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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Mobility in higher education


13.Mobility and internationalisation

13.2Mobility in higher education

Last update: 21 February 2024

Student mobility

The Organic Law 2/2006 on Education (LOE), as amended by Law 3/2020 (LOMLOE), expresses in its preamble the need to increase mobility and exchanges, with the aim of opening up the Spanish education system to the wider world. The 2023 Law on the University System (LOSU) proposes among its objectives to promote mobility and exchange programmes for students, teaching and research staff, within the national and international scope. Thus, the mobility of the entire university community is promoted, doctorates under international co-tutorship are encouraged and Public Administrations are urged to eliminate obstacles to attracting international talent, streamlining and facilitating the procedures for recognition and homologation of degrees. of admission to universities or of an immigration nature.

In the case of people with disabilities, they can fully and effectively exercise their rights on an equal basis as other students, as stated in the University Student Statute. In addition, the Spanish Service for the Internationalisation of Education (SEPIE) offers people with special educational needs specific funding measures.

Students wishing to study abroad have financial support through the grants offered by different bodies. The grants and financial support of the Ministry of Education, Vocational Training and Sports are considered as portable grants.

Apart from the financial support provided by the Spanish Service for the Internationalisation of Education, some Autonomous Communities also have their own additional aids  for this mobility programmes. Besides, their are other grants and aids  offered by the Autonomous Communities to finance the international mobility of university students doing graduate and post-graduate studies through programmes outside of the Erasmus+ frameworks.


Key Action 1 – KA1: Mobility opportunities

This action includes student and staff mobility in higher education.

There are different ways to access KA1 projects:

  • KA130-HED: Erasmus accreditation for higher education mobility consortia. If the accreditation proposal is accepted, the consortium can apply for Erasmus+ funding for mobility projects (KA131-HED or KA171-HED).
  • KA131-HED: Higher Education student and staff mobility projects financed with domestic policy funds. A higher education institution with ECHE (Erasmus Charter for Higher Education) or a mobility consortium can apply for a KA131-HED project, lasting 26 months.
  • KA171-HED: higher education student and staff mobility projects financed by foreign policy funds. A higher education institution with ECHE or a mobility consortium can apply for a KA171-HED project, of 24 or 36 months duration.

Higher education institutions must have obtained the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (ECHE) prior to applying for a KA131-HED or KA171-HED mobility project or a KA130-HED mobility consortium. The Charter is granted by the Executive Agency of the European Commission for the entire duration of the Erasmus+ Programme.

Students can do the following mobility activities:

  • A period of study abroad at a partner higher education institution. The period of study abroad must be part of the study programme that the student follows to complete a degree in any cycle. This period may also include a period of practical training. In countries belonging to the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), a full-time academic course of study is normally made up of educational elements totalling 60 ECTS credits (or equivalent units in non-EHEA countries). It is recommended that, for mobility periods shorter than a full academic year, the educational components included in the learning agreement be adjusted proportionally.
  • A period of practical training abroad in a company, research institute, laboratory, organization or any other relevant workplace. As far as possible, practical training periods should be an integral part of the student's study programme. In terms of workload, in principle participants have to work full time, depending on the working hours of their host organization.

Regarding doctoral mobility, PhD students and recent graduates can participate in periods of mobility, of long or short duration, to carry out studies or practical training abroad.

Key Action 2 – KA2: Cooperation opportunities 

Higher education students may also get into mobility actions offered through “Key Action 2-KA2: Cooperation opportunities” along with where Erasmus Mundus. This type of mobility includes Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters (EMJM), transnational study programmes at Master level delivered by an international consortium of higher education institutions (HEIs) from different countries worldwide.  Among other things, they must:

  • include a jointly designed and fully integrated curriculum;
  • be delivered by a consortium of HEIs;
  • include compulsory physical mobility for all enrolled students;
  • promote the exchange of staff and invited scholars.

The programme includes at least two study periods (one or two academic years) in two countries other than the country of residence.

The degree awarded can be:

  • a joint degree: a single degree awarded on behalf of at least two higher education institutions;
  • several degrees: at least two degrees awarded by at least two higher education institutions in the consortium.

Ministry of Education, Vocational Training and Sports

The grants for master degree studies in the USA are organised with the collaboration of the Fulbright Commission. The objective of the grants is to encourage the completion of master studies with the purpose of broadening the students’ overall education, as well as guaranteeing the students’ effective presence in these studies in universities and other Higher Education Institutions (from now on, institutions) accredited in the USA.

