Higher Education – Decentralised

Higher Education Students and Staff Mobility (KA1)

Higher Education under the Mobility of Individuals Key Action(KA1)  is split into two mobilities; Student Mobility and Staff Mobility.  Each mobility is then also split into another two different activities.  Study Periods and a Traineeships fall under Student mobility whereas Teaching Periods and Training Periods fall under Staff Mobility.  This mobility project can comprise one or more of the activities above.

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A study period abroad may include a traineeship period as well.   To ensure high quality mobility activities with maximum impact on the students, the mobility activity has to respond to the students’ degree-related learning and personal development needs. The study period abroad must be part of the student’s study programme to complete a degree at a short cycle, first cycle (Bachelor or equivalent), second cycle (Master or equivalent) and third or doctoral cycle.

Traineeships abroad at a workplace are also supported during short cycle, first, second, third cycle studies and within one year after the student’s graduation. This includes as well the ‘assistantships’ for student teachers.

Wherever possible, the traineeships should be an integrated part of the student’s study programme. Student mobility can be in any subject area/academic discipline.



A teaching period activity allows HEI teaching staff or staff from enterprises to teach at a partner HEI abroad. Staff mobility for teaching can be in any subject are/academic discipline.

Training periods support the professional development of HEI teaching and non-teaching staff in the form of training events abroad (excluding conferences) and job shadowing/observation periods/training at a partner HEI, or at another relevant organisation abroad.

A period abroad can combine teaching and training activities.

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 KA107 student mobility

The student requesting top-ups are to submit a declaration to the MT NA stating that they come from a disadvantaged background in line with the definition specified in the programme guide:



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).

Strategic Partnerships (KA2)



Strategic Partnerships 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.

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Strategic Partnerships in the field of Higher Education, projects may be supporting innovation. Projects are expected to develop innovative outputs, and/or engage into intensive dissemination and exploitation activities of existing and newly produced products or innovative ideas.

Only participants holding the Charter for Higher Education Institutions are eligible to apply for Strategic Partnerships in the field of Higher Education. Additional activities available for Higher Education applicants, aside from ‘Blended Mobility of learners’ and ‘Short-term joint staff training events’, are: Intensive Study Programmes and Long-term teaching or training assignments.

To be funded, Strategic Partnerships must address either a) at least one horizontal priority or b) at least one specific priority relevant to the field of education, training and youth that is mostly impacted.

Priority will be given to the following actions in line with the challenges identified in the renewed EU Agenda for Modernisation of Higher Education:


  • Tackling skills gaps and mismatches through: a) activities to increase the uptake of subjects where skills shortages exist and improve career guidance, and b) designing and developing curricula that meet the learning needs of students that are relevant to the labour market and societal needs, including through better use of open and online, blended, work-based, multi-disciplinary learning, and new assessment models. Reinforcing cooperation between higher education institutions, VET organizations and employers or social enterprises on real-world problems, for example by fostering collaboration between students, apprentices and enterprises on entrepreneurial and trans-disciplinary projects and by facilitating business field trips.
  • Supporting the further development of graduate tracking systems in Programme countries and exploring options for improving the availability of comparable data on graduate outcomes within Europe.
  • Encouraging training and exchange to enhance the quality of teaching, in particular, supporting the use of digital technologies and online delivery to improve pedagogies and assessment methods; setting up transnational teacher training courses and strengthening cooperation between teacher training centres.
  • Promoting and rewarding excellence in teaching and skills development, including through developing effective incentive structures and human resources policies at national and institutional levels, training of academics in new and innovative pedagogical approaches, new curriculum design approaches and sharing of good practices through collaborative platforms.
  • Building inclusive higher education systems, connected to surrounding communities, by: a) developing and implementing holistic institutional strategies for inclusion and study success, increasing fairness in access and the participation and completion rates of under-represented and disadvantaged groups, including through relevabt post-entry support, guidance, counseling and mentoring of students; b) improving pathways between schools, VET, research institutes and higher education through multi-sector international educational partnerships; c) developing, testing and implementing flexible and modular course design (part-time, online or blended) in particular to better adapt to the needs of mature students and early stage researchers; d) promoting the civic and social responsibility of students, researchers and universities, and recognizing voluntary and community work in academic results (through ECTS points, for example).
  • Ensuring higher education institutions and research institutes contribute to innovation by: a) developing, implementing and testing the effectiveness of approaches to promote creativity, entrepreneurial thinking and skills for applying innovative ideas in practice; b) ensuring education and research are mutually reinforcing, including through partnerships and inter- and trans-disciplinary approaches, and through strengthening the role of higher education institutions and research institutes in their local and regional environments; c) supporting the transfer of latest research outputs back into education as input for teaching and encouraging undergraduates and master students to get involved in opportunities to help them explore contemporary research problems and develop their research skills to become a researcher.
  • Fostering effective and efficient system-level funding and governance models, rewarding good teaching, innovation and community-relevance.
  • Promoting internationalisation, recognition and mobility, supporting changes in line with Bologna principles and tools. Cooperation projects of universities, research institutes, university networks and possibly private or non-profit actors to implement mobility activities under the Erasmus+ Student Loan Guarantee Facility may be considered.