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European Funding – Lifelong Learning Programmes

The Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP) provides opportunities for organisations, staff and learners involved in education and training across Europe to work together, learn from each others' expertise, and widen their experience of other cultures and languages.

The work undertaken through projects funded by the LLP is also helping to develop and shape the education and training landscape in the UK.
Funded by the European Commission, the LLP supports a wide range of education and training activities across Europe and provides opportunities for all stages of lifelong learning. In the UK thousands of projects are funded each year.

The LLP is made up of several programmes, each aimed at a specific target group:

  • Schools - Comenius and eTwinning
  • Higher Education - Erasmus
  • Vocational Education and Training – Leonardo
  • Adult Education (non vocational) – Grundtvig
  • Learning professionals - Transversal

Please see further information on each of the programmes below.


Grundtvig funds training opportunities for UK adult education organisations, staff & learners. Funding is for any UK organisation involved in non-vocational adult education.

Mobility Opportunities Small Co-operation projects

Funding for UK individuals to visit other EU countries for:

  • Training courses
  • Conferences or seminars
  • Job shadowing (up to 3 months)
  • Work placements (3-10 months)

Also, send staff to:

Meet European partners for future project work Funding for UK organisations to share expertise in adult education across Europe you can:

  • Develop Partnerships with organisations in Europe
  • Run exchange project for senior volunteers (aged 50+)
  • Host workshops for adult learners

Large Co-operation Projects - How to apply
Funding for experienced UK organisations to work with EU partners to:

  • Develop new learning materials
  • Manage European Networks Apply for funding:
  • Assistantships
  • In-Service training
  • Learner workshops
  • Multilateral Projects
  • Networks
  • Partnerships
  • Preparatory Visits
  • Senior Volunteering
  • Visits & Exchanges

For more information please visit the Grundtvig website via the external links section to the right of this page.


Leonardo funds opportunities for UK vocational education & training organisations, staff and learners. Funding is for any UK organisation involved in vocational education & training.

Mobility Opportunities Small Co-operation Projects
Funding for UK organisations to:

  • Send learners and staff on work placements across Europe.

Also, send staff to:

  • Meet European partners for future project work Funding for UK organisations to share expertise in vocational education & training across Europe.

You can:

  • Develop partnerships with organisations in Europe

Large Co-operation Projects - How to Apply
Funding for experienced UK organisations to work with European partners to:

  • Adapt innovative practice for use in new settings

You can also:

  • Develop new learning materials 

Manage European networks Apply for grants:

  • Mobility Projects
  • Multilateral Projects
  • Networks
  • Partnerships
  • Preparatory Visits
  • Transfer of Innovation

The Leonardo programme supports the development of skills and training. It funds work placements for trainees, workers and staff, and supports European projects to discuss common issues or develop training materials, courses and frameworks. The programme is open to all UK organisations involved in work-based education and training and can help you to build a skilled workforce. Projects involve working with European partners and offer a great experience for staff and learners, and long-term organisational benefits.


Comenius is the European Union’s education programme for schools and colleges. It funds collaboration between pupils and teachers across Europe and supports school improvement and attainment. The Comenius Programme focuses on all levels of school education, from pre-school and primary to secondary schools. It is relevant for everyone involved in school education, mainly pupils and teachers but also local authorities, representatives of parents’ associations, non-government organisations, teacher training institutes and universities.

Part of the EU’s Lifelong Learning Programme, the Comenius actions aim to help young people and educational staff better understand the range of European cultures, languages and values. They also help young people acquire the basic life skills and competences necessary for personal development, future employment and active citizenship.

Comenius has the following goals:

  • To improve and increase the mobility of pupils and educational staff in different Member States
  • To enhance and increase partnerships between schools in different Member States, with at least three million pupils taking part in joint educational activities by 2010
  • To encourage language learning, innovative ICT-based content, services and better teaching techniques and practices
  • To enhance the quality and European dimension of teacher training
  • To improve pedagogical approaches and school management



ERASMUS is the EU's flagship education and training programme enabling 200 000 students to study and work abroad each year. In addition, it funds co-operation between higher education institutions across Europe. The programme not only supports students, but also professors and business staff who want to teach abroad, as well as helping university staff to receive training. Erasmus includes support for Students/Universities/higher education institution staff:

  • Studying abroad
  • Doing a traineeship abroad
  • Linguistic preparation
  • Teaching abroad
  • Receiving training abroad

Universities/higher education institutions working through:

  • Intensive programmes
  • Academic & structural networks
  • Multilateral projects
  • Hosting students placements
  • Teaching abroad
  • Participating in University cooperation projects

Higher education institutions which want to participate in ERASMUS activities must have an ERASMUS University Charter. The Charter aims to guarantee the quality of the programme by setting certain fundamental principles.

The European Commission is responsible for the overall programme implementation; its Directorate-General for Education and Culture coordinates the different activities.

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