Universities Minister David Willetts has recently announced that the British Council, in partnership with Ecorys UK, has won the contract to deliver the European Unionâ€™s new programme for education, training, youth and sport called Erasmus+.
Both organisations were appointed separate National Agencies for the EUâ€™s Lifelong Learning Programmes and Youth in Action in the past, and since 2007 have distributed funds of over Euros 568 million through the Erasmus, Comenius, Leonardo, Grundtvig, Transversal and Youth in Action initiatives.
The Department for Business Innovation and Skills estimates that the new Erasmus+ programme will be worth Euros 940 million to the UK between 2014 and 2020. It is expected to increase opportunities for international study, teaching and volunteering across Europe.
The appointment of the British Council and Ecorys UK as one National Agency for the UK is subject to final contractual agreements and approval by the European Commission. Once confirmed, they will start operating in their new role on 1 January 2014 and until then will remain as separate National Agencies.
Erasmus+ Working DocumentÂ (PDF)