The new Erasmus+ programme will also support students who wish to study a Master's programme in another European country through a Student Loan Guarantee Facility with favourable pay-back terms.
Organisations wishing to bid for funding in 2014 through Erasmus+, the European Union's new programme for education, training, youth and sport, can start to prepare their grant applications from today. The new Erasmus+ Programme Guide, which provides detailed information on how to apply, is available here. The programme is open to organisations in the field of education, training, youth or sport. They can apply online for funding from the end of January. Individuals cannot apply directly for grants; instead they should contact their university, college or organisation, which makes the application.
In total, €1.8 billion in funding will be available from Erasmus+ in 2014 to:
- Promote mobility opportunities for students, trainees, teachers and other educational staff, young people on youth exchanges, youth leaders and volunteers. The deadline for applications for learning mobility projects is 17 March 2014.
- Create or improve partnerships between education, training and youth institutions and organisations with the world of work. The deadline for applications is in April 2014.
- Support dialogue and evidence-building needed to deliver reform in education, training and youth systems.
"The process for launching Erasmus+ is now at the final stage and we are ready for the implementation phase. I encourage organisations to study the Programme Guide carefully to ensure that they are fully prepared once the online application process gets underway. The 40% increase in the Erasmus+ budget means that more than 4 million people, including students, trainees, teachers and volunteers, will benefit from grants over the next seven years," said Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth.
Consortia, coordinating organisations and groups can submit a single application on behalf of a number of organisations.
As well as universities and training institutions, new innovative partnerships will also be funded for the first time: the so-called 'Knowledge Alliances' and 'Sector Skills Alliances' will build synergies between education and the world of work by enabling higher education institutions, training providers and enterprises to promote innovation and entrepreneurship, and to develop new curricula and qualifications to tackle skills gaps.
In sport, the focus is on transnational projects supporting grassroots sport and tackling cross-border challenges such as match-fixing, doping, violence and racism, as well as promoting good governance, gender equality, social inclusion and physical activity for all.
The Student Loan Guarantee Facility is aimed at students who study in a European country that is neither the country of residence nor the country in which they obtained their qualification granting access to the Master's programme.
It is expected to be in place to guarantee the first loans for the beginning of the academic year 2014/2015 (ie. September 2014).
The guarantee provided by the European Investment Bank group will be of a maximum of 12.000€ for a one-year Master and 18.000€ for a two-year Master.
The grace period for reimbursement after graduation is at least up to 2 years.
To apply for these loans, you will need to address yourself to the participating national banks or student loan agencies that will be selected following a call for expressions of interest that is expected to be published in Spring 2014.
Irish beneficiaries may also benefit further from grants under the remaining part of the funds that are allocated through the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency in Brussels, including under new funding for sports actions and the Jean Monnet action for European integration studies in the field of higher education..