The Swiss programme for Erasmus+ is the programme for education, youth and sports in Switzerland that supplements the European Union’s Erasmus+ programme. The Swiss programme will once again be implemented in 2021. It encourages cooperation between Switzerland, the Erasmus+ countries and the United Kingdom (UK).

Swiss Programme for Erasmus+

Erasmus+ is the European Union’s programme for education, youth and sports and is one of the world’s largest funding instruments for foreign exchange and institutional cooperation. The next generation of the programme will be implemented from 2021 to 2027. What began in 1987 as a mobility programme for students has since enriched the lives of more than 10 million participants and indirectly influenced the lives of countless others. Exchange, mobility and cooperation allow participants to have formative experiences.

Since 2014, Switzerland is no longer a full participant in Erasmus+, but rather has been a partner country. In order for Swiss institutions to be able to continue working together with Erasmus+ partner countries, the Swiss Federal Council has adopted a solution that is financed by the Swiss government. The Swiss programme for Erasmus+ funds the participation of Swiss individuals and institutions. To ensure reciprocity, the programme also financially supports programme participants from Erasmus+ countries who stay in Switzerland (incoming).

Like Erasmus+, the Swiss programme for Erasmus+ also provides participants with the skills that they will need to live independent, fulfilling lives, helps them to find their place in society, and helps them to develop a European identity in addition to national, regional and local identities. Participants’ experiences abroad and the institutional partnerships also strengthen Switzerland’s position as a centre of education and increases its competitiveness.

Levels of education

IERASMUS, which is often referred to as a “student exchange programme”, was initially solely limited to university students. Things are different today: Since 2014, Erasmus+ encompasses opportunities for the educational levels of compulsory schooling, professional or vocational education and training, tertiary-level and adult education, as well as for the extra-curricular sphere. The same applies to the Swiss Erasmus+ programme (except for early childhood education and care).

Mobility and cooperation projects

The Swiss Erasmus+ programme primary funds mobility projects. Institutional cooperation in the framework of Erasmus+ collaborative projects is also supported.

In terms of funding for learning mobility, the Swiss Erasmus+ programme funds study abroad, teaching activities, internships and work experiences, volunteer work, and group and individual youth exchanges in Erasmus+ countries and the UK, and – for higher education students and youth – in other countries as well.

Detailed information on the conditions of participation can be downloaded via the list of links.

The cooperation partnerships mainly focus on institutional partnerships and promote international cooperation between educational institutions, public authorities, social partners and youth organisations in Europe. In 2021, Swiss institutions will be able to participate in certain Erasmus+ collaborative projects, but not lead any. You can find more information in the links.

More than 30 European countries

More than 30 European countries are participating in Erasmus+ 2021–2027: all 27 EU member countries, and presumably the EEA EFTA countries Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, and the three official EU candidates Turkey, North Macedonia and Serbia. Other non-EU countries can also join the EU programme in order to fully participate in Erasmus+.

Since 2014, Switzerland is no longer an Erasmus+ programme country, but rather just a partner country. The Swiss Federal Council is currently reviewing whether or not to fully re-join the programme. 

In 2021, the Swiss Erasmus+ programme will not only support cooperation between Switzerland and Erasmus+ countries, but also with the United Kingdom (UK).