Saturday

24th Jul 2021

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”.

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

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.

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.

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.

News in Brief

  1. Macron changes phone after Pegasus spyware revelations
  2. Italy to impose 'vaccinated-only' entry on indoor entertainment
  3. EU 'will not renegotiate' Irish protocol
  4. Brussels migrants end hunger strike
  5. Elderly EU nationals in UK-status limbo after missed deadline
  6. WHO: 11bn doses needed to reach global vaccination target
  7. EU to share 200m Covid vaccine doses by end of 2021
  8. Spain ends outdoor mask-wearing despite surge

Romania most keen to join eurozone

The survey was carried out in seven member states that have not yet adopted the single currency: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Sweden. Denmark has decided not to join, having negotiated an opt-out.

Column

The Polish government wants EU money - but not EU law

The concern of Germany's Constitutional Court was that the European Court of Justice did not sufficiently check the action of other EU branches of power. The Polish situation is the exact reverse: the government is taking control of the courts.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNineteen demands by Nordic young people to save biodiversity
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable public procurement is an effective way to achieve global goals
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council enters into formal relations with European Parliament
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen more active in violent extremist circles than first assumed
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersDigitalisation can help us pick up the green pace
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID19 is a wake-up call in the fight against antibiotic resistance

Latest News

  1. Far left and right MEPs less critical of China and Russia
  2. Why is offshore wind the 'Cinderella' of EU climate policy?
  3. Open letter from 30 embassies ahead of Budapest Pride
  4. Orbán counters EU by calling referendum on anti-LGBTI law
  5. Why aren't EU's CSDP missions working?
  6. Romania most keen to join eurozone
  7. Slovenia risks court over EU anti-graft office
  8. Sweden's gang and gun violence sets politicians bickering

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us