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Frequently Asked Questions

Action 2 - Higher Education Institutions (HEI)

A) HEI Applicants – HEI

1. Which countries can submit a proposal as coordinating institution?
2. What is an Erasmus Charter?
3. What is a Partnership?
4. How many proposals can be submitted by an applicant or partnership?
5. What are the roles of the institutions participating in the Partnership?
6. Which Third-Country Higher Education Institutions are eligible to participate?
7. What is an associate?
8. What is a geographical window and a geographical lot?
9. What is an individual mobility flow?
10. How many types of individual mobility flows are targeted?
11. Who can benefit from an individual mobility grant?
12. How long does a mobility flow last?
13. What is a target group and how many target groups exist?
14. What does the grant cover?
15. Which disciplines or subject areas are covered by Erasmus Mundus Action 2?
16. Is there any kind of academic recognition at the end of an individual student mobility flow?
17. Does Erasmus Mundus Action 2 use the ECTS credit system?
18. What language requirements are there for an individual mobility flow?
19. What should a third-country higher education institution do if it is interested in entering into a Partnership that already run a mobility scheme?
20. Is it a formal requirement that applications address all three target groups?
21. How are the submitted proposals selected?
22. Do the partners have to sign any kind of document between them?
23. What kind of agreement will the selected partnerships be offered and for which duration?
24. Are Partnerships obliged to include mobility proposals for each of the five types of mobility (i.e. undergraduate, masters, doctorate, post-doctorate and academic staff)?

B) HEI Beneficiaries

25. Under which criteria do Partnerships select students and staff?
26. How will the mobility scheme budget be calculated?
27. Who is responsible for the management of the grant within the partnerships?
28. Who pays the allocated amounts to students and staff and how?
29. Can Partnerships allocate to mobile individuals different subsistence allowances than those defined in the Guidelines to the Call?
30. How are travel expenses calculated?
31. Can Partnerships charge tuition and registration fees directly to students?
32. How much can a Partnership requests for tuition fees?
33. How are insurance costs calculated?
34. How will the final grant based on real cost be calculated?
35. Can part of the Community grant be used to finance language courses before the main courses start?
36. What kind of services are Partnerships expected to offer to incoming students and staff?


A) HEI Applicants

1. Which countries can submit a proposal as coordinating institution?
EMA2-Strand 1:
Proposals can be submitted by Universities and Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) settled in any of the following countries:

  • 27 European Union Member States, or

The following countries or potential candidates may apply on the same footing as Member States if an agreement has been signed on participation in the programme between the EU and the country concerned by the date of the Selection Decision.

    • Candidate countries (Croatia, Turkey, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia)
    • Potential candidates (Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, Kosovo under UNSC Resolution
    • EEA countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway)
    • Switzerland

EMA2-Strand 2:
Proposals can only be submitted by Universities and Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) settled in the 27 European Union Member States.


2. What is an Erasmus Charter?
In order to be eligible Applicants must have obtained an Erasmus Charter before the date of publication of the Call for proposals.
The Erasmus University Charter (EUC) provides the general framework for the European co-operation activities for sending and receiving students and teaching staff on mobility assignments, as well as for carrying out intensive programmes and coordinating multilateral projects and networks.
More detailed information can be found at the following address: http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/llp/erasmus/erasmus_en.php

3. What is a Partnership?
A Partnership is a group of higher education institutions (from European and third countries countries) that intends to implement the mobility scheme within one or more of the geographical lots concerned by the call for proposals. In order to be considered as eligible for funding, a Partnership needs to be constituted of:
EMA2-Strand 1:

  • A minimum of five European HEIs from at least three European Union Member States
  • At least one HEI from each country  in the individual geographical lot

The maximum size of the partnership is limited to 20 partners.
Please note that, in some specific geographical lots, partnerships should include third-country universities, either private or public, settled in less developed targeted regions. This is not an eligibility requirement due to the possible lack of universities in the specific targeted regions. However, their presence, where possible, is strongly encouraged.
EMA2-Strand 2:

  • Five European HEIs from at least three European Union Member States
  • At least three HEIs from two countries of the corresponding lot.

The maximum size of the partnership is limited to 12 partners.


4. How many proposals can be submitted by an applicant or partnership?
EMA2-Strand 1:
An applicant can submit one proposal for any specific lot.  The same European partnership may submit proposals to a maximum of four lots.
EMA2-Strand 2:
An applicant can submit one proposal for any specific lot.  The same European partnership may submit proposals to a maximum of two lots.

