What is the limit of Erasmus Mundus programmes you can apply for annually? Hint: it's not 3.
By the Erasmus Mundus Association Editorial Team
EMA has received a lot of questions recently from prospective students who want to know how many EMJM(D)s they can apply for this year. Is there a maximum? Has the rule changed?
It is officially confirmed that there is no official limit for the amount of programmes that applicants can apply for.
Previously, under the former EMJMD action, students could only apply for an EMJMD scholarship to a maximum of three different joint programmes per academic year. The Erasmus+ Programme Guide for the EMJMD project generations until 2019 stated: “Student candidates can apply for an EMJMD scholarship to any of the Erasmus+ Erasmus Mundus courses of their choice, but are limited to a maximum of three different joint programmes per academic year.”
EMA spoke to Dagmar Höpcke, Project Advisor working in Unit A3 at the EACEA, the team in charge of implementing the Erasmus Mundus programmes. She told us that there were legal complications related to monitoring the number of applications per person which resulted in this rule being cancelled.
According to Höpcke, due to legal issues this rule was abandoned as of the EMJMD project generation 2019.
Rajon Bhuiyan, previous scholarship recipient and graduate of the Erasmus Mundus programme Masters in Management and Engineering of Environment and Energy (ME3) and Director of Outreach and Capacity Building at EMA, said that “lifting the cap on the number of EMJM(D) applications that an applicant can submit in one academic intake is a welcome new change. Many applicants may have previously had up to four or five relevant programmes in their shortlist but would have to cross out highly relevant programmes even though it matches with their background and aligns with their future goals.
“I personally wanted to apply to four energy-related EMJMDs during my application time period, but I had to cross out one of them due to the previous restriction,” he said.
Not everyone is enthusiastic about this change, though. EMA also spoke to Dr. Lydia Potts, Consortium Coordinator for the European Master in Migration and Intercultural Relations (EMMIR). Potts told EMA that “although this rule has been cancelled, I would kindly ask all applicants to refrain from applying for more than three programmes. Each application requires special attention, we take great care of the evaluation. We are happy if our application database does not become overwhelmed by applicants.”
Additionally, Potts said that if potential students applying for EMJMs are accepted to multiple programmes and choose another one to study with, this would result in EMJMs having to rely more heavily on reserve lists of waitlisted applicants, which would result in a delay for EMJMs to finalise their incoming student lists.
“We would prefer to limit applications to those actually wanting to do this specific programme,” she said.
However, Höpcke has stated that these issues have not been reported as being a major concern for EMJM(D) consortia so far. She has also insisted on the fact that EMJM programmes are based on specific requirements and appeal to specialised applicant profiles.
Even in the absence of a formal restriction in the number of applications a student might submit, the EACEA has told EMA that it is highly recommended to potential applicants to choose carefully the master courses on the basis of the preconditions/selection criteria described on the websites of the respective EMJM(D)s.
As a rule, EMA President Gabriella Mikiewicz agrees that applicants should only apply to programmes that they are seriously interested in studying in: “I highly recommend that prospective students are very intentional about the programmes they apply to and only apply if they are very motivated to study with that programme. Additionally, just because there is no official limit from the European Commission on the number of applications you can submit, I still encourage you to check the website of the programmes you’re interested in to see what they recommend.
“EMJM(D)s want to see that you’re actually very motivated to study their programme, especially if you have a slightly different background or education than the programme you’re applying for.”