Erasmus+: enhancing the quality of higher education
Since the establishment of the Erasmus+ programme 30 years ago, European universities have been completely transformed. They are now more open and connected to the wider world. They are more diverse and dynamic, and better equipped to respond to complex challenges posed by a fast-paced, developing and globalised world. Erasmus+ has been a catalyst for this transformation by paving the way for making international cooperation a priority. The programme has helped to improve the quality of higher education and strengthen universities in various ways.
Erasmus+ Strategic Partnerships, Knowledge Alliances and Policy Reform projects are key to support higher education institutions in making their teaching and learning even more relevant to students and better-tailored to societal needs. Such cooperation projects establish links between higher education, enterprises and research institutions to equip students with relevant skills for the future. They also pave the way for innovative ways of delivering education e.g. using virtual classrooms to facilitate interdisciplinary and worked-based learning across borders.
An example of such cooperation is the ‘European Astrobiology Campus’, a virtual campus of 10 European universities and 2 non-academic entities that have previously been engaged in astrobiology research. This creates a dynamic learning environment that will not only train students, but also lecturers to enable them to hold high-quality astrobiology courses and overcome the challenges in multidisciplinary teaching.
Successful teacher exchanges
Erasmus+ also offers mobility opportunities to staff in higher education institutions. When universities take part in international cooperation, they exchange best practices which helps them come up with innovative teaching and learning methods. Teacher exchanges not only enable students to enjoy foreign expertise in the classroom, but also contribute to the development of pedagogical skills by allowing teachers to learn good practices, share knowledge with colleagues abroad and improve curricula. More than 150,000 staff of higher education institutions have taken part in Erasmus+ mobility since 2014. 93% affirm that they learnt new good practises while abroad, and 99% are satisfied or very satisfied with the experience!
To further enhance the positive impact of Erasmus+ on the quality of teaching, the European Commission will emphasise training periods for teaching staff in higher education that allows them to develop pedagogical and curriculum design skills from the 2018 call and on.
For more information on how Erasmus+ can help your university improve quality in teaching and research, go to the Erasmus+ website.
To learn more about exciting ongoing Erasmus+ cooperation projects, visit the Erasmus+ Project Results Platform!