The Erasmus+ Programme, one of the world’s most iconic global education programmes, has launched a call for proposals in Zambia to promote mobility and cooperation between universities in the European Union (EU) and those outside of Europe.
During an information session held on January 26, 2023 at the University of Zambia, Great East Road Campus in Lusaka, the Head of Cooperation for the EU Delegation to Zambia and COMESA, Mr. Claudio Bacigalupi, addressed the audience and highlighted the importance of the programme.
“I am proud to say that the Erasmus+ Programme currently stands out as the most iconic global education programme in the world,” Mr. Bacigalupi said. “In Europe, the Erasmus+ is mainly known for higher education students’ mobility. However, Erasmus+ is much more. It is about lecturers and researchers mobility, and it plays an important role in the fields of education, capacity building, vocational education, youth and sport.”
The Erasmus+ Programme, which marked its 35th anniversary in 2022, has had a significant impact globally. In 2021, the programme funded 19,000 projects for a total amount of EUR 2.9 billion. Around 71,000 organizations participated in Erasmus+ activities, and nearly 650,000 individuals across the globe benefited from the various learning experiences.
In Zambia, the Erasmus+ Programme awarded grants amounting to EUR 1.9 million or ZMW 36.6 million to four local universities including the University of Zambia, the Copperbelt University, Levy Mwanawasa Medical University and the University of Barotseland. The four higher learning institutions are in partnership with other universities and colleges in sub-Saharan Africa and Europe and together, they will implement important research and development activities over the next couple of years, in the fields of Planetary Space Science and Technology, Maternal Mental Health and improving digital infrastructure for libraries.
Mr. Bacigalupi also emphasized the importance of higher education and its links with research and innovation in the development of individuals and societies, stating, “Higher education and its links with research and innovation play a crucial role in the development of individuals and societies and to meet labour demand from the private sector. It supports communities in building capacities and thus, contributing to the creation of jobs, sustained economic growth, and individual’s well-being.”
He also noted that the Erasmus+ higher education dimension seeks to bring an additional international dimension to studying, teaching, and evidence-based research for policy making purposes, and that this information session is an opportunity to exchange on the current higher education opportunities available for funding targeting sub-Saharan Africa.
Furthermore, Mr. Bacigalupi highlighted that “Erasmus+ is now opened also to Vocational Education and Training institutions, and soon to TVET student mobility. This clearly underlines the link between education and labour market, between human development and private sector development and economic growth. I believe this area is particularly crucial for Zambia where more than 350,000 young people enter the workforce every year,”
Overall, the Erasmus+ Programme’s call for proposals in Zambia is a significant opportunity for universities and higher learning institutions in the country to benefit from funding, resources, and international cooperation in various fields of education and research.