In order to participate in the various ERASMUS activities, higher education institutions must receive the Erasmus charter 2014-2021 and sign bilateral agreements with partner institutions. The Charter defines the fundamental principles that institutions must respect, while bilateral agreements set out the specifics of each institutional cooperation. Although there are many similarities between Northern higher education institutions, we can still infer from Table 1 that Northern higher education institutions have many different approaches to how they actually collaborate with partnership agreements and follow-up. That is why we find it interesting to see if there are similarities in geographical priorities between the Nordic countries and the institutions when they enter into agreements with new partner institutions. In the general description of partnership agreements and in their descriptions of internal procedures for concluding partnership and follow-up agreements, many higher education institutions distinguish between Erasmus partnership agreements and other types of international cooperation, such as agreements. B Strategic Partnership or Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with institutions outside Europe. We find it interesting that Danish institutions place more emphasis on top-down approach than institutions in other Nordic countries. As noted above, this could be explained by the fact that, in recent years, the focus has been on balancing mobility activities in Denmark. Danish institutions with an imbalance between student mobility and exit (more inflows than exits) have reduced their public subsidies accordingly.
This economic incentive could very well have led to a more centralized approach in Denmark with regard to partnership agreements. … If the agreements are open to all faculties, it is the rector who usually signs the agreements. Most Erasmus agreements cover one or more subjects in a university faculty/school. In this case, it is the headmaster of the faculty/school who signs the agreements… (University of Iceland, IS). In cases where a specific monitoring procedure is described, it is often associated with the annual review. When a heI has defined specific criteria for the conclusion of partnership agreements as noted above, these criteria are sometimes referred to as used in the monitoring of agreements. Please note that following Switzerland`s vote on 9 February 2014, the EU has suspended for the time being the ongoing negotiations on Switzerland`s participation in the Erasmus programme.
Student exchanges with partner universities will continue under the new Swiss-European Mobility Programme (SEMP) with bilateral exchange agreements. Scholarships for students are covered by the Swiss side. For more information on funding opportunities, please visit the chosen university`s website. In addition, external factors can also play a role in the differences between the way institutions conclude Erasmus partnership agreements. In Denmark and some other Nordic countries, the focus has been on balancing continuous and outgoing mobility activities. This fact is generally mentioned in cases where higher education institutions have identified key centralised criteria for the conclusion of Erasmus partnership agreements. In addition, Danish institutions receive a national grant of internationalisation through mobility activity. Do external factors, such as economic incentives, play a role in cooperation between institutions and in their internal procedures for concluding Erasmus partnership agreements? The table shows that Denmark takes the most central approach to concluding partnership agreements, but the table also shows that Finnish and Swedish institutions use the centralised approach more than, for example, Iceland and Norway.