EU's education and training programme, Erasmus, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. Erasmus is one of the most successful programmes of the European Union.
What started as a modest mobility scheme for higher education students back in 1987, with only 3,200 students in its first year, has developed over the last 30 years into a flagship programme benefiting almost 300,000 higher education students per year.
The programme has become much broader, providing opportunities for study periods and traineeships/apprenticeships for both higher education and vocational education and training students, youth exchanges, volunteering and staff exchanges in all fields of education, training, youth and sport.
The geographical scope of the programme has expanded from 11 countries in 1987 to 33. Over the past 30 years, Erasmus+ and its predecessors have supported not only more than 5 million students, apprentices and volunteers, but also staff and youth exchanges, amounting to 9 million people in total.
From Erasmus to Erasmus+ programme
Today, Erasmus+ offers a large number of opportunities to individuals and organisations – to go abroad as volunteers or apprentices for example, and to cooperate on joint projects. Sport has also become an important part of Erasmus+.
With cooperation projects, Erasmus+ provides organisations active in the fields of education, training, youth and sport the chance to forge international partnerships which broaden opportunities for staff and students and drive reform.
Widening the target group of the Erasmus+ programme generates great potential to foster economic growth, job creation and social cohesion within Europe, while simultaneously providing young Europeans with the opportunity to enhance their personal and professional development.
Erasmus+ is offering mobility opportunities from and to all EU Member States and beyond, for more than 4 million Europeans between 2014 and 2020.
Erasmus+ Jean Monnet activities provide support and funding to academic institutions and other associations active in the field of European integration studies in order to promote excellence in European integration studies in higher education.
The current Erasmus+ programme, running from 2014 to 2020, has a budget of €14.7 billion.
The 30th Anniversary of Erasmus
Throughout 2017, there will be a number of events held all over Europe depicting the story of Erasmus+ and its predecessors over the last 30 years.
Celebrations, conferences, debates, dialogues, exhibitions, forums and more will be organised at local, national and European levels.
From Erasmus to Erasmus+ –10 theses celebrating the 30th anniversary
- Finland thrives on international connections. We need to defend Europe and the European values.
- International competences, language skills and cultural awareness are basic skills comparable to literacy skills.
- Young people, schoolchildren and students as well as teachers, trainers, researchers and youth workers should all have opportunities to get international experience and competence.
- Recognition of skills acquired abroad should be promoted.
- All higher education studies should include an international component.
- Erasmus+ promotes competitiveness and employment in Europe.
- Erasmus+ could be utilised when addressing youth unemployment and immigration.
- Erasmus+ facilitates cooperation with third countries, benefitting both parties.
- Erasmus+ should promote internationalisation at home also through digital solutions.
- Erasmus+ is a success story and it deserves adequate funding also in the future.