Education Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency Important legal notice

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To participate in the SOCRATES/Erasmus programme every higher education institution has to apply to the European Commission for an Erasmus University Charter (EUC). The awarding of an EUC gives a university the right to participate in Erasmus and to apply to its National Agency for funding for decentralised activities (SM, TS, OM, ECTS), and to the European Commission for centralised activities (CD, IP).

From the academic year 2003/2004 the EUC replaces the previous system of Institutional Contracts (IC). The reasons for this change are:

  • The SOCRATES Decision requires that the administration of grants for the Organisation of Mobility (OM) be decentralised to the participating countries (i.e. the National Agencies). This has been implemented from the academic year 2003/2004 onwards. In practice, this means that OM funds are no longer distributed under the Institutional Contract but through the National Agencies. Accordingly it was necessary to redesign the IC.
  • There was a need to further simplify the programme's administration.

What are the advantages of the Erasmus University Charter?

  • The Charter gives new momentum and visibility to Erasmus.
  • The Charter highlights the distinguishing features of Erasmus mobility:
    - the institutional foundation of Erasmus, being based on agreements between universities
    - free tuition
    - full recognition of studies abroad.
  • The Charter also gives new visibility to the quality requirements and conditions for organising Erasmus mobility.
  • The Charter promotes and reinforces a strategic institutional approach and commitment to European co-operation in participating universities. It provides an opportunity for the universities to identify synergies between the SOCRATES programme and the Bologna process. It highlights the role of the SOCRATES programme in the building of the European Higher Education Area.

Application Procedure

Higher education institutions send an application for an EUC to the European Commission. All institutions will have to submit a European Policy Statement as part of their EUC application. 

Institutions submit an on-line application and send two signed paper copies of the application (with original signature) to the European Commission. The on-line application will be available in English, German and French. Applications may be written in any of the 20 official EU languages

How to apply for funding for decentralised mobility activities

How to apply for centralised projects

Awarding of an Erasmus University Charter

Approved institutions will receive an Erasmus University Charter signed by the European Commission. Apart from giving the university the right to participate in Erasmus, the Charter outlines the fundamental principles of Erasmus and the minimum terms and conditions that the participating universities must respect in carrying out Erasmus activities.

The list of approved institutions along with their European Policy Statements is published as a measure to improve transparency, and encourage an exchange of good practice and mutual understanding. 


Validity period of the Erasmus University Charter

In most cases the Charter will be valid for the lifetime of Socrates II, that is until the end of the academic year 2006/2007.

Please note that the Charter may be withdrawn in the case of non-compliance or violation.