EU to Strengthen Partnership with Indian Universities on Higher Education


New Delhi, 3rd October 2016: The Delegation of the European Union to India, joined hands with Panjab University to organize a workshop at the Taj Chandigarh on Monday, 03 October 2016 for Vice Chancellors and academic leaders of Indian Universities and Higher Education Institutions to discuss funding opportunities for India-Europe mobility and cooperation, through a range of EU-funded programmes, namely Erasmus+, Jean Monnet and Marie Sklodowska - Curie Actions (MSCA’s).

Mr. Brian Toll, Senior Policy Adviser, DG Education & Culture, European Commission, Brussels
Mr. Brian Toll, Senior Policy Adviser, DG Education & Culture, European Commission, Brussels

The workshop was attended by nearly 80 higher education stakeholders, from Vice Chancellors and Head of Institutions to a range of academic and administrative staff from higher education institutions. It overall aimed at informing in particular in a practical way about the objectives, content and implementation modalities of Erasmus+, Jean Monnet and MSCAs with a view to increasing the participation and success rate of Indian students, researchers and higher education institutions, including their staff, for the next application round (approximately October 2016 to March 2017)

Prof. Arun Grover, Vice Chancellor Panjab University along with Mr. Brian Toll, Senior Policy Adviser, DG Education & Culture, European Commission, Brussels inaugurated the Workshop. 

Mr. Brian Toll said, “India is the greatest beneficiary of Erasmus Mundus, the predecessor programme to Erasmus+Between 2004 and 2016 around 5,000 Indian students from all parts of India have received Erasmus scholarships – recently at a rate of over 500 per year. New opportunities are now being offered, primarily for higher education institutions (HEIs), staff and students, meaning the door are open to even more Indian participation.”He also encouraged institutions to pass on the information to students as there are even more opportunities to develop today.

 A series of information workshops to promote awareness of Erasmus+ programmes has been going on in major Indian cities since last year. After the workshop in 2015, there has been a major increase in the number of Indian institutions who are the beneficiary of Erasmus+ funding under Capacity Building Projects as well as in the number of students who received Erasmus+ Mobility Scholarships.

“At the start in 2015 before such workshops, 6 Indian institutions received the new Erasmus+ capacity building grants for two projects. In 2016, already 36 Indian institutions from 12 states have participated in 10 winning projects, partnering with 37 European universities from 18 European Union Member States,”Mr. Toll added.

Prof. Arun Grover, Vice Chancellor Panjab University, welcomed the EU programme and expressed the hope that Panjab University along with other Indian Universities and higher education institutions would avail themselves of the opportunity to raise their academic, and research standards, staff development and modernize higher education system in India, using the range of options available to them including international collaboration.

In-depth sessions were conducted on the following topics: Capacity building in Higher Education, EU Project Experience by Dr. Shabana Khan, Director, Indian Research Academy, Joint Masters Degrees and Individual Mobility by Mr. Brian Toll, EU Commission, Alumni experience on mobility, Jean Monnet & Marie Sklodowski-Curie action by Mr. Brian Toll and Marie Curie Senior Fellowship Recipient.

The workshop was moderated by Mr. Sanjeev Roy, Senior Expert, Higher Education, DAI Europe.


Erasmus+ is the European Union's main programme supporting education, training, youth and sport for the period up to 2020.It has consolidated several existing EU programmes of which India was the largest single beneficiary outside of the EU. Between 2004 and 2016 around 5,000 Indian students from all parts of India have received Erasmus scholarships – recently at a rate of over 500 per year. New opportunities are now being offered, primarily for higher education institutions (HEIs), staff and students,meaning the door are open to even more Indian participation.

Erasmus+ has an overall budget of €14.7 billion with an additional €1.68 billion reserved for third country beneficiaries via the EU’s external action budget, in which Indian higher education institutions is expected to be the biggest beneficiary. 

EU will be the partner country in the 12th FICCI HE Summit through which we want to reach out to wider base of higher education institutions in India so that they benefit from the funding opportunity.

Erasmus+ and India

India is a Partner Country of the Erasmus+ Programme, which means that most actions, particularly in the fields of higher education, are open to India, Indian students and Indian higher education Institutions. A central focus of Erasmus+ funding will be cooperation projects to improve the quality of higher education as well as mobility for individuals.

