The Erasmus Programme was set up in 1987 with the aim of promoting cooperation and mobility between European institutions of higher education. Switzerland was a full member of the program from 1992 to 1995, and between 2011 and 2014.
The Swiss solution Swiss-European Mobility Programme (SEMP) has been in action since 2014. SEMP follows the precepts of the Erasmus program and largely follows its processes, thereby facilitating Switzerland's indirect participation in the European exchange program.
The new Erasmus+ program generation set to begin in 2021 (2021-2027) and centers inclusion of underrepresented groups, digitalization and more sustainable mobility. SEMP will continue to run parallel to this with with several new developments of its own. Direct participation in the Erasmus+ program continues to be Swiss universities' primary goal. Further information can be found on the website of our national agency Movetia.
Erasmus+ consists of three key actions: Key Action 1 “Mobility (mobility of learners and staff)", Key Action 2 “International Cooperation (partnerships for cooperation and exchange of practices)” and Key Action 3 “Policy Support (support to policy development and cooperation)”. While Key Action 1 is covered by SEMP, Switzerland's participation in Key Actions 2 and 3 as a third party country is only partially possible or not at all. Further information on the funding of international cooperation projects can be found here.
Important new developments from 2021 are: