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Erasmus+ Capacity Building

Capacity-building projects in the field of higher education are transnational cooperation projects, based on multilateral partnerships, primarily between higher education institutions from Programme and eligible Partner Countries.

The aim of these projects is to support eligible Partner Countries to:

Modernise, internationalise and increase access to higher education
Address the challenges facing their higher education institutions and systems
Increase cooperation with the EU
Voluntarily converge with EU development in higher education, and promote people to people contacts, intercultural awareness, and understanding

This is carried out in the context of two key policy documents and the policy defined by four complementary financing instruments

Increasing the Impact of EU Development Policy: An Agenda for Change, European Higher Education in the World.
The European Neighbourhood Instrument
The Development Cooperation Instrument
The Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance
The European Development Fund

What is the opportunity?

Erasmus+ provides the opportunity for organisations from eligible Partner Countries, mainly higher education institutions (HEIs), to promote cooperation through actions that
Improve the quality of higher education and its alignment with labour market needs
Improve the level of skills in HEIs through new education programmes
Strengthen the capacity of management, governance, and innovation, as well as internationalization
Build the capacity of national authorities to modernise their own higher education systems
Foster regional integration and cooperation across different regions of the world
Capacity building projects typically focus on one of three main activities
Curriculum development activities
Modernisation of governance and management of HEIs and systems
Strengthening of relations between higher education and the wider economic and social environment
Organisations can choose from two types of projects
1. Joint projects, which aim to support organisations from partner countries (i.e. through curriculum development, modernisation of management, etc.)
2. Structural Projects, which aim to strengthen higher education systems and promote reforms at national and/or regional level

How does it work?

Organisations intending to apply must do so as part of a consortium. For projects addressing one Partner Country, a consortium must in principle include two Programme Countries, as well as:

  • minimum one HEI from at least two of the Programme Countries taking part
  • minimum three HEIs from the Partner Country
  • at least as many Partner-Country HEIs as Programme-Country HEIs

For projects addressing more than one Partner Country, at least two eligible Partner Countries and at least two Programme Countries must be involved. A consortium must, in principle, include:

  • minimum one HEI from at least two of the Programme Countries taking part
  • at least two HEIs from each Partner Country taking part
  • at least as many Partner-Country HEIs as Programme-Country HEIs

Eligible Partner Countries are those in Regions 1-4 and 6-11. Projects involving Region 8 (Latin America) must involve at least two Partner Countries from the Region and projects involving the Russian Federation (Region 4) must involve at least another Partner Country from a different region. All Structural Projects must also include the Ministry responsible for education in the Partner Country.

A consortium must be led by an applicant, an organisation that submits the proposal on behalf of the partners and is responsible for the overall implementation of the project. The applicant must be:

  • a higher education institution (ideally from a partner country)
  • an association or organisation of higher education institutions, or
  • in the case of Structural Projects, a legally recognised national or international rector, teacher, or student organisation

Organisations from Libya, Syria, and the Russian Federation cannot act as applicants.

Project partners may either be higher education institutions or any public or private organisation active in the labour market or in the fields of education, training, and youth. These organisations can participate as:

  • Full Partners who participate actively in the project under the authority of the applicant, and
  • Associated Partners, who contribute to specific tasks or activities

Associated Partners are not considered part of the consortium and, as such, cannot benefit from any financial support from the project.

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