The European Union has allocated an annual budget for this purpose in order to establish communications of the European universities with other universities around the world, to establish scientific communication and sharing and to utilize its potential in the modern sciences, student and professor exchanges and international projects and it has supported the foundations establishing these communications in different ways. One of the institutions formed in this regard is the "Erasmus+ Committee", which has been formally and actively operating since the beginning of the year 2004. The committee's programs in Phase I (2004-2009) and Phase II (2009-2014) were solely in the form of scholarships and study opportunities for students and professors. The third phase, which has begun from year 2015, continues until year 2020, in the form of university interaction to address the world's different problems, capacity development of universities and institutes of higher education, and instructor and student exchanges depending on the proposal, requesting funding from the union. And after the review and approval made by the European Union, the applicant universities of the consortium can start their activities. In this regard, Torbat Heydarieh University has been involved in various projects as a partner since 2015 and has been actively involved in three Erasmus projects so far.
The first program, GeoNetC, is a virtual master's degree program in "Environmental Management and Modeling" with emphasis on GIS and RS concepts, as well as the possible selection of case studies and datasets from Iran and Iraq. The consortium is a member of the Swedish Lund University (Consortium) plus universities in the Netherlands, Portugal, Lithuania, Iran and Iraq. In this regard, it is necessary for the suggested 13 courses in this subject area, and then the virtual contents are to be provided.
The content of these courses should be made available to students in form of English speaking films. Specialized teams have been formed to provide each course contents and Torbat Heydarieh University has provided six specialized teams. After completing the course contents, each course should be tentatively given to four students in Iran and Iraq, and those students learn the courses according to the group's proposed process and submit comments, content problems, or form of instruction in the form of a report. The total budget of the project is € 1,000,000, of which € 128,000 is allocated to Torbat Heydarieh University.
The second program, known as Opatel, was approved in 2016, has been adopted to set up a suitable platform for e-learning and learning at Iranian and Iraqi universities. In this program, the Leipzig University of Germany is the chair of the consortium of the project and partner universities are from Greece, Portugal, Iran and Iraq. The project requires hardware, including computers, laptops, smart whiteboards, network equipment, and virtual education software, and a number of the instructors of the Faculty of IT to study "Virtual Learning and Virtual Content Production" techniques were dispatched to the two countries of Greece and Portugal, and it was then necessary to transfer the training to university professors in each region.
The instructors' travel expenses for these courses are financed from the project budget. The estimated budget for Torbat Heydarieh University has been announced at around €70,000, of which, an amount of € 25,200 was allocated to equip a dedicated virtual classroom where the equipment has been prepared and an approximate amount of €19,200 is considered for management, professors and technicians. It has been set aside for around €25,000 to cover the travel costs of instructors and for the contracts with professors or service companies for the purposes of this project.