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Erasmus Mundus 2009-2013

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Erasmus Mundus 2009-2013

This decision establishes the Community action programme Erasmus Mundus for the period 2009-13. Through three specific actions, the programme builds on that for 2004-08. It aims to promote the quality of higher education in Europe and in third countries, as well as to strengthen the qualifications of students and develop their intercultural understanding through cooperation with third countries.


Decision No 1298/2008/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 establishing the Erasmus Mundus 2009-2013 action programme for the enhancement of quality in higher education and the promotion of intercultural understanding through cooperation with third countries.


The Erasmus Mundus programme is hereby established to promote the quality of higher education in Europe, improve the potential of students and encourage intercultural understanding. It also seeks to support the development of higher education in third countries. The programme runs from 1 January 2009 until 31 December 2013.

Specific objectives

The programme aims, in particular, to improve:

  • cooperation between European institutions of higher education;
  • the quality of higher education;
  • skills and qualifications of citizens (European and third-country) through mobility;
  • third-country institutions of higher education in terms of human resources and international cooperation;
  • the visibility of and access to European higher education, including for third-country nationals.


The Erasmus Mundus programme is implemented through three actions, which consist of:

  • high quality Erasmus Mundus joint programmes, including both Masters and Doctoral programmes;
  • Erasmus Mundus partnerships between European and third-country higher education institutions;
  • measures that promote European higher education.

These actions may be pursued through approaches that support the development of joint programmes and cooperation networks, mobility of people (especially towards Europe), language skills and intercultural understanding, pilot projects with external partners and evaluations of trends and developments in higher education in the international context.

Information on the activities and developments in the programme are to be diffused as widely as possible by the Commission, in particular through the programme website.


The following may participate in the Erasmus Mundus programme:

  • higher education institutions, research centres and enterprises;
  • students at all levels of higher education;
  • post-doctoral researchers, academics and higher education staff;
  • other bodies involved in higher education (both public and private).

The programme is open to the European Union (EU) Member States. It is also open to the European Free Trade Association countries that are members of the European Economic Area, the candidate countries for accession to the EU, as well as the countries of the western Balkans and the Swiss Confederation, provided that a specific agreement has been concluded to that end.


The Commission is responsible for ensuring that the Community actions are implemented in an effective and transparent manner. It must give due consideration to the bilateral cooperation between Member States and third countries and to other Community programmes and actions relating to higher education and research. It should also consult relevant European organisations and associations and provide its delegations in third countries with relevant public information.

In implementing this programme, Member States must ensure that the relevant stakeholders are properly involved, efforts are made to remove barriers to exchange programmes with third countries and students and institutions are kept well informed about the programme. The Member States should also assign structures for cooperating with the Commission as well as to seek synergies with other Community programmes and any related national initiatives.

The programme should promote the Lisbon Strategy, diversity and intercultural education, equality and equal opportunities for all with particular provisions made for students with special needs, the combating of all forms of discrimination and the development of third countries.

The financial framework for the Erasmus Mundus programme 2009-13 is EUR 493.690.000 for Actions 1 and 3. EUR 460.000.000 are indicatively set aside to cover Action 2.

Monitoring and evaluation

The Commission must regularly monitor the programme in cooperation with Member States. It is also responsible for the regular evaluation of the programme and must submit an interim report to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions before March 31 of the second year following the launch of the programme’s courses. In addition, the Commission must issue a communication on the continuation of the programme before 30 January 2012 and an ex-post evaluation report before 31 December 2015.



Entry into force – Date of expiry

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Decision No 1298/2008/EC

20.12.2008 – 31.12.2013


OJ L 340 of 19.12.2008

See also

Last updated: 12.03.2009