Promotion, synergies and impact of Erasmus+ in Latin America

The aim: why this e-Booth?

The aim of this e-Booth is to provide a wider picture of the context where CBHE projects are implemented to the new Erasmus+ CBHE beneficiaries. It will also be an opportunity to establish new contacts and find synergies with other projects/beneficiaries in the region.

In particular, the e-Booth will offer:

- A space for networking with the Agency, EU Delegations and other projects working in the Region;

- Information related to the EU Delegations’ role and initiatives in EU/Latin America cooperation and relationships;

- Information on CBHE projects in the region in order to promote synergies among projects.

Main topic


Erasmus+ is the European Union (EU) programme for education, training, youth and sport for the period 2014-2020. Erasmus+ funds academic and youth mobility and cooperation projects that involve partners from "Programme Countries" (34 Programme Countries) and "Partner Countries" throughout the world.

Higher Education Institutions from Latin America participate in 4 actions within the international dimension of Erasmus+:

1.  International Credit Mobility (ICM): Short-term mobility beyond Europe (EU Erasmus type).

In Latin America: So far, 1,765 projects for bilateral partnerships with Latin America have organised mobility for over 11,600 students, researchers, and staff. 


2. Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees (EMJMDs): Long-term and excellence Master scholarships.

In Latin America: From 2014 to 2020, 25 universities from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico were involved as full hosting partners in nine EMJMDs selected between 2014 and 2020. Moreover, 272 Latin American organisations have taken part in Erasmus Mundus programmes in this period as associate partners, representing a wider range of 17 countries.

3. Capacity-building for Higher Education (CBHE): Projects that aim at modernising and reforming Higher Education Institutions

In Latin America: The Region of Latin America includes 18 Partner Countries with different socio-cultural realities, higher education systems and different priorities. In the 6 calls of CBHE, there have been 90 projects selected with a total budget of €78 million. All projects are regional or cross-regional.

Around 20% of the projects are coordinated by Latin American higher education institutions. The Partner Countries coordinating more CBHE projects are Colombia (5), Argentina (3), followed by Mexico (2) and Chile (2).

4. Jean Monnet: Activities aiming to develop EU studies worldwide.

In Latin America: Between 2014 and 2020, there have been 34 applications from  Latin America: with applicants from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, and Mexico . In total, the region was awarded with 9 JM Chairs, 3 Centres of Excellence, 13 JM Modules, 3 JM Projects, 5 JM Networks, and 1 JM Institution.



CBHE projects have created new opportunities of cooperation and had a significant impact at the level of individuals, institutions and higher education systems:

A. Opportunities created for individuals : Academic staff, Administrative staff and Students 

CBHE projects have promoted people-to-people contacts, intercultural awareness and understanding and improved the level of competences and skills.

An example of good practices:

Project the CRUX coordinated by University of Northumbria at Newcastle:

“EU Quality Standards Aligned Modernisation of Renewable Energy Engineering Curriculum for Bachelor and Master students and improving Skills Development of PhD students in Universities of Latin America”

The aim of CRUX project was to provide knowledge and skills of Bachelor, Master and PhD students in Latin America Universities studying renewable energy engineering, a growing demand in the LA Countries. The project provided further knowledge and interpersonal skills to students to succeed in their future careers and better integrate in the labour market.

More information: 

Meeting at the Industrial University of Santander, Colombia.

B. Impact achieved at the level of the higher education institutions:

1. Curriculum Development projects

CBHE Curriculum projects in Latin America have established new study programmes or updated existing ones enhancing the diversity of the curricula within the partner universities and increasing the visibility of the institutions internationally.

Latin American HEIs have worked together in high quality international consortia to revise study programmes or to develop new ones, to engage in new learning and teaching methods, and to provide students with new and better skills for a changing job market and a developing economy.

An example of good practice:

Project MEANING coordinated by the Tecnológica Universidad de El Salvador:

Master Programme in Industrial Engineering for El Salvador and Guatemala” 

MEANING project aimed to design a master’s in industrial engineering, with specializations in Telecommunications, Computing and Robotics, to be offered in El Salvador and Guatemala.

More information:


2. CBHE Projects modernising governance, management and functioning of HEIs

CBHE projects have contributed to the creation or reinforcement of university bodies and changes at institutional level. Overall, the new structural units created in the framework of the projects have been recognised at university level, ensuring their sustainability after the end of the project.

Examples include the strengthening of international relations offices, and the creation of new units focused on Social Innovation or Support to vulnerable students.

