The Guild welcomes the European Commission’s proposal for the next Erasmus programme (2021-2027) and its vision to work towards a European Education Area by 2025.
The new level of ambition foreseen in the new programme and the supporting calls for tripling the budget can help make the Erasmus even more effective, inclusive and transformational. With this in mind, The Guild makes several recommendations to contribute to the ongoing legislative process leading to the establishment of the new Erasmus programme:
1. Erasmus should further invest in skills development, especially transferable and language skills. All students, regardless of their academic discipline, should be offered these opportunities either through face-to-face courses or online tools.
2. Examples of forward-looking study fields should be removed. Rather than identifying special study fields that are deemed to be essential for Europe’s growth, Erasmus should provide opportunities to develop transferable skills that can spur innovative approaches in all study fields.
3. We support shorter mobility opportunities for students, such as summer schools or short study programmes that would enable higher education institutions to embed learning mobility within their curricula. These formats (set up as “fast-track mobilities” with simplified access) could offer an international experience to students who might not otherwise benefit from Erasmus mobility. Hence, it is important to open Small-scale partnerships to the higher education sector as well.
4. To create meaningful links between education, research and innovation, Erasmus should maximise the potential of staff mobility and its relevance for higher education institutions by allowing the more flexible use of teaching and training activities. For instance, it could reduce the minimum number of required teaching hours, which in turn could stimulate participants to combine teaching and research activities and allow collaboration with industry experts. This will stimulate much-needed synergies with other funding programmes, particularly Horizon Europe.