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Green light for Erasmus+: More than 4 million to get EU grants for skills and employability
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Erasmus+, the new EU programme for education, training, youth and sport, due to begin in January, was approved today by the European Parliament. Aimed at boosting skills,  employability and supporting the modernisation of education, training and youth systems, the seven-year programme will have a budget of GBP 12.3 billion ( €14.7 billion) [1] - 40% higher than current levels.

    Green light for Erasmus+: More than 4 million to get EU grants for skills and employability

    "I am pleased that the European Parliament has adopted Erasmus+ and proud that we have been able to secure a 40% budget increase compared with our current programmes. This demonstrates the EU's commitment to education and training. Erasmus+ will also contribute to the fight against youth unemployment by giving young people the opportunity to increase their knowledge and skills through experience abroad. As well as providing grants for individuals, Erasmus+ will support partnerships to help people make the transition from education to work, and reforms to modernise and improve the quality of education in Member States. This is crucial if we are to equip our young generation with the qualifications and skills they need to succeed in life," said Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth.

    UK Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said:

    "At present, very few British students study abroad. For every 15 foreign students studying in the UK, there is just 1 UK student studying abroad. In an increasingly global economy, this means we are missing out on vital skills, which is why we are encouraging our young people to study overseas as part of ourInternational Education Strategy. Erasmus+ will give more young people from the UK the opportunity to experience new cultures, understand different ways of working, develop crucial language skills and give them a global outlook."

    In the UK the programme will be managed by the British Council, in partnership with Ecorys UK. In 2014 it will receive 3% more compared to the funding it received in 2013 from the Lifelong Learning and Youth in Action Programmes. Further funds will be available via open Europe-wide calls for proposals through the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency in Brussels.

    According to UK government figures, since 2007, the British Council and Ecorys have distributed funds of over GBP 477 million ( €568 million) through the current programmes that will now all be rolled into ERASMUS +.

    The British Council has supported over 90,000 UK students through the existing Erasmus programme. Over 6,000 school partnerships have been formed under Comenius and eTwinning, enhancing teaching and learning and developing skills for over 100,000 teachers and around 2 million pupils in the UK. Over 40,000 participants, the majority young people, have taken part in vocational placements to enhance employability and gain work experience through the Leonardo programme. In the non-formal sector, Youth in Action has enabled 50,000 young people to take part in community-level projects with their counterparts in other countries, while 5,000 youth workers have made use of opportunities for professional development.

    Given the 40% increase in funding, there will be considerably more young British people benefitting next time round.

    More than 4 million people across Europe will receive support to study, train, work or volunteer abroad, including 2 million higher education students, 650 000 vocational training students and apprentices, as well as more than 500 000 going on youth exchanges or volunteering abroad. Students planning a full Master's degree abroad, for which national grants or loans are seldom available, will benefit from a new loan guarantee scheme run by the European Investment Fund. Erasmus+ will also provide funding for education and training staff, youth workers and for partnerships between universities, colleges, schools, enterprises, and not-for-profit organisations.

    Erasmus+ includes, for the first time, a dedicated budget line for sport. It will allocate around GBP 224 million ( €265 million) over seven years to contribute to developing the European dimension in sport by helping to address cross-border threats such as match fixing and doping. It will also support transnational projects involving organisations in grassroots sport, promoting, for example, good governance, social inclusion, dual careers and physical activity for all.

    [1] Amount in current prices taking account of estimated inflation in 2014-2020. This is equivalent of €13 billion in fixed/constant 2011 prices.

    Next steps

    The proposal was adopted today by the European Parliament. Adoption by the Council (Member States) is expected within the next month. The Erasmus+ programme will start in January 2014.


    Erasmus+ who benefits?

    2 million higher education students will be able to study or train abroad, including 450,000 traineeships;

    650 000 vocational students and apprentices will receive grants to study, train or work abroad;

    800 000 school teachers, lecturers, trainers, education staff and youth workers to teach or train abroad;

    200 000 Master's degree students doing a full course in another country will benefit from loan guarantees;

    More than 500 000 young people will be able to volunteer abroad or participate in youth exchanges;

    More than 25 000 students will receive grants for joint master's degrees, which involve studying in at least two higher education institutions abroad;

    125 000 schools, vocational education and training institutions, higher and adult education institutions, youth organisations and enterprises will receive funding to set up 25 000 'strategic partnerships' to promote the exchange of experience and links with the world of work;

    3 500 education institutions and enterprises will get support to create more than 300 'Knowledge Alliances' and 'Sector Skills Alliances' to boost employability, innovation and entrepreneurship;

    600 partnerships in sport, including European non-profit events, will also receive funding.

    The new Erasmus+ programme combines all the EU's current schemes for education, training, youth and sport, including the Lifelong Learning Programme (Erasmus, Leonardo da Vinci, Comenius, Grundtvig), Youth in Action and five international cooperation programmes (Erasmus Mundus, Tempus, Alfa, Edulink and the programme for cooperation with industrialised countries).  

    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.

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    Last update: 03/12/2013  |Top