Apply for higher education partnership funding

Erasmus+ enables UK higher education institutions (HEIs) to collaborate with international partners, to drive innovation and excellence in higher education.

This page gives an overview of the 'Strategic Partnerships for Higher Education (Key Action 203)' funding stream. For further partnership funding streams, please see the higher education funding page. You can also read our Higher education centralised funding summary (366 KB).

Strategic Partnerships for Higher Education (Key Action 203)

Strategic Partnerships for Higher Education funding (Key Action 203) enables UK HEIs to run collaborative projects with international HEIs and other organisations - either as the lead or as a partner. The focus is on innovation and cooperation. Funding can be used to support activities such as:

  • Developing, testing and implementing innovative approaches and practices for study programmes, students, staff and organisations
  • Facilitating the recognition and certification of skills and competences
  • Training, teaching and learning activities - such as intensive study programmes, blended mobility of students, joint staff training events, and teaching and training assignments.

     How to apply     

What are the benefits?

  • Build relationships with international partners, including HEIs, businesses, NGOs and other organisations
  • Work together to solve shared problems
  • Exchange ideas, skills and knowledge
  • Develop innovative new practices and improve courses, teaching methods and support structures

According to the mid-term evaluation of the Erasmus+ programme, 74% of practitioners in the higher education sector reported the creation of new research projects and 37% the creation of new spin-offs resulting from their involvement in Erasmus+. Visit our case studies section to find out more.

How does it work?

UK HEIs can take part either as project co-ordinators, or project partners.

Projects can last for two or three years and must include three or more partners from three different Programme countries, including the applicant organisation. Organisations from Partner countries can also participate (as project partners, not applicants). There is up to €450,000 available per project.

Who can apply?

Erasmus+ higher education funding is open to UK organisations involved in higher education. This includes degree awarding organisations as well as organisations offering courses leading to a degree. Please read the Erasmus+ Programme Guide for full eligibility criteria.

To apply for Erasmus+ higher education funding or take part in a project, your institution must hold an Erasmus Charter For Higher Education (ECHE) or Mobility Consortium with Higher Education (HE) Consortium accreditation.

How do I find new partners?

On the European Commission’s Organisation Registration System, you can find hundreds of HEIs from across the world who have registered for Erasmus+ and similar international programmes. National Erasmus+ Offices, who assist in the implementation of the programme, can be a useful resource in identifying HEIs overseas who are active in Erasmus+ and looking for partners.

How to apply

In 2020 there was one application deadline for higher education partnership funding (23 April 11 am, UK time), and this now has passed. The KA203 guide for applicants (685 KB) is available for reference purposes only.

Read our webpage for the latest information on Erasmus+ and the EU transition period.

Who should I contact?

Due to precautions taken at the UK National Agency offices in light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, please note the following interim update to the British Council helpline numbers. 

In the first instance, we would encourage you to send queries via email and a member of the National Agency team will respond.

If you have any questions about this activity, please contact the British Council by email or telephone on 0161 957 7755.