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Call key data
Virtual exchanges in higher education and youth
Erasmus+ - Key Action 1 – Learning Mobility of Individuals
Estimated EU contribution per project
max. € 500,000.00
Link to the call
Link to the submission
Virtual exchanges projects consist of online people-to-people activities that promote intercultural dialogue and soft skills development. They make it possible for every young person to access high-quality international and cross-cultural education without physical mobility. While virtual debating or training does not fully replace the benefits of physical mobility, participants in virtual exchanges ought to reap some of the benefits of international educational experiences. Digital platforms represent a valuable tool in partially answering the global constraints on mobility caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Virtual exchanges also help spreading European values. Moreover, in some cases, virtual exchanges can give ideas and prepare the ground for future physical exchanges not funded under this action.
The action will aim to:
- Encourage intercultural dialogue with third countries not associated to the Programme and increase tolerance through online people-to-people interactions, building on digital, youth-friendly technologies;
- Promote various types of virtual exchanges as a complement to Erasmus+ physical mobility, allowing more young people to benefit from intercultural and international experience;
- Enhance critical thinking and media literacy, particularly in the use of internet and social media, such as to counter discrimination, indoctrination, polarization and violent radicalisation;
- Foster the digital and soft skills development of students, young people and youth workers, including the practice of foreign languages and teamwork, notably to enhance employability;
- Promote citizenship and the common values of freedom, tolerance and non-discrimination through education;
- Strengthen the youth dimension in the relations of the EU with third countries.
The Virtual Exchanges should be organised in one or more of the following thematic areas, which correspond to the priorities of the Erasmus+ Programme:
- Inclusion and diversity;
- Digital transformation;
- Environment and fight against climate change;
- Participation in democratic life, common values and civic engagement.
Within this broad framework, since Virtual Exchanges are a bottom-up initiative, participating organisations are free to choose the topics on which they will focus, but proposals must demonstrate their expected impact in relation to one or more of the objectives mentioned above (see also ‘Expected impact’ section below). Gender aspects should be taken into account as needed, depending on the projects’ scope and themes (e.g. by introducing gender sensitivity aspects in the trainings). Special attention needs to be given to the inclusion of socially and economically vulnerable people and persons unable to apply for physical mobility.
Expected effects and impacts
The activities and outputs of the different projects will aim at reaching a positive impact in relation to the objectives of the call that, while varying in accordance with the projects’ specificities, should be closely connected to the learning dimension of the virtual exchanges.
Each project proposal should include information on this expected impact. Applicants are encouraged to foresee feedback from participating individuals and organisations, particularly as for the learning value, when reporting about the projects’ impact.
Projects will be funded based on work plans that integrate online cooperation activities, including:
- Online-facilitated discussions between young people of youth organisations based in different countries, as part of youth projects. They could include role playing simulations;
- Training for youth workers willing to develop a virtual exchange project with colleagues from other countries;
- Online facilitated discussions between students of Higher Education institutions based in different countries, as part of higher education degrees;
- Training for university professors/staff willing to develop a virtual exchange project with colleagues from other countries;
- Interactive open online courses including traditional course materials such as filmed lectures, readings, and problem sets (like the well-known MOOCs, Massive Open Online Courses, but putting an emphasis on interactive user forums in small groups to support community interactions among students, professors, teaching assistants, young people and youth workers).
All virtual exchange projects need to be:
- Moderated by trained facilitators;
- Secure and protective from the perspective of participants and hosts, in full compliance of the EU data protection rules;
- Politically sound and culturally relevant: virtual exchange activities must be firmly embedded in the youth and higher education sectors and be up to date with young people’s online and offline cultures in the participating countries;
- Open and accessible at user experience and interaction level. Registration and interactions with peers, facilitators, administrators, and other stakeholders should be straightforward and easy;
- Mainly synchronously, with possible asynchronous components (e.g. readings, videos);
- Finally, they must foresee a method of recognition of participation and learning outcomes for young people at the end of the exchange.
Participant organisations must arrange virtual exchanges for people in the 13-30 age range. If a project involves people under 18, participating organisations are required to obtain prior authorisation for participation from their parents or those acting on their behalf. Individual participants must be based in the countries of the organisations participating in the project.
In order to carry out their activities, projects should rely, as far as possible, on existing tools and platforms.
Further information can be found on the dedicated page of the Programme Guide (erasmus-plus.ec.europa.eu/erasmus-programme-guide), please check the latest version for 2024.
