Erasmus+ is an EU programme for education, training, youth, and sport that has existed for more than three decades, and aims to improve skills and employability, as well as to update education, training, and youth work. It provides opportunities for study, training, and establishing cooperation between higher education institutions from program countries and partner countries.
Promotion and implementation of Erasmus+ programme in Serbia, as far as education parts are concerned, is delegated to the National Erasmus+ office in Serbia. The aims of the Erasmus+ programme in the field of education and training are:
Erasmus+ programme also focuses on strengthening the potential of Youth for active participation in civil society, development of leadership skills, solidarity and understanding among cultures.
Erasmus+ promotes recognition of qualifications in education, open access to education materials, documents and media created through funded projects, an international dimension of activity, multilingualism, equity and inclusion.
The most significant change in 2019 for higher education institutions in Serbia is the possession of the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education as a prerequisite for any participation in the programme. A new reference is that Serbia is in the group of Programme Countries, together with EU members, including Island, Liechtenstein, Norway, Turkey and Macedonia. These countries can participate fully in all parts of the programme. Organizations from Serbia can be partners in all types of projects to, organizations and institutions from other countries that submit applications to their national agencies, which significantly increased the possibilities for financing projects.
Erasmus Charter for Higher Education – ECHE
The Erasmus Charter for Higher Education is a document on the basis of which the European Commission awards accreditation to higher education institutions from programme countries which enabling them to compete and participate in Erasmus + projects. It contains the basic principles higher education institutions must respect in order to be able to participate in the Programme. The Erasmus Charter provides a basic framework for the quality of European and international cooperation.
Through the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education, the higher education institution is obliged: to fully respect the principles of non-discrimination prescribed by the Programme and to ensure equal access and opportunities for all participants in mobility; to ensure full recognition of the points earned during student mobility; regarding the mobility, to liberate students of any fees for tuition, enrollment, exams, access to laboratories and libraries, etc.
The Erasmus Charter also defines the terms of participation in periods prior to mobility, during mobility and after mobility. The monitoring of the implementation of the Charter principles is carried out by the European Commission in cooperation with national agencies. Higher education institutions from programme countries are obliged to have the Erasmus Charter for higher education so that they can participate in mobility and cooperation projects, while higher education institutions from partner countries, under the principles of the Erasmus Charter, commit themselves to signing an interinstitutional agreement with higher education institutions from the programme country.
The Erasmus+ programme consists of three key actions and two separate parts – Jean Monnet and Sport.
Key Action 1 – Education Mobility
Mobility projects include mobility of students and employees at higher education institutions as well as employees in enterprises, public or private organizations active in the labour market or in the field of education, training and youth among programmes or programmes and partner countries, as follows:
Applications for projects are submitted by higher education institutions from programme countries to their national agencies. They are also coordinators of projects, while higher education institutions from partner countries are in the role of project partners. Higher education institutions from Serbia submit applications for projects to the Tempus Foundation.
Mobility Projects Duration:
• among programme countries, it can be 16 or 24 months
• among programme (including Serbia) and partner countries it can be 24 or 36 months.
Higher education institutions of Serbia from the 2019 tender deadline may be coordinators and partners in projects aimed at the establishment of the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master’s Programme. Cooperation of higher education institutions is based on compulsory student mobility among members of the consortium and on the issuance of a joint, double or multiple diploma. It is necessary that at least three higher education institutions from three different programme countries participate in these projects. Depending on whether they include the preparatory year and whether the Joint Master’s Programme lasts one or two years, the projects may last at least 4 years and at most 6 years.
Key Action 2 – Institutional Cooperation in the Fields of Education
Strategic partnerships present projects aiming to support the development, transfer and / or implementation of innovative practices, as well as the implementation of joint initiatives to promote cooperation, peer learning and exchange of experiences at the European level.
Accredited higher education institutions and other institutions, organizations and institutions such as schools, non-profit organizations, associations, non-governmental organizations, public or private companies, public bodies, chambers of commerce, professional associations, research institutes, foundations, etc, which are active in the higher education sector of the Republic of Serbia or of any programme country may be participants in strategic partnership projects.
Capacity Building in the field of Higher Education 2019 projects (CBHE) provide significant opportunities for cooperation among higher education institutions and other institutions and the transfer of good practices from programme countries. They are an important impetus for the modernization of higher education through the development of study programmes, the improvement of institution management and the realization of different types of interaction among higher education sectors and society as a whole.
Projects can last 24 or 36 months.
Joint projects are implemented at the level of higher education institutions. The goals of these projects may be the development and modernization of study programmes, the improvement of the work of various departments at higher education institutions, and the development of other capacities of institutions.
The structural project aims at its goals for structural changes at the level of the higher education system (for example, a project dealing with the systemic financing of higher education, the development of the social dimension of higher education, etc.). In structural projects, the ministry in charge of higher education is required.
Key Action 3 – Improvement of Educational Policies
Serbia can participate in Erasmus + Key Action 3 projects which support policy reform to achieve the goals set by the Europe 2020 Strategy, the Strategic Framework for European Cooperation in Education and Training (ET 2020) and the European Youth Strategy.
Jean Monnet actions are aimed at promoting excellence in teaching and research in the field of European Union studies worldwide. Institutions from Serbia can participate in all types of Jean Monnet projects, similar to institutions from around the world. The total allocation of funds for the whole period amounts to 14.7 billion Euros.
Jean Monnet activities are: Jean Monnet Modules, Jean Monnet Chairs and Centres of Excellence, Jean Monnet Networks, Jean Monet Projects, and Jean Monnet Support to Associations.