WHAT ARE THE AIMS AND PRIORITIES OF A STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP IN RESPONSE OF THE COVID-19 SITUATION?
The COVID-19 pandemic has not only limited the way people can relate to each other and perform their most basic every-day-tasks,
but has also had a significant impact on the regular delivery of education, training and youth policies. At such a critical time for our societies, access to education is proving, more than ever, to be essential to ensuring a swift recovery, while promoting equal opportunities among people of all backgrounds.
In light of these exceptional circumstances, the Erasmus+ Programme takes up the challenge to confirm its role as the main EU instrument supporting innovation in education, training, youth and sport as well as providing opportunities for personal, socio-educational and professional development of people in Europe and beyond, with the aim of leaving no-one behind.
In order to the respond to the circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2020 the Erasmus+ programme will exceptionally support:
Partnerships for Digital Education Readiness (in the fields of school education, vocational education and training, and higher education): these projects aim at equipping education and training systems to face the challenges presented by the recent sudden shift to online and distance learning, including supporting teachers to develop digital competences and safeguarding the inclusive nature of learning opportunities.
The current COVID-19 crisis has greatly accelerated the need for modernisation and digital transformation of education and training systems across Europe. The goal is to reinforce the ability of education and training institutions to provide high quality, inclusive digital education. The focus will be on building capacity to implement online, blended and distance teaching and learning; to develop digital pedagogical competences of educators, enabling them to deliver high quality inclusive digital education; and to develop and/or use high quality digital content such as innovative online resources and tools. The partnerships will promote networking of institutions across the EU, sharing of resources and expertise, and collaboration with digital technology providers and experts in educational technologies and relevant pedagogical practice, to develop tailor made solutions adapted to local challenges and realities.
Partnerships for Creativity (in the fields of youth, school education and adult education): The COVID-19 crisis has hit the cultural and creative sectors particularly hard. Partnerships for Creativity aim to engage organisations in the fields of formal, informal and non-formal education, together with those from the creative and cultural sectors to stimulate European awareness and empower people of current and future generations – regardless of social and cultural background – to be successful innovators in their local environment. One of the goals is also to equip young people and adults with the necessary tools and competences needed to come up with creative and innovative solutions to face unprecedented risks, and societal challenges as well as to unveil opportunities that can be sought in a critical context. This action aims to enhance skills development and competences that reinforce creativity, as well as to boost quality, innovation and recognition of youth work that support the creative potential of youth, thus contributing to the recovery resilience of the cultural and creative sectors.
These projects reinforce cross-sectoral cooperation with a focus on creativity, European citizenship and cultural awareness of all citizens; through this action, the Programme can also enhance social inclusion through arts, by fostering innovative participatory and intercultural dialogue approaches linking education, training and youth stakeholders with the cultural and creative sector grassroots organisations.
Partnerships with the formal, informal and non-formal educational sector focusing on young people and professionals can help to address both the major societal challenges that cultural and creative sectors are facing in light of this global crisis but also the opportunities for them that the crisis has brought to the fore. Ultimately, this cross-sectoral cooperation should complement efforts to help the cultural and creative sectors recover from the crisis in terms of green, more digital and resilient recovery, thereby also contributing to the EU’s strategic priorities.
WHAT ARE THE TARGET GROUPS AND PRIORITIES ADDRESSED BY STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP IN RESPONSE OF THE COVID-19 SITUATION?
Irrespective from the field impacted by the project, Strategic Partnerships are open to any type of organisation active in any field of education, training and youth or other socio-economic sectors as well as to organisations carrying out activities that are transversal to different fields (e.g. local and regional authorities, recognition and validation centres, chambers of commerce, trade organisations, guidance centres, cultural organisations). Depending on the priority and the objectives addressed by the project, Strategic Partnerships should involve the most appropriate and diverse range of partners in order to benefit from their different experiences, profiles and specific expertise and to produce relevant and high quality project results.
To be funded, projects must address one of the following priorities:
Innovative practices in a digital era: The Erasmus+ Programme will support the taking up of digital technologies and of innovative and open pedagogies in education, training, youth and sport. Particular attention will be given to promoting gender equality and addressing differences in relation to the access and use by underrepresented groups. The Programme will also support the use of the European frameworks on digital competences of educators, citizens and organisations, including the development and use of open educational resources, open textbooks, and free and open source educational software. Priority will be given to actions that promote innovative methods and tools for teaching, training, learning and assessment as drivers of improvements in lifelong learning. Erasmus+ must continue to be mobilised to support the process of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and demonstrate responsiveness, adaptability and flexibility. Therefore, priority will be given to actions that contribute to building digital education readiness and to mitigating the impact of the crisis on some of the hardest-hit sectors.
WHAT ARE THE ACTIVITIES SUPPORTED IN A STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP IN RESPONSE OF THE COVID-19 SITUATION?
In addition, projects may focus on other horizontal or sector specific priorities defined in the previous section “Strategic
Partnerships in the field of education, training and youth - What are the aims and priorities of a Strategic Partnership”. .