Details about scholarships Programmes and its Criteria

Joint Master Degrees Programmes in cooperation with European HEIs: HEI can be part of a consortium offering a Joint Master Degree Programme in which students study in at least two of the participating HEIs and receive a joint or double/multiple degree. Students apply directly to the consortium, and there is a competitive, worldwide selection for these scholarships. HEIs have a unique opportunity to develop major new courses with top-flight partners, attracting the best talent from around the world.

  1. Credit mobility for students and staff mobility: By concluding an inter-institutional agreement with European HEIs, your institution can send its own students or doctoral candidates for short-term mobility (up to 12 months) to your partner institutions. Your HEI must recognise the credits earned by your students while in Europe as counting towards their degree at home. Your staff can receive grants for teaching or training assignments (5 days to 2 months) at the European HEI. Under the same agreement, your HEI can host European doctoral candidates or staff for short-term mobility; there are more limited opportunities to host students. Institutions from Erasmus+ Programme Countries must submit the mobility project application that involves your HEI to the National Agency in their country. HEIs from Partner Countries interested in taking part in credit mobility should therefore begin by contacting a partner university in a Programme Country, which will be able to apply for funding. 
  2. Capacity building in higher education: your HEI can take part as the ‘Applicant’ in capacity-building projects involving a consortium of HEIs, at least three coming from Erasmus+ Programme Countries. These projects can be joint projects: to help HEIs from Partner Countries to develop, modernise and disseminate new curricula, teaching methods or materials, as well as to boost quality assurance and governance of HEIs. Structural projects: to develop and reform HEIs and systems in Partner Countries, to enhance their quality and relevance, promote regional cooperation and increase convergence with international developments in higher education.
  3. Jean Monnet Actions: The Jean Monnet activities support academic teaching and research (Chairs, Modules and Centres of Excellence), cooperation projects, conferences and publications in the field of EU studies. Postgraduate level courses on European Union issues or promoting debate and exchanges on EU policy priorities are examples of activities that can be supported in this action. HEIs, organisations and associations from all over the world can apply for Jean Monnet activities. 
Scholarships awarded in SAARC countries (including India) under Erasmus Mundus Masters Courses


Marie Curie Actions for Indian Researchers
     Total number of Indian researchers funded in Marie Curie Actions (2007-2014): 1680
     Total number of fellowships: 1213
     Fellowships include: 700 Initial Training Networks, 209 Co-funding of Regional, National and International Programmes; and 135 International Incoming Fellowships; and 97 Industry and Academia Partnerships and Pathways.   
     Exchanged staff (International Research Staff Exchange Scheme): 467
     EU budget awarded to Indian organisations (2007-2014): €5.4 million
     Number of Indian organisations participating in Marie Curie Actions (2007-2014): 97
     Number of Projects: 75
     Researchers going to Indian Organisations: 384
 Mr. Brian Toll  

(Mr. Brian Toll, Senior Policy Adviser, DG Education & Culture, European Commission, Brussels)  
Mr. Brian Toll has worked in the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Education and Culture since September 2012. 

He joined the European Commission in March 1993 to review of cases of potential distortion of competition in maritime transport and was subsequently involved in revising European Union policy on shipping. He was then engaged in further EU transport policy development and the negotiation of international cooperation agreements on satellite navigation, including with the Russian Federation, Japan and India.  

From 2000 to 2005, Mr. Toll worked in the EU Delegation in Kazakhstan, in charge of managing EU assistance programmes for Kazakhstan, the Kyrghyz Republic and Tajikistan. He was subsequently appointed Senior Administrator in the European Commission Directorate General for External relation In Brussels, working on EU security and defence Programmes in the Western Balkans and South Caucasus. In 2011-2012, he was involved in the Promotion of ocean energy as an element of the EU’s renewable energy mix and in development of the EU’s Policy for the Arctic.    

Prior to joining the European Commission, Mr Toll worked in the British civil service, the private sector and academia, including as a lecturer in Finland and at Leningrad Polytechnic and as a researcher at Birmingham University. He completed his undergraduate degree in Russian studies at Bristol University and post-graduate studies in education at Sheffield University.