An example of a modernising governance, management and functioning of HEIs:

 FORINT project coordinated by EFMD AISBL, Belgium

“Fortalecimiento de la Internacionalización entre las Universidades Europeas y Latinoamericanas“

FORINT focused its action in the internationalisation process of Cuban and Panamanian universities by integrating the “international” notion as a transversal issue to the teaching, research, management and services of Cuban and Panamanian institutions.

As a result, FORINT provided to the Latin American partner institutions guidance and the definition of strategies to facilitate their internationalisation.

More information 

3. CBHE Projects strengthening relations between HEIs and their wider economic and social environment 

CBHE projects have addressed challenges such as relevance for the labour market and society, equity of access, collaboration university/industry, innovation...

IRUDESCA  project coordinated by Instituto Politecnico de Viana de Castelo, Portugal

 “Integración Regional, Universidad y Desarrollo Sostenible en Centro- América”

IRUDESCA project focusedon entrepreneurship education in the region of Central America with special emphasis in business cooperation.

In particular, the project has contributed to the development of innovative ideas with respect for the environment and people for sustainable projects and generated links between universities and enterprises.

More information

C. Impact achieved at the level of the higher education systems (Structural Projects)

Structural Projects have addressed important challenges for the educational systems of the LA Partner Countries (accreditation, quality assurance in education, PhD education, etc.) and increased the capacities of national authorities to modernise their higher education systems by supporting the definition, implementation and monitoring of reform policies.

Project HICA coordinated by the University of Barcelona, Spain:

“Harmonization and Innovation in Central American Higher Education Curricula: Enhancing and Implementing the Regional Quality Framework” 

This Structural Project aimed at supporting reform, innovation and harmonisation of the higher education curricula in Central America. Its main outcome has been the development of a Central American Qualifications Framework for Higher Education ("MCESCA") that should contribute to the transparency, relevance and compatibility of each higher education cycle in the countries concerned.

More information:

Moreover, the impact of CBHE has been very significant in the 3 following areas:


  • This is a specificity of the Region because there has to be minimum 2 Latin American countries in the projects. Therefore, all projects are regional. There are also Cross regional projects, especially with the Region of ACP because the Caribbean belongs to this Region. The collaboration with the Caribbean is very important.

  • It is worth noting that in Latin America, there is some cooperation among the countries in the same area, such as the countries in MERCOSUR, Central America, Andean Community.

  • CBHE has contributed to increase the number of university networks within Latin America: The projects themselves have created new networks in different areas such as Internationalisation and r improving the access to students with less opportunities.

A good exemple of impact at regional level :

OPT IN project (Ecuador- Colombia) coordinated by the University of Bologna, Italy

OPT-IN project has created a new Master (Ecuador) and updated existing post-graduate courses (Colombia) on the subject of project peace process and the defence of the rights of Nature in Ecuador and Colombia . As a result, all the Universities involved have developed an academic offer more in line with actual needs of the respective national societies. The impact on national politics of both States and on international cooperation between the States has been strong and effective.

More information



Many CBHE projects have contributed to improve inclusiveness and access to Higher Education among people with fewer opportunities and in institutions located in less developed regions:

  • People with fewer opportunities:

This responds to a real challenge in Latin America where there is still a high gender inequality and the poorest 50% of the population only represented 16% of higher education students.

It is positive to note that CBHE projects have contributed to tackle this challenge. An important number of the CBHE projects in the Latin American region prioritise the involvement of people with fewer opportunities.

Project ACACIA, coordinated by the Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas, Colombia:

“Centros de cooperación para el fomento, fortalecimiento y transferencia de buenas prácticas que Apoyan, Cultivan, Adaptan, Comunican, Innovan y Acogen a la Comunidad Universitaria”

The project has enabled the creation of five Educational Centres for Support and Development (CADEP) in Colombia, Peru, Nicaragua and Chile, in order to reduce the student drop-out rate and to contribute to the eradication of all forms of exclusion, discrimination and marginalisation.

More information:


  • Institutions located in less developed regions

Cooperation with HEIs from remote areas is especially important for the Latin American Region in order to reach vulnerable people located in these areas.

CBHE projects contributed to tackle this challenge: CBHE has increased the cooperation with HEIs from remote areas, given them the opportunity to participate and has reached vulnerable people in these areas.

Project ALCAI-LA, coordinated by the University of Alcalá, Spain: 

“Adopción de enfoques de calidad, accesibilidad e innovación en la educación superior de Latinoamérica” 

The ACAI-LA project has contributed to the modernization of Virtual Higher Education (VHE) in Latin American Universities. Worth mentioning that under this project the Universidad Americana (Nicaragua) launched its first virtual Master with an international dimension.

