Erasmus+ prides itself on broadening young people's view of the world and openness to other cultures. Ever wondered how much? The RAY, short for Research-based analysis of Erasmus+ Youth in Action, has all the details.
In the framework of Erasmus+, the RAY Network conducts surveys to monitor the implementation of the Youth in Action programme. What can its most recent findings tell us about openness to other cultures through Erasmus+? Let us start with some numbers. In its most recent round, more than 25,000 project participants and close to 5,000 project leaders contributed to the survey. Exploring other cultures is a major motivation for project participants and a key theme for project leaders: 69% of surveyed project participants say that getting in contact with people from other cultural backgrounds or countries was one of their primary reasons for participating in the project. According to 60% of surveyed project leaders, cultural diversity was one of the main themes of their respective projects.
With such a strong focus on cultural diversity among project participants and project leaders alike, what then are some of the project outcomes? Here are some impressions: 70% of project leaders strongly agree that the project contributed to the Erasmus+ programme objectives ‘to promote young people’s respect for cultural diversity’ and ‘to enhance intercultural dialogue’. Project participants match the leaders’ judgments, with 70% saying that they learned something new about cultural diversity through the project.
But cultural openness is not only about learning something new; it’s also about appreciating others more. According to RAY, 60% of project leaders and 57% of project participants strongly agree that they have personally learned to get along better with people from different cultural backgrounds. Furthermore, 66% of project leaders and 65% of project participants admitted to appreciating cultural diversity more after the project than they had before the project. And, is there any effect that goes beyond the individual? We are glad you asked, because 57% of project leaders and 41% of project participants say the project has led to an increased appreciation of cultural diversity in their organisation.
Want to know more? There is plenty of data available for you to dive into! You can find and download all RAY research findings at researchyouth.eu.