168,200 students received Erasmus support to go abroad for studies and spent
an average of six months in the host country, an increase of 3.4 per cent
compared to the previous year. For two countries (Germany and Poland), the
number of students choosing this option did not increase and eight countries
recorded a decrease (Austria, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Iceland, Ireland,
Liechtenstein and the United Kingdom). Factors behind this decrease are
believed to include a shift to placements, competition from non-European
destination countries, the start of the economic crisis and low grants.
Erasmus company placements
Since 2007, Erasmus offered students the opportunity to go abroad for
placements in businesses or other organisations. In 2008/9 an increase of more
than 50 per cent was recorded on the previous year with some 30,400 students
A desire by students to increase their job prospects through practical work
- as shown by a Eurobarometer survey in 2009 - is seen as the main reason
behind the increasing popularity.
Highest number of Erasmus students
The countries sending the highest numbers of Erasmus students were France
(28,300 students), Germany (27,900) and Spain (27,400). As a share of their
student population the top performers were Luxembourg (15.5 per cent),
Liechtenstein (3 per cent), Austria (1.9 per cent) and the Czech Republic (1.7
The most popular destinations for Erasmus students were Spain (33,200
students), followed by France (24,600) and Germany (22,000).
During the academic year 2008/2009, Erasmus supported more than 36,000
exchanges of staff from higher education institutions (up 13.6 per cent). In
28,600 cases teachers received grants to teach abroad and in 7,700 cases staff
spent time in another country for training in businesses or partner
ERASMUS is the EU's flagship education and training programme enabling
students to study and work abroad. The programme also supports professors and
business staff who want to teach abroad, as well as helping university staff to
receive training. It also funds co-operation between higher education
institutions across Europe.
Erasmus not only caters for students and university staff, but also supports
higher education institutions in working together through networks,
multilateral projects and other measures. There is also an increased focus on
reaching out to the world of business and society.
Currently, an estimated 4 per cent of European students receive an Erasmus
grant at some stage during their studies.
With the addition of Croatia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
to the Erasmus programme in 2009, the number of participating countries has
risen to 33.
According to independent studies, the Erasmus programme has had a
substantial impact on many levels. Participants acquire skills that
increase their future employability and, in the case of staff, their career
prospects are improved. In addition, higher education institutions
internationalise their campuses, introduce new teaching methods and services,
build up management capacity, strengthen research activities and create links
The Commission believes the Erasmus programme can contribute to the Union's
'Europe 2020' strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth by equipping
young people with the adaptable skills needed for a competitive,
Detailed statistical information including breakdowns of the latest figures
by country see:
More statistics: http://ec.europa.eu/education/erasmus/doc920_en.htm
Background on the Erasmus
For more information, please contact the London press office on 020 7973
Please note: all amounts expressed in sterling are for information purposes