This Erasmus+ format supports excellence projects from European university alliances. Higher education institutions throughout Europe test and establish comprehensive institutional and transnational cooperation in teaching, research, innovation and service to society. This benefits the European Higher Education Area as a whole.

Can Swiss higher education institutions participate in Erasmus+ “European Universities”?

Since 2022, Swiss higher education institutions are eligible to participate as "associated partners" in Erasmus+ “European Universities” projects, i.e. without access to EU funding. However, the federal government supports their participation financially through the Swiss Programme for Erasmus+. More information on support for Swiss institutions can be found below.

What are the goals?

The projects supported by Erasmus+ contribute to the implementation of the European Universities initiative (see e.g. Erasmus+ Call for Projects 2023). The aim of the European Universities initiative is to significantly strengthen transnational institutional cooperation in teaching, research, innovation and services within the European Higher Education Area (EHEA).

What is done in Erasmus+ projects?

For example, study programmes are being created in which students can attend modules at all alliance universities, i.e. throughout Europe. New forms of transnational employment for teaching staff are also being piloted. The projects aim to help strengthen the quality and competitiveness of European higher education as well as to cultivate European values.

The initiative and the Erasmus+ funding is attracting considerable political interest across Europe, and the initiative has become a prestigious flagship initiative, also of the 2022 European strategy for universities. The competition for European funds is correspondingly strong.

What types of projects does Erasmus+ support?

The 2023 Erasmus+ call for projects includes two “topics”. On the one hand, projects by already existing alliances will be supported (alliances that were funded under the 2020 pilot call, but also others). On the other hand, projects by applicants who would like to establish such a comprehensive transnational cooperation within the framework of a European University will be supported.

Swiss institutions can participate in both types of projects.

What is the duration of an Erasmus+ project?

“European Universities” are funded for the duration of 4 years. However, it is expected that alliances continue their cooperation beyond this funding period.

Who can participate in a “European University” project?

A project must be supported by at least three higher education institutions from three different Erasmus+ countries. However, most projects include around 9 higher education institutions as full partners.

Swiss higher education institutions can participate as associated partner institutions, but can neither lead projects nor receive Erasmus+ funding. They are also not relevant for the amount of Erasmus+ funding that can be applied for.

How are Swiss institutions supported?

The Swiss Confederation is expected to provide funding for Swiss institutions.

Swiss institutions involved in an Erasmus+ application under the 2023 call can apply to Movetia likely for funds from the Swiss Programme for Erasmus+. Officially accredited Swiss higher education institutions are eligible to apply for Swiss funding. In order to successfully participate in an excellence project of this kind, it is important that the Swiss institution has the necessary capacities and can use them in the project.

Who applies for funds for the Swiss institutions?

The application to Movetia must be submitted by the institution’s top management (rectorate, directorate).

An EU proposal must in any case clearly describe the associate partners’ involvement in the project and their role in different activities

For further information and for advice on Swiss applications: