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Switzerland left the Erasmus+ programme in 2014. In order to maintain mobility with Europe, it created the Swiss-European Mobility Programme SEMP for the higher education sector.
In its newest publication, Movetia examines the state of play in the field of international mobility and cooperation while also investigating the potential that would be offered by Switzerland’s full participation in the next generation of European Erasmus+ programmes over the period 2021-2027. This publication also reflects the interest of a broad segment of the Swiss educational community to rejoin Erasmus+.
SEMP was designed as an urgent measure back in 2014 in order to ensure that Swiss higher education institutions would continue to have access to funding instruments for individual mobility and institutional cooperation between Swiss and European organisations. The structure of this programme, funded unilaterally by the Swiss state, is based on the European programme, although it does not replace all the possibilities for international cooperation. SEMP is part of the broader Swiss solution, which is, like Erasmus+, not limited to higher education, but also provides replacement instruments for school education, vocational training, adult education and the youth sector.
What will happen next? Over the next few months, the Federal Council intends to examine various options for cooperation models up to the full association to Erasmus+.
The vote cast in the 27 September 2020 referendum by the Swiss people, who largely opted against capping free movement of citizens from the EU (62%), was already saluted by the European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen as “a positive signal to continue to consolidate and deepen our relationship”.
More information here.