On October 1st, 2021 the EUF jointly with the representative from DG EAC, Johannes Gehringer, participated in the online edition of EAIE virtual conference and exhibition.
Johaness Gehringer launched the session by sharing a comprehensive presentation about - Erasmus+ 2021-2027 programme: More opportunities for traineeships abroad - outlining the core goals of the European Education Area by 2025 and how developments/novelties in the Erasmus+ programme contribute to that.
The four core horizontal priorities of the new Erasmus+ programme were highlighted: the next seven years will primarily focus on achieving more inclusive, more digital, more international, more environmentally friendly and greener programme implementation.
Regarding concrete changes for traineeships, the main aspects discussed were related to:
Inclusion and diversity strategy in conjunction with adjustments to funding allocation and traineeship duration, which in practice comprises top-ups for participants with fewer opportunities as well as new types of short-term mobilities to facilitate inclusion.
Increased mobility opportunities to Partner Countries beyond Europe by mobilising two external instruments. Particularly for traineeships, this implies extra travel support in addition to easier implementation since contrary to study mobility, there would be no expectation for reciprocity.
New formats of mobility, including blended traineeships and novelties for doctoral mobility with the introduction of the short-term and virtual component.
Ways of addressing the four horizontal priorities, most notably sustainability and green skills, which can also be covered with traineeships involving, for instance, environmental sustainability and climate actions.
Afterwards, two concrete examples were shared mentioning a couple of activities piloted and implemented in the framework of the POWER and PhD Hub projects. The two cases presented helped explore possible ways to further facilitate and diversify the offer of traineeships, on one hand; and, to increase their quality, on the other hand.
Additionally, the objectives and goals of the project POWER were shared, providing a brief overview of benefits when implementing structured university – incubator cooperation, particularly in the field of offering traineeship opportunities in European start-ups. Opportunities and obstacles related to traineeships at the doctoral level were also briefly explored, acknowledging the high relevance of increased flexibility with the new cycle of students.
The participants were eager to learn how to replicate such a similar initiative in their institutions as well as how to join the project activities and what practical aspects to consider. After the session, online attendees had the opportunity to discuss the topic even further in an informal online session with the panelists.