Commissioner Vassiliou presents Erasmus+ in France
Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, will present Erasmus+, the new European programme for education, youth and sport, this Monday (29 September at 10:00) at the conference to be held at the Cité Universitaire Internationale (Espace Adenauer), Paris. The programme has a total budget of €14.7 billion, 40 % more than under previous programmes covering the period 2007-2013. More than four million people, nearly twice as many as previously, will receive EU support to study, train, gain work experience or volunteer abroad between now and 2020. More than 500 000 French people are expected to receive Erasmus+ grants between now and 2020.
"We must continue to invest in education and training for the future of Europe and its young people, even in the current context of budgetary constraints. We have set the example by significantly increasing the budget for Erasmus+. This is good news for young people's job prospects, because we have demonstrated that international experience enhances participants' skills, employability and career prospects," said Commissioner Vassiliou.
Erasmus+ is being launched in a context of unprecedented youth unemployment (with over 5 million unemployed young people in Europe). Those who study and train abroad reduce their risk of long-term unemployment and can aspire to positions of greater responsibility because they gain cross-cutting skills valued by employers, as well as knowledge in a specific field.
Who benefits from Erasmus+?
2 million higher education students will be able to study or train abroad, with 450 000 traineeships available;
650 000 vocational students and apprentices will receive a grant to study, train or work abroad;
800 000 teachers, trainers, education staff and youth workers will be able to teach or train abroad;
200 000 Master's degree students will complete a full course in another country and will benefit from loan guarantees;
More than 25 000 students will receive grants for joint Master's degrees (studying in at least two higher education institutions abroad);
More than 500 000 young people will be able to volunteer abroad or participate in youth exchanges;
125 000 schools, vocational education and training institutions, education institutions, youth organisations and enterprises will receive funding to set up 25 000 'strategic partnerships' to promote the exchange of experience and strengthen links with the world of work;
3 500 education institutions and enterprises will receive support to create more than 300 'Knowledge Alliances' and 'Sector Skills Alliances' to boost employability, innovation and entrepreneurship;
600 transnational partnerships in sport, including European non-profit events, will also receive financial support.
Who benefits from Erasmus+ in France?
It is estimated that more than 500 000 French students, young people and education, training and youth staff could benefit from Erasmus+ between now and 2020 (50 % more than under the Lifelong Learning and Youth in Action programmes). In 2014, France will receive around €140 million, a 9.7 % increase compared with the funding it received in 2013 under the Lifelong Learning and Youth in Action programmes. As with the other participating countries, it is envisaged that the annual amount France receives will increase each year up to 2020. Furthermore, France can also benefit from financial support for transnational sports projects (a new feature of the programme) and from the Jean Monnet action to encourage European integration studies in higher education.
France sent around 30 000 students abroad through Erasmus in 2012-2013, and was one of the three most popular destinations for students from overseas.
The Commission particularly welcomes France's decision to continue to supplement the EU grant for students from disadvantaged backgrounds through an additional grant awarded directly by the Ministry of Education. We also need to invest more to improve the quality of education and training at all levels so we can provide more jobs and higher growth. Erasmus+ is particularly important at a time when many countries, including France, are faced with the challenge of supporting a more inclusive education for all, regardless of an individual's socio-economic background.
Erasmus+ is being launched at a time when 26 million people across Europe are unemployed. At the same time, across Europe, there are over two million job vacancies, and a third of employers report difficulties in recruiting staff with the skills they need. Erasmus+ will help to address this skills gap by providing opportunities for people to study, train or gain experience abroad.
As well as supporting mobility opportunities for individuals, Erasmus+ will support measures to increase the quality and relevance of Europe's education, training and youth systems through support for training of education staff and youth workers, as well as stronger partnerships between education and employers.
The €14.7 billion budget takes account of future estimates for inflation. Additional funds are also allocated for higher education exchanges and administrative support involving non-EU countries.
To support sport, Erasmus+ has a budget of around €265 million over seven years to help address cross-border threats such as match fixing and doping. It will also support projects involving organisations in grassroots sport, promoting, for example, good governance, gender equality, social inclusion, dual careers and physical activity for all.