An exciting and popular education initiative promoted by the European Union is Erasmus Mundus, an international student and researcher mobility programme. The Erasmus Mundus programme supports two separate initiatives. Through Erasmus Mundus, nearly 4000 Indian students and academic staff participated in academic mobility to Europe, in the period 2004 to 2013.
Action 1 comprises Masters Courses and Joint Doctorates at two or more European universities. Curriculum is developed jointly by institutions in different Member States of the European Union, allowing scholarship winners to benefit from specialisation and experience their cultures and traditions. There are nearly 150 Masters level courses and 35 Ph.D programmes to choose from. The facility also allows short-term visits by faculty members in both directions to carry out research and teach courses.
Under Action 2 there are grants for consortia of European and partner country institutions who wish to exchange faculty and students. Consortia must have a minimum of five institutions from at least 3 EU Member States and an unlimited number of institutions from partner countries like India.
Erasmus+ is the European Union's new programme that supports projects, partnerships, mobility and dialogue in Education, Training, Youth, and for the first time Sport. Erasmus+ brings together seven existing EU programmes. As an integrated programme, it is easier to access than its predecessors, with simplified funding rules. Thanks to its strong international focus, many higher education opportunities will be open to individuals and institutions from Partner Countries.
The Erasmus+ programme aims to boost skills and employability, as well as modernising Education, Training, and Youth work. The seven year programme will have a budget of €14.7 billion; a 40% increase compared to current spending levels, reflecting the EU's commitment to investing in these areas. It will provide opportunities for over 4 million Europeans to study, train, gain work experience and volunteer abroad.
Four main actions within Erasmus+ centred on higher education offer opportunities for institutions and individuals:
- Credit mobility: the well-known Erasmus programme is for the first time open to non EU universities, students and staff. Erasmus+ funds credit mobility i.e. student mobility between 3 and 12 months (in both directions) to obtain credits in a host institution, which are then recognised by the home institution. This action also funds staff mobility to and from the participating universities, which is essential as university staff are agents of change in their home institutions. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of inter-institutional agreements between universities from "Programme"1 and Partner countries. This action is decentralised and managed by a network of National Agencies in Programme Countries. This action is open to participation from higher education institutions worldwide, though only institutions from Programme Countries can submit applications to their National Agency
- Joint Master Degrees: excellent joint Master degrees are offered by consortia of EU and –optionally – non-EU universities. This is the continuation of Action 1 of Erasmus Mundus, which has proved to be very successful and given a lot of visibility worldwide to the universities involved. We provide high-level scholarships to excellent students and staff from anywhere in the world to participate in the Joint Master Degrees. Students have to be mobile to at least two different European countries. This action is centrally managed by EACEA in Brussels. The former Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorates Degrees have integrated under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (Horizon 2020). This action is open to participation from higher education institutions worldwide, though only institutions from Programme Countries can submit applications to EACEA on behalf of the consortium.
- Capacity-Building for Higher Education: they will replace what used to be financed under Tempus, Edulink and Alfa, i.e. joint projects based on multilateral partnerships to fund curriculum development and modernisation, new diplomas, modern teaching and learning practices, upgrading of facilities and equipment, improving university governance and management, and creating better links between higher education and the world of work. This action will also finance projects aiming to have an impact on national systems, through the involvement of national authorities, alongside universities. This action is centrally managed by EACEA. This action is open to participation from higher education institutions in countries covered by the ENI, IPA, DCI and EDF. Applications to EACEA may come from institutions in a Programme Country or a Partner Country.
- Jean Monnet: Jean Monnet activities support academic teaching and research (Chairs, Modules and Centres of Excellence), cooperation projects, conferences and publications in the field of EU studies. Postgraduate level courses on European Union issues or promoting debate and exchanges on EU policy priorities are examples of activities that can be supported in this action. Universities, organisations and associations from all over the world can apply direct to EACEA for Jean Monnet activities.
For more information on all these actions:
For more information about the Erasmus+ programme:
Erasmus+ general information (Commission)
Erasmus+ funding opportunities for institutions (EACEA)
EMA: Erasmus Mundus Students and Alumni Association
Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions (MSCA)
The objective of the Marie Skłodowska Curie action (MSCA) is to support the career development and training of researchers – with a focus on innovation skills – in all scientific disciplines through worldwide and cross-sector mobility. For this, the programme provides grants at all stages of researchers' careers, from PhD candidates to highly experienced researchers, and encourages transnational, intersectoral and interdisciplinary mobility. The MSCA will become the main EU programme for doctoral training, funding 25 000 PhDs over seven years.
More information on:
For more information on studies in EU, click here
Support to Indo-European Interactions on Higher Education
A EUR 1 million project which aims to enhance the quality, access and governance of undergraduate education in India, through the promotion of Indo-EU Higher Education partnerships and collaborations was launched in 2013. The action is implemented by a consortium led by the British Council. The expected results are:
- Greater cooperation and knowledge exchange between the EU and India to increase the quality, access and governance of undergraduate education, through a consortium of collaborative university partnerships.
- Improved capability and understanding of the practical application and value of technology-enhanced approaches to education in India amongst practitioners, students, institutions and government policy makers.
- Enhanced student learning, student voice and participation through online international collaborative experiences, access to high quality open resources and interactive learning modules.
A EUR 6.1 million project was launched in the first quarter of 2012 in partnership with the Ministry of Labour and Employment and the National Skills Development Corporation.
The main objective of the project is to support the development of a National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF) in three key economic sectors in three pilot States. It also aims at creating and enhancing the quality of information systems available for the labour market. Ultimately, it will endeavour to improve the quality and relevance of training provision and increase the number of certified skilled labourers in the identified sectors of employment.
The project will focus on three vocational sectors selected from the 20 high growth sectors prioritised by the Indian government. A plan to upscale the experiences from these three sectors will follow. This will create an opportunity to “learn by doing” and build competence in the development of occupational standards, training standards, programmes and curricula.
The project will draft occupational standards which will serve as a basis to develop the qualification profiles in each sector. It will also work towards developing curricula for the formal sector. It will finally train the 'trainers' to bring coherence and uniformity.
The first key sector identified under this initiative is the automotive sector (manufacturing and maintenance) and the selected states are Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Uttar Pradesh.
The project is managed by a Steering Committee chaired by the Indian Ministry of Labour and Employment and will be implemented by a project task force, led by the EU. The technical assistance to the project is provided by a consortium led by Cambridge Education in partnership with Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) (Germany), Aarhus Tech (Denmark), Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) (Scotland) and City and Guilds (C&G) (England).
The EU also supports India in the fields of primary and secondary education.