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What other bodies are involved in the implementation of the Programme?
Apart from the bodies mentioned above, the following structures provide complementary expertise to the implementation of the Erasmus+ Programme:
The Eurydice network primarily focuses on the way education in Europe is structured and organised at all levels and aims at contributing towards a better mutual understanding of systems in Europe. It provides those responsible for education systems and policies in Europe with European-level comparative analyses and national specific information in the fields of education and youth, which will assist them in their decision-making.
The Eurydice Network produces a vast source of information, including
- detailed descriptions and overviews of national education systems (National Education systems and Policies),
- comparative thematic reports devoted to specific topics of Community interest (Thematic Reports),
- indicators and statistics (Key Data Series), and
- a series of facts and figures related to education, such as national education structures, school calendars, comparison of teacher salaries and of required taught time for countries and education levels (Facts and Figures).
It consists of a central coordinating unit located at the Executive Agency and national units based in all Erasmus+ Programme Countries plus Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro.
More information is available on the website of the Executive Agency: https://eacea.ec.europa.eu/homepage
Youth Wiki National Correspondents Network
In line with the EU Youth Strategy and the objective of improving the knowledge on youth issues in Europe, financial support is provided to National Structures contributing to the Youth Wiki, an interactive tool providing information on the situation of young people in Europe and on national youth policies in a coherent, updated and exploitable way.
Financial support is given to the bodies designated by the national authorities, located in a Programme Country, for actions carried out by these bodies for the production of country specific information, comparable country descriptions and indicators which contribute towards a better mutual understanding of youth systems and policies in Europe.
eTwinning Support Services
eTwinning is a community of teachers from pre-primary to upper secondary schools, hosted on a secure platform accessible only to teachers vetted by national authorities. Participants can involve themselves in many activities: carrying out projects with other schools and classrooms; discussions with colleagues and development of professional networking; involvement in a variety of professional development opportunities (online and face-to-face); etc. eTwinning is funded under Key Action 2 of the Erasmus+ Programme. Since its launch in 2005, more than 570.000 teachers in over 190.000 schools have registered and nearly 75.000 projects have taken place in the programme countries.
Teachers and schools participating in eTwinning receive support from their National Support Services (NSS). These are organisations appointed by the competent national authorities. They assist schools during the process of registration, partner finding and project activity, promote the Action, deliver prizes and quality labels and organise professional development activities for teachers.
The National Support Services are coordinated by a Central Support Service (CSS), which is also responsible for the development of the eTwinning Internet platform and the organisation of teacher professional development activities at European level.
The list of all services and more information available at: https://www.etwinning.net/en/pub/contact.htm
The School Education Gateway (SEG)
The School Education Gateway is Europe’s online platform for school education, currently available in 23 EU languages, intended to provide everything that teachers need in terms of information, learning and professional development, peer support and networking, collaborative project and mobility opportunities, policy insights etc. Apart from the teacher community, the target user base of the SEG includes all parties participating in activities under the Erasmus+ Programme such as: schools and other educational actors and organizations; policy makers and national authorities; NGOs; enterprises; etc.
As it is a public website, it can be accessed by anyone on Internet (i.e. also from countries outside the EU). This wide reach is expected to improve the links between policy and practice in European school education, as well as help promote policy based on the reality of what is happening at schools and what is needed by the job market.
The SEG offers a wide range of content, such as good practices from European projects; monthly blog contributions and video interviews of European school education experts; online courses for teachers to help tackle topical classroom challenges; resources such as teaching materials, tutorials and the European Toolkit for Schools; information on school education policies; topical news and events; etc. It offers special tools to support teachers and school staff in finding training and mobility opportunities for professional development (on-site courses, job shadowing, teaching assignments etc), which can be funded under Erasmus+ Key Action 1:
- Erasmus+ tool "Course Catalogue" (for face-to-face training opportunities);
- Erasmus+ tool "Mobility Opportunities" (for teacher mobility under KA1);
More information: http://schooleducationgateway.eu
The Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe - known as EPALE - is an initiative of the European Commission funded by the Erasmus+ programme. It is open to teachers, trainers and volunteers, as well as policy-makers, researchers, media and academics involved in adult learning.
The site offers interactive networks, enabling users to link with others all around Europe, engage in discussions and exchange good practice. Amongst many tools and content, EPALE offers instruments of specific interest for Erasmus+ (potential) beneficiaries. Some examples include:
- A Calendar of courses and events, which can be used
- to find mobility opportunities to beneficiaries of KA1 projects
- to promote courses and events organised by KA2 projects
- A Partner-search tool, useful to find partners to prepare an EU-funded project or to find or offer a job-shadowing opportunity.
