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Call key data
Capacity building in the field of higher education: Strand 3 - Structural reform projects
Erasmus+ - Key Action 2 – Cooperation among Organisations and Institutions
Estimated EU contribution per project
EU grant per project: between € 600,000.00 and € 1,000,000.00 / projects for Ukraine: up to € 5,000,000.00
Link to the call
Link to the submission
Projects under this Strand shall support efforts in third countries not associated to the Programme to develop coherent and sustainable systems of higher education to meet their socio-economic needs and broad ambition to create a knowledge-driven economy.
The Capacity Building in Higher Education (CBHE) action supports international cooperation projects based on multilateral partnerships between organisations active in the field of higher education. It supports the relevance, quality, modernisation and responsiveness of higher education in third countries not associated to the Programme for socio-economic recovery, growth and prosperity and reacting to recent trends, in particular economic globalisation but also the recent decline in human development, fragility, and rising social, economic and environmental inequalities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The action is expected to contribute to the overarching priorities of the European Commission:
- Green Deal
- Digital transformation
- Integration of migrants
- Governance, peace, security and human development
- Sustainable growth and jobs
The action will contribute also to the external dimension of EU internal policies in the field of education. It will support a successful green and sustainable global economic recovery in the third countries not associated to the Programme, linked to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement.
In order to respond to the various challenges in the third countries not associated to the Programme, the CBHE action is composed of three specific Strands:
- Strand 1 - Fostering access to cooperation in higher education
- Strand 2 - Partnerships for transformation in higher education
- Strand 3 - Structural reform projects
Projects under this Strand 3 shall support efforts in third countries not associated to the Programme to develop coherent and sustainable systems of higher education to meet their socio-economic needs and broad ambition to create a knowledge-driven economy. Mainstreaming and upscaling of successful results as well as synergies with ongoing or pipeline support in the area under bilateral support programmes are also elements of this Strand. Structural Reform projects will address the needs of eligible third countries not associated to the Programme to support sustainable systemic and structural improvement and innovation at the level of the higher education sector. More specifically, these projects will address the efforts of countries to develop coherent and sustainable systems of Higher Education to meet their socio-economic needs and ultimately create a knowledge-driven economy. By involving the competent National Authorities (notably Ministries of Education) of third countries not associated to the Programme, HEIs, Research institutions and other relevant authorities/bodies and stakeholders, these projects will particularly:
- Promote cooperation and mutual learning among and between public authorities at the highest institutional level of the EU Member states or third countries associated to the Programme and the eligible third countries not associated to the Programme to foster systemic improvement and innovation in the higher education sector.
- Promote inclusive higher education systems that can provide the right conditions for students of different backgrounds to access learning and succeed. Particular attention should therefore be paid to people with fewer opportunities.
- Increase the capacities of HEIs of third countries not associated to the Programme, bodies in charge of higher education and competent authorities (notably Ministries) through their participation in the definition, implementation and monitoring of reform processes to modernise their higher education systems, particularly in terms of governance and financing.
- Identify synergies with ongoing EU initiatives in the third country(ies) not associated to the Programme in areas covered by Erasmus+.
Expected effects and impacts
Projects should propose activities that will bring a clear added value to the higher education system as a whole and that will have a direct impact on the targeted beneficiaries. These activities should contribute to the reform of higher education policies that respond to societal and labour market needs.
A non-exhaustive list of possible activities is provided below:
- Foster national ownership by experimenting and mainstreaming positive and best practices in Higher Education at national and/or regional level:
- to increase the employability of graduates;
- to widen access to Higher Education to people with fewer opportunities;
- to strengthen the links between, education, research and innovation.
- Contribute to efficient and effective policy making in the field of higher education by involving other stakeholders in the Higher Education field:
- encouraging the participation of other responsible public authorities to increase the relevance of the Higher Education sector and increase its impact on society at large;
- enabling the active participation of students in governance and reform of the Higher Education system;
- involving associations active in other relevant fields such as vocational training and youth;
- enhancing the international dimension of higher education through cooperation between high-level institutions in EU Member states or third countries associated to the Programme and in eligible third countries not associated to the Programme. In particular, developing and implementing schemes that facilitate the mobility of students and academic staff such as the creation of a regional credit transfer system or support to the development of National Qualifications Frameworks;
- defining a national / regional quality assurance framework.
