Erasmus+ is an EU program that supports education, training, youth and sports. However, even though the program is one of the most popular initiatives, there are nine things you may not have known.
1. Erasmus started with a small number of students
According to the European Commission, the Erasmus program has been one of the most loved programs in education and training since its inception, which took place in 1987. The program started with only 3,244 students, and then the number increased over time.
Initially, the program included only 11 countries – Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, France, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom – meaning that participants could access only one of these countries for study purposes.
2. The program now accounts for millions of participants
Now, the program garners more than 10 million participants in total. This indicates that more than 300,000 students get the opportunity to study or train under the program each year.
In addition, the program now includes dozens of countries, part of which are countries outside the European Union as well, TheSchengen.com reports.
3. What is the position of Erasmus?
According to the Commission, Erasmus stands for the European Area Action Plan for the Mobility of University Students. However, since only the back name is used, not many are aware of this fact.
4. Erasmus helps participants improve the quality and prospects of life
The European Union Commission explains that studies have shown that Erasmus+ improves quality of life as well as life prospects. Furthermore, the program has also proven to drive innovation and social inclusion in higher education while helping students make career choices.
Data from the commission shows that more than 80 percent of Erasmus+ graduates are employed within three months of graduation.
5. Erasmus has no age limit
What makes Erasmus+ even more special is that it offers opportunities to everyone, regardless of their age. This means that not only young people, but also their parents can benefit from the programme.
6. From Erasmus to Erasmus +
Previously, the main focus of the Erasmus program was student mobility. However, Erasmus+ now makes sure that everyone – students, staff, interns, teachers, volunteers, among others – take advantage of the opportunities. Thus, this indicates that the Erasmus+ program is not only about Europeans or Europeans, but people from all over the world.
7. Erasmus graduates are successful in different fields
Erasmus graduates have different professions. Although everyone was part of the same program, they were able to create career prospects and work in different fields.
Samantha Cristoforetti is an Erasmus alumni and is now an astronaut at the European Space Agency. She holds several spaceflight records, and is also the first person to make coffee in space. The former EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas, was also part of the programme.
8. 33% of former Erasmus students have a partner of a different nationality
Data from the commission shows that former Erasmus students are more likely to have a transnational relationship.
Moreover, the same revealed that about 33 percent of former students had a partner of a different nationality, compared to 13 percent of those studying in their home country.
With these numbers in mind, the commission estimated that nearly one billion children have likely been born since 1987.
9. Erasmus had a budget of over 26 billion euros for 2021
The program had an estimated budget of €26.2 billion for 2021 and therefore, provides opportunities for more than 4 million participants to study, train and gain real-world experience as well as volunteer abroad.
10. The current program focuses on inclusion and green transitions
The current programme, which will run for seven years, 2021-2027, places a strong emphasis on social inclusion, green and digital transformations, and promoting youth participation in democratic life.
Apart from awarding grants, the Erasmus+ program also supports research, teaching, communication and policy discussion on EU topics.
>> Erasmus+ has funded more than 640,000 learning opportunities for students this year despite pandemic restrictions