20th Feb 2020

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

Support quality EU news

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

... or join 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.

Will coronavirus lead to medicine shortage in EU?

The European Commission is ready to launch a joint procurement of medical supplies and to mobilise EU funding instruments, although no shortages have been identified in the EU so far, the commissioner for health Stella Kyriakides said on Thursday.


Children? Only if state permits it, says Romanian mayor

The mayor of the Romanian city of Targu Mures has said that the state should screen would-be parents for proof of a stable workplace, financial resources, basic education and the legal minimum age required to care for children.

News in Brief

  1. EU unveils white paper on AI and data strategy
  2. Dutch court rules against Russia in €46bn Yukos case
  3. Britain to bar 'Polish plumber-type' migrants
  4. Greece seeks EU help to get back classical statues from UK
  5. HSBC to cut 35,000 jobs worldwide
  6. Regions chief appeals against cutting EU cohesion funds
  7. Verhofstadt criticises UK Brexit negotiator
  8. Turkish court acquits Gezi park activists

Polish 'LGBTI-free zones' not ok, says EU commission

The European Commissioner for equality Helena Dalli has said the distribution of 'LGBTI-free zones' stickers or the adoption of anti-LGBTI resolutions cannot be allowed. Some 86 towns in Poland have so far declared themselves 'LGBTI-free zones'.


Paradox: Nordics' privileged youth feel miserable

Young people in the Nordic countries are among the most privileged in the world - yet many of them feel miserable. The Nordic Council is concerned and aims to find out why.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersScottish parliament seeks closer collaboration with the Nordic Council
  2. UNESDAFrom Linear to Circular – check out UNESDA's new blog
  3. Nordic Council of Ministers40 years of experience have proven its point: Sustainable financing actually works
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ministers paving the way for 5G in the region
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Climate Action Weeks in December

Latest News

  1. EU leaders face major clash on rule of law budget link
  2. North Macedonia warns EU on 'dirtiest ever' election
  3. Western 'endarkenment' and the voodoo politics of Europe
  4. Warning of agricultural 'digital arms race' in EU
  5. Cayman Islands put on tax-haven blacklist after Brexit
  6. Boris' Brexit bluff? - UK will resist alignment to the end
  7. US still open to Kosovo-Serbia land swap
  8. EU countries enter final phase of budget talks

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us