25 Years of Erasmus


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Erasmus is known as world’s most successful student exchange programme having about three million students benefiting from a study period or work placement abroad since its creation in 1987. This year Erasmus celebrates its 25th anniversary under the slogan ‘Erasmus: changing lives, opening minds for 25 years’.

Erasmus Programme is for many European students their first time living and studying abroad. Over the years, it has become a cultural phenomenon and has even become subject of movies such as ‘L’Auberge espagnole.

In the 2011/2012 academic year, more than 250 000 students will benefit from the Erasmus programme, according to EC. The most popular destinations for students are expected to be Spain, France, United Kingdom, Germany and Italy, while the countries sending the most students abroad are expected to be Spain, France, Germany, Italy and Poland. For the period 2007-2013, EU has allocated around € 3 billion for Erasmus. The programme is EC’s core strategy to combat youth unemployment by focusing more on skills development.

EuRopean Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students or the Erasmus Programme was launched in 1987 and had 3,244 students participating into the programme. There were 11 countries that got involved in the scheme at the beginning. Now, 33 European countries run Erasmus programme (27 European Union members and Croatia, Island, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Turkey and Norway)

‘Erasmus is one of the great success stories of the European Union: it is our best known and most popular programme. Erasmus exchanges enable students to improve their knowledge of foreign languages and to develop skills such as adaptability which improve their job prospects. It also provides opportunities for teachers and other staff to see how higher education works in other countries and to bring the best ideas home’, said Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth.


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