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Midterm Evaluation Erasmus+: National Report

March 9, 2017 - On behalf of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) and the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports (VWS), Ecorys has conducted the midterm evaluation of the  Erasmus+ programme in the Netherlands. The evaluation started in September 2016 and was completed in February 2017. Itaimed to gain insights into the implementation and impact of the Erasmus+ programme as well as to propose  suggestions for the improvement of Erasmus+ in the future programming period.

The evaluation
The Erasmus+ programme was launched by the EU in 2014 in order to support internationalisation within the Education, Youth and Sport fields to stimulate lifelong learning through formal and informal learning. Erasmus+ integrated several predecessor programmes into a single programme for easy access, more user friendliness and increased flexibility as well as to allow for better linkages between Education, Training and Youth. The key objective of Erasmus+ is to contribute to tackling socioeconomic challenges that Europe is facing and to support the implementation of the European Commission's agenda for growth, jobs, equity and social inclusion. The results of this evaluation as well as the evaluations of the other Members States will feed into the final report to be submitted to the European Parliament, the European Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions by the end of 2017.

Findings
Overall we conclude that Erasmus+ is a highly relevant programme in relation to responding to the Dutch needs. It is effective in reaching its objectives, both for Education and Training and Youth, mostly regarding individual outcomes such as development of skills and competences. It also contributes to the implementation of the broader EU policy agenda regarding education and skills development (Europe 2020 and ET2020) in the Netherlands. Erasmus+ is expected to have a broader societal impact in the long run, as individual effects translate into societal effects. Integration of the predecessor programmes has led to some efficiency gains, mainly on the level of execution of the programme and visibility. The integration of predecessor programmes into Erasmus+ did not help reduce the administrative burden for applicants and NAs. The administrative burden is still experienced to be high. The quality of the applications has increased and the high standards in turn lead to quality improvements within the applying institutions. It is hard to assess the extent to which lower opportunity youth, as well as participants with special needs have been reached, as definitions and registration procedures are ambiguous between sectors. The perception of participating institutions is that this group is still hard to reach, although the set targets in the Youth as well as Education and Training sector, have been reached.Sustainability of the programme could be improved, because there is limited focus on long term effects of projects. The budget increase for the remainder of the programme period is welcomed by all parties, and is expected to result in more project applications.

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