FAQs for Erasmus+

Key Action 2:

General instructions

According to the multi-beneficiary agreement Article II.15.2, in duly justified cases, following the termination of one or more beneficiaries, the coordinator together with the remaining beneficiaries can make a proposal (amendment request) to the NA to replace the withdrawing partner/s, and/or redistribute their activities among the remaining partners. This proposal should also provide indications on how the budget of the Strategic Partnership should be revised. An amendment has to be made to introduce the necessary modifications.

Replacement of partners

The coordinator’s NA will assess the amendment request taking into account the following aspects:

  • The replacement of the original partner does not hinder the ability of the Strategic Partnership to carry out the planned core activities and reach the intended objectives (If the role of the original partner is fundamental for the implementation of the project and/or is not replaced by a partner with equivalent profile and expertise.

Change of Coordinator

This is not possible as the organisation willing to take the role of coordinator might have a different financial and operational capacity, and this change will substantially change the nature of the partnership. The change of the coordinator is allowed only in the case of merge or split of the applicant which determines a change in the legal status (Although substantially, it is the same applicant carrying out the Strategic Partnership).

Adding a partner

It is possible on the condition that it soundly proves a higher quality of the partnership. The taking over by a new partner of the responsibility in the implementation of tasks originally foreseen for “initial” partners should only be allowed under duly justified circumstances and proving that at least the same level of quality is ensured.

In all circumstances, any new partner needs to have a valid PIC and must sign a mandate (to be submitted by the applicant at the time of the partner change request).

Extension of Projects

For Strategic Partnerships of 24 months (Call 2014) and between 24-36 months (Call 2015), an extension can be given, provided that:

  • The total duration does not exceed 3 years;
  • The extension proposed does not exceed 6 months;
  • The total grant amount does not change;
  • The project does not end later than the date indicated in the Programme Guide (i.e. in the 2014 Programme Guide is implied 31/08/2017; in the 2015 Programme Guide it explicitly states 31/08/2018.

Force Majeure

Q: If a beneficiary planned to attend a project meeting, had booked flights but got ill the day before leaving and had to cancel his trip, can this be seen as a case of force majeure?

A: If the beneficiary can prove that it was not possible to change the participant and that the original participant was not able to travel, the NA can deem the case as force majeure and accept the unit contribution.

Project Management and Implementation

Q: Can expenses relating to part of the salary of some of the staff, part of the rent of the premises of the Coordinator and part of the bills, be covered under this budget heading?

A: Staff costs for managers and administrative staff as well as part of other costs related to the implementation for the Programme (i.e. communication/phone bills between partners) are indeed expected to be covered under Project Management and Implementation. In any cases, please consider that since the financial support granted under this budget item is provided in the form of a scale of unit costs, beneficiaries are not asked to provide proofs of the costs incurred at Final Report stage. Of course, the grant they get is aimed at ensuring an efficient management and qualitative implementation of the project and the financial use of it should comply with the principle of sound financial management.

Transnational Project Meetings

Q: If a partner has a number of member organisations under its umbrella which are based in a different country from the coordinating/partner organisation, can the partner still participate in a transnational project meeting?

A: In Annex III of the grant agreement, Part B Eligibility of Expenses, Section 3 Transnational Project Meetings, there is stated that participation in transnational project meetings taking place in the country of the beneficiary is eligible under this budget category, provided that the activities involve participants from project beneficiary organisations from at least two different Programme Countries and that the distance between the place of departure and place of arrival as specified above is at least 100km following the online distance band calculator.

Intellectual Outputs

Q: Although not specified in the General Conditions of the NA Beneficiary Agreement, are the employment contracts to be submitted as proof of employment in addition to the time sheets? In the case that a contracted employees’ wage is lower than the rate provided by the project, which shall be applied since the daily staff costs are based on unit costs?

A: The idea is to carry out the activities planned; these are the ones that will be checked thoroughly by the NA. Since Intellectual Outputs are calculated on unit costs, the spending money is not really considered. It does not matter whether the beneficiary spent more or less money than the unit costs/flat rate. However, proof of expenses should always be kept in case of primary checks and audits. The NA may ask to other proof from the beneficiary that an activity took place but it does not have to be necessarily the contract since the NA does not check if the amount of the contract corresponds to the flat rate/unit cost but for example the presence list or other documentation.

 

Q: The Multi beneficiary grant agreement specifies that “The staff category applicable to each person has to be one of the four categories listed in Section III of this Annex. In the case of staff working on voluntary basis, the category applicable does not relate to the professional profile of the person, but to the function performed by the person in relation to the development of the Intellectual Output.” Does this mean that a coordinator may be able to claim the costs for a person working on a voluntary basis, although this person is not paid?

A: Yes, costs are claimed according to the function performed, not the professional profile. It is indeed possible that a person employed on a voluntary basis (who is very knowledgeable in IT for example) could be paid as a manager (If he/she assumes this task) and not, for example as an IT technician.

 

Q: A partner would like to be part of the research involved in the project. The coordinator would like to forfeit some of the days allocated for his organisation and instead transfer them to this particular partner, since it was deemed to be quite proficient in tackling the subject matter. Is this transfer possible?

