Last year the Erasmus Programme celebrated its 25th anniversary. This year the programme is set for a huge revamp, which includes a significant increase in funding, inclusion of a volunteer program, inclusion of youth and sports projects and a new name: Erasmus+.

The proposed EU budget for 2014 – 2020 reveals that 16 billion euros will be invested in Erasmus+ over the next seven years; an increase of more than 40% in comparison to the previous budget. It is hoped that the financial stimulus will help to tackle youth unemployment in the Union.

Since its inception, at least 3 million students have participated in the Erasmus scheme and since 2007 more than 90,000 UK students have participated in the Erasmus mobility programme, either through studying or working abroad. In the last seven years, grants allocated to UK staff and students amounted to 447 million euros.

The University of Nottingham (UoN) has had the highest number of participating, outgoing students since September 2010. It sent 538 students abroad during 2010-2011 and 509 students abroad during 2011 – 2012. The figures for 2012-2013 are yet to be published. In terms of incoming students, it accepts just over 400 each year.

Ruth Sinclair – Jones, head of the EU programmes and national agency director at the British Council, outlined that the implications of the new programme will be huge. “The new programme aims to reach almost double the numbers who currently receive support for education and training opportunities.” UoN students should therefore expect to benefit considerably from the expansion.

Kateryna Rolle

PHOTO © European Union 2013

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