Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees
1. Conditions relating to the design of the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees
An EMJMD must be fully developed at the time of the application and be ready to run for four consecutive editions as from the second academic year following the application if the consortium opts for a preparatory year after being selected. The EMJMD consortia that have opted not to implement a preparatory are expected to run the first edition of the Master immediately, thus the first academic year following their selection.
In order to comply with the minimum requirements set in Part B and where external quality assurance at programme level is compulsory, (depending on the jurisdiction this could be e.g. accreditation or evaluation) proof of this by the national competent authorities can:
- result from having successfully implemented the European Approach for Quality Assurance of Joint Programmes (if national legislation allows), or
- be based on the individual accreditation decisions for each national component on the basis of which the EMJMD is composed.
For system/institutional accreditation i.e. HEIs self-accredit their study programmes, proof of valid accreditations can take the form of:
- evidence of the corresponding national legislation that gives the right to the HEIs to offer study programmes and award Master's Degrees, and/or
- evidence of the relevant internal decisions of the HEIs to deliver the national components of the proposed EMJMD study programme.
The Executive Agency will consult the Erasmus+ International Contact Points of the Programme Country HEIs acting as partners in the consortia in order to verify the accreditation, the evaluation or any other necessary requirements.
Moreover, national Master degree-awarding programmes must be mutually recognised by the consortium HEI partners from Programme Countries. Applicants should note that the process of recognition of EMJMD study periods within the consortium must have been agreed before the first EMJMD student intake starts.
Programme Country HEIs acting as partners in the consortium must be Master degree-awarding institutions with the capacity to issue either a joint or a multiple degree (at least a double degree) for EMJMD graduates. Consortia must also ensure that all graduated students are provided with a joint Diploma Supplement at the end of their study period, covering the entire content of the Master programme.
Unless applicants explicitly opt out, the first year will be a preparatory and promotion/awareness-raising year during which the programme will be advertised and the first intake of students selected. EMJMDs must ensure joint/common procedures for student admission requirements1, teaching/training activities, quality assurance mechanisms, student examination and performance evaluation, consortium administrative and financial management, the nature/scope of services offered to students (e.g. language courses, visa support), etc.
All students must be covered by a health and insurance scheme chosen by the consortium. This scheme must respect the minimum EMJMD requirements as defined in the respective guidelines available on the Executive Agency website.
These elements are crucial to demonstrate full integration of an EMJMD course and its implementing consortium. Therefore it is expected that a draft Consortium Agreement is provided at application stage which covers these and other important items in a clear and transparent manner. The existence of an up-to-date, comprehensive, and robust draft Consortium Agreement is a sign of the readiness of the partners and maturity of the application.
The EMJMD consortium will need to design joint promotion and awareness-raising activities in order to ensure worldwide visibility of the joint study programme as well as of the Erasmus+ scholarship scheme. These activities will necessarily include the development of an integrated and comprehensive course website (in English, as well as in the main teaching language(s) if different) providing all the necessary information on the EMJMD for students and future employers, prior to the first scholarship application round.
The student application procedure and submission deadline should be designed in such a way that it provides the students with all the necessary information well in advance and with enough time to prepare and submit an application (i.e. aproximatively 4 months before the scholarship deadline). The consortium is also encouraged to organise language courses in the language of the host institutions and offer courses in other widely spoken languages. Visibility will be supported through the Commission and Executive Agency websites, via National Agencies and EU Delegations. Guidelines on EMJMD websites can be found on the Executive Agency website.
2. Conditions relating to Master students
Master students wishing to enrol in an EMJMD must have previously obtained a first higher education degree2 or demonstrate a recognised equivalent level of learning according to national legislation and practices. Each EMJMD consortium will be responsible for defining its specific student application procedure and selection criteria in accordance with the requirements and guidelines available on the Executive Agency website. In this context, student candidates can apply for an EMJMD scholarship to any of the Erasmus+ Erasmus Mundus courses of their choice (EMJMD catalogue available at the following webpage: http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/erasmus-plus/library/emjmd-catalogue_en.
Erasmus+ EMJMD student scholarships can be offered to students from any region of the world. Consortia will have to take geographical balance into account – i.e. no more than 3 candidates from the same country (/with the same nationality) should be awarded an EMJMD scholarship during the same intake. Students with double nationality must specify the nationality under which they submit their scholarship application. However, particular rules may apply in case of additional funding for specific regions of the world. EMJMD consortia are also encouraged to enrol self-funded students indicatively representing at least 25% of the Erasmus+ scholarship holders.
EMJMD student scholarships are awarded for participation in the complete EMJMD programme. Scholarship holders cannot transfer university credits from courses taken prior to their enrolment in their EMJMD for the purpose of reducing their mandatory activities in the joint programme. Furthermore, EMJMD scholarship holders cannot at the same time be beneficiaries of a grant for student or staff mobility in the framework of other higher education programmes funded by the EU budget.
In order to guarantee full transparency in the EMJMD implementation rules, as well as to define the rights and responsibilities of enrolled students towards the EMJMD consortia, both parties (i.e. accepted students and EMJMD consortia) will have to sign a Student Agreement (see model on the Executive Agency website) prior to student enrolment in the EMJMD. This Student Agreement will cover all the academic, financial, administrative, behavioural, etc. aspects related to the EMJMD implementation and, for the scholarship holders, the scholarship management. It should include performance indicators for the successful acquisition of minimum ECTS credits (and the consequences in case of failure to acquire them), information about the services provided to the student, as well as details related to health/social security, mobility requirements, and thesis/exam/graduation rules, etc. For transparency, the Student Agreement template must be published on the EMJMD website of the consortium (all EMJMDs must have a specific webpage).
3. Conditions relating to monitoring and quality assurance
In order to effectively monitor the implementation of EMJMD courses, the beneficiary consortia will need to apply a number of monitoring and Quality Assurance (QA) mechanisms:
- definition of a joint QA plan with common evaluation methods and criteria, agreed implementation timetable/milestones and follow-up actions. The QA procedure will need to be embedded in the EMJMD project design at application stage, notably internal and external evaluation exercises, feedback on indicators (e.g. employability of graduates, sustainability), etc. QA findings and conclusions drawn will be reported by the consortium to the Executive Agency;
- submission of regular interim/progress reports on the implementation of the project;
- quantitative and qualitative monitoring of the student mobility and performance (in terms of activities implemented, ECTS credits acquired and degree awarded) through the Executive Agency online Mobility Tool (EMT);
- liaison and cooperation (where applicable and expected) with the EM Alumni Association (EMA website: www.em-a.eu);
- joint meetings of the participating HEIs, student representatives, Executive Agency programme officer(s), staff of the National Agencies concerned and, when needed, external experts; at least two meetings will have to be organised by the EMJMD consortium during the period covered by the grant agreement;
- feedback from the enrolled students;
- participation in thematic cluster meetings organised by the Commission, the National Agencies or the Executive Agency to support exchange of good practice and mutual learning.
4. Selection procedure of EMJMD consortia
The main objective of the EMJMD programme is to attract, select, and fund excellence; this should be understood both in terms of academic quality of the main actors (participating organisations and EMJMD Master students), as well as in terms of the implementation capacity of the consortia which are expected to carry out an integrated international study programme with students from Programme and Partner Countries. Proposals will be fully assessed by an Evaluation Committee composed by EU staff and assisted by external academic experts in a one-step evaluation process.
Based on the assessment of the four award criteria, i.e. Relevance of the project, Quality of the project design and implementation, Quality of the project team and the cooperation arrangements, Impact and dissemination a ranking list of all proposals will be established. Only those proposals that have passed the minimum threshold of at least 30 points out of 40 under the award criterion "Relevance of the project" and have scored at least 70 points out of 100 in total will be considered for funding.
Those proposals that pass all thresholds will be assessed for additional scholarships for targeted Partner Country regions defined under the section "Additional scholarships for students from targeted regions of the world". The academic experts will analyse and evaluate the answers given for the additional award criterion: "Relevance of the project in the targeted region(s)" and indicate, on a yes/no basis, whether the information is pertinent.
The assessment of the additional criterion will not influence the original ranking list resulting from the evaluation of the four award criteria (Relevance of the project, Quality of the project design and implementation, Quality of the project team and the cooperation arrangements, Impact and dissemination).
- 1. The selection procedure must be organised in a way to ensure that the best students worldwide are selected.
- 2. While this condition must necessarily be fulfilled at the time of enrolment, EMJMD consortia may decide to accept scholarship applications from students in the last year of their first higher education degree.