Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps to offer new learning opportunities

28 December 2020
by Eva Toome


The new period of the Erasmus+ programme, one of the EU’s most successful and most popular programme, will begin in 2021. Its doubled budget will offer new opportunities for education, youth and sports projects as well as learning mobility. The European Solidarity Corps programme will offer opportunities for volunteering in the field of humanitarian aid.

“It is a pleasure that the new budget period of the EU will provide more funding for the more innovate and digital Erasmus+ programme”, which will create the citizens of Estonia even wider opportunities for learning mobility and collaborative projects,” said Jaak Aab, the Minister of Education and Research of Estonia. “I encourage everyone to take part in Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps programmes to discover Europe by studying, working or volunteering that help to gain international experience or even to create something new that help to contribute to the future of Estonia.”

The new programme is more substantial

The new Erasmus+ programme is more substantial, both in content and form. Education and youth workers, as well as students, can also take part in sports-related activities. 83% of the budget is allocated to education and training, 10.3% to youth and 1.9% to sports activities. In total, the budget is more than 26 billion euros and the number of participants is expected to increase three times.

More attention is on a more diverse group of learners, including students with fewer opportunities. Also, the participation of small and grassroots organisations will be easier. It will also support the innovation of curricula, the development of learning and teaching methods, the development of digital skills and the green dimension. The programme will also support initiatives of the initiative “European Universities”, VET centres, DiscoverEU and teacher academies. In the new period, virtual learning opportunities will also be given greater emphasis.

The budget for the new period of the European Solidarity Corps programme, launched in 2018, will be over one billion euros, of which various voluntary activities will be financed. The programme, which brings together the opportunities of the former European Voluntary Service, focuses on helping and empowering communities through volunteers.

Participation is on the rise in Estonia

In the Erasmus + programme, the number of participants has increased every year. To date, each of the four general education schools, 85% of vocational schools and all higher education institutions have participated in the programme. Projects in the field of education have focused most on developing new learning methods, using technology, developing digital skills and developing international cooperation.

A total of 10 million people have studied, worked or volunteered abroad under the programme launched 30 years ago. In the youth field, over 32,000 young people from Estonia have participated in 800 different projects in the 2014-2020 period. For example, young people’s knowledge of mental health has been raised, the employability, social skills and social activity of young people has been supported. Also the social inclusion and active lifestyle of disabled people has been supported.

The United Kingdom is not participating in the Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps programme starting from the 1st January 2021 due to its leaving from the European Union. This means that Estonian citizens are not able to take part in projects and mobility activities taking place in the UK and vice versa. All on-going projects will continue until the end of their activities.


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