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What made the EMJMD's tick between 2014 and 2020?

The European Commission, has recently published 6 statistical factsheets on the achievements of the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees (EMJMDs). As we all know, the EMJMDs are part of the Erasmus+ programme (2014-2020), and Erasmus Mundus supports the implementation of these prestigious, integrated, international Master programmes, jointly delivered by international consortia of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). In this article we summarized these factsheets, but if you wish to view them, please click on the following link. Before we continue, please remember that for the reference period Programme Countries: are all 27 EU Member States and Iceland, Liechtenstein, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia (since 2019), Turkey, United Kingdom; and that Partner Countries are all other countries in the world that are not Programme Countries.


Factsheet 1: Participation of the Programme Countries HEIs (excellence and inclusiveness)

Since 2014, 369 HEIs from the Programme Countries have participated as coordinator or as full partner in at least one EMJMD. Referring to international rankings, more than 50% of the 150 top ranked European universities are involved in EMJMDs. The programme has also a scope of inclusiveness since it attracts less renowned HEIs. This translates into more than 65% of the participating Programme Country universities beingare ranked beyond the 500 top universities worldwide. The top 5 countries with the most HEIs involved in EMJMDs 2014-2020 are: France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK.


Number of HEIs involved in EMJMDs 2014-2020, by Programme Country.

Factsheet 2: Partner Country scholarship holders mobility

For the 2014-2020 period, the European Commission selected 250 EMJMDs, each of which implements three or four student intakes, and the scholarship holders study in at least two different Programme Countries. Partner Country students represent more than 80% of all the scholarship holders funded so far, with the remaining 20% being composed of Programme Country students.

Some of the most interesting facts are:

  • The Partner Country scholarships holders are gender balanced, with a small majority of women.

  • Overall the students study equally in the fields of humanities, life sciences and exact sciences.

  • Four Programme Countries (France, Spain, United Kingdom and Germany) host almost half of all mobility flows

  • Ten countries worldwide represent almost half of all Partner Country scholarship holders.


Factsheet 3: Programme Country scholarship holders mobility

Programme Country scholarship holders represent 18% of all the scholarship holders funded so far, with the remaining 82% being the Partner Country scholarship holders. Of the number of study periods carried out so far by these scholarship holders 84% of them correspond to a mobility flow to a Programme Country different from their country of residence.

Some of the most interesting facts are:

  • The Programme Country scholarships holders are gender balanced, with a small majority of women.

  • Overall, most Programme Country scholarship holders study in the field of humanities.

  • Over half of all Programme Country scholarship holders originate from five Programme Countries (Spain, Germany, Italy, Uk and France).

  • Five Programme Countries (Spain, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom and France) host more than half of all study periods.


Factsheet 4: Scholarship holders’ mobility to Partner Countries

Scholarship holders are allowed to spend a limited time of their study period in a Partner Country in order to study, carry out research or take part in an internship. Partner Country scholarship holders can receive the scholarship when being in a Partner Country for a maximum of 3 months. It is however possible to exceed this maximum without scholarship payment. Out of the total students who benefitted from an Erasmus Mundus scholarship, 3.4% have made use of the possibility to study in a Partner Country representing all together less than 3% of the total number of mobility flows organised so far under the EMJMDs.

Some of the most interesting facts are:

  • Almost 80% of all scholarship holders who spent a mobility period in a Partner Country originate from Partner Countries.

  • The scholarship holders going to Partner Countries for a mobility period are gender balanced, with a small majority of women.

  • Almost one quarter of all these scholarship holders come from five countries worldwide (Figure 4).

  • Half of the mobility flows to Partner Countries lasted between 3 and 5 months (Figure 5).

  • Most of the scholarship holders choose the USA, Canada and Japan when going to a Partner Country.

  • Most of the scholarship holders go to a Partner Country for the purpose of research (20%), internships (14%) and thesis writing (23%).



Factsheet 5: Statistical analysis of the main project features

The number of selected EMJMDs has increased since the first call in 2014, reflecting the budget made available to support the projects. The lowest number of selected EMJMDs was in 2016 (27 selected EMJMDs), and the highest in 2019 (51 selected EMJMDs). Most EMJMDs (85%) received a maximum grant of 2.000.000 € or more. Most EMJMDs (88%) were allocated between 40 and 94 scholarships. Before we proceed, please remember that partner Countries can be included in the EMJMD as either full partners or associated partners.

Some of the most interesting facts are:

  • Almost all Master programmes (95%) are 120 ECTS programmes.

  • There is an even distribution of thematic fields: 34% of the EMJMDs are within the fields of Humanities, 28% within the Life Sciences and 37% within the Exact Sciences.



  • A bit more than half of the EMJMDs (55%) offer joint degrees or degrees with a joint component.

  • More than half of the selected consortia between 2014-2020 were new Master programmes. And the consortia vary in size: 70% of the EMJMDs have between 3 and 5 full partners, while only 2% involve more than 11 full partners.

  • Approximately a fifth of the consortia include full partners worldwide.

  • Half of the EMJMDs are coordinated by 3 countries: France coordinated 65 out of the 250 selected EMJMDs (26%), Spain coordinated 33 EMJMDs (13%), and Belgium 26 EMJMDs (10%).

  • Four countries are involved in more than one third of the EMJMDs: France, Spain, Italy and Germany are all involved in more than 35% of the 250 selected EMJMDs.

  • The large majority of the EMJMDs (84%) include associated partners.

  • Almost three fourths (74%) of the EMJMDs include associated partners from Partner Countries.

  • 97 Partner Countries are represented in at least one EMJMD as either full partner or associated partner.


Factsheet 6: Overview of the participating Higher Education Institutions


In total 545 Programme Country Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) participated as coordinators, full partners or associated partners. Among them, 369 HEIs were involved only as coordinators or full partners. When looking at the Partner Countries, 631 individual HEIs participated as full (82) or associated partners (593). In addition to HEIs, EMJMDs also involved 1,525 non-HEIs such as companies, research organisations, NGOs, etc. from Programme Countries and 240 from Partner Countries.

However, the percentage of HEIs per country involved as coordinators or full partners in EMJMDs is limited and differs a lot among the Programme Countries. On the other hand, the most active universities come from Belgium, Spain, Sweden and Norway. Also, a large number of HEIs are involved in both Erasmus Mundus and the European Universities Initiative pilot projects. Finally, more than 160 Programme Countries HEIs succeed to deliver Joint Degrees.


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