On 15 February 2013, the EU's education ministers discussed Erasmus for All, the reformed student exchange programme, and the contribution of education to creating jobs and growth.
Erasmus for All is a proposal for an integrated programme in the areas of education, training, youth and sport for 2014-2020. It brings together in a single programme activities previously covered by a number of separate programmes (including the Lifelong Learning Programme, Erasmus Mundus and Youth in Action) and also includes activities in a new area of European competence: sport.
The new programme aims to continue focussing on three types of key actions, namely:
• the learning mobility of individuals;
• cooperation on innovation and good practices; and
• support for policy reform.
There are also a number of innovative proposals, such as the Erasmus Master's degree student loan guarantee scheme - aiming to promote mobility and access to affordable finance for students taking their Master's degree in another member state -, knowledge alliances and sector skill alliances.
The programme also aims to support the EU's efforts to overcome one of the most difficult economic periods in its history, notably by aligning itself very closely with the Europe 2020 strategy for growth and jobs, in which education and training play an essential part.
The negotiations between the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission started on 19 February 2013. The Irish Presidency hopes to achieve an agreement before the summer, which would enable important preparatory work by the Commission to be completed in time for the programme to begin, as proposed, on 1 January 2014.
On Thursday 11 May, the Council of the EU adopted a general approach on the new integrated Erasmus for All programme proposed by the European Commission. This will replace the current education, training and youth programmes for the 2014-2020 period, and add a new dimension, sport.
The Council nevertheless introduced some changes in the Commission’s proposal, notably the introduction of a separate youth chapter with a separate budget for youth.
Read more and access the official press release on the European Commission website.
Morebackground information about the original proposal and FAQs are available here.
Erasmus celebrates its 25th anniversary, Monday 30 January.
The Erasmus student and staff exchange programme will celebrate its "silver" anniversary in 2012. Erasmus is at the heart of the European Commission's education policy and its strategy to combat the crisis and youth unemployment. Since its launch in 1987, nearly 3 million students and staff have received grants to study or teach abroad or undertake work placements. Studies show that this experience is invaluable for boosting skills in areas such as language learning and adaptability, which can increase an individual's employability. The scheme also helps to promote teaching quality and institutional cooperation.
33 European countries participate in the Erasmus scheme (27 EU Member States, Croatia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey). Demand for Erasmus places strongly exceeds the availability of grants in most countries. The Commission has called for a significant increase in EU support for higher education mobility under its proposed new programme for education, training and youth ('Erasmus for All'), which is due to start in 2014.
The 25th anniversary celebrations will be launched at a press conference by the Commissioner responsible for education, Androulla Vassiliou. She will be joined by "Erasmus ambassadors" from the 33 countries participating in the scheme. One student and one staff member have been chosen to represent each country, based on the impact that Erasmus has had on their professional and private lives; their role is to encourage other students and staff to take advantage of the opportunities it offers.