Erasmus+ Supported Some 640,000 Learning Experiences Abroad Last Year Despite Pandemic

COVID-19 Europe Higher Education News by Erudera News Dec 17, 2021

international students study with Erasmus

The Erasmus+ program has managed to support around 640,000 learning experiences abroad last year and funded 20,400 projects and 126,900 organizations despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Erasmus+ annual report has revealed.

According to a press release published by the European Commission, the program continues to have a key role in preparing people and organizations with a total of €200 million offered last year, in particular for the digital transition, Erudera.com reports.

Commenting on the repot’s findings, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, said that with the successful implementation of the Erasmus+ in 2020, the new generation of the program+ in 2021 “built on the success, the established networks and the popularity of previous years.”

“Erasmus+ is European cooperation at its best. From primary school to lifelong learning for adults, and sport, everyone can benefit from the many opportunities that the Erasmus+ programme has to offer,” Gabriel said.

Meanwhile, the Vice-President for Promoting the European Way of Life, Margaritis Schinas, said that the report shows that Erasmus+ remains resilient and one of the EU’s most successful and iconic programs despite the lack of mobility amid pandemic.

“In 2020, Erasmus+ was more inclusive than ever and fostered increased participation of people from disadvantaged backgrounds. With funding of €22 million we linked our words with concrete actions,” Schinas added.

The report includes the following key points:

  • More than 323,000 students and student trainees, as well as 44,000 staff, had learning, training or teaching periods abroad.
  • The program co-founded more than 185,600 mobility activities for learners and staff in the vocational education and training sector.
  • Erasmus+ funded a total of 180,000 youngsters and youth workers.
  • During the European Week of Sport, there were more than 15.6 million European participants in 32,600 events, reaching a new record.

In 2020, 34 countries participated in the Erasmus+ program, all 27 EU Member States as well as the United Kingdom, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Turkey, while the program remains open to other countries around the world.

Last year, the total budget of Erasmus+ was €3.78 billion, €506 million more than in 2019, increasing by 15 percent. Since its launch in 1987, Erasmus+ has supported 11.7 million participants.

Earlier this month, the European University Association (EUA) called for more even funding distribution for Erasmus+, pointing out that it is of particular importance that students receive their scholarships on time.  

According to EUA, students and higher education have been experiencing problems with their Eramus + funds and some Erasmus+ countries have reported more severe problems.

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