staff.