With the previous “Comenius Programme” being integrated in the broader Erasmus+ framework, individual pupil mobility is now a less visible and certainly not prominent possibility offered as part of KA2 Strategic Partnerships.
Individual pupil mobility represents less than 4.5% of the overall Erasmus+ budget and between 2014 and 2016 only 800 pupils went on individual pupil mobility with Erasmus+, with a 54% decrease in comparison with the Individual Pupil Mobility strand of the Comenius Programme. The mid-term evaluation of the Erasmus+ Programme shows that schools would like to engage more in pupils’ mobility but at the same time are struggling with drafting and managing project applications and dealing with aspects related to risk management and support of the exchange students.
These hurdles are affecting in particular smaller schools and schools with fewer resources, which find it problematic to deal with complex procedures and to involve considerable additional work from teachers and school staff.
What we call for
Therefore, we call for more investments in individual pupil mobility and for enabling and encouraging partnerships with exchange organisations.
More investments in Erasmus+ pupil mobility are vital, but they may not lead to more accessibility and inclusion, if they are not supported by proper accompanying measures. Thanks to their expertise, non-profit exchange organisations can be crucial partners in supporting a variety of schools in applying for projects and managing administrative, risk management and organisational aspects of exchanges, as well as in providing quality educational support.
The discussions around the future Erasmus+ Programme (2021 onwards) represent a unique opportunity to invert the current trend and foster school students’ exchanges and their key role for European integration.
Via this campaign, we join voices coming from different actors, build solid arguments to back-up our position, participate in public debate around the future of the Erasmus+ Programme, and raise awareness among policy-makers and stakeholders.