Erasmus FAQ

1. What is Erasmus Mundus “External Cooperation Window”?
Erasmus Mundus “External Cooperation Window” is an EU cooperation scheme designed to foster co-operation in the field of higher education between the European Union and Third- countries through individual mobility of students and academic staff.

2. What are the objectives of the scheme?
The Erasmus Mundus External Cooperation Window aims at mutual enrichment and better understanding between the European Union and Third-Countries, through the exchange of persons, knowledge and skills at higher education level. The main objectives of this mobility scheme are:

  • To enhance the international cooperation capacity of universities in Third-countries by facilitating transfer of know-how and good practices in the field of student and academic staff mobility;
  • To promote cooperation between sending and hosting institutions, thus mutually enriching the educational environment of both the hosting and sending institutions in the European and Third-countries;
  • To enable students to benefit linguistically, culturally and educationally from the experience of pursuing academic studies in another country. This will contribute to the mutual enrichment of societies by developing a pool of well-qualified, open-minded and internationally experienced young women/men as future professionals and leaders, capable of responding to the challenges of the new Global Knowledge Society of a globalized world and of improving governance;
  • To improve the transparency and recognition of studies and qualifications, in particular by favouring the practical implementation of Common Areas of Higher education triggered by the interest in the “acquis” of the Bologna process;
  • To contribute to providing good students from vulnerable groups (i.e. refugees, displaced populations, disabled foreign students, etc) with further education and the dissemination of professional development and empowerment for leadership, thus contributing to the dissemination of European Union social and democratic values;
  • To enhance the skills and qualifications of foreign higher education staff so that they can contribute actively towards improvement of quality and pertinence, to university research, to changes in system governance and to innovation of higher education through an institution-based visiting teacher exchange system;
  • To build the capacity of the administration and public and private sector by participation of their staff in higher education mobility activities (especially through doctorate and post- doctorate activities);
  • To enhance in the medium term the political, cultural, educational and economic links between the European Union and Third-countries.

3. Does this initiative have anything to do with the Erasmus Mundus Master programs?
Although the call name is “Erasmus Mundus External Cooperation Window” it results from a new initiative launched by the EuropeAid Cooperation Office at the European Commission. This new initiative will be implemented in complementarity to and synergy with the Erasmus Mundus programme. But students participating to a Erasmus Mundus External Cooperation mobility scheme do not have to study within the framework of the Erasmus Mundus master programs.

4. What is the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency? 
The Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (“the Agency”) is the body that, acting under powers delegated by the Commission of the European Communities, is in charge of the implementation of this cooperation scheme.

5. What are the roles of the organisations included in the Consortium?
The applicant and its partners must draw up an agreement defining the technical and financial rights and obligations of each member of the consortium. Although the organisation that submitted the application on behalf of the consortium will act as the coordinator (and unique interlocutor of the Agency for the contractual implementation of the project), this does not imply that it plays a predominant role in the delivery of individual mobility flows. Quite to the contrary, all institutions participating in the consortium must have an active and clearly-defined role within the consortium and, for higher education institutions, be in the position to send and host students and academic staff.

6. What is a geographical lot?
A geographical lot is a cluster of third-countries grouped by geographical proximity and with which the mobility scheme will be arranged;e.g. lot 5 consists of Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan.

7. What is a mobility scheme?
Each Consortium must establish a scheme of exchanges between the European and Third- Countries represented in the Consortium. This scheme must comply with the provisions stated in the Call for Proposals (minimum number of individual mobility flows, types of mobility flows, target groups, etc).

8. How many types of individual mobility flows exist?
There are 5 types:

  1. Undergraduates
  2. Masters
  3. Doctorates
  4. Post-doctorate
  5. Fellowships
  6. Academic staff

9. How long does a mobility flow last?
It depends on the target group and the type of mobility. You can find a detailed table in the Guidelines of the Call for Proposals.

10. What is a target group and how many target groups exist?
A target group is a group of students/academic staff having the same characteristics regarding the institution/country of origin and/or personal situation.
There are 3 target groups:

  1. Target group 1: individuals registered in one of the universities member of the consortium
  2. Target group 2: nationals of the third-countries concerned by the geographical lot and currently not registered in one of these countries partner universities.
  3. Target group 3: nationals of the third-countries concerned by the geographical lot who are in particularly vulnerable situations (refugees, asylum seekers, etc.).

11. Who can benefit from an individual mobility grant?
1. European students and academic staff registered in one of the European universities member of the consortium.
2. ïNationals of the third-countries concerned by the geographical lot.

12. Are there national information centres or contact points for the scheme?
There are Erasmus Mundus National Contact and Information Points (ìNational Structuresî) in the EU Member States and the EEA-EFTA states and the National Tempus Offices in Third- countries.

The list of Erasmus Mundus National Structures is available from this website:

The list of National Tempus Offices is available from this website:

13. Is there a risk that Erasmus Mundus “External Cooperation Window” will aggravate brain drain from developing countries?
All participating institutions commit themselves not to carry out any activity susceptible of encouraging the brain drain (for example, offering jobs or further possibilities to study in the hosting university). All consortia need to explain their strategy to prevent this effect.

14. Does Erasmus Mundus “External Cooperation Window” use the ECTS credit system?
The individual student mobility flows between European and Third-Country universities should be implemented in the spirit of the Socrates / ERASMUS Higher Education mobility programme. In this respect, they should ensure the academic recognition of the studies carried out in the host country of the mobile students. In order to fulfil this condition, the use of the ECTS or other similar credit transfer system is highly recommended.

15. Is there any kind of degree delivered at the end of an individual student mobility flow?
Individual student mobility flows can cover either a part or the totally of the curriculum required for obtaining a degree (at undergraduate, postgraduate or doctorate level). At the end of a mobility period covering only part of a curriculum ñ lasting from one quarter to one academic year or more -, the student must be provided by his/her host institution with a transcript of records specifying the marks obtained for each of the courses followed. This transcript must be used by the home institution for recognising the study period abroad as part of the general curriculum required for obtaining the final degree. In addition, a Diploma supplement should be issued at the end of his/her studies identifying the courses followed and the marks obtained during the student’s study period abroad. Exchanges which will lead to the award of double diplomas or joint diplomas are warmly encourages.

For individual mobility flows covering the totality of the curriculum required for obtaining a degree, this latter will be issued by the student’s host institution.

16. What language requirements are there for an individual mobility flow?
There is no particular requirement for the language of tuition of the courses attended by incoming students. Although a linguistic support is foreseen for incoming students or lecturers, the consortium must ensure that a clear information on the language of tuition is provided in advance to the candidate students or teaching staff member, and that selected individuals have the required knowledge to follow (or give) courses in the languages concerned.

17. What kinds of welcome and housing facilities should Consortia offer? 
Each institution of a Consortium should have an ìinternational officeî with adequate opening hours and linguistic coverage. They should offer housing facilities, coaching, language support, activities aiming at social integration as well as assistance with residence permits and social insurance. These services must be of high quality.