The European Union’s international education and training cooperation initiative Erasmus+ program is expected to dedicate the lion’s share of its budget for the next seven years to the Sub-Saharan Africa region.
According to Deirdre Lennan, policy officer Africa EU’s directorate-general for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, “Africa has been participating in Erasmus+ for many years but the budget was much too low to meet demand in the previous 2014-2020 programming period”, thus “In the new programming period Sub-Sahara Africa is anticipated to have the single largest budget under Erasmus+ with nearly a quarter of the €2.2 billion of funding.” The allocation will be a four-fold increase compared to the just ended 2014-2020 period, and will finance hundreds of capacity building projects in the field of higher education, benefitting thousands of students and staff, she noted.
“The strong international dimension under Erasmus+ in the 2021-2027 period will allow education and training institutions across Europe to really cooperate through their work in Africa, strengthen Europe’s reputation as a reliable partner, support the green and digital transitions and tackle current and future crises,” she told a session of the 15th General Conference of the Association of African Universities.
The money will go towards funding joint cooperation and mobility activities between European and African institutions, individual students as well faculty.
The extended phase of Erasmus+ now focuses on the following priorities:
- Improving the skills and employability of higher education and vocational education and training students and training academic and administrative staff
- Improving the quality and relevance of higher education programmes to the labour market
- Supporting the educational programmesof African institutions to make them relevant to their society
- Strengthening and promoting innovation in higher education
- Improving governance, leadership and management of institutions
- Improving the mobility of individuals between the EU and Africa
More information can be found here