Funding for global cooperation awarded to several Finnish actors

Programmes Vocational education and training Higher education Physical education and sports Global Cooperation Erasmus+ Erasmus+ for vocational education Erasmus+ for higher education Erasmus+: Sport Internationalisation Education development
The results of the 2023 application round for Erasmus+ Capacity Building projects showcase Finnish actors strengths in global cooperation in higher education, vocational education and training (VET) and sport.
Infographic showing funded Finnish projects.

In the programme period 2021–2027, Erasmus+ Capacity Building projects have broadened their scope to also cover VET and sport, in addition to higher education. This promotes greater diversity in projects and strengthens their role as promoters of global cooperation, while simultaneously enhancing the competence of Finnish actors.

“We are delighted that Finnish actors are actively involved in international cooperation when it comes to the development of education. Erasmus+ Capacity Building projects are one important enabler in building this cooperation,” says Minna Kelhä, Director General of the Finnish National Agency for Education.   

Higher education: the number of Finnish project coordinators among the highest in Europe 

In higher education, approximately 113 million euros in grants were awarded. A total of 773 eligible applications were received by the deadline, with funding being granted to 21 percent of them. This marked a significant increase in competition compared to the previous year when the acceptance rate was 33 percent.

Finnish higher education institutions participate in 19 of the 159 projects that received funding, representing a total of 14 different higher education institutions. Twelve of the funded projects are coordinated by Finnish higher education institutions. This is a significant achievement. For the second consecutive year, Finland is the second most active country in Europe for project coordination. This year, only Spain surpassed Finland in these statistics. 

In the 2023 application round, the applications of Finns were targeted particularly at Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Finland’s long experience in development cooperation on the African continent is now reflected in the outcomes of the Capacity Building call results. During the current programme period, there has been a considerable increase in the number of projects targeted towards the Sub-Saharan region. 

The projects budgets in higher education varies between 400,000 and 800,000 euros, and the projects last from two to three years. 

Vocational education and training: developing the competence of teachers in Africa

This application round marked the second time applications for capacity building in the field of VET could be submitted. The aim of Capacity Building projects in this field is to develop VET in countries outside the Erasmus+ programme, strengthen the ability of VET to respond to the needs of working life, improve the competence of personnel and the quality of management of educational institutions, as well as promote internationalisation.

Two Finnish organisations applied and were awarded funding for their Capacity Building project in the field of VET focusing on Tanzania. The coordinator of the project is Häme University of Applied Sciences (HAMK), while 3Dbear Oy, a Finnish company developing virtual learning environments, acts as a partner. In addition, the project has three local partners and one Spanish partner. 

In total, 145 eligible applications were submitted, while the number of eligible applications in 2022 was 120. In 2023, the acceptance rate for the applications was 43 percent, resulting in 22.7 million euros funding to 62 projects.

Sport: Finns promoting more gender-equal sports leadership in the Balkans   

In the application round for Capacity Building in the field of sports, 67 applications were received, of which funding was granted to only five projects. The acceptance rate was just seven percent. One Finnish organisation was among those that managed to meet the strict criteria.

Taking Savonian sports expertise to Europe is the Mikkeli campus of South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences (Xamk). The institution was awarded an Erasmus+ grant of 200,000 euros. A primary focus in the funded project is gender-equality in sports. The aim is to increase the number and competence of female sports managers in the Balkan region. The project partners are the Paralympic Committee of Kosovo, the Albanian National Olympic Committee, the Sports University of Tirana and the University of Applied Sciences of Leuven. 

The measures taken and the results achieved in Capacity Building in the field of sport are primarily aimed at the Western Balkans. In this application round, a total of 930 000 euros in funding was granted.

Next calls for proposals at the beginning of 2024

The next calls for proposals for Erasmus+ Capacity Building will end at the beginning of 2024. The application is managed by the European Commission’s Executive Agency (EACEA Brussels). In Finland, EDUFI is responsible for the call round communication and provides support to the applicants together with EACEA.  

Director of the Erasmus+ National Agency, Mika Saarinen, encourages to seize the opportunity to apply for funding for international cooperation. 

“The success of Finnish higher education in Capacity Building actions shows that Finland has the abilities and competence needed in international cooperation and development of education. We should take advantage of this competence in other sectors, too”, says Saarinen. 

Saarinen also instructs applicants to participate in upcoming informative sessions organized by EACEA and EDUFI. Events will be announced during the autumn on the organizations' website and on the Erasmus+ mailing lists of EDUFI’s Internationalisation Services.

What are Erasmus+ Capacity Building projects?

Capacity Building projects are activities implemented in cooperation with third countries not associated to the Erasmus+ programme. The projects are always based on the partner countries’ needs.

The aim of the projects is to support organisations operating in different fields, such as higher education institutions, vocational institutions, and sports organisations, in improving the quality of the activities in their own areas of operation.
In addition, the projects aim to improve the internationalisation and accessibility of organisations, and promote regional and interregional cooperation.