More information


Internationalisation is also an important challenge in the region because many HEIs do not have International Relations Offices, Strategies for internationalisation, etc.

Many CBHE had addressed this challenge and improved this area in many HEIs across the region, in particular:

  • They have increased the visibility of the HEIs involved at international level
  • They have created new International Relations Offices and developed Strategies for university internationalisation
  • They have enhanced the signature of international agreements between HEIs
  • They have promoted Student and staff mobility

Project INCHIPE coordinated by the Universidad de Sevilla, Spain:

“Programa para la Internacionalización en las Universidades de Chile y Perú”

All Chilean and Peruvian partner universities improved the structure of their International Relations Offices (IROs) and prepared or revised their Strategic Plans for Internationalisation. International Relations Offices were enhanced thanks to the renovation of their structures, facilitating a more effective functioning and more efficient results.

More information:



Project partnerships are strongly encouraged to establish synergies with CBHE projects in the region.

You can find information about all the CBHE Projects selected in Latin America in the following documents:

- The list of the CBHE projects 2014-2019 :

- Platform of CBHE projects results:

- Compendium of the CBHE projects in the Region: 


Diplomatic missions briging EU policies with knowledge of the local realities

  • The Delegations play a vital role in representing the EU and its citizens around the globe and building networks and partnerships. The main role is to represent the EU in the country where they are based and to promote the values and interests of the EU.
  • They are responsible for all policy areas of the relationship between the EU and the host country – political, economic, trade or on human rights-, and in building relationships with partners in civil society. They also programme development cooperation through projects and grants. A fundamental aspect of a Delegation is its public diplomatic role, which consists in increasing the visibility, awareness and understanding of the EU.
  • In the framework of Erasmus+, the EU Delegations have an important role of promotion and support to the projects. The list of EU Delegations working in Latin America can be found in the following website:


EU Delegations in Latin America promote very actively the Erasmus+ programme.

You can find below some examples of excellent initiatives that took place in 2020:


The EU Delegation participated actively in the Erasmus Days campaign in 2020 and has done videos with testimonies from current participants and alumni from Panama in order to share their experience in participating in Erasmus+ and how it changed their lives:

More information:



On 2nd December 2020, the EU Delegation organised an on-line conference about the “Academic and research cooperation between the UE and Latin America” in order to promote the CBHE projects implemented in Colombia and inform about the existing opportunities in the framework of Erasmus+.

More information:

Video of the event 

Report of the event



Farewell from the ambassador to the fellows:

A good practice from this EUD supporting a CBHE project during the project promotion event support:

Background Info

Policy context: 


Education is an area in which the European Union has supporting competencies; this means that each Member State is free to organise its own academic system.

According to the EU treaties, the EU can only support, coordinate or complement the action of member countries. It has no power to pass laws and may not interfere with member countries’ ability to do so. The European Commission offers a forum for cooperation between countries and tries to improve coherence in education policies. It also funds various initiatives that support education in Europe, from ensuring the recognition of qualifications abroad to promoting success stories and, of course, the flagship programme Erasmus+.


Internationalization is key for the European policy on Education; through international cooperation, we support our universities to be more competitive and complete, in order to address global challenges. At the same time, Education is very important for the external action of the EU, as knowledge is the most solid basis to build a model of sustainable and inclusive development. As such, EU policy work with Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) has concentrated on improving the quality of higher education, innovation and technology for sustainable development and social inclusion.

One of the outcomes of the 2nd EU-CELAC Summit of Heads of State and Government in 2015 was to advance towards a future EU-LAC Higher Education Area. Subsequent academic cooperation efforts have aimed to integrate, modernise and internationalise the higher education systems in both regions through common work on quality assurance, accreditation and evaluation systems, which are the basis for academic mobility and mutual recognition of study periods and diplomas.

To know more about EU-CELAC: 

The Joint Communication on EU-Latin America and the Caribbean relations, "Joining forces for a common future" (April 2019), calls for building on existing programmes (Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020 in order to share experiences, transfer technology, boost capacity and increase the academic mobility of students, researchers and staff. This would help to enhance skills and employability and strengthen regional dialogue among academia and policy makers.

The main instruments of cooperation in the field of higher education are the Erasmus+ programme and the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions.

Beyond the particular objectives of each of its projects, Erasmus+ has a strong policy component. In Latin America, we work on modernisation reforms, quality, mobility, recognition of credits and diplomas, competence development, innovation and internationalisation of the education and training systems. We strive to equip young people with the knowledge, life experience and skills they need for their long-term employability and their active participation in society.