5. What are the roles of the institutions participating in the Partnership?
The Action 2 partnerships are constituted of: an applicant/coordinator, partners and if applicable associates. The applicant and its partners must draw up an agreement defining the academic, administrative and financial rights and obligations of each member of the Partnership. The institution that submits the application on behalf of the Partnership will act as the coordinator (and unique interlocutor of the Agency for the contractual implementation of the project). All institutions participating in the Partnership must have an active and clearly-defined role within the Partnership and, for higher education institutions, be in the position to send and host students and staff in line with the guidelines and the agreement.
The grant application form has to be accompanied by the partnership statements by all participating partner institutions (Annex B of the grant application form). Each partnership statement has to be signed by the relevant authority of the partner institutions involved, confirming its agreement with the application submitted.

6. Which Third-Country Higher Education Institutions are eligible to participate?
In order to be eligible for support under Action 2, Higher Education Institutions must be registered in one of the third-countries targeted by the Call for proposals. In addition, Third-Country HEIs must be fully accredited by the Ministry of Education of the respective country and the degrees issued must be fully recognised by the national authority and in line with the national system of education. 
Institutions preparing students for foreign degrees, such as those operating as a branch or under a franchising agreement are not allowed to participate. They are not, therefore, eligible for support.

7. What is an associate?
An "associate" is any other type of organisation or institution from the eligible countries that plays an active role in the action but is not a direct beneficiary of the project and the community grant. Associates do not have to sign the "partnership agreement". NGOs, regional institutions of higher educations, research centres, enterprises and chambers of industry and commerce can be an example of associates. Their role will be to facilitate and contribute to the transfer of knowledge, innovation process, promotion, implementation of the individual mobility for instance by identifying and/or, preparing third-country mobility candidates, by assisting incoming students of staff members in their host country(ies), by identifying and providing placement facilities to incoming students, evaluation and sustainable development.

8. What is a geographical window and a geographical lot?
A geographical window refers to the geographical regions targeted by the programme and by specific cooperation instruments. Each window is divided into geographical lots, which represent either a group of third countries or, in some cases, one single country.

9. What is an individual mobility flow?
Each mobility scheme is composed of  individual mobility flows whose minimum number, types and conditions are indicated in specific sections of the Call for Proposals.

10. How many types of individual mobility flows are targeted?
There are 5 types of individual mobility:

  • Undergraduates (not for EMA2-Strand2)
  • Masters
  • Doctorates
  • Post-doctorate fellowships
  • Staff

These types of mobility are targeted depending on the specific geographical window concerned.


11. Who can benefit from an individual mobility grant?
EMA2-Strand1:

  • European students and staff registered in one of the European universities member of the Partnership
  • Nationals of the third countries concerned by the geographical lot (EMA2-Strand1)

EMA2-Strand1:

  • Students (Masters, Doctorates) registered in a HEI within the partnership, and students (Postdoctorate) being supported by the  HEI within the partnership
  • Staff who are nationals of the countries/territories presented by the partnership and employed by one of the HEIs of the partnership.

12. How long does a mobility flow last?
The duration of the mobility depends on the type of mobility and the target group (please refer to the Action 2 Guide). One academic year is in principle equal to 10 months, taking into account 2 months break. One semester equals usually 6 months.

13. What is a target group and how many target groups exist?
EMA2-Strand1:
A target group is a group of students/academic staff having the same characteristics regarding the institution/country of origin and/or personal situation.
There are 3 target groups:

  • Target group 1: individuals registered in one of the universities that is a member of the Partnership
  • Target group 2: nationals of the third countries concerned by the geographical lot and currently not registered in one of these countries partner universities.
  • Target group 3: nationals of the third countries concerned by the geographical lot who are in particularly vulnerable situations (refugees, asylum seekers, indigenous population etc).

EMA2-Strand2:

  • Target group 1: individuals registered in one of the universities that is a member of the Partnership

14. What does the grant cover?
A grant is a financial contribution to cover the different activities necessary to attain the objectives of the action. The grant does not finance the entire operating expenditure of the beneficiary. The grant will be calculated on the basis of:

  • A lump sum for each participating institution to cover costs deriving from the organisation of the individual mobility flows
  • Unit costs amounts for travel, fees, subsistence and insurance costs of students and staff participating in the individual mobility flows

In accordance with the principles applicable to lump sums and unit costs, these have been calculated as maximum amounts allocated to the project in order to cover only part of the real costs of the activities they correspond to. As a result, any expenditure incurred by the partnership beyond these unit costs/lump sums may not be covered by the EU grant.


15. Which disciplines or subject areas are covered by Erasmus Mundus Action 2?
Erasmus Mundus Action 2 covers a wide range of thematic fields of studies and disciplines which are defined in line with the regional needs under the individual windows.
16. Is there any kind of academic recognition at the end of an individual student mobility flow?
At the end of a mobility period covering only part of a curriculum, the student must be provided by his/her host institution with a transcript of records specifying the marks obtained for each of the courses attended. This transcript must be used by the home institution for recognising the study period abroad as part of the general curriculum required for obtaining the final degree. In addition, a Diploma supplement could be issued at the end of his/her studies identifying the courses followed and the marks obtained during the student's study period abroad. Exchanges which will lead to the award of double diplomas or joint diplomas are warmly encouraged.
For individual mobility flows covering the totality of the curriculum required for obtaining a degree, this latter will be issued by the student's host institution.

17. Does Erasmus Mundus Action 2 use the ECTS credit system?
The individual student mobility flows between European and third-country universities should be implemented in the spirit of ERASMUS Higher Education mobility programme. In this respect, they have to ensure the academic recognition of the studies carried out in the host country of the mobile students. In order to fulfil this condition, the use of the ECTS or other similar credit transfer system is highly recommended.

18. What language requirements are there for an individual mobility flow?
Students must have sufficient language of the course or of one of the languages currently spoken in the hosting countries.
There is no particular requirement for the language of the courses attended by incoming students. The Partnership must ensure that a clear information on the language of tuition is provided in advance to the candidate students or teaching staff member, and that selected individuals have the required knowledge to follow (or give) courses in the languages concerned.

19. What should a third-country higher education institution do if it is interested in entering into a Partnership that already run a mobility scheme?
Entering into an already operating Partnership may have an impact on the content and, maybe, the quality of the action, since it would change the structure of the action and affect its content. A change in Partnership will also have an impact on mobility arrangements. It can also have consequences in financial terms, in particular as regards the distribution of the grant among partners as well as payment modalities. As a result, this cannot be granted in the course of an academic year, during the implementation of the mobility scheme. Existing partnerships wishing to include new Third-Country universities will only be able to do this in the context of the following call(s) for proposals.

20. Is it a formal requirement that applications address all three target groups?
EMA2-STRAND1:
As a general rule, there is no specific requirement to cover all three Target Groups. In accordance with the specific Third-Country needs, however, there could be explicit requirements concerning the inclusion of all three groups or exclusion of one target group. Unless differently specified in the geographical windows' sections of the Guidelines, Target group 1 refers to European and Third-Country individuals and it must represent at least 50% of the individual mobility covered by the project. Target Group II and III target only Third-country mobility. Third-country students' mobility must represent at least 70% of the total individual mobility of the project.
In their project, applicants shall describe the target groups that will benefit from their mobility scheme.
EMA2-STRAND2:
Under Strand 2, students and staff must be registered at one of the partner institutions (or – in the case of post-doctorate candidates – supported by one of the partner institutions. This applies to both European and third-country individuals. In general, European mobility must represent minimum 60% of the individual mobility flows, third-country mobility cannot be higher than 40% of the individual mobility flow, but the distribution may vary depending on the lot concerned. 

21. How are the submitted proposals selected?
During the selection processes the Agency is responsible for performing the eligibility check, and for verifying whether a proposal fulfils the selection criteria. Independent academic experts evaluate the proposals against the award criteria. Proposals are selected through a competitive system based on their academic quality, and all candidates are subject to the same award criteria.
The independent academic experts will assess all eligible applications on the basis of the award criteria defined in the Guidelines to the Call. On the basis of the academic experts assessment and their final score awarded to each application, a Selection Committee composed of officials from the Commission and the Agency will draw up a list of partnerships to be selected. The Agency consults the EU Delegations in third countries with regards to the eligibility of HEIs and the relevance of the proposals to the objectives. Once the official decision on the selection of partnerships is taken by the Authorising Officer, the results will be communicated to all applicants.

