Erasmus >

The Glasgow School of Art has a long participation in the Erasmus programme. GSA students should consult Canvas for an up to date list of partner agreements by department, and available exchange spaces, together with application processes.

Incoming students should consult with their exchange office to determine what subjects are available at the GSA for students from their institution as it is very rare that we have an institution-wide agreement in an effort to manage studio space.

Partnerships supported by Erasmus + funding can be viewed here.


Statement From The National Agency for Erasmus+ in the UK
(24 March 2017)

"The National Agency for Erasmus+ in the UK, a partnership between the British Council and Ecorys UK, remains wholly committed to the programme and its benefits. 

The National Agency strongly supports continued full membership of the programme for the UK through to 2020, so that at least 250,000 people across the UK have the chance to study, train or volunteer abroad, and that UK organisations can continue to collaborate on international projects.

2016 was the most popular year so far for Erasmus+ in the UK and we expect even greater take-up in 2017 because we have a higher budget this year.

Successful Erasmus+ applicants in 2017 will be awarded funding for the full duration of their projects, and all beneficiaries should continue their projects with their partners as usual through to completion. The UK continues to be a full member of the EU until the point it leaves. The European Commission has confirmed that during negotiations under Article 50, European Union treaties and law continue to apply to the UK, and this applies to projects financed through Erasmus+.

The UK Government has also confirmed that while we remain in the EU we retain all our rights and obligations as a Member State, including the right to participate in Erasmus+. We cannot speculate on any possible future scenarios following the UK’s exit from the EU, but we note the Government position is that UK participation in some EU programmes may continue subject to the negotiation."


The aim of The Glasgow School of Art’s Internationalisation Strategy is:-

To embed an international and intercultural ethos in all aspects of the School’s activities. The Strategy is underpinned by a set of values:

• A belief in the transformative power of continual communication and exchange with others worldwide
• Understanding of, and respect for, difference
• Mutuality: a commitment to relationships based on mutual benefit and reciprocity
• Awareness of the effect of self on others
• A commitment to remaining informed about major trends affecting the political, economic and social contexts for culture, creative industries and creative education internationally.

The Strategy has four principal objectives:

  • to enhance curriculum and learning opportunities in ways which enable students and graduates to operate effectively in international and global contexts;
  • to develop, refine and strengthen international collaborative educational partnerships in order to deepen transcultural understanding, promote opportunities for students and staff and enhance the international reputation of the School;
  • to widen the scope of research to explore global currents in the School’s discipline areas, enrich curriculum and make meaningful cultural, economic and social contributions;
  • and to continue to develop and provide appropriate support for an increasingly culturally diverse community of students and staff in order to enhance the educational experience of all students.

The GSA views involvement in the Erasmus Programme as fundamental to the achievement of these objectives. The Erasmus Programme has been a key driver of both the scope and quality of student and staff mobility, and the GSA has
been fully committed and indebted to the ideals of the Programme in implementing its mobility agenda.

Within a number of GSA’s undergraduate programmes we enjoy 20-40% mobility, but in a number of others there are much lower levels. One of our key focuses over the next 5 years is to develop partnerships and mobility plans to facilitate mobility in these programmes whilst continuing to support the mobility already achieved. To do this programme leaders are asked to develop a mobility plan – reflecting on the number and appropriateness of partnerships, the format of mobility (length/curriculum fit) and whether other types of mobility might also be adopted. Our other challenges are to facilitate mobility in one-year masters programmes; develop a more mutually beneficial mobility format for PhD programmes and to identify alternative modes of mobility that suit a broader range of students than those able to undertake a 3 month study or work placement (students with family or work commitments).

Our Widening Participation team already encourage students from less mobile backgrounds to undertake short mobility through our cooperation with Monash University and their European campus. We are currently looking into ways of running our successful Artists & Designers in Education course (where WP students teach in under-performing schools) abroad as a way of developing short-term mobility opportunities, and contributing to capacity building in third countries. This format of mobility – a course that contains a short international project – might be further developed in second cycle programmes.

Together with this reflection by programme leaders on student mobility goes a reflection on staff mobility, and how staff engagement with student exchange partners can both enhance the career opportunities of the staff member, enhance student mobility, and develop the international aspect of the core curriculum. A deeper engagement with our current partners is seen as key to improving the quality of the student experience.

Most GSA partnerships have differing objectives and varying levels of involvement – research activities; student exchange; validated programmes; articulations – and the criteria for choosing these partners, whilst having a number of commonalities (enhancing our reputation, academic fit, similar ethos, commitment to equity and diversity) will also have a number of divergences. The level of scrutiny and match is generally lesser for a short-term research project than for a long-term programme commitment. Our Regional Expert Groups were set up to cover the 5 regional priorities that GSA has identified for its international work, but the type of activities in each of these regions are not necessarily identical, and are dependent on the perceived mutual benefit to be achieved. The REG’s cover: Europe; North America; South & South-East Asia; East Asia; and China.

For 11 years the GSA has participated in a European network of universities that jointly provide content to a multiple cycle Masters. This is not offered as a joint or double degree due to the regulations in a number of participating institutions surrounding these modes of delivery. In the next year GSA is planning to introduce a second-cycle degree following this model.

Our Masters of European Design (MEDes) programme is a clear example of a well-structured long-term pan-European cooperation amongst Higher Education Institutions and the GSA has been a leading player in developing this cooperation.

Over the next two years we will also seek to replicate this good practice with two non-EU institutions in Japan and USA. The MEDes programme inspired the GSA’s thinking in its current Strategic Plan (2012-2025) to develop a Distributed Academy. The Distributed Academy seeks to deliver educational programmes in partnership with education, industry, government and community at the local, national and international level. Before 2015 we plan to have scoped and piloted a minimum of two programmes as part of the Distributed Academy, and we view the Erasmus for All Programme as an opportunity to develop these pilots and to provide an extended area for discourse around the practice of such distributed delivery and engagement.

Another of our strategic objectives is to have strengthened our network of partners across the UK, Europe and internationally to support joint projects, progression to study at the GSA, student exchange and an enrichment of the curriculum. To facilitate this GSA has a Head of International Academic Development and a China Office, both of which work with academic and professional support staff to develop these areas.

For the past 5 years GSA has viewed Knowledge Exchange as a core part of its work and is involved in a large number of projects – initially locally, but increasingly internationally – of collaborative interdisciplinary partnerships. Early discussions
have taken place between partners in the European League of Institutes of the Arts (ELIA) about potential collaborative projects focused on business & social impacts, which mesh with the Horizon 2020 aims. These aims are supported at GSA by dedicated Knowledge Exchange staff and departments of Continuing & Professional Education and Widening Participation.