The 2019 annual work programme for Education, Training, Youth and Sport, released on October 11th, allocates a total budget of over 3 billion for all the Key Activities of the Erasmus+ programme – over 2 million more than the previous year.
It foresees new initiatives, such as the European Universities. The main goal of this last one, that falls under the Strategic Partnerships within KA2 projects, is to achieve a more united Europe by “bringing together a new generation of Europeans” (see pag. 10 of the programme) along with “achieving a more united and stronger Europe in full openness to the wider world and promote common European values by, able to cooperate with different cultures, in different languages, and across borders and disciplines”. In fact, it is part of the wider project of the European Education Area that, as stated after the European Council of December 14th 2017, has to be achieved by 2025.
The initiative aims to empower the Erasmus+ Programme making it accessible also to learners coming from disadvantageous backgrounds, facilitating the teaching of languages and the promotion of the automatic mutual recognition of qualifications and outcomes of learning periods abroad. European Universities is a bottom-up initiative between higher education institutions and it will develop long term programs in order to reach the goal of this new-born area. An alliance that has to be triggered by a General Call for Proposal, whose lump sum for 2019 accounts for 3 million. However, in the two-year period of 2019/2020 it will take place as a pilot initiative, waiting to be officially rolled-out by 2021.