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Erasmus+ Benefits for Higher Education Staff and Academics

Erasmus+ benefits for higher education staff

Erasmus+ Benefits for Higher Education Staff and Academics

Academics and higher education staff can reap significant career rewards from participating in Erasmus Plus programmes at attractive destinations across Europe. Erasmus+ benefits for higher education staff travel across institutions, reaching colleagues and students far and wide.

Between 2021 and 2027, the European Union will invest €26 billion in staff mobility and Erasmus+ programmes. Academics, higher education staff, and teachers can participate in a broad range of grant-aided programmes across Europe. The subsidy helps to cover travel and subsistence costs. The EU aims to positively impact individual participants and participating institutions, thus advancing Europe’s educational status worldwide. The higher education mobility action enables HE staff to join career development programmes abroad, acquire new knowledge and capabilities, and improve language skills while forging partnerships with European colleagues.

This article examines Erasmus+ benefits for higher education staff and academics, taking in participant experiences and teacher insights. 

Erasmus Plus Programmes – a Significant Investment in Europe’s Educational Future

In 2022, Erasmus+ saw 73,000 participating organisations and approximately 1.2 grant recipients partaking in 26,000 projects. So why such a sizeable investment? 

Through lifelong learning, the EU envisions higher education staff and young people thriving personally and professionally. Erasmus+ programmes thus drive growth, improve job quality, and make new opportunities available while driving cohesion and integration throughout Europe’s educational landscape. The initiative also promotes closer structural collaboration between institutions to raise the quality of education across Europe and implement common strategic plans and curricula. 

A Focus on Academics and Higher Education Staff

As participants gain new skills and insights, both professionally and personally, their institutions and students experience multifaceted refinement and growth. Through Erasmus+, creativity, inclusion, quality, cooperation, and innovation underpin the European education system and set the tone in workplaces, classrooms, lecture halls, and individual study experiences. 

For academics and higher education staff, participation in Erasmus+ staff mobility can shape personal and professional development. For one, individuals advance their careers. At the same time, their institutions and students reap many secondary benefits including increased expertise, closer Europe-wide collaboration, and a boost in work performance and delivery. 

Among the core objectives of Erasmus+ for HE staff, the EU lists many institutional betterments. Exchanging ideas and work practices, connecting and collaborating with peers, and developing best work practices are but a few of the programme’s aims. 

Participants gain insights into new educational approaches, discover new strategies, forge partnerships, and conceptualise better work practices. While experiencing new teaching environments and methodologies, they boost their skills and deepen their understanding of education and the educational workplace. Erasmus+ HE participants also sharpen their language skills, both written and oral. Other new capabilities include improved digital skills, concise communication, and a more in-depth understanding of innovative educational tools. 

Equipped with a broader perspective, Erasmus Plus programme participants return to their institution ready to pass on the invaluable insights and tools gained. 

Erasmus Plus Benefits for Higher Education Staff and Academics

Let’s look at the core benefits of Erasmus+ participation for academics and higher education staff.

Erasmus Plus Career Benefits

Depending on the chosen course, participants acquire new skillsets they can bring to their workplace on their return. Skills may be topic-related and include improved digital competencies, the latest teaching methodologies, the application of resourceful work practices, and tools for deeper student engagement. Participants can boost current curricula or apply the capabilities gained at the educational workplace. On course completion, they return with an international perspective, peppered with fresh ideas and actionable tools. 

Regardless of their position in higher education, participants further their careers by exchanging ideas with fellow participants. They may collaborate on new projects, create new concepts, and build lasting partnerships. Erasmus Plus participation benefits their institution and students while bolstering individual CVs. Participants can document a commitment to continued learning and career development, adaptability, an international perspective, and strong collaborative skills.

Inspired Personal Growth

Participation alone sparks personal growth and broadens horizons. Experiencing a different culture and interacting with fellows from all over Europe make for a personally enriching course experience. If attending a programme focusing on personal improvement such as mindfulness, participants acquire skills that can bring about lifelong personal growth. 

Fruitful Networking

Erasmus+ programmes deliver some of the best networking opportunities for higher education staff and academics. Participants meet, interact, collaborate, and forge lasting ties. Networking opens doors to joint research projects while setting the stage for student exchange programmes and structural integration, one of the Erasmus Plus programme’s core objectives.

First-hand Cultural Exchange and Integration

Europe is home to some of the richest and most diverse cultures. Erasmus+ is also a celebration of this wealth, providing participants with the opportunity to experience cultures first-hand. They may share their traditions and societal insights ultimately working towards enrichment and integration. Erasmus+ sets the stage for interaction with people from multifarious cultures and backgrounds, promoting insights, understanding, and appreciation for diversity, thus enhancing participants’ personal lives.

