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UK among the four most popular destinations for ERASMUS studies
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Twenty-five years after its launch, Erasmus – the best known EU programme and the most popular student exchange scheme in the world – has registered a new record and an 8.5% increase compared to the previous year. More than 231 000 students received Erasmus grants to study or train abroad during the 2010-11 academic year. The four most popular destinations for students in 2010-11 were Spain, France, Germany and the United Kingdom (see MEMO/12/310 for detailed figures). In 2010-2011 close to 13 000 British students received grants with the greatest numbers going to France, Spain and Germany.

    UK among the four most popular destinations for ERASMUS studies

    "The Erasmus programme, whose silver anniversary we are celebrating this year, is one of the biggest success stories of the European Union. The figures speak for themselves – and would have been even higher if we had the resources to match demand. In these difficult times, the skills gained through Erasmus studies and placements are more valuable than ever," said Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth.

    Of the total number of students supported in 2010-11, around 190 000 chose to spend up to 12 months of their degree programme abroad at a university or other higher education institution in one of 32 countries then participating in Erasmus (27 Member States, Croatia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Turkey. Switzerland became the 33rd country to join Erasmus as from 2011-12). The number of students choosing the study option increased by 7.2% compared with 2009-10.

    Job placements in companies abroad have been supported through Erasmus since 2007 and are increasingly popular. In 2010-11, one in six Erasmus students, nearly 41 000 in total, chose this option. This represents a 15% increase on the previous year.

    Demand strongly exceeds the availability of Erasmus grants in most participating countries. The average monthly Erasmus grant, designed to cover part of the additional costs of living abroad and travel, was GBP 202 (Euro 250) - a small decrease on the previous year (GBP 205/Euro 254), which allowed more students to benefit from the programme.

    In addition, 40 000 grants were awarded to university staff and teachers to teach or receive training abroad, 13% more than in the previous year.

    All amounts expressed in sterling are approximate and will change with exchange rate fluctuations.


    Since it began in 1987, ERASMUS has provided more than 2.5 million European students with the opportunity to go abroad to study at a higher education institution or for a job placement in a company. It enables students in higher education to spend between 3 and 12 months in another European country. Any student enrolled in a participating higher education institution in one of the 33 Erasmus countries can benefit (EU Member States, Croatia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Turkey, and, from 2011-12, Switzerland). Students in short-cycle higher vocational education can also take advantage of support from the programme.

    In the current budgetary period (2007-13) the EU has allocated GBP 2.5 billion (Euro 3.1 billion) on the Erasmus programme. In 2010-11 the total budget was around GBP 370 million (Euro 460 million), of which GBP 350 million (Euro 435 million) was dedicated to support for mobility.

    Most of the Erasmus budget is managed by national agencies in the participating countries. Nearly 90% of the Erasmus budget is invested in student and staff mobility. Erasmus also supports multilateral projects and networks which account for around 4% of the budget. These are managed centrally by the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) in Brussels.

    Last November, the Commission presented its proposal for 'Erasmus for All' (IP/11/1398), a new umbrella programme bringing Erasmus together with all the other EU and international schemes for education, training, youth and sport, replacing seven existing programmes with one. The Commission has proposed a budget of GBP 15 billion (Euro19 billion) for Erasmus for All in 2014-2020, an increase of approximately 70% compared to the current seven-year budget for existing programmes. Two-thirds of funding under Erasmus for All would provide grants to enhance knowledge and skills. The remainder would support cooperation between institutions, businesses and other organisations.

    For more information:

    MEMO/12/310 The Erasmus programme in 2010-11: the figures explained

    Erasmus programme

    Erasmus statistics

    Annex 1: The Erasmus Programme 2010-2011 - Number of out-bound students by country

    Annex 2: The Erasmus Programme 2010-2011 - Erasmus student mobility: home and destination countries

    Annex 3: The Erasmus Programme 2010-2011 - Top 100 higher education institutions receiving Erasmus students

    Annex 4: The Erasmus Programme 2009-2010 - Top 100 higher education institutions receiving Erasmus students

    Androulla Vassiliou's website

    Twitter: @VassiliouEU


    For more information, please contact the London press office on 020 7973 1971.
    Please note: all amounts expressed in sterling are for information purposes only.

    Last update: 08/05/2012  |Top