22. Do the partners have to sign any kind of document between them?
There are four kinds of documents the partners must elaborate during the different stages of preparation, submission and implementation of their projects.

  • Before the submission of the application: a Partnership Statement must be signed by the appropriate authorities of each institution participating in the project, confirming their agreement with and endorsement of the project, to be annexed to the application form.
  • Before the signature of the grant agreement: a Mandate must be signed by each co-beneficiary granting power to the main beneficiary. It must be annexed to the grant agreement to be signed between the Agency and the main beneficiary.
  • During the organisation of the mobility scheme:
    • A Memorandum of Understanding must be drawn up among the partners with the objective to reach a sound management of the partnership and address all the aspects linked to the organisation of the mobility scheme such as, for example, the communication strategy, the definition of procedure and criteria for the selection of candidates and specific academic arrangements.
    • An agreement must be signed between the partners defining the technical and financial rights and obligations of each member of the Partnership for internal management. This agreement does not have to be provided to the Agency.

23. What kind of agreement will the selected partnerships be offered and for which duration?
Following the decision to award a grant, the selected partnerships will be offered a grant agreement covering the expenses for the project submitted under the call for proposals for mobility starting in the academic year 2010-2011. The duration of the grant agreement will depend on the duration of the project and in turn on the duration of the longest mobility foreseen (max. duration 48 months).
24. Are Partnerships obliged to include mobility proposals for each of the five types of mobility (i.e. undergraduate, masters, doctorate, post-doctorate and academic staff)?
No, since some of the geographical windows or lots cover, only and exclusively, some of the types of mobility. Applicants should reflect the indicative distribution of the respective window/lot to their best endeavours. If this cannot be respected, applicants can propose a different distribution provided that the proposal covers at least the minimum number of mobility flows with each of the countries concerned by the proposal and the types of individual mobility are those targeted by the window.
The indicative distribution of the mobilities is calculated on the basis of the total number of mobilities and not on the budget foreseen to implement the mobilities.


B) HEI Beneficiaries

25. Under which criteria do Partnerships select students and staff?
Each Partnership has to identify its own common set of criteria in compliance with the principle of transparency and equal treatment to select students and academic staff. Classic tools for selecting applicants comprise CVs, study and exam results, specific requirements for language skills, letters of motivation and letters of recommendation. The Agency reserves the right to verify if the selection of the students and staff has been carried out in respect of the principle of transparency and fair and equal treatment. Only candidates fulfilling the established selection criteria should be included on the main and/or reserve lists. All other candidates should consequently be ineligible and appear on the non-selected lists.
The Partnerships will have to provide the Agency with a description of the methodology applied during the selection of the candidates.


26. How will the mobility scheme budget be calculated?
The budget form annexed to the application form intends to establish the provisional budget and grant requested for the preparation and implementation of the proposed mobility flows. In the budget form, 5 parts can be distinguished:

  • Organisation of the mobility: a flat rate of 10.000 EUR per eligible partner participating in the Partnership.
  • Subsistence allowances: total subsistence allowances covering the period abroad of all individual mobility flows and calculated on the basis of the rates defined in the Guidelines to the Call.
  • Travel costs: total amount of travel costs calculated on the basis of the rates defined in the Guidelines to the Call for each individual mobility flow.
  • Tuition fees: total amount of tuition fee for incoming students as calculated by the Partnership and, if applicable, revised by the Agency in accordance with the maximum defined in the Guidelines to the Call.
  • Insurance: total amount of insurance costs calculated on the basis of the rates defined in the Guidelines to the Call for each individual mobility flow.


27. Who is responsible for the management of the grant within the partnerships?
The coordinating institution is responsible for the distribution of the total amount received from the Agency amongst partners and, depending on the internal arrangements of the Partnership, students and staff participating in individual mobility flows.
Depending on the number of students hosted, the length of their stay, the project coordination workload, it is left to the Partnership to decide and agree on the way the grant awarded for the mobility organisation costs will be distributed between the coordinating institution and the other partners.

28. Who pays the allocated amounts to students and staff and how?
The Partnerships are responsible for paying the grants to the students and staff. Partnerships are free to establish their own payment modalities provided they respect the full amount to be paid out and that the payments are performed on a regular basis, preferable on a monthly basis and for periods not longer than three months.

