29th Mar 2023

EU plans to increase Erasmus grants

  • Spain is still the most popular destination for Erasmus students (Photo: European Commission)

The European Commission is considering giving more money to students participating in the Erasmus student exchange programme, a move expected to increase the number of people taking part in the scheme.

"After a long and steady decline, the average grant rose for the first time to €140 per month of community funding in 2004/2005. And there will be further increases this year," said education commissioner Jan Figel on Thursday (22 June).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

At the moment Erasmus students receive an average sum of €160 a month and generally fund their studies with other forms of income such as bank loans.

A commission spokesperson said that Brussels is aiming to gradually increase the grant to €200 a month until 2013, but admitted that it is less than the original sum (€250) that the commission had wanted.

Education was one of the areas that saw money chopped almost by half when member states were negotiating the EU's budget for the next seven years.

The commission has asked for €6 billion for its lifelong learning programme, which includes the Erasmus programme, but it came out with €3.1 billion in the end.

The new increase in grants is expected to be adopted in October.

Although the grant increase is relatively small, the commission is aiming to increase the number of students participating in Erasmus in the coming years.

During the academic year 2004/5, the number of students participating in Erasmus was over 144,000, an increase of 6.2 percent on the previous year.

The commission estimates that if it is to reach its 3 million target by 2012, around 250,000 students would need to be using the programme each year.

Last year Spain remained the most popular destination for students, with 25,551 students going to the country. France and Germany were also popular taking on 20,519 and 17,273 students respectively.

Germany was the preferred destination for teachers participating in the Erasmus exchanges, hosting some 2,623 teachers.

EU-US cooperation agreement

Meanwhile, on Wednesday (21 June) the EU signed a new eight-year education agreement with the US, which like Erasmus encourages student mobility.

The agreement targets the higher education sector and vocational training and aims to have 6,000 citizens from the EU member states and the US participating by 2013.

"[The agreement] will offer our students the opportunity to study on the other side of the Atlantic. Such invaluable experiences contribute greatly to relations between our citizens," said external relations commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner.

The agreement also includes the Schumann-Fulbright programme, which provides scholarships to highly qualified professionals to study on the other side of the Atlantic.


Europe doesn't threaten national identity

Europe adds a layer of identity that enriches its citizens. The post-Brexit EU should do more to foster it, through programmes like Erasmus.


Biden's 'democracy summit' poses questions for EU identity

From the perspective of international relations, the EU is a rare bird indeed. Theoretically speaking it cannot even exist. The charter of the United Nations, which underlies the current system of global governance, distinguishes between states and organisations of states.


Turkey's election — the Erdoğan vs Kılıçdaroğlu showdown

Turkey goes to the polls in May for both a new parliament and new president, after incumbent Recep Tayyip Erdoğan decided against a post-earthquake postponement. The parliamentary outcome is easy to predict — the presidential one less so.

Latest News

  1. EU approves 2035 phaseout of polluting cars and vans
  2. New measures to shield the EU against money laundering
  3. What does China really want? Perhaps we could try asking
  4. Dear EU, the science is clear: burning wood for energy is bad
  5. Biden's 'democracy summit' poses questions for EU identity
  6. Finnish elections and Hungary's Nato vote in focus This WEEK
  7. EU's new critical raw materials act could be a recipe for conflict
  8. Okay, alright, AI might be useful after all

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EFBWWEFBWW and FIEC do not agree to any exemptions to mandatory prior notifications in construction
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ways to prevent gender-based violence
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersCSW67: Economic gender equality now! Nordic ways to close the pension gap
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCSW67: Pushing back the push-back - Nordic solutions to online gender-based violence
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersCSW67: The Nordics are ready to push for gender equality
  6. Promote UkraineInvitation to the National Demonstration in solidarity with Ukraine on 25.02.2023

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us