Erasmus+ programme final evaluation for 2014–2020 and interim evaluation for 2021–2027

This evaluation aimed to review the Erasmus+ programme for 2014-2020 and to provide a mid-term review for 2021-2027.

The goals were to:

  1. Review how the programme was implemented and its impact in Estonia, including its effectiveness, efficiency, relevance, coherence, and added European value.
  2. Suggest improvements for the current programme.
  3. Propose ideas for the next programming period.

The evaluation report will help in preparing the pan-European Erasmus+ evaluation report.

To answer the research questions, the evaluation used:

The evaluation produced reports in Estonian and English, along with a leaflet for the programme’s target groups.

Key Findings:

The evaluation found that the Erasmus+ programme is relevant, effective, and essential across all areas it supports. It helps with personal development and offers lifelong learning in education, training, youth, and sport. It also promotes diversity, digital skills, environmental awareness, and internationalisation. The programme supports the strategic goals of both the EU and Estonia. Without Erasmus+, large-scale mobility in education and youth and sport sectors would not be possible, nor would there be such good opportunities for international cooperation.

Since the previous review, the programme has been simplified and streamlined. However, to increase its impact, the programme needs to better reach and involve new participants, especially those with fewer opportunities. Competition for funding is high, making it difficult for less experienced applicants. Issues highlighted include IT system problems, low funding amounts, and inadequate feedback on the programme.

The ‘Learning Mobility’ measure (KA1) is the most accessible to target groups. The education sector, with its larger budget, is more likely to receive support than the youth and sports sectors. Without Erasmus+, none of the programme areas could deliver mobility on such a scale.

Demand for the cooperation measure (KA2) exceeds the budget. Funded projects are necessary, innovative, and effective, allowing participants to develop skills and gain cooperation experience.

Within the youth sector, demand outstrips supply in both KA1 and KA2 measures, leaving many high-quality project proposals unfunded due to a limited budget. Across the youth field, 39% of KA1 and 50% of KA2 projects that meet quality standards do not receive funding. Meanwhile, in sport, where there are fewer applications, only one-third of projects above the quality threshold secure funding.


To improve the programme and plan for the next phase, the evaluation suggests:

  1. Continue funding Erasmus+ and developing current measures.
  2. Develop metrics to monitor key objectives.
  3. Reduce administrative burdens to make participation easier.
  4. Streamline the application, reporting processes, and IT systems.
  5. Improve feedback systems for more accurate information on the programme’s impact.
  6. Review flexibility and simplification measures to increase their use.
  7. Reassess sectoral budgets and allow more flexibility in reallocating budgets between sectors and actions.
  8. Conduct a new study with target groups to evaluate the relevance and effectiveness of blended learning.
  9. Develop a language learning support scheme to ensure low language skills do not hinder participation.

For staff working with target groups and project promoters:

  1. Promote or support internationalisation early, ideally at the general education level.
  2. Encourage target groups to step out of their comfort zones, providing necessary support in project planning, implementation, and learning reflection.
  3. Stay informed about changes in programme conditions.
  4. Seek ways for projects to contribute to sectoral objectives and, in KA2, to the programme’s priorities.
  5. Increase outreach to participants with fewer opportunities and those new to Erasmus+ and ESF actions.
  6. Share programme information and opportunities widely.
  7. Disseminate project and programme results.
  8. Seek advice and support for disseminating information, applying for funding, executing activities, and reflecting on learning.
  9. Avoid last-minute project reporting.