In addition, the State Plan for Scientific, Technical and Innovation Research  includes the State Talent Promotion Programme, which includes subprogrammes that offer the possibility of spending time in foreign and Spanish renowned research institutions, although it is not a national mobility programme in a strict sense. This programme promotes the mobility of higher education students, university teachers and researchers. It includes the following subprogrammes:

  • Grants for Technical Support Personnel contracts (2023): the aim of these grants is to encourage the hiring of technical support personnel in research organizations and are intended to provide support in the use of equipment, facilities and other infrastructure of the R&D&i.
  • Research Consolidation 2023: is to consolidate the professional career of national and foreign researchers, so that they can develop their professional career within the Spanish Science, Technology and Innovation System.
  • ATRAE Programme grants to encourage the incorporation of consolidated talent: the aim is to facilitate the incorporation of consolidated research talent, of recognized international prestige and who have recently developed a relevant period of their professional activity abroad, so as to promote the progress towards a more competitive Spanish System of Science, Technology and Innovation (SECTI).
  • Grants for training contracts for doctors in companies (Industrial Doctorates) 2022: the aim is to train PhD graduates in companies that participate in an industrial research or experimental development project.
  • Torres Quevedo Grants for contracts 2022: grants to companies for a duration of three years to companies, technology centres, technological innovation support centres, business associations and science and technology parks to hire PhD graduates
  • Ramón y Cajal Grants for contracts 2022: the purpose of these grants is to promote the incorporation of Spanish or foreign research staff with an outstanding track record in Spanish R&D centres
  • Juan de la Cierva Grants for contracts 2022: aimed at training doctors through the financing of contracts by Spanish research organisations or R&D centres, of young people with a doctoral degree.
  • Grants for pre-doctoral contracts for the training of doctors 2022: these are aimed at training doctors by financing pre-doctoral employment contracts, under the modality of predoctoral contract , so that they can carry out a thesis associated with a research project financed by grants for R&D projects.

Academic staff mobility

The mobility of university professors, researchers and students is a priority line of the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities. The 20023 Law on the University System (LOSU) highlights in its article 27, that the government, the autonomous communities and the universities themselves will promote mobility and exchange programmes for students, teaching and research staff and technical staff, management and administration and services staff.

Spanish policy for mobility is mainly implemented through the State Scientific, Technical and Innovation Research Plan (2021-2023)  in the subcategory of the State Programme for Developing, Attracting and Retaining Talent, promoted by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities along with the State Research Agency.

One of the main four actions of the State Plan is to ‘promote talent and employability’, which has among its specific objectives ‘the promotion of the internationalisation of the R&D&i activities of the agents in the Spanish Science, Technology and Innovation System and their active participation in the European Research Area’.

Some of the most important specific objectives of the Plan are “to encourage scientific and innovation vocations, attitudes and aptitudes”; “to improve the retention and attraction of talent”; and “to help international and intrasectoral mobility”.  These objectives come into being in the form of scholarships and grants.

Apart from this national support framework, some autonomous communities offer their university professors and researchers the opportunity to spend periods of time abroad through their own programmes.

Scholarships and grants for academic and research staff

Purpose Help the training of doctors in the areas of human and social sciences, history, law, economics, and political and social sciences in the implementation of the "Salvador de Madariaga" programme.
Destination ‘Salvador Madariaga’: European University Institute in Florence.
Target groups Holders of a master's degree or equivalent, in legal, economic-business, political-sociological or humanities subjects, for the completion of a doctorate in these fields.
Number of recipients 12
Requirements for the beneficiary (among others)

Academic requirements: in possession of a master's degree or its equivalents, in legal, economic-business, political-sociological, or humanities subjects.

To be a Spanish citizen or a foreign citizen who resides in Spanish territory.

English language proficiency with a C1 level.

Duration 4 years maximum.
Funding /Salary
  • During the first 24 months, the contract has a monthly funding of EUR 1300.
  • During the next 24 months of the contract, the funding is EUR 1 600, increased by two extraordinary payments each year.
  • EUR 700 for travel expenses at the beginning of the first and third years.

Source: Drawn up by Eurydice Spain-REDIE (INEEMEFD) on the basis of the call.


Purpose Favour and promote the mobility of young Doctors so as to enhance the updating of their knowledge or the learning of new techniques and methods for teaching or research.
Destination The institutions the mobility stay is applied for and where the projects are carried out must be placed abroad, and must be universities and research institutions that are highly competitive in the scientific area of the applicant.
Target groups
  • Young PhDs with a temporary or contractual (civil servant) relationship as teaching or research staff.
Number of recipients 260
Requirements for the beneficiary

Doctorate degree completed after 0 January 2011 (except for civil servants in Spanish public universities or those belonging to the research scales of the CSIC or Public Research Bodies).

Be in active service and with full-time dedication in the accredited relationship with the originating organization that gives its approval to the requested subsidy.

Not have enjoyed stays abroad for more than six months during the four years prior to the end date of the application submission period. For this calculation, all the post-Doctoral stays abroad for 1 month or more are taken into account, regardless of whether the applicant has received a grant/subsidy or not.

During the stay, beneficiaries must keep their contract with the institution of origin.

Exceptionally, if, after the deadline for applications, teachers or researchers change their professional level becoming career civil servants, they can take part and be beneficiary through this type, providing that the institution of origin agrees.

