The latest Erasmus statistics show that the average Erasmus grant, designed to cover part of the costs of living abroad and travel, was €272 per month, a 9% increase on the previous year (€250). The grant is topped up in some countries by national, regional or institutional funds.
The three most popular destinations for Erasmus students in 2012-2013 were Spain, Germany and France. Countries sending the highest number of students as a proportion of their graduate population were Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Finland, Latvia and Spain.
Erasmus is not just an exchange scheme for students: in 2012-2013 more than 52 600 academic and administrative staff received funding from Erasmus to teach or train abroad. The experience they gain not only benefits the individual concerned but also the quality of teaching and learning at their home institution when they return. Some 500 staff from businesses – an increase of more than 20% from the previous year – also received Erasmus support to teach at higher education institutions abroad, highlighting the growing interest in aligning education and training to the needs of the labour market.
The new Erasmus+ programme will provide grants for 4 million people, including 2 million higher education students and 300 000 staff over the next seven years (2014-2020). It will also fund 135 000 student and staff exchanges between Europe and partner countries worldwide.
The expanded programme, which includes Erasmus and similar mobility schemes for other groups including apprentices and volunteers, puts more emphasis on linguistic support, more flexible rules for grants, as well as specific additional support for people with special needs, from disadvantaged backgrounds and remote areas.