29. Can Partnerships allocate to mobile individuals different subsistence allowances than those defined in the Guidelines to the Call?
No. The subsistence allowance calculated on the basis of the monthly allowance table included in the Guidelines to the Call must be paid in full to the grantees. However, in order to avoid fraudulent abuses, the payment of subsistence allowances must be paid fractioned and disbursed on a regular basis, preferably every month and for periods not longer than three months.


30. How are travel expenses calculated?
For each individual mobility flow an amount is allocated for travel costs. This amount is based on a fixed sum depending on the distance ("as the crow flies") between on one side the location of origin (for Target Group 2), location of residence (for Target Group 3) or home university (for Target Group 1) of the student/ staff and on the other side the hosting university premises.
A travel grant is calculated for each specific mobility flow, irrespective of the travel costs that will be finally incurred. It is up to the Partnership to define the procedure to be used for the payment of these costs (direct reimbursement to the grantee, direct booking by the Partnership, etc).
The differences, if any, between the amount allocated for each individual mobility flow and the amount actually incurred cannot be compensated with the amount received in concept of subsistence allowances.
Although the total mobility period can be divided in successive periods in the host institution, only one travel amount is calculated per individual student or staff.
If an individual mobility flow includes a stay in different hosting institutions, the Partnership should use the longest distance to calculate the travel amount for the corresponding flow.

31. Can Partnerships charge tuition and registration fees directly to students?
Partnerships may request Community support to cover tuition fees for incoming students. The corresponding amount depends on the duration of the mobility and it must be clearly indicated and justified in the application form. In case of approval of the proposal, the Partnership will receive this amount as part of the overall grant and fees should therefore not be charged to the incoming students. It is responsibility of the Partnerships to distribute to each hosting institution the tuition fees corresponding to the students hosted.
As far as possible, the tuition fees received by the Partnership should include all obligatory costs incurred by students. It is however possible to ask incoming students for the payment of a small additional fee to cover e.g. laboratory or library costs, under the condition that this additional fee is charged on the same basis as to local students.

32. How much can a Partnership requests for tuition fees?
In general this amount is limited to EUR 3.000 per academic year and per student.
Tuition fees cannot be charged for the mobility of students enrolled in one of the partner universities and undergoing a mobility period of less than 10 months in another partner university.
Post-doctorate mobility flows should not include tuition fee unless they concern specialized post-doctorate studies (as opposed to post-doctorate mobility for research purposes). In this case the fee covered by the grant can amount to 5.000 € maximum.
Please, note that these amounts are not a flat-rate guaranteed per individual mobility flow. There are maximum amounts that can be reduced in the light of the practice of the hosting institution.

33. How are insurance costs calculated?
Partnership must provide a full insurance coverage to students and staff participating in an individual mobility flow. For each person, a fixed amount of EUR 75 per month is calculated, irrespective of the real insurance costs finally incurred.
The differences, if any, between the amount allocated for each person and the amount actually incurred cannot be compensated with the amount received in concept of subsistence allowances.
In order to obtain economy of scale benefits, Partnerships are advised to subscribe a global policy for all the individuals involved in the mobility scheme.

34. How will the final grant based on real cost be calculated?
At the time of submission partnerships present a budget based on an estimated mobility flow. The grant for selected partnership is calculated on this estimated budget which is annexed to the specific grant agreement.
At the end of the contractual period defined in the grant agreement, the coordinating institution will have to submit a final report based on the real mobility, thus, cost. The financial part of this report will consist in an overview of the costs related to the organisation of the mobility and a detailed declaration of the individual mobility flows actually implemented. The final amount of the grant will be established after the evaluation of this final report by the Agency.

35. Can part of the Community grant be used to finance language courses before the main courses start?
Yes. Part of the 10.000 EUR granted to each partner for the organisation of the individual mobility can be used by the Partnership to finance intensive language courses at the start of project implementation in order to upgrade the language skills of the students/staff that are going to participate in the mobility scheme. This is possible only within the eligibility period.

36. What kind of services are Partnerships expected to offer to incoming students and staff?
Partnerships are expected to offer practical information and assistance to welcome the incoming students/ staff, and to facilitate their introduction in the hosting university. These services may include linguistic support (language courses), housing facilities, coaching and counselling, welfare services, activities aiming at social integration, services for students with a family or special needs as well as other support measures. Details can be obtained directly from the Partnership concerned.

Last update: 12/12/2013  Print | Top of page