2 million students have already benefited from the program Erasmus

The latest figures confirm the success of the program with an increase of about 5% of students.

The data on Erasmus mobility of students and staff for the academic year 2007/2008, published by the Commission today, shows that during the 21-year period from 1987 to 2008, approximately 1 846 600 students benefited from a study period under the Erasmus programme. In 2007/08, 162 695 Erasmus students studied abroad. While this represents an annual increase of 2.1 % compared to the previous year, the growth rate is slowing down, with 10 countries recording negative growth. In other countries, however, for example in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, the number of outgoing Erasmus students for studies has picked up growth.

Among the new opportunities offered by Erasmus, student mobility for placements accounted for 20 002 traineeships in 2007/2008 and is likely to expand in the future. There may have been a shift from study to placement mobility within Erasmus. Moreover, with the introduction of staff training Erasmus now addresses everyone in higher education. In 2007/2008, 4 883 staff members of higher education institutions went to enterprises and partner institutions abroad to receive training.

The number of teaching assignments continued to increase by more than 5 %. During the academic year 2007/2008 27 157 teachers went abroad to teach at a partner institution. Since this type of exchange was introduced almost 200 000 teachers and other university staff have participated.

With a total of 182 697 students in 2007/08 Erasmus student mobility expanded by more than 5 % counting all types of student exchanges including placements. At the same time the level of the monthly grant for Erasmus students also increased substantially, to over €250 per month on average for both types of student mobility taken together. This was due to a sharp increase in the Erasmus budget for mobility actions, to €372 million in 2007 with the introduction of the EU’s Lifelong Learning Programme.

The countries sending most Erasmus students as a share of their student population are Liechtenstein (6.43 %), Austria (1.77 %), the Czech Republic (1.54 %) and Spain (1.41 %).

Background

Currently an estimated 4 % of European students receive an Erasmus grant at some stage of their studies. Erasmus not only caters for students and university staff but also supports higher education institutions in working together through intensive programmes, networks, projects and other measures and in reaching out to both the world of business and society. With the addition of Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in 2009, the number of participating countries is growing to 33.

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