A: It is up to the coordinator and the partners of the project to agree on how to best develop the intellectual output approved and to make the best use of the budget allocated. The beneficiaries are allowed to adjust the estimated budget set out in the grant agreement. For the reallocation of the task, the coordinator should use the applicable unit of costs for the category of staff and country concerned (Please refer to Annex III to the grant agreement, Rates applicable for contribution to unit costs, Key Action 2- Strategic Partnerships, point 3. Intellectual Outputs). In addition, please refer to I.3.2 of the Special Conditions of the Grant Agreement, which specifies the rules for transfers between budget categories without amendment.

Learning/Teaching/Training Activities

Q: Are learning mobilities for distance under 100 km possible?

A: Mobilities for distance under 100km are eligible, but no travel costs will be awarded.

Exceptional Costs

Q: Do the 75% allocated under Exceptional Costs applicable on the full price of the equipment/software bought or the depreciated price for the duration of the project?

A: The provisions on the eligible costs for equipment purchase are in Annex III to the grant agreement. The whole purchase price can be eligible only if the lifespan of the item is the same as the duration of the project. If the equipment is used partially for the project, the covered expenses will be calculated accordingly. This would mean that only the depreciation costs for the duration of the project could be covered for equipment that will continue to be used once the project has ended.

Key Action 1: Higher Education

 

Will the level of student grants be harmonised across countries under Erasmus+?

The objective is to better harmonise the criteria for fixing the level of the EU student grant, while allowing flexibility to take into account the level of demand for grants and other sources of funding, which vary from country to country. On top of the EU grant, students might also receive other contributions from national, regional or local authorities.

The level of the EU grant will first depend on the destination country.

Countries taking part in Erasmus+ will be divided into three groups, based on their living costs:

  • Any student moving to a country with the same group (i.e with similar living costs) for study purposes will receive an EU grant with the medium range 200 – 450 euros / month. It might, for example, give their higher education institution a minimum-maximum range for the grants in case co-financing is available in only some regions or institutions.
  • Students moving to a country with higher living costs will get the medium range plus at least 50 euros / month (but not higher than 500 euros / month).
  • Students moving to a country with lower living costs will get the medium range minus at least 50 euros / month (but not lower than 150 euros per month). Students from outermost regions and outermost programme countries will get a higher EU grant.

 

The level of EU grant will also depend on whether students plan to study abroad or undertake a traineeship.

  • Students on a traineeship will get 100 – 200 euros per month on top of the EU grant given for studies as they often have no access to cheaper housing or restaurants etc.
  • Special arrangements for students from low-income backgrounds are also foreseen to give an additional 100 – 200 euros / month from the EU budget, on top of the normal EU grant, to those students moving abroad for studies.

 

Will students be able to participate in Erasmus+ if they already benefitted from an Erasmus grant under the previous Lifelong Learning Programme?

It will now be possible to study and train abroad more than once as an Erasmus+ student.

Students will be able to study and/or train abroad for up to 12 months within each study cycle (bachelor, master or doctorate), irrespective of the mobility type (studies or traineeships) and a number of mobility periods (for example, 2 periods of 6 months or 3 periods of 4 months). However, higher education institution may give priority to students who have never benefited from a mobility experience abroad before.

For students who have already benefited from an Erasmus exchange under the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP), this will be taken into account under Erasmus+ if they apply for a grant within the same study cycle. For example, if a student has already done an Erasmus exchange of six months at Master level under the LLP, he / she could benefit from an Erasmus+ mobility grant at Master level for up to 6 months. However, if the same student goes on to do a doctorate, he or she could be supported for up to 12 months under Erasmus+ as it would be at a higher study cycle.

Other past mobility experiences, such as Leonardo Da Vinci traineeship under the Lifelong Learning Programme or volunteering in the European Voluntary Service under the Youth in Action programme, will not be taken into account in calculating the maximum 12 month period per study cycle for higher education studies or traineeships under Erasmus+.

 

General: Erasmus+

 

In terms of funding available what is Organisation Support?

Organisational Support is funding for costs directly linked to the implementation of mobility activities (excluding subsistence and travel for participants).

 

What is Special Needs Support?

It is support for additional costs directly related to participants with disability and accompanying persons.

 

Who is eligible for the special needs support?

A potential participant with special needs whose; individual physical, mental or health-related situation is such that his/her participation in the project/mobility action would not be possible without extra financial support.

 

What defines people with fewer opportunities?

Educational difficulties:

  • Young people with learning difficulties;
  • Early school-leavers;
  • Lower qualified persons;
  • Young people with poor school performance;

Economic obstacles:

  • People with a low standard of living,
  • Low income,
  • Dependence on social welfare system;
  • Young people in long-term unemployment or poverty;
  • People who are homeless;
  • People in debt or with financial problems.

Cultural differences:

  • Immigrants or refugees or descendants from immigrant or refugee families;
  • People belonging to a national or ethnic minority;
  • People with linguistic adaptation and cultural inclusion difficulties;

Health problems:

  • People with chronic health problems,
  • Severe illnesses or psychiatric conditions;

Social obstacles:

  • People facing discrimination because of gender, age, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, disability, etc.
  • People with limited social skills or anti-social or risky behaviours;
  • People in a precarious situation;
  • (ex-) offenders;
  • (ex-)drug or alcohol abusers:
  • Young and /or single parents;
  • Orphans;

Geographical obstacles:

  • People from remote or rural areas;
  • People living in small islands or peripheral regions;
  • People from urban problem zones;
  • People from less serviced areas (limited public transport, poor facilities).