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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. EU grant per project: € 500,000.00 (max. € 200.00 per participant)
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 (both formal and non-formal) 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 they can prepare, deepen and extend physical exchanges, as well as fuel new demand for them.
Virtual exchanges take place in small groups and are always moderated by a trained facilitator. They should be easily integrated into youth (non-formal education) projects or higher education courses. Virtual exchanges can draw participants from both sectors, even if, depending on specific projects, they could involve participants from either only one of them or from both. All projects under this call will involve organisations and participants coming from both EU Member States and third countries associated to the Programme, and third countries not associated to the Programme in eligible regions.
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 (i.e. Soft skills include the ability to think critically, be curious and creative, to take initiative, to solve problems and work collaboratively, to be able to communicate efficiently in a multicultural and interdisciplinary environment, to be able to adapt to context and to cope with stress and uncertainty. These skills are part of the key competences, as outlined in the Council Recommendation on Key Competences for Lifelong Learning (OJ C 189/1 of 4.6.2018)) development of students, young people and youth workers (i.e. Youth workers are professional or volunteers involved in non-formal learning who support young people in their personal socio-educational and professional development), 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 Erasmus+ Virtual Exchanges are a bottom-up initiative. In this call, 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 above-mentioned objectives (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. Since virtual exchanges are easier to organise with students and universities, applicants are encouraged to involve young people and organisations not enrolled in higher education.
Expected effects and impacts
Projects will be funded based on work plans that may integrate a wide range of online cooperation activities, including for example:
- 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).
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.
Regions / countries for funding
Island (Ísland), Liechtenstein, North Macedonia (Северна Македонија), Norway (Norge), Serbia (Srbija/Сpбија), Türkiye
Education and training institution, 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 organisations. Consortia must meet the following conditions:
- A minimum of 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; and
- The number of organisations from EU Member States and third countries associated to the Programme may not be higher than the number of organisations from third countries not associated to the Programme.
- In the case of Sub-Saharan Africa, applicants are encouraged to involve participants from a wide range of countries in their proposal, including least developed countries (as per the OECD Development Assistance Committee list of Least Developed Countries: DAC-List-of-ODA-Recipients-for-reporting-2022- 23-flows.pdf (oecd.org)) and/or partners that have less experience in Erasmus+.
other eligibility criteria
The following organisations can be involved as co-ordinator:
- Public or private organisations active in the field of higher education or youth (non-formal education);
- Higher education institutions, associations or organisations of higher education institutions, as well as legally recognised national or international rector, teacher or student organisations; The organisation applies on behalf of all participating organisations involved in the project and must be legally established and located in an EU Member State or third country associated to the Programme.
Participating organisations may be established either in an EU Member State or third country associated to the Programme or in an eligible third country not associated to the Programme. Each project proposal may only involve organisations and participants from one of the eligible regions of third countries not associated to the Programme. The eligible regions covered by this action are Regions 1, 2, 3 and 9 (see section “Eligible countries” in part A of this Guide). Participating organisations may fall under the following categories:
- Youth organisations (i.e. any organisation, public or private, working with or for young people outside formal settings. Such organisations can be, for example: a non-profit organisation, association, NGO (including European Youth NGOs); a national Youth Council; a public authority at local, regional or national level; an education or research institution; or a foundation);
- Higher education institutions, associations or organisations of higher education institutions, as well as legally recognised national or international rector, teacher or student organisations;
- Vectors of change in the education system (university managers, international departments, deans, quality agencies, etc.); public or private organisations active in the fields of higher education or youth and established in an EU Member State or third country associated to the Programme or in one of the eligible third countries not associated to the Programme.
Other entities may participate in other consortium roles, such as associated partners, subcontractors, third parties giving in-kind contributions, etc. Affiliated entities are not eligible for funding.
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)
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.