- Foster regional academic cooperation and promote voluntary convergence of the third countries not associated to the Programme towards a common regional strategy in the field of Higher Education:
- defining steps to create a regional Higher Education Area;
- facilitating national and cross-border recognition;
- removing barriers to learning, improving access to high quality and innovation-driven education and making it easier for teachers, learners and workers to move between countries.
- Foster the introduction of funding mechanisms aiming at:
- increasing the participation of people with fewer opportunities in higher education;
- bridging the digital divide at institutional and individual level.
- Enhance the attractiveness of the teaching profession by introducing measures such as:
- promoting initiatives for career development;
- promoting their participation in the internationalisation of Higher Education by creating incentives.
Responsible public authorities with competences in the sectors touched upon by the project (e.g. employment, youth, finance, social affairs, home affairs, justice, health, etc.) are encouraged to participate in the projects as well as authorities from EU Member states or third countries associated to the Programme.
HEIs from eligible third countries not associated to the Programme are particularly encouraged to act as applicants under this Strand.
Regions / countries for funding
Island (Ísland), Liechtenstein, North Macedonia (Северна Македонија), Norway (Norge), Serbia (Srbija/Сpбија), Türkiye
Education and training institution, Research Institution incl. University
Proposals must be submitted by a consortium (coordinator and partners), which complies with the following conditions:
- at least 2 EU Member States or third countries associated to the Programme;
- at least 1 eligible third country not associated to the Programme.
- at least 1 HEI from each participating EU Member State or third country associated to the Programme;
- at least 2 HEIs from each participating third country not associated to the Programme;
- national competent authority (e.g. Ministry) responsible for higher education in each of the eligible third countries not associated to the Programme.
Institutional coverage applies to all countries participating in the consortium.
The number of applicants from third countries not associated to the Programme must be equal or higher than the number of applicants from EU Member states and third countries associated to the Programme.
In third countries not associated to the Programme where the number of HEIs is lower than 5 in the whole country, or in cases where one single institution represents more than 50% of the overall student population of the country, applications counting only one HEI from those countries will also be accepted.
other eligibility criteria
Strenghtening the education digital environment for Ukraine:
Proposals must be submitted by a consortium (coordinator and partners), which complies with the following conditions:
- Territory of Ukraine as recognised by international law;
- at least 1 EU Member State or third country associated to the Programme;
- at least 1 HEI from each participating country;
- national competent authority (e.g. Ministry) responsible for higher education in Ukraine.
Other Structural Reform Projects:
The applicants (coordinator and partners) must be legal entities:
- higher education institutions (HEIs), organisations of HEIs or recognised national or international rector, teacher or student organisations;
- established in an EU Member State, in a third country associated to the Programme or in eligible third countries not associated to the Programme.
- organisations from Syria are not eligible to participate in this Strand.
HEIs located in an EU Member State or in a third country associated to the Programme must hold a valid Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (ECHE).
The higher education institutions (HEIs), established in eligible third countries not associated to the Programme, and recognised as such by the competent authorities, with their affiliated entities (if any), have to offer full study programmes leading to higher education degrees and recognised diplomas at tertiary education qualifications level.
Associations, public or private organisations, including their affiliated entities (if any), active in the labour market or in the fields of education, training and youth located in an EU Member State, in a third country associated to the Programme or eligible third countries not associated to the Programme, may also participate, but not as coordinator.
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)
36 or 48 months
Proposals must be complete and contain all the requested information and all required annexes and supporting documents:
- Part A — contains administrative information about the participant and the summarised budget for the project (to be filled in directly online)
- 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 containing additional project data (to be filled in directly online).
Applications are limited to
- 40 pages for calls for low value grants (€ 60,000.00 or below);
- 120 pages for calls with high value grants (€ 4,000,000.00) and
- 70 pages for all other calls.
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.