Over the lifetime of a project, and depending on the type of Strategic Partnership, projects may typically realise a broad range of activities, for example:
As a response to the COVID-19 situation, it is particularly relevant that Strategic Partnerships implement the following activities (non-exhaustive list):
Partnerships for Digital Education Readiness:
“Partnerships for Creativity”:
Virtual cooperation opportunities are key to successful Partnerships in the COVID-19 context. In particular, projects in the field of school education and adult education are strongly encouraged to use the eTwinning, the School Education Gateway and EPALE Platforms to work together before, during and after the project activities.
Partnerships may also organise transnational learning, teaching and training activities of individuals (including blended mobility), in so far as they bring added value in the achievement of the project's objectives. Some of these activities are particularly relevant in one or more fields of education, training and youth. For a more detailed description of the supported activities, see Annex I.
WHO CAN TAKE PART IN A STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP IN RESPONSE OF THE COVID-19 SITUATION?
As a general rule, Strategic Partnerships target the cooperation between organisations established in Programme Countries. However, organisations from Partner Countries can be involved in a Strategic Partnership, as partners (not as applicants), if their participation brings an essential added value to the project.
In addition to the organisations formally participating in the project and receiving EU funds, Strategic Partnerships may also involve associated partners from the public or private sector who contribute to the implementation of specific project tasks/activities or support the dissemination and sustainability of the project. For contractual management issues, associated partners are not considered as part of the project partners, and they do not receive funding. However, their involvement and role in the project and different activities have to be clearly described.
WHAT ARE THE CRITERIA USED TO ASSESS A STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP IN RESPONSE OF THE COVID-19 SITUATION?
Here below are listed the formal criteria that a Strategic Partnership in the COVID-19 context must respect in order to be eligible for an Erasmus+ grant:
Eligible participating organisations
A participating organisation can be any public or private organisation, established in a Programme
Country or in any Partner Country of the world (see section "Eligible Countries" in Part A of this Guide).
For example, such organisation can be:
a higher education institution;
a school/institute/educational centre (at any level, from pre-school to upper secondary
education, and including vocational education and adult education);
a non-profit organisation, association, NGO;
a public or private, a small, medium or large enterprise (including social enterprises);
a public body at local, regional or national level;
a social partner or other representative of working life, including chambers of commerce,
industry, craft/professional associations and trade unions;
a research institute;
an inter-company training centre;
enterprises providing shared training (collaborative training);
a cultural organisation, library, museum;
a body providing career guidance, professional counselling and information services;
a body validating knowledge, skills and competences acquired through non-formal and informal learning;
a European Youth NGO;
a group of young people active in youth work but not necessarily in the context of a youth organisation (i.e. informal group of young people1).
Higher education institutions (HEIs) established in a Programme Country must hold a valid Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (ECHE). An ECHE is not required for participating HEIs in Partner Countries, but they will have to sign up to its principles.
For Partnerships for Creativity, the call is open in particular to organisations active in the cultural and creative sectors, meaning all sectors whose activities are based on cultural values and/or artistic and other creative expressions, whether those activities are market- or non-market-oriented, whatever the type of structure that carries them out, and irrespective of how that structure is financed. Those activities include the development, the creation, the production, the dissemination and the preservation of goods and services which embody cultural, artistic or other creative expressions, as well as related functions such as education or management.
Who can apply?
Any participating organisation established in a Programme Country can be the applicant. This organisation applies on behalf of all participating organisations involved in the project.
Number and profile of participating organisations
A Strategic Partnership is transnational and involves minimum three organisations from three different Programme Countries. There is no maximum number of participating organisations. However, the budget for project management and implementation is capped (and equivalent to 10 participating organisations). All participating organisations must be identified at the time of applying for a grant.
Venue(s) of the activities
Physical activities must take place in the countries of the organisations participating in the project.
Learning, teaching and training activities for learners and long-term activities for staff can only be organised in Programme Countries
In addition, if duly justified in relation to the objectives or implementation of the project:
Activities can also take place at the seat of an Institution of the European Union, even if in the project there are no participating organisations from the country that hosts the Institution2,
Multiplier events can be hosted in the country of any of the associated partners involved in the Strategic Partnership.
Duration of project
Partnerships in the fields of education and training: between 12 and 24 months. Partnerships in the field of youth: between 6 and 24 months.
The duration has to be chosen at application stage, based on the objective of the project and on the type of activities planned over time.
In exceptional cases, the duration of a Strategic Partnership may be extended, upon request by the beneficiary and with the agreement of the National Agency, of up to 6 months.. In such a case, the total grant will not change. In all cases, projects must end not later than 31 December 2023.
Where to apply?
To the National Agency of the country in which the applicant organisation is established3.
Per deadline, the same consortium of partners can submit only one application and to one National Agency only.
When to apply?
Applicants have to submit their grant application by 29 October at 12:00 (midday Brussels time) for projects starting between 1 March and 30 June of the following year.
How to apply?
Please see Part C of this Guide for details on how to apply.