If your higher education institution would like to develop co-operation with UK universities, be it for staff and student mobility, joint programmes, research co-operation, or capacity building here are some opportunities to help you.


For more than 25 years, the European Union has funded the Erasmus programme to promote student and staff mobility and inter-institutional cooperation across Europe and beyond. The new programme (Erasmus+) offers more opportunities than ever before for European and non-European higher education institutions to work together, building on the experience and success of former EU programmes Erasmus Mundus, Tempus, Alfa and Edulink.  

Funding is available to support exchange of students and staff between EU and non-EU higher education institutions; Joint Master’s Degrees and Doctorates; and inter-institutional partnerships. Some of this funding is managed directly by the European Commission. In the UK, the Erasmus+ programme is managed by the UK National Agency, a partnership between the British Council and Ecorys. The British Council manages the decentralised Erasmus+ activities for higher education.

International Credit Mobility 

"For the first time, the Erasmus+ programme supports the exchange of staff and students between European (‘Programme’) and non-European (‘Partner’) countries, through the activity called International Credit Mobility. Participating partner countries are listed on the webpage and you can also see programme countries here.

Applications for this funding can only be made by institutions in ‘Programme’ countries. However, institutions with existing links with UK universities may wish to consider this funding as a means to strengthen inter-institutional links and potential future teaching and research partnerships.

If you do not have any current links with UK universities but you would be interested in developing some using Erasmus+ funding, please visit the partnership opportunities webpage to download and complete a partner opportunities form. 

If you would like information about joint programmes, capacity building opportunities or other programmes please view the EC’s guide to working with European HEIs under Erasmus+, or if you are based in one of 27 Partner Countries, you can contact your local Erasmus+ office.

Newton Fund

The Newton Fund is a UK government £375 million five-year initiative to fund co-operation between the UK and 15 partner countries : China, India, Brazil, South Africa, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Turkey, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, Egypt and Kazakhstan.  

The funding promotes the long term economic development and welfare of people in partner countries and unlocks new opportunities for higher education institutions to develop partnerships in research, science and innovation.

The British Council, the UK Higher Education International Unit, Research Councils and many other partners are delivering the Fund. Find out more about the Newton Fund opportunities on the British Council website or visit www.newtonfund.ac.uk. "

Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over seven years (2014 to 2020) – in addition to the private investment that this money will attract. It promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market.

By coupling research and innovation, Horizon 2020 is helping to achieve excellent science and industrial leadership as well as tackling some of the biggest challenges our societies are facing. The goal is to ensure European and global researchers can work together to produce world-class science, remove barriers to innovation and make it easier for the public and private sectors to work together in delivering innovation.

Horizon 2020 offers a variety of possibilities to collaborate with institutions outside the EU. However different rules are applicable depending on the region, legal and economic status.

Find more information about how to access Horizon 2020 opportunities on the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 portal.


Euraxess is an EU initiative which supports the international mobility and career development of researchers. The British Council manages the Euraxess UK website which has information about the UK research landscape, practical information for mobile researchers, and a searchable database of jobs and funding for international research.