ERASMUS+ International Dimension what’s next?

The call 2020 was the last one under the current Erasmus+ programme (2014-2020). In the near future it will be launched a new multiannual programme for the years 2021-2027. There will be strong continuity coupled with more emphasis on the structuring and sustainable impact, inclusiveness, digitalisation and broader international opening (in higher education and youth, but also in vocational education and training and in sport).

Current Challenges

Higher education systems in Latin America are facing a number of challenges, such as:

  • Growing levels of student enrolment throughout the Region are straining the limited resources of public universities.
  • Mutual recognition of degrees among all LA countries;
  • Inclusion and access to equitable education;
  • To enhance regional cooperation/integration;
  • To fill out the lack of specialised courses / new disciplines more in line with labour market needs;
  • To adapt HE systems to the reality of today's labour market;
  • To improve the quality of HE and enhance its relevance for society;
  • To improve the level of competences and research skills of academics/researches Ph.D students;
  • The creation of further research structures/centres;
  • To carry out internationalisation in training, research and knowledge transfer: Internationalisation and subsequent attention to mobility policies and programmes are on the rise in both the public and private sectors.

The CBHE action targets the above-mentioned challenges through the implementation of international cooperation projects. The achieved results have influenced the modernisation and reform of higher education in Latin America. HEIs and individuals (staff and students) have benefited from institutional and study programme reforms by using and mainstreaming the results of CBHE projects, primarily related to creating new curricula, modernisation of university structures and updating educational processes. In some cases, the CBHE project outputs also triggered changes at a national level through directly or indirectly influencing the structure and legislative framework of higher education.

Best practices and success stories

  • Project PONCHO coordinated by the Universidad de las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain:

“Internationalization of Latin American peripheral Universities through sustainable integration and inclusive implementation of International Relations Offices”

The project aimed at encouraging the internationalisation of Latin American partner universities, especially those working in peripheral regions. At institutional level, internationalisation strategies have been improved and International Relations Offices have been created or consolidated and included in the HEIs’ structures. In order to encourage the internationalisation of Latin American partner universities, an online platform was created to increase networking and the international reach of the partners.

More information:

PONCHO International Week 

Project videos and pictures:

  • Project LASALUS coordinated by the Universidad ISALUD, Argentina

“Professionalisation on Result-based Healthcare Management through Distance Education and Simulation-Based Training” 

The project has developed a new Health Management Training Simulator ("virtual hospital"), aimed not only at teaching healthcare management, but also at developing different scenarios for strategic planning and daily management of financing, regulatory and healthcare organisations. As a result, the project has improved the management skills of health workers through distance learning and simulation-based training and the teaching/management capacities of the Latin American partner institutions involved.


More information:

Project Video presentation:

Pictures gallery:

Project videos:


  • Project ORACLE coordinated by the Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain

“Observatorio regional de Calidad y Equidad de la Educación Superior en Latin América”

The project has successfully created a Regional Observatory for Quality and Equity in Higher Education in Latin America (ORACLE) based in Quality and Equity Units (UCE) established in each of the partner HEIs. This Observatory intends to improve equity through eight vulnerable groups (indigenous people, women, people with disabilities, non-traditional students, population with very low HDI, immigrants, ethnic minority groups and citizens from rural areas), based on the assumption that there is no possible quality without equity.

The Regional Observatory is an independent and rigourous source of information, which, by establishing collaborative work projects with researchers from Latin American HEIs, favours the production and management of knowledge in the field of quality and equity in higher education.

More information:

Project video presentation:

Project video summary: 

Project Report “La equidad en la Educación Superior. Estrategias para la intervención

Project Report “Políticas y prácticas para la equidad en la educación superior

Project Report “Universidad y colectivos vulnerables: hacia una cultura de la equidad

  • Project MUSE, coordinated by the Universidad Viña del Mar, Chile:

“Disability and modernity: Ensuring quality education of disabled students”

By creating a disabled students’ support structure in each partner higher education institution, and by building up staff’s capacity for dealing with inclusive education, the project has made the universities more inclusive and better aware of their social responsibilities towards students with disabilities.

More information:

  • Project LASIN, coordinated by the Glasgow Caledonian University, UK

"Latin American Social Innovation Network"

The main outcome of the project has been the establishment of Social Innovation Support Units in eight partner institutions, in order to promote university/social enterprise cooperation, social entrepreneurship and graduate employability in the field of Social Innovation. Moreover, the partners have designed a methodology and a series of curricular and extracurricular activities within the participating institutions in order to promote and support social innovation

More information: