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Erasmus+ is an EU programme for general and vocational education and training, youth and sport for the period 2014 to 2020. A total of 34 countries take part in Erasmus+. In addition to the 28 Member States, they also include Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, North Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey. The programme focuses on the promotion of transnational mobility and cooperation as well as the sharing of best practice.

Erasmus+ offers the opportunity to study, teach, train or do work experience in a different European country or to work together across national borders. In the higher education sector, there is also the possibility of mobility outside Europe. Within the Erasmus+ programme, projects at schools, colleges, universities and other educational institutions and organisations facilitate individual mobility and strategic transnational collaboration.

The programme thus improves the professional, linguistic, social and intercultural skills of teachers and learners. At the same time, it raises the awareness of a common Europe as well as its diverse nature. In addition, Erasmus+ also has a systemic effect by supporting the sustainable horizontal internationalisation of the Austrian education system, from elementary education through all types of schools and higher education institutions to adult education. 

Erasmus+ contributes to the Europa 2020 Strategy for growth, employment, social justice and inclusion as well as to the aims of ET2020, the EU’s strategic framework for general and vocational education. The programme also complements and supports national education policy priorities, transparency and recognition tools and Europe-wide networks.

Between 2014 and 2020, the European Union will provide €14.7 billion for the programme. In addition, around €1.68 billion is available for cooperation with partner countries worldwide. These funds will enable up to five million young people and adults in Europe to participate in Erasmus+ between 2014 and 2020.

Outlook for Erasmus+ (2021-2027)

On 26 November 2018, under the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the EU, the EU Education Ministers agreed, after intensive negotiations, on a common Council position of the Member States regarding the future of Erasmus+. This position forms the basis for negotiations with the European Parliament on the future of Erasmus+, which are due to begin after the European elections in 2019.

The new generation of programmes should continue this unrivalled EU success story: Erasmus+ will remain an integrated education programme based on the principle of lifelong learning. Erasmus+ will continue to offer study visits, work experience for students and trainees, teaching and training activities, youth exchange projects, youth work and sports activities throughout Europe and in some cases beyond.

Erasmus+ is being strengthened, extended and made more inclusive: The budget is to be significantly increased in order to give even more people the opportunity of an educational experience abroad. In addition to student mobility, there is also to be a focus on increased mobility for school pupils and the opening up of worldwide exchange for vocational training beyond Europe. Overall, the programme will address more people from disadvantaged backgrounds as well as smaller education and higher education institutions lacking major financial or administrative resources and will become more accessible in terms of its administration.
Erasmus+ will also support excellence partnerships with the European Universities Initiative, Centres of Vocational Excellence as well as Joint Master Degrees.

The educational component of Erasmus+ is broken down into four sectors:

The Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (BMBWF) is the Austrian national authority responsible for the implementation of Erasmus+ and for the overall coordination of the programme in Austria. These tasks are performed by Dept. III/1 (EU Coordination and Multilateral Affairs).

The Austrian Exchange Service (OeAD-GmbH) was commissioned as the national agency with responsibility for implementing and administering the education component of Erasmus+. The National Agency for Erasmus+ Education within the Austrian Exchange Service supports Erasmus+ in Austria and offers advice and information to applicants.