BRUSSELS, 01-Dec-2016 — /EuropaWire/ — The European University Association (EUA) is pleased to present the results of its 2016 membership consultation on Erasmus+. In anticipation of the European Commission’s mid-term review of the programme, in particular the public consultation to be held in the spring of 2017, EUA invited its members to share their views and experiences with Erasmus+.
The report itself, “EUA member consultation: A contribution to the Erasmus+ mid-term review,” showcases the responses of more than 200 higher education institutions from 36 countries in Europe that participated in the survey. The findings reveal some clear lines of agreement.
Most survey respondents expressed appreciation for the new programme structure, the opportunities for more cooperation and exchange with universities outside of Europe, and cooperation with non-university entities. However, many feel that there has been no real simplification, that flexibility has not improved and that administrative burdens have increased. In addition, respondents report issues with management support and tools. While the majority of institutions agree that assistance from the National Agencies and from the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency is quite efficient, they struggle with cumbersome processes and complicated and patchworked instructions. Furthermore, they describe the online support tools as welcome but needing improvement.
“In general, universities see Erasmus+ as a vital tool in internationalisation for pushing forward Europe’s integration goals. They are also satisfied with the overall structure and approach of the programme,” explains Michael Gaebel, Director of Higher Education Policy at EUA. “However, they call for some key improvements that will make the next programme generation even better – including more streamlining and flexibility, that would allow to take into account the realities and needs of institutions, their staff and mobile individuals.”
Regarding funding and funding rules, survey respondents widely acknowledge that Erasmus+ funding is insufficient in the number of grants available and requires substantial co-funding. This is likely to have a negative impact on participation, also given the economic differences between member states. Respondents describe rules and conditions as being rather clear, but unfavourable to institutions and individuals. Importantly, respondents also appeal for more support for the inclusion of priority groups of vulnerable learners, such as refugees.
The results of the EUA member consultation on the mid-term review of Horizon 2020, also conducted earlier this year, will be available in December 2016.
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The European University Association (EUA) is the representative organisation of more than 800 universities in 47 European countries and 33 national rectors’ conferences (NRCs). The EUA Council is made up of the president, the members of the Board, and of the presidents of all of Europe’s NRCs. EUA works closely with its members to ensure that the voice of European universities is heard.