Erasmus+ offers opportunities for students to study and staff to teach or train in higher education institutions (HEIs) beyond Europe. It also makes the same opportunities available for staff and students from countries beyond Europe to come to participating HEIs in Europe. This is called International Credit Mobility and is an activity under Erasmus+ Key Action 1 Mobility.
With 9.5 million euro of funding, ICM supports HEIs to expand their internationalisation and cooperation strategies, by sending and receiving the best students and staff from around the world beyond Europe. Since the introduction of ICM in 2015, more than 70 UK HEIs have taken part. Examples on our case studies webpage include Middlesex University, the University of Warwick and the University of Nottingham.
UK higher education institutions which hold the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (ECHE) can apply to the UK National Agency for funding to send and receive students and staff. Successful HEIs can support students to study abroad for a minimum of three months and up to a maximum of 12 months. For 2018/19 HEIs can also support students to take part in traineeships. Staff can spend up to two months teaching and/or training abroad, and for 2018/19 they will also be able to undertake training with enterprises.
ICM takes place between HEIs in Programme and Partner Countries. Five separate European Union funding strands called ‘instruments’ provide the available budget, which is split across the 12 ring-fenced budget envelopes which cover most, but not all, regions of the world.
- European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI)
- Development Co-operation Instrument (DCI)
- European Development Fund (EDF)
- Instrument for Pre-accession (IPA)
- Partnership Instrument (PI)
To note: from 2018 there is a specific budget confirmed for activity with West Africa (12 countries from Burkina Faso to Senegal).
Why take part
Access this additional funding opportunity to give your institution an expanded international offering, open up new regions for staff and student mobility, foster and strengthen partnerships and engage with new fields of international research.
Envelopes and rules
Mobility can be both incoming to Europe and outgoing from Europe. The funding is from the EU's budget for external cooperation, which means that this action follows the EU's external priorities. Higher education institutions can apply purely for staff mobility or purely for student mobility or any combination of the two.
Institutions should note that the budget for this activity is capped, and that applications will be assessed on quality and experience.
Please see our ICM 2018 envelopes and rules document (261 KB) for details of the eligible countries and associated rules.
UK HEIs looking for a partner can visit our higher education partnership opportunities page to see all available opportunities. You can also review this Quick Guide (548 KB) for Participating Higher Education Institutions in Partner Countries.
In order for a mobility activity to take place, an inter-institutional agreement (111 KB) must be signed between the participating institutions before the mobility, but not necessarily before applying. This agreement ensures that the sending institution will recognise the credits gained by its students, for activities successfully completed abroad, as part of their degree upon return.
- If you would like to promote ICM within your institution, please see this ICM Promotional powerpoint (3.47 MB) with notes to assist the presenter in highlighting this activity to academics and colleagues;
- Download our ICM Promotional Leaflet (1.04 MB) to share with academic colleagues;
- Read the European Commission’s International Credit Mobility FAQs (659 KB) and consult the ICM 'Do's and Don'ts' Guide (886 KB);
- DAAD, the German Academic Exchange Service, has created a guide on how to make ICM work (211 KB), which covers the whole timeline of an ICM project, from applying through to final report. Please note that the UK National Agency is not the author of this document and cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of the guidance within it;
- See the European Commission’s ECTS Users’ Guide for implementing ECTS;
- Review the Egracons (European Grade Conversion System) project;
- View the presentations from the Erasmus+ International Dimension in Higher Education information day in November 2017.
How to apply
In 2018 there was one application deadline for International Credit Mobility funding (2 February 11am, UK time), and this now has passed. The guide for applicants (751 KB) is still available for reference purposes only.
You can also consult the European Commission's useful ICM 'Do's and Don'ts' Guide (886 KB) as well as their Guidelines for Experts on Quality Assessment (436 KB) for reference.
HEIs looking for future partners can visit our higher education partnership opportunities page to see all available opportunities.
Any Programme Country institution wishing to participate in the higher education strand of Erasmus+ must have prior accreditation and hold an Erasmus Charter for Higher Education.