Duration A minimum of 3 months and a maximum of 6
Funding /Salary
  • Monthly financial award: Between EUR 2 150 and 3 100 per month, depending on the destination country.
  • Amount for travelling: Up to EUR 1 200.
  • Installation allowance: Up to EUR 2 000, depending on the destination country. 

Source: Drawn up by Eurydice Spain-REDIE (INEEMEFD) on the basis of the call.


Purpose To conduct internships in foreign countries by university teachers and researchers with accredited experience and professional trajectory.
Destination The institutions requested must be located abroad and will be highly competitive universities and research centres.
Target groups Teaching and/or research staff that are career civil servants of the teaching bodies of Spanish public universities, or belonging to the research scales of the CSIC or OPIS, or with indefinite employment contracts of a teaching or research nature, for whose doctorate degree was required, or to be part of the staff in charge of research tasks in university hospitals.
Number of recipients 400
Requirements for the beneficiary

The completion of a doctorate degree prior to January 1, 2011, except for career civil servants from Spanish public universities or from the research scales of the CSIC or the IPOs.

Be in active service and with full-time dedication.

Not having enjoyed stays abroad for a cumulative period of more than six months during the last 4 years.

Have an updated email address for notification purposes.

Duration Minimum of 3 months, maximum of 6 months.
Funding /Salary
  • Monthly allowance for accommodation and living expenses between 2 150 and 3 100 euro per month.
  • Provision for travel expenses up to a maximum of 1 200 euro.
  • Provision for moving expenses up to a maximum of 2 000  euro.

Amounts vary depending on country of destination.

Source: Drawn up by Eurydice Spain-REDIE (INEEMEFD) on the basis of the call.


Duration Minimum 2 months 6 months
Maximum 3 months 9 months
Other aspects Exceptionally, they may have a duration of 1 month if the institution is in Spain. The maximum number of short stays during the 48 months this Sub-Programme lasts is 3, with stays for a maximum period of 9 months between all of them.

The temporary transfer is incompatible with a short stay or any other temporary stay completed in the same year and there must be at least 6 months between them. The temporary transfer cannot overlap with the last six months of the contract unless the doctoral thesis is already presented.

Only one temporary transfer can be awarded during the maximum 48-month training period set out for the Sub-Programme.

Target groups Beneficiaries of FPU grant who have completed a period equal to or greater than nine months or resulting from the sum of the FPU aid and other previous scholarships or grant of a similar nature and whose period enjoyed has been deducted from the calculation of the maximum duration period of the grant. Beneficiaries of FPU grant who have completed a period equal to or greater than 24 months of FPU grant or resulting from the sum of FPU grant and other previous scholarships or grants of a similar nature, whose period enjoyed has been deducted from the maximum duration calculation of FPU grant.
Number of recipients 550 30
Funding /Salary Stay EUR 25/day if the institution is in Spain and a maximum of EUR 50/day if it is abroad A maximum of EUR 1 500/month, as a supplement to the monthly aid of the Sub-Programme.
Travel Up to EUR 600 in Europe; up to EUR 1 200 in the rest of the world Up to EUR 600 in Europe. Up to EUR 1 200 in the rest of the world.
Health coverage The research staff in training have an accident and healthcare insurance in authorised travels abroad, in the case of countries without an agreement with the Spanish Social Security system or when the agreement offers insufficient coverage. They are also covered by up to EUR 200 per month to pay for this insurance in the rest of countries, without prejudice to the coverage of the Social Security scheme.

Source: Drawn up by Eurydice Spain-REDIE (INEEMEFD) on the basis of the call.


Key Action 1 – KA1: Mobility opportunities

This action includes mobility activities for higher education staff and enables higher education teaching staff to participate in professional development activities abroad.
Staff may carry out any of the activities described below:

  • A teaching period abroad at a partner higher education institution. The teaching period abroad enables any teaching staff at a higher education institution or staff from enterprises to teach at a partner higher education institution abroad. Staff mobility for teaching can be in any study field.
  • A training period abroad at a partner higher education institution, enterprise or any other relevant workplace. The training period abroad enables any staff at a HEI to take part in a training activity abroad that is relevant to their day-to-day work at the HEI. It may take the form of training events (excluding conferences) or job shadowing and observation periods.

Staff cannot apply directly; it is higher education institutions, or the mobility consortia they belong to, the ones in charge of applying for grants by presenting a mobility project. Once the grant has been awarded, the selection of staff is carried out by institutions through a transparent, coherent and documented procedure.

Key Action 2 – KA2: Cooperation opportunities

Erasmus+ Programme also offers, for higher education academic staff within the “Key Action 2-KA2: Cooperation opportunities”, the  Erasmus+ Teacher Academies which consist of the creation of European partnerships of teacher education and training providers to set up Erasmus+ teacher academies that will develop a European and international perspective in teacher education. 

Teachers interested in participating in these activities should do so through a requesting organisation. These may be teacher education institutions, ministries or similar public bodies responsible for school education policy, teachers' associations, and schools.