Sunday

14th Apr 2024

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

Get the EU news that really matters

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.

Opinion

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.

UK-EU deal on Gibraltar only 'weeks away'

EU and UK negotiators said that a new post-Brexit settlement for Gibraltar was just weeks away from completion following four-way talks in Brussels on Friday (12 April).

Ukraine's farmers slam EU import controls on food products

The paradoxical move to tighten EU import controls on agricultural goods from Ukraine, despite the EU's vocal support for Kyiv, has sparked criticism from Ukrainian farmers. Overall, it is estimated the new measures could cost the Ukrainian economy €330m.

Opinion

Calling time on Amazon's monopolism and exploitation

As Amazon's founder Jeff Bezos just reclaimed the title of the richest person on Earth, its workers cannot even take a bathroom break under the pressure of meeting inhumane performance targets.

Opinion

The Bolsonaro-Orbán far-right nexus

Defeated far-right Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro has given various reasons for sheltering at the Hungarian embassy in Brasilia — none of them make sense.

Latest News

  1. UK-EU deal on Gibraltar only 'weeks away'
  2. Belgium declares war on MEPs who took Russian 'cash'
  3. Brussels Dispatches: Foreign interference in the spotlight
  4. Calling time on Amazon's monopolism and exploitation
  5. Resist backlash on deforestation law, green groups tell EU
  6. China's high-quality development brings opportunities to the world
  7. Ukraine tops aid list again, but EU spending slumps
  8. Who did Russia pay? MEPs urge spies to give names

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersJoin the Nordic Food Systems Takeover at COP28
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersHow women and men are affected differently by climate policy
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersArtist Jessie Kleemann at Nordic pavilion during UN climate summit COP28
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP28: Gathering Nordic and global experts to put food and health on the agenda
  5. Friedrich Naumann FoundationPoems of Liberty – Call for Submission “Human Rights in Inhume War”: 250€ honorary fee for selected poems
  6. World BankWorld Bank report: How to create a future where the rewards of technology benefit all levels of society?

Join EUobserver

EU news that matters

Join us