Broad Scope for Institutional Collaboration

Many participants return to their institutions with new contacts and the seeds of future collaboration. They may share best work practices on an ongoing basis or collaborate on joint projects between two or more institutions. Meeting one of the EU’s core programme aims, they work toward streamlining and fine-tuning the European education landscapes on a global stage. 

Reaping Linguistic Brilliance and Confidence

Erasmus Plus programmes are deeply immersive, both culturally and linguistically. Participants sharpen their language skills while experiencing a culture, its traditions, and the arts first-hand. The stay helps grow confidence and scales language mastery significantly. 

Erasmus+ Benefits for higher education staff

Erasmus Plus Options for Higher Education Staff

Academics and higher education staff have the option to train at a higher education facility located in an Erasmus Plus programme or partner country. They may also attend a non-educational organisation in a programme country, including public bodies, businesses, NGOs, research facilities, and social partners. 

Core course topics include competence building, professional development, and job shadowing and observation to name but a few. 

Across Europe, participants can find pre-funded courses featuring many different core topics including language-focused programmes, personal development courses, professional competency programmes, and education-related courses. 

Participants must select an EU-pre-approved school to qualify for funding. 

Outside travel time, training periods between two programme countries must be between 2 days and 2 months. In contrast, training time between a partner country and a programme country must be between 5 days and 2 months, also outside journey times. 

Eligibility Criteria, Entitlements, and How to Apply

Only participants whose institution holds an Erasmus+ Charter for Higher Education for Programme countries or a signed inter-institutional agreement with a receiving institution for Partner countries are eligible to receive the subsidies.

Both the home institution and the receiving institution must have signed an inter-institutional agreement while being part of the Erasmus Plus National Mobility Consortium. Only after signing the Mobility Agreement outlining course participants’ rights, responsibilities, learning objectives, and formal training recognition, can training commence. 

The Erasmus+ subsidy goes toward programme participants’ travel and subsistence costs. Funding levels depend on different criteria as outlined on the EU Erasmus+ website. On the same site, participants can also find information on the application process and on how to request relevant information from their national agencies. 

Erasmus+ Benefits for Higher Education Staff – A Word from a Participant

Andrew Gottworth, Student Experience Coordinator at CODE University of Applied Sciences Berlin joined the Team Building for Higher Education Staff course at Atlantic Language School, Galway, Ireland. 

 

A Teacher’s Perspective

Kevin Kennedy is the Education Support Officer at Atlantic. He has seen the benefits HE staff reap first-hand in and outside the classroom. We asked him to outline the main growth areas HE students can expect. He chose three main aspects which he feels are the most striking, namely networking, cultural exchange, and personal growth. 

Networking is, hands down very important. I had a group of 12 students last summer, and I could see three of them really got tight with each other, but they were from different institutions. They’re still in contact with each other and myself, and two of them are actually co-working on a research paper now. 

Kevin Kennedy

Kevin also spoke of the cultural exchange opportunities participation in the Erasmus Plus programme creates: 

Being aware of the cultural expectations in regards to work between colleagues and such. It’s helped me in that regard. And they (participants) get exposed to that because they’re within a class group of other nationalities. 

Kevin Kennedy

The third core benefit Kevin mentioned was personal growth. He recalled a student describing her experience of conquering a new language: 

It was interesting to hear her perspective of it, she said. Coming to one country with different language obviously is gonna be impactful, but to be operating and working with people in a completely new language, she found she had a new personality From her perspective, maybe she didn’t necessarily have a preference of her English personality to her Chinese personality, but she did notice a difference for certain, and it allowed her to not only express herself in different ways that she wouldn’t necessarily back home, but also to interact and mingle with people that she never would have thought to have done back home, or just would presume they wouldn’t be interested in her because she thinks, oh, I’m kind of into like academic, artistic things. These people are more into sporty things, just as an example. And so it kind of breaks down barriers between social groups that you wouldn’t expect because you get the opportunity to portray yourself as a new person.

Kevin Kennedy

Final Thoughts

The Erasmus+ initiative ranks among the most innovative and far-reaching EU funding projects. The benefits start with programme participants only to ripple on and on, reaching institutions, and ultimately enriching the student and staff learning experience at all European education facilities. For academics and higher education staff, participating translates into a career boost, network expansion, skill acquisition, and personal growth – and that’s only for starters.