- Communities of practice offer an additional facility to liaise with people and organisations with similar interest
- Collaborative spaces, where project partners can work in a safe environment to develop their project
- A Resource centre, where project beneficiaries can reference articles, reports, manuals, and any other material produced by their project or their organisation, hence offering an additional dissemination opportunity
- A Blog, where participants in projects can share their experience or upload videos presenting their results in an informal and dynamic way.
Projects that receive EU funding are encouraged to share information on their activities and results on the platform through blog posts, news, events and other kinds of activities.
EPALE is implemented by a Central Support Service and a network of National Support Services in Erasmus+ Programme countries, which are in charge of identifying interesting information and encourage stakeholders to use and contribute to the platform. EPALE can be accessed at http://ec.europa.eu/epale.
ERASMUS+ VIRTUAL EXCHANGE
Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange allows young people coming from both sides of the Mediterranean to engage in intercultural dialogue and to improve their skills through online learning tools. It expands the reach and scope of Erasmus+, complementing the traditional physical mobility. Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange works closely with universities and youth organisations to reach young people, youth workers, students and academics from the 33 Programme Countries and the 10 Partner Countries of the Southern Mediterranean region (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine1, Syria and Tunisia).
Virtual exchanges are online dialogues that take place usually as part of formal or non-formal education programmes and are recognised everywhere. All debates are moderated by trained facilitators who follow an agreed code of conduct. Logging into a safe video-conferencing platform, young people meet in small groups to discuss social, global or personal topics. The goal is to engage in self-reflection, active listening, respect and critical thinking. Dialogues also improve employability skills, as they demand effective communication, practice of other languages and collaboration across differences.
Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange also trains youth workers and university professors to develop virtual exchange projects with partners of other countries, putting in contact young people from different cultures. Moreover, the project helps the leaders of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) to develop a virtual exchange component to be inserted in their programmes.
All information can be found at: https://europa.eu/youth/erasmusvirtual
National Erasmus+ Offices
In the Partner Countries concerned (Western Balkans, Eastern and Southern Mediterranean countries, Russia and Central Asia) the National Erasmus+ Offices (NEOs) assist the Commission, the Executive Agency and the local authorities in the implementation of the Erasmus+ Programme. They are the focal point in these countries for their stakeholders involved in the Erasmus+ Programme in the area of higher education. They contribute to improving awareness, visibility, relevance, effectiveness and impact of the international dimension of Erasmus+.
The National Erasmus+ Offices are responsible for:
- providing information about Erasmus+ activities that are open to the participation of their countries in the field of higher education;
- advising and assisting potential applicants;
- monitoring Erasmus+ projects;
- coordinating the local team of Higher Education Reform Experts (HEREs);
- monitoring the legacy of the Tempus IV Programme (2007-2013);
- contributing to studies and events;
- providing support to policy dialogue;
- maintaining contacts with the local authorities and EU delegations;
- following policy developments in the field of higher education in their country.
In the Partner Countries concerned (ACP countries), implementation of certain actions will be done in close cooperation with the Committee of Ambassadors of the Group of African, Caribbean and Pacific States represented by the ACP Secretariat which is involved in the programming and implementation of these actions.
Network of Higher Education Reform Experts (HEREs)
In the Partner Countries concerned (Western Balkans, Eastern and Southern Mediterranean countries, Russia and Central Asia), the National Teams of Higher Education Reform Experts provide a pool of expertise to local authorities and stakeholders to promote reform and enhance progress in higher education. They participate in the development of policies in higher education in their respective country. HERE activities are based on "peer to peer" contacts. Each national team consists of five to fifteen members. The HEREs are experts in the field of higher education (Rectors, Vice-Rectors, Deans, senior academics, international relations officers, students etc.).
The mission of the HEREs involves supporting:
- policy development in their respective countries, by supporting modernisation, reform processes and strategies in higher education, in close contact with the local authorities concerned;
- policy dialogue with the EU in the field of higher education;
- training and counselling activities targeted at local stakeholders, in particular higher education institutions and their staff;
- Erasmus+ projects (in particular those implemented under the Capacity-building Action) by disseminating their results and outcomes, notably good practices and innovative initiatives and exploiting these for training purposes.
Euroguidance is a European network of national resource and information centres. All Euroguidance centres share two common goals:
- to promote the European dimension in guidance for education and vocational training;
- to provide quality information on lifelong guidance and mobility for learning purposes.
The main target group of Euroguidance is guidance practitioners and policy makers from both the educational and employment sectors in all European countries.
More information available at http://euroguidance.eu/.
Europass National Centres
Europass aims to help individuals to present and document their skills and qualifications in a clear and transparent way throughout Europe. Communication between job-seekers and employers, as well as mobility for working or learning purposes, are facilitated by this initiative.
In every country (European Union and European Economic Area plus the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey), a National Europass Centre coordinates all activities related to the Europass documents. It is the first point of contact for any person or organisation interested in using or learning more about Europass.
