Named after the Dutch scholar and theologian Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536) and also shoe-horned into a shorthand for EuRopean Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students, the Erasmus education programme has been with us since 1987.

So far the philanthropic initiative has seen more than 3 million students receive grants – growing from 3,244 students funded across 11 member states to a programme that last year awarded 268,143 students grants to study or gain an internship abroad and involves 33 member states and 90% of Europe’s universities.

Without doubt the EU’s best-known education initiative, Erasmus has survived various restructurings. It has impacted lives immeasurably and is reported to have led to one

million Erasmus babies!

The testimony to the success of the mobility funding programme, according to the EU’s own research, is borne out by findings released last year. Graduates with international experience, be it studies or an internship, were half as likely to experience long-term unemployment as those who had none, meanwhile 64% of employers said that international experience was important for recruitment.

Generally regarded as a programme that encourages a bilateral understanding, Erasmus+ aspirations could be characterised as encouraging multiple outcomes, linking research, education and business at every opportunity, but also building networks involving multiple educational institutions.

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