Erasmus Plus KA2 > How Does it Work?

If you have in mind an innovative methodology, you want to implement a new approach in your school or to share up-to-date resources and materials with educators all over Europe, the cooperation partnerships are for you.

This chance of funding refers to transnational networks of schools and/or organizations (“partnerships”). To be eligible for these actions, schools must first form an international network, and then apply under the guidance of the school coordinating the partnership. 

The coordinators will be responsible for the project reporting directly to their National Agency.


KA2 projects have 3 main objectives: 

1. Exchange of good practices

They allow schools to create international networks, participate in project meetings, and reinforce the capacities of each participant organization to work transnationally and address common needs.

2. Innovation

Cooperation partnerships must enable transformation and change creating something new. For example, you may consider creating: new teaching activities and modalities, guidelines and job aids for teachers or school professionals, innovative assessment tools, taxonomies and procedures, digital platforms and learning systems.

3. Research projects

These partnerships are open to cooperation with universities and other higher education institutions to produce new research and lead to improvements and innovative approaches.

Remember: getting familiar with the Erasmus+ Horizontal Priorities is crucial to making your project relevant (1/4 of your project score depends on the relevance!).
Take a look at our Erasmus+ projects to get new ideas.


Consider the field where your organization is working: who are the main target groups of your organization’s activities?

Here you will find the six sectors of the Erasmus+ Programme:

  • Higher Education: universities or institutions providing recognized degrees or tertiary level qualifications;
  • School Education: any nationally recognized institution providing general, vocational or technical education at any level from pre-school to upper secondary education, including early childhood education and care;
  • Vocational Education and Training: it aims to prepare young people and adults for specific occupations or the job market in general, it can be initial (for instance students in upper secondary education going abroad for traineeship) or continuous (for newly graduated and workers to start or further develop their careers and professional skills)
  • Adult Education: all kinds of non-vocational adult education (formal, non-formal, or informal), but remember that educational staff (teachers, trainers, educators, academic and youth staff, etc.) in any of the Erasmus+ sector cannot be considered as adult learners in Adult Education!
  • Youth – activities for the empowerment and the active participation of young people (from 13 to 30 years old), any out-of-school activity (such as youth exchange, volunteering or youth training) carried out by a young person and characterised by a non-formal learning approach;
  • Sport – Physical leisure activities practised regularly by people of all ages for health, educational or social purposes.

Choose the one that is closer to your organization’s main activity, you can also contact your National Agency if you aren’t sure of your sector. Then, consult the Erasmus+ Guide to identify the sector-specific priority that is most relevant to your project.

The partners

Can you summarize your project idea in one sentence?

Then, you can now find your partners: the minimum number for a Cooperation partnership is 3 organizations from 3 different countries. Since many schools have been asking us to support them in their partner research, we have designed a free online platform to help them in this task: Europass Projects Platform. Here you can find many organizations willing to participate in the Erasmus+ Programme, both in KA1 and KA2 projects.

Select your project partners carefully, as reliable partners make all the difference during the whole duration of a project. Make sure to involve organisations with different profiles and expertise, to cover all the aspects of your project.

Cooperation partnerships should create synergies between the different fields of the Programme, or have a strong impact in a specific sector, but don’t overdo it! If you involve too many organizations, the management and coordination process may become too complicated.

The needs analysis

Once you have your partners, you can proceed with the needs analysis: understand the needs of the partnership and the ones of the target groups, identifying “the desired changes in the context in which an organization is functioning”.

You will describe what is needed to transform the current situation into the desired one, and the expected benefits for your organization. Based on this needs analysis, you will then quantify an initial overall cost of the project and identify the most adequate lump sum to fund your project.

Budget, objectives and impact

How does the lump sum work?

A lump sum is a fixed amount of money covering all the project costs. At the application stage, the partnership will select one of the 3 lump sums available for the Cooperation Partnerships:

  • € 120 000
  • € 250 000
  • € 400 000

In the project proposal, you will explain and justify how you will use the chosen lump sum, describing the activities that you will implement, their objectives, and their expected results.

The project objectives

When you start writing a project proposal, the first step is to formulate the project objectives, following an evidence-based needs analysis.

Your project objectives should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. They are the first step in the project design, which counts for 30% of the score in the award criteria.

A clear structure is key for project implementation: each project objective should be linked to a work package, that is “a set of activities contributing to the achievement of common specific objectives”.

So, the project activities will be divided into work packages (WPs), that will have specific objectives and expected results, clearly related to the general project objectives. You should divide your project into a maximum of 5 WPs, including the one dedicated to project management, that won’t require any specific objectives by itself.

But how can you make sure that you reach the project objectives?

With the indicators!

They can be quantitative (measurable, e.g. the number of students involved in a specific activity) or qualitative (e.g. describing events, effects and experiences), you will need both to describe the expected results of your activities.

***Work Package 1: Project Management – no specific objectives/results***

The impact

Another key aspect of all Erasmus projects is the impact, which counts for ¼ of the score in the award criteria.

Indeed, you should describe how you plan to introduce the project result in the partners’ usual work, which positive repercussions they will have outside the partnership, and how it will continue producing an impact after the project ends.

Consistently carrying out the communication, dissemination, and exploitation phases of a KA2 project can be hard for a school, that is why we, as Europass Dissemination Network, would like to help you, ensuring your work has the visibility it deserves.

Small-scale Partnerships

If you are a newcomer and all of this scares you a bit, you can start with a small-scale partnership.

PRO of small-scale partnerships

  • Less work during the preparation of project proposal, as the application is simpler because it is specifically dedicated to organizations without experience in the Erasmus+ Programme;
  • One partner from another EU member state or third country associated with the Programme (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Republic of North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, Turkey) is sufficient to create a partnership;
  • There are two rounds of applications, one in March and one in October (even though in many countries 70% of the budget is allocated in the first round in March);
  • Your project proposal must score at least 60 points, while in the Cooperation partnerships, the minimum is 70 points;
  • Any organization can be the applicant, while in Cooperation Partnerships the applicant organizations must have been legally established for at least 2 years before the application deadline.

CONS of small-scale partnerships

  • Lump sums are: € 30 000 or € 60 000;
  • Your organization can only apply once per deadline, while they can apply with up to 10 proposals with the KA2;
  • Unlike in Cooperation partnerships, you can’t involve organizations from third countries not associated with the Programme even if they bring an essential added value to the project.

Final TIP: always keep in touch with your NA, they are there to help you design a good application and to make the most out of the Erasmus+ opportunities.

It is important to participate in Erasmus events, presentations, and social gatherings to get as much information as possible.


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