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Brussels, 18 February 2005

Another successful year for Erasmus : student and teacher mobility rose by almost 10% in 2003/2004

The number of Erasmus Students increased by a significant 9.4% in the academic year 2003/2004, and there was a similar percentage rise in the number of Erasmus teachers. This follows from figures submitted by the Socrates-Erasmus National Agencies reports to the European Commission. Most of the 30 participating countries experienced a growth in outgoing mobility. Spain remained the most popular destination for students and Germany for teaching staff.

“More than 150.000 European citizens benefited last year from Erasmus, a clear sign of the ongoing success of this programme”, said Ján Figel’, European Commissioner in charge of Education, Training, Culture and Multilingualism. “Encouraging mobility will remain a priority for the Commission in the coming years, as we expect to reach the target of 3-million Erasmus students by 2011 with almost 300.000 students per year.”

1. Erasmus Student Mobility

Erasmus gives students (up to and including doctorate, except for students enrolled in their first year of higher education) the opportunity to study for a period of 3-12 months at a university or higher education establishment in another participating country in the framework of mobility agreements between universities.

In 2003/2004, the number of Erasmus students continued to rise, both in the EUR 18 (15 “pre May 1st 2004” EU Member States + the 3 EFTA/EEA countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway), the then 10 Acceding countries and the candidate countries, Bulgaria and Romania (Turkey started to fully participate in Socrates in 2004/2005). There were a total of 135.586 Erasmus student in 2003/2004, an increase of 9.4% compared to the previous academic year.

The student numbers from EUR18 rose by 8.4% and by 15.6 % in the then Acceding/Candidate countries (A/C countries). Almost all 30 participating countries experienced a growth in outgoing mobility.

Spain (which welcomed 22.000 Erasmus students), France (19.000) and Germany (16.000) remained the most popular destinations for incoming Erasmus students. Those three countries also send the most students to other universities (around 20.000 each per year).

The number of incoming students to A/C countries has increased by 25 % in 2003/2004, especially in Lithuania (+ 56%)

Business studies and languages/philology remained the most popular subject area groups.

2. Erasmus Teacher Mobility

Erasmus provides support for teachers giving, generally short courses, as part of the official curriculum of a partner university in another European country.

In 2003/04 the number of Erasmus teachers was 18.476, a 9.3% increase compared to the previous year.

For teacher mobility, the growth rate was 8.1% in the EUR18 and 13.1% in the then acceding and candidate countries. There were big increases in Latvia, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Portugal.

Finland and Malta have the highest proportion of outgoing Erasmus teachers.

The most popular host countries are Germany (which hosted 2400 teachers in 2003/2004), France (2200) and Italy (1900).

Compared to student mobility, Erasmus teachers are relatively more mobile in subject areas such as Education/Teacher training and Mathematics/Computing.

Annex 1: Erasmus Student Mobility (chart 1) and Teaching Mobility (chart 2) in 2003/04

Annex 2 : Student and Teacher Mobility Tables by countries

For further information see:
Annex 1

Chart 1

[Graphic in PDF & Word format]

Chart 2

[Graphic in PDF & Word format]

Annex 2

Annex 2 bis

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