Erasmus+ is the successor of the successful programme Erasmus established in 1987. Erasmus+ is the EU’s flagship education and training programme for mobility and academic cooperation across Europe and around the world. The programme’s streamlined structure supports three types of key actions, with a focus on EU-added value and systemic impact:
Key Action 1: Learning mobility of individuals
Key Action 2: Cooperation for innovation, capacity building, and exchange of good practices
Key Action 3: Support for policy reforms.
Key Action 1 covers mobility for learners and staff. It is focused on mobilities for individuals aimed to improve their skills, enhance their employability and contribute to their cultural awareness. Beneficiaries are able to spend a certain period abroad by gaining valuable experience of life, study, and work with the aim of increasing the opportunities available to them in the future and on the labour market. Since the introduction of the Erasmus+ programme in 2014, Key Action 1 in the field of higher education is further split into projects covering Europe (KA131) and International Credit Mobility (KA171). Mobilities within KA131 are between universities and their partners located in the EU, Iceland, Turkey, and FYROM (the so-called Programme Countries). Mobilities funded through KA171 type of projects take place between universities based in any of the Programme Countries and academic partners of theirs located in one of the so-called Partner Countries. In Bulgaria, the Erasmus+ National Agency in charge of projects within Erasmus+ Key Action 1 is the Human Resource Management Center (HRMC).
The Erasmus+ Programme supports the European modernisation and internationalisation agenda in higher education. The programme also enhances the opportunities for cooperation and mobility internationally (outside of Europe) with Partner Countries, notably in the fields of higher education and youth. By signing the Erasmus+ Student Charter, VUM has committed itself to transparent and efficient participation in the programme to reach its goals and benchmarks as formulated in the institutional Internationalisation Strategy approved in late 2015.