Erasmus+ Unlocked: Key Action 2

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We take a closer look at the European programmes enhancing education by uniting schools behind great ideas!

Defining KA2

Key Action 2 is about allowing organisations to combine forces in joint projects and benefit from a shared pool of knowledge, skills and expertise. The overarching goal is to stimulate new ideas on an organisational level in order to witness ripple effects on a local, regional, national and European level as a whole.

Every project has a particular area of focus that underlies the timeline of activities. Key Action 2 encompasses an umbrella of projects however regardless of what you pursue, organisations can benefit from two parallel tasks:

  1. Exhibiting and sharing the best practices currently operating in each organisation
  2. Researching and creating innovative approaches to new ideas and solutions to longstanding problems

Together these two functions allow organisations to evaluate how they work and they can shift towards more positive and long-lasting methods. Key Action 2 constitutes an invaluable contribution not only to the development of your school or VET centre but also to the advancement of staff and students on an individual level.


How to enter KA2

There are several options for embarking on KA2 depending on the stream you opt for but here are the most popular options for our associates:

1.Cooperation Partnerships for any organisations involved in education, training, youth or sport that are seeking partners in the same field and/or a totally different sector, for an exchange of practices and methods.

These partnerships concentrate on a particular priority and for many EU countries, it is best to address a priority that is relevant to their country needs (your National Agency or intermediary organisation can advise you on these ‘European priorities in the national context’).

These programmes also cover four stages that must be considered before applying – planning, preparation, activities and follow-up – and upon the programme launch, the duration can be between 12 and 36 months. The organisation approving these kinds of applications is your National Agency.

2. Small-scale partnerships are smaller-budget projects of a relatively shorter duration. The project is therefore easier to set up and to manage than other available programmes, making small-scale partnerships a great first step for newcomers. The duration can be anything between 6 and 24 months and partner organisations can be outside the field of education if you wish. The organisation approving these kinds of applications is your National Agency.

3. Partnerships for Excellence are the most ambitious initiatives of Key Action 2. They unite organisations that wish to explore a ground-breaking and sustainable set of activities over a longer period of time. These activities include:

a. Centres of Vocational Excellence involve the targeted development of VET institutions in line with the socio-economic realities of their surrounding community and environment. These projects involve close collaboration with private enterprises and government authorities, allowing the educational partners to provide goods and services that are viable and relevant to their national context

b. Erasmus+ Teacher Academies is where teaching and training providers join forces to apply a more international element to their practice. One organisation can apply and then institutions, public or private bodies can be invited to the programme as full or associated partners. These academies are then perfected over the course of three years.

 4. Alliances for Innovation bring together higher education institutions and VET providers that are keen to explore new curricula that take into consideration the promotion of digital skills and/or sustainable development. This can be materialised through alliances between education and enterprises – where new practices can help respond to societal and economic challenges – or between education and important actors in the labour market to create skills development solutions for the future workforce.

All applications for the Partnerships for Excellence are reviewed and approved by the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA)

For all KA2 projects, the deadline is March 23rd, 2022 although for small-scale partnerships, there is a possibility for a second round of applications – depending on your National Agency – with the deadline of October 4th, 2022.

To start the process of applying, all Key Action 2 programmes involve the collaboration of at least two organisations therefore you may be invited by another school or VET provider in your network or you may decide to advertise in search of partners. At the same time, Travel Edventures can assist in expanding your list of fellow applicants.


Examples of KA2

Let’s translate KA2 into some everyday scenarios that may apply to you!


Scenario 1: You have a longstanding friendship with another school

Every institution enjoys a diversity of connections that are formed either through sporting events or training sessions or networking initiatives. You may have already experienced informal collaborations with another organisation and would like to take that bond further through a more structured experience. With Key Action 2, schools have the opportunity to identify common concerns and through a Cooperation or Small-Scale Partnership, they can acquire the budget to achieve meaningful exchanges in a variety of settings.


Scenario 2: You are a VET provider and you want your sector to thrive

You are a centre that is specialised in a particular vocation however your local economy does not provide enough opportunities for your school leavers to find employment. With a Key Action 2, you have the chance to shift the outlooks and attitudes of your community or wider region by engaging in conversations that address specific socio-economic challenges. By becoming a Centre for Vocational Excellence, you will watch your sector thrive by gaining insights from key stakeholders in business or government policy. This acquired knowledge and skills will then influence the development of your institution and your graduates will be better equipped for the future. It will also provide them with avenues to gather work experience or paid employment abroad.


Scenario 3: You belong to an organisation that is determined to make a significant difference to the future generation

Digital and green skills are the way of the future and often, schools and VET providers are unsure about how to educate their student groups in line with these priorities. By embarking on an Alliance for Innovation, you will be introduced to companies and public authorities that showcase up-to-date methods in digital technology and environmental science. This in turn will allow your organisation to shift its approach and adopt new strategies and solutions from within. Students will be better prepared for higher education, the job market and entrepreneurship by becoming more active and conscientious citizens.


New to KA2

Together with the digital and environmental dimension, the Erasmus+ period of 2021-2027 is also giving particular consideration to applications fostering inclusion and diversity. Specifically, the budget is allocating an additional 100 euros per participant for anyone struggling with fewer socio-economic opportunities.

Furthermore, European Commission experts and independent consultants do advise that as of 2022, a successful project proposal is one that displays a well-built partnership, meaning, there needs to be a clear correlation in the mission of each partner in order for the project focus to be genuine and meaningful.

Finally, it’s equally important for your proposal to demonstrate how the project results will be integrated in your daily work. For example, if you have a project focusing on digital skills, how does that translate into your school’s activities? Will it be the creation of an updated website, will you create a YouTube channel? Will coding be integrated into the curriculum? These new methods must be shown in the ‘Impact’ section of your application.

Together you can!

The motto of the European Union, ‘United in Diversity’ continues to resonate in 2022. Key Action 2 is testament to how the unique qualities of each European partner are beneficial to everyone. Of course, being part of this network can seem daunting at first and for any organisation seeking a little help, do not hesitate to reach out to TravelEdventures and make it happen!