More information available at: http://europass.cedefop.europa.eu/en/about/national-europass-centres
European Qualifications Framework (EQF) National Coordination Points (NCP)
The EQF NCPs support national authorities in establishing national qualifications frameworks. The activities of the EQF NCPs are geared towards the following:
- Referencing of national qualifications systems to the European reference levels;
- Referencing to the appropriate EQF level on qualifications certificates, diplomas and Europass documents issued by the competent authorities.
More information available at: http://ec.europa.eu/ploteus
Network of EQAVET National Reference Points
The EQAVET National Reference Points (NRPs) are established by national authorities and bring together existing relevant bodies involving the social partners and all stakeholders concerned at national and regional levels, to contribute to the implementation of the European framework for quality assurance in VET. The EQAVET NRPs aim to
- provide active support for the implementation of the EQAVET work programme,
- take concrete initiatives to promote further development of the EQAVET framework in the national context,
- support self-evaluation as a complementary and effective means of quality assurance allowing the measurement of success and the identification of areas for improvement and
- ensure that information is disseminated to stakeholders effectively.
More information available at: http://www.eqavet.eu/
National Academic Recognition Information Centres (NARIC)
The NARIC network provides information concerning the recognition of diplomas and periods of study undertaken in other European countries as well as advice on foreign academic diplomas in the country where the NARIC is established. The NARIC network provides authoritative advice to anyone travelling abroad for the purposes of work or further education, but also to institutions, students, advisers, parents, teachers and prospective employers.
The European Commission supports the activities of the NARIC network through the exchange of information and experience between countries, the identification of good practices, the comparative analysis of systems and policies in this field, and the discussion and analysis of matters of common educational policy interest.
More information available at: www.enic-naric.net
Network of National Teams of ECVET Experts
The National Teams of ECVET Experts provide a pool of expertise to support the implementation of a European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET). They promote the adoption, the application and the use of ECVET in the Programme Countries and provide counselling to VET relevant competent bodies and institutions.
More information available at:
SALTO Resource Centres
The aim of the SALTO Resource Centres is to help improve the quality and impact of projects funded by the Erasmus+ programme.
In the field of youth, the SALTO centres provide expertise, resources, information and training in specific areas for National Agencies and other actors involved in youth work, and foster the recognition of non-formal and informal learning. They either have a thematic (participation and information, inclusion and diversity, training and cooperation) or geographical (Eastern Partnership Countries and Russia, Southern Mediterranean, Western Balkans) focus.
The work of the Youth SALTO centres involves:
- organising training courses, study visits, forums, cooperation and partnership-building activities;
- developing and documenting training and youth work methods and tools;
- giving an overview of European training activities that are available to youth workers through the European Training Calendar;
- issuing practical publications and guidance;
- providing up-to-date information about European youth work and the different priorities;
- providing a database of trainers and resource persons in the field of youth work and training;
- monitoring of Erasmus+ Volunteering accreditations in Partner Countries neighbouring the EU;
- coordinating the implementation of Youthpass, the instrument to support validation of non-formal and informal learning outcomes in youth mobility and youth work activities.
Education and Training
In the fields of Education and Training, the SALTO centre offers a platform for European training activities aiming to improve the quality and impact of the Erasmus+ programme at a systemic level. These activities, such as workshops, training courses, seminars and partnership building activities on Erasmus+ priority themes, enable stakeholders to, inter alia, develop their organizations' capacities to fully seize Erasmus+ opportunities, share best practices across European countries, find partners, or increase their projects' impact at European level. The Education and Training SALTO centre provides expertise, resources and information on these training opportunities for stakeholders and National Agencies in the Education & Training fields.
Otlas – the partner finding tool
One of the tools developed and hosted by the SALTO-Youth Resource Centres is Otlas, a central online partner finding tool for organisations in the youth field. Organisations can register their contact details and areas of interest in Otlas, and also create partner requests for project ideas.
The Eurodesk network offers information services to young people and those who work with them on European opportunities in the education, training and youth fields, and the involvement of young people in European activities.
Present in all Programme Countries, and coordinated at European level by the Eurodesk Brussels-link Office, the Eurodesk network offers enquiry answering services, funding information, events and publications. It also contributes to the animation of the European Youth Portal.
The European Youth Portal offers European and national information and opportunities that are of interest to young people who are living, learning and working in Europe. It gives information around eight main themes, covers 33 countries and is available in 27 languages.
To access the European Youth Portal, go to: http://europa.eu/youth/splash_en.
For more information on Eurodesk, go to: http://www.eurodesk.eu.
- 1. This designation shall not be construed as recognition of a State of Palestine and is without prejudice to the individual positions of the Member States on this issue.