Regions / countries for funding
Moldova (Moldova), Albania (Shqipëria), Armenia (Հայաստան), Azerbaijan (Azərbaycan), Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosna i Hercegovina / Босна и Херцеговина), Georgia (საქართველო), Island (Ísland), Israel (ישראל / إِسْرَائِيل), Kosovo (Kosova/Kosovë / Косово), Liechtenstein, Montenegro (Црна Гора), Morocco (المغرب), North Macedonia (Северна Македонија), Norway (Norge), Serbia (Srbija/Сpбија), Tunisia (تونس /Tūnis), Türkiye, Ukraine (Україна)
Education and training institution, International organization, Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) / Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Other, Private institution, incl. private company (private for profit), Public Body (national, regional and local; incl. EGTCs), Research Institution incl. University, Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)
Proposals must be submitted by a consortium of at least 4 applicants (beneficiaries, not affiliated entities), which complies with the following conditions:
- Minimum 4 independent entities (no affiliated entities) from 4 different eligible countries;
- Minimum 2 higher education institutions or youth organisations from 2 EU Member States and third countries associated to the Programme and 2 higher education institutions or youth organisations from 2 eligible third countries not associated to the Programme belonging to the same eligible region;
- The number of organisations from EU Member States and third countries associated to the Programme must not be higher than the number of organisationsfrom third countries not associated to the Programme.
Only beneficiaries (not affiliated entities) count for the consortium composition. Associated partners do not count for the consortium composition.
The applicants (beneficiaries and affiliated entities, if applicable) must be legal entities (public or private bodies) and may fall under the following categories:
- Entities active in the field of higher education or youth (non-formal education),
- Youth organisations,
- Higher education institutions, associations or organisations of higher education institutions, as well as legally recognised national or international rector, teacher or student organisations.
These entities must be established in one of the eligible countries, i.e.:
- An EU Member State,
- A third country associated to the Programme, or
- A third country not associated to the Programme from an eligible region. The eligible regions covered by this action are Regions 1, 2, 3 and 9 (see section ‘Eligible countries’ in part A of the Programme Guide). Each project proposal must involve organisations and participants from only one of the eligible regions of third countries not associated to the Programme.
The coordinating organisation must be a youth organisation or higher education institutation and be legally established and located in an EU Member State or third country associated to the Programme. The coordinating organisation applies on behalf of all participating organisations involved in the project. It cannot be an affiliated entity.
Other entities may participate in other consortium roles, such as associated partners.
Activities must take place in the countries of the participating organisations.
other eligibility criteria
This action follows a lump-sum funding model. The amount of the single lump-sum contribution will be determined for each grant based on the estimated budget of the action proposed by the applicant. The amount will be fixed by the granting authority on the basis of the estimated project budget, evaluation result and a funding rate of 95%.
The EU grant per project will be of a maximum of EUR 500 000, with EUR 200 as maximum investment to organisations per participant (i.e. a project of EUR 500 000 would have to reach at least 2 500 participants). The grant awarded may be lower than the amount requested.
Financial support to third parties in the form of grants or prizes is not allowed.
Volunteer costs are allowed. They shall take the form of unit costs as defined in the to the Commission Decision on unit costs for volunteers.
SME unit costs for SME owners are allowed. They should take the form of unit costs as defined in to the Commission Decision on unit costs for SMEs owners.
Relevance for EU Macro-Region
EUSAIR - EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region, EUSALP - EU Strategy for the Alpine Space, EUSBSR - EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, EUSDR - EU Strategy for the Danube Region
UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs)
Applications must be submitted to the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA).
Each applicant must be registered as follows:
- For actions managed by the Executive Agency, applicants, affiliated entities and associated partners must register in the Funding & tender opportunities portal (FTOP) and receive a Participant Identification Code (PIC). Organisations/groups that have already obtained a PIC through their participation in other EU programmes do not need to register again. The PIC obtained from this previous registration is valid also for applying under Erasmus+;
- For actions managed by National Agencies, applicants must if not already done, register through the Organisation Registration system https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/erasmus-esc for Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps and receive an Organisation ID.
Applications must be complete containing all parts and mandatory annexes. Only clerical errors can be corrected after the submission deadline upon request of the managing agency for duly justified cases.
For actions managed by the Executive Agency, applications must be submitted electronically via the Funding & Tenders Portal Electronic Submission System: https://ec.europa.eu/info/funding-tenders/opportunities/portal/screen/home. Applications (including annexes and supporting documents) must be submitted using the forms provided in the Submission System.
Proposals must be complete and contain all the requested information and all required annexes and supporting documents:
- Application Form Part A — contains administrative information about the participants (future coordinator, beneficiaries and affiliated entities) and the summarised budget for the project (to be filled in directly online)
- Application Form Part B — contains the technical description of the project (to be downloaded from the Portal Submission System, completed and then assembled and re-uploaded)
- Part C (to be filled in directly online, if any) containing additional project data
Applications (Part B) are limited to 40 pages for calls for low value grants (EUR 60 000 or below); 120 pages for calls with high value grants ( EUR 4 000 000) and 70 for all other calls. Evaluators will not consider any additional pages.
For actions managed by the Erasmus+ National Agencies, applications must be submitted electronically via the forms available in the Erasmus+ website and the websites of the Erasmus+ National Agencies.