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EU programme for education, training, youth and sport

Capacity building (higher education)

The aim

Capacity-building projects in the field of higher education are transnational cooperation projects, based on multilateral partnerships, primarily between higher education institutions from EU Member states or countries associated to the Programme and third countries not associated to the Programme.

The aim of these projects is to support eligible third countries not associated to the Programme to

  • modernise, internationalise and increase access to higher education
  • address the challenges facing their higher education institutions and systems
  • increase cooperation with the EU
  • voluntarily converge with EU development in higher education, and
  • promote people to people contacts, intercultural awareness, and understanding.

This is carried out in the context of the policy defined by two complementary financing instruments:

The opportunity

Erasmus+ provides the opportunity for organisations from eligible Partner Countries, mainly higher education institutions (HEIs), to promote cooperation through actions that:

  • improve the quality of higher education and its alignment with labour market needs,
  • improve the level of skills in HEIs through new education programmes,
  • strengthen the capacity of management, governance, and innovation, as well as internationalisation,
  • build the capacity of national authorities to modernise their own higher education systems, and
  • foster regional integration and cooperation across different regions of the world.

Capacity building projects typically focus on one of three main activities:

  • curriculum development activities
  • modernisation of governance and management of HEIs and systems
  • strengthening of relations between higher education and the wider economic and social environment

Organisations can choose from three project strands:

  •  Strand 1: Fostering access to cooperation in higher education, which are designed to cater for newcomers to the programme, less involved countries/regions, and for disadvantaged targeted groups (i.e. through modernisation of management/administrative capacity, increase of the accessibility of students/staff with fewer opportunities, etc.
  • Strand 2: Partnerships for transformation in higher education, which aim to have a large and wider impact on innovation, university/business relations and institutional governance
  • Strand 3: Structural reform projects, which focus on the macro level of policy reforms required to foster internationalisation and require the involvement of education authorities and ministries

How it works

Please consult the respective page on the Programme Guide for

  • the number and profile of participating organisations
  • funding rules and budget
  • other important information on award criteria and eligibility

Related funding calls

Find out more

The Erasmus+ Programme Guide is the main source of information on capacity building opportunities, although more information on the application process is available from the European Education and Culture Executive Agency.

For further information you can contact the European Education and Culture Executive Agency.

If you are from a country in regions 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6 – or interested in cooperating with institutions from one of these countries, you may wish to contact the National Erasmus+ Office in that partner country.

If you are from an EU Member state or a third country associated to the programme, you can also contact the International Erasmus+ Contact Point in your National Agency.