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Lifelong Learning Programme

what is the higher learning commission
What was it?

The Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP) was designed to enable people, at any stage of their life, to take part in stimulating learning experiences, as well as developing education and training across Europe.

With a budget of nearly €7 billion, the programme, which ran from 2007-2013, funded a range of exchanges, study visits, and networking activities.

The activities of LLP continue under the new Erasmus+ programme from 2014-2020.

What did it involve?

Over the course of its lifespan, LLP provided support to school pupils, university students, adult learners, and a variety of projects under four main sub-programmes:

  • Comenius for schools
  • Erasmus for higher education
  • Leonardo da Vinci for vocational education and training
  • Grundtvig for adult education

The programme also included the "Jean Monnet" actions, designed to stimulate teaching, reflection, and debate on European integration.


The Comenius sub-programme focused on all levels of school education, as well as the individuals involved, including pupils, teachers, local authorities, and education institutions, among others.

It was designed to:

  • Improve and increase the mobility of pupils and staff across the EU
  • Enhance and increase school partnerships across the EU
  • Encourage language learning, ICT for education, and better teaching techniques
  • Enhance the quality and European dimension of teacher training
  • Improve approaches to teaching and school management

The Erasmus sub-programme was a student exchange programme that provided opportunities for close to 3 million students

between 1987-2013.

In addition to the 230,000 students who benefitted on an annual basis, Erasmus also provided opportunities for over 300,000 teachers and staff in higher education, with 4,000 institutions and 33 countries participating.


The Grundtvig sub-programme focused on the teaching and study needs of adult learners, as well as developing the adult learning sector in general.

Covering teachers, trainers, staff, and adult learners, among others, the programme aimed to:

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  • increase the number of people in adult education
  • improve mobility conditions in adult learning
  • improve the quality and cooperation between adult education organisations
  • develop innovative educational and management practices
  • ensure social inclusion through adult education
  • support innovative ICT-based educational content, services, and practices
Jean Monnet

The Jean Monnet sub-programme was a component of LLP focusing on European integration. It consisted of three key activities:

  • The Jean Monnet Action, designed to stimulate teaching, research, and reflection on European integration, consisting of Jean Monnet Chairs, Centres of Excellence, and Modules, among others;
  • Support for six specific academic institutions;
  • Support for Europe-wide associations.

These were complemented by conferences, thematic groups, and policy support within the Directorate-General for Education and Culture (DG EAC).

Leonardo da Vinci

The Leonardo da Vinci sub-programme funded practical projects in the field of vocational education and training. Initiatives ranged from those providing work-related training to individuals, to larger cooperation efforts.

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