Saturday

25th Feb 2017

EU student programme hits record popularity

  • Nearly 5 percent of EU students study abroad with the Erasmus scheme (Photo: Helena Spongenberg)

The EU’s student exchange programme, Erasmus, funded the studies of nearly 270,000 students in 2012/2013 - a record 15,000 more than the previous year, the European Commission said on Thursday (10 July).

At a press conference, education commissioner Androulla Vassiliou commented the rise is “proof of the enduring popularity of the project”.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Since its launch in 1987, the student-placement programme has become one of the most well-known EU policies, providing funds for 3 million students to study abroad.

It has now been expanded to pay for work-placements and for teacher training. One in five Erasmus students now choose a job-placement, Vassiliou said, adding that more than 52,000 university staff received grants in the 2012/2013 academic year.

The scheme applies to Iceland, Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Turkey, as well as the 28 EU countries.

At over 39,000, Spain sent out the most Erasmus students for both studies and placements, followed by France and Germany. These three were also the most popular destinations for students. Spain topped the list with over 40,000 incoming students.

For its part, the 27,000 students hosted by the UK were almost twice as many as the 14,500 it sent abroad.

At 40 percent, Malta saw the highest increase in students using the programme, followed by Cyprus and Croatia.

Meanwhile, Lithuania, Spain, Latvia, Iceland, Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein, all saw a decrease in Erasmus student numbers compared with the previous year.

The scheme paid out an average monthly grant of €272, ranging from just over €150 in Spain to over €600 for Lithuanian Erasmus students.

Nearly €15 billion has been allocated for the “Erasmus +” programme, which brings together the EU’s programmes for education and training, between now and 2020, and which the Commission says will fund the studies or work experience of 2 million students.

But if Erasmus’ popularity among students remains undimmed, national governments are increasingly less enthusiastic about paying for it.

Last November, as part of its ongoing austerity programme, the Spanish government cut a €120 per month living allowance which was paid on top of the standard EU-funded grant.

Other countries, including France and Belgium, have also pared back their national contributions to Erasmus students, with critics arguing that this would discourage students from poorer backgrounds from applying for the scheme.

Along with the European Social Fund, the programme has been threatened by the Commission’s periodic cash-flow crises, caused by a stand-off between the EU executive and national governments over EU budget top-ups.

Focus

EU student scheme reaches 3mn mark

The EU's student exchange scheme, Erasmus has reached its 3 millionth participant since the programme was set up decades ago.

Focus

US and UK universities top world rankings

American and British universities continue to dominate in the global rankings with the next best faculty in a EU member state trailing a distant 24.

Column / Brexit Briefing

Searching for a voice and a standard bearer

As Britons come to terms with the reality of Brexit many Remainers are now listless, looking for someone to present a viable alternative to Theresa May's dominance

News in Brief

  1. Spanish court jails former IMF chief Rato
  2. Macron proposes Nordic-style economic model for France
  3. Germany posts record high budget surplus
  4. Labour ousts Ukip in Brexit homeland
  5. Dutch lower house approves EU-Ukraine treaty
  6. WTO says Russian pork ban was illegal
  7. Belgian nuclear plant made 'significant progress' on safety
  8. Report: Commission gauging EU support for Poland sanctions

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EURORDISJoin Rare Disease Day and Help Advocate for More Research on Rare Diseases
  2. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceStudents Who Are Considered Fit Get Better Grades in School
  3. QS World MBA TourMeet with Leading International Business Schools in Paris on March 4th
  4. Malta EU 2017Economic Governance: Agreement Reached on Structural Reform Support Programme for Member States
  5. Socialists & DemocratsWomen Have to Work Ten Years Longer to Match Lifetime Earnings of Men
  6. Counter BalanceTrans-Adriatic Pipeline Is a Major Risk for Banks, Warns New Analysis
  7. Martens CentreEU and US Migration Policies Compared: Join the Debate on February 28th
  8. Swedish EnterprisesTechnology and Data Flows - Shaping the Society of Tomorrow
  9. UNICEFNearly 1.4 Million Children at Risk of Death as Famine Looms Across Africa and Yemen
  10. Malta EU 2017End of Roaming Fees: Council Reaches Agreement on Wholesale Caps
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Innovation House Opens in New York to Help Startups Access US Market
  12. Centre Maurits CoppietersMinorities and Migrations