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Erasmus: university exchanges expand rapidly among the new Member States

European Commission - IP/06/319   16/03/2006

Other available languages: FR DE

IP/06/319

Brussels, 16 March 2006

Erasmus: university exchanges expand rapidly among the new Member States

The European Commission’s flagship action in the field of education, the university exchange programme Erasmus, continued to expand in the academic year 2004/05. The overall number of students taking part on Erasmus exchanges rose by over 6% on the previous year, while the number of university teachers exchanged under the scheme grew by almost 13%. The biggest impact of the scheme has been felt in the Central and Eastern European countries. Student exchanges rose on average by an impressive 36% in the new Member States, while growth in teacher mobility was even more dramatic, rising on average by almost 77%.

Ján Figel’, European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture, and Multilingualism, said “These figures reveal that the new Member States are fully taking part in the benefits of membership of the EU. Their rapid integration into the Erasmus scheme directly contributes to its continued success, ensuring that additional generations of Europe’s bright young people can enjoy the benefits of academic, cultural and linguistic exchange. This is all the more significant, as we celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the Erasmus programme next year. Already, Europe’s universities are welcoming the grown-up children of former Erasmus students. The hundreds of thousands of students who have benefited from the scheme since 1987 form a growing body of highly educated Europeans with cross-cultural and multi-lingual experience, essential requirements for the dynamic, knowledge-based European Union of the future.”

In the academic year 2004/2005, 144,037 Erasmus students benefited from a university exchange, an increase of 6.3% on the previous year. Over the same period, 20,877 university teaching staff also participated in Erasmus exchanges, an increase of 12.9%. Most of the 31 participating countries experienced a growth in incoming mobility, whereas the figures for outgoing mobility from the participating countries were more varied. Spain remained the most popular destination for students, welcoming 25,511 over the year, with France in second place (20,519), followed by Germany (17,273) and the United Kingdom (16,266). Germany was again the primary destination for teaching staff, hosting 2,623 over the year, followed by France (2,261) and Italy (1,897).

However, the most dramatic increases in student and teacher mobility were observed in the new Member States. Student exchanges in those countries rose on average by 36.3% during 2004/05, the first full academic year since they joined the EU, while Erasmus teacher mobility increased by an average of 76.7%.

The academic year 2004-2005 was also the first in which Turkish universities participated in the Erasmus programme: some 1,142 Turkish students benefited, while 299 students from other participating countries spent a few months in Turkish universities.

The Commissioner pointed out that “Student exchanges between the Central and Eastern European Countries were not permitted under the Erasmus scheme before full membership of the EU, but for the ten new Member States it is now possible for Erasmus student and teacher exchanges to take place among them.”

Business studies was again the most popular subject area for student exchanges, followed by languages/philology and social sciences. The profile was slightly different for Erasmus teacher exchanges, where the most popular subject area was languages/ philology, followed by engineering/technology and business studies.

Erasmus gives university students (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. Erasmus also provides support for teachers giving generally short courses, as part of the official curriculum of a partner university in another European country.
For further information see:

http://ec.europa.eu/education/programmes/socrates/erasmus/erasmus_en.html

Actual Number of outgoing ERASMUS Students (by Country of Home institutions) 2002/03-2004/05

 

Country of home institution
Year
2002/03
 
2003/04
 
2004/05
 
Austria
3325
3721
3809
Belgium
4620
4789
4833
Cyprus
91
64
93
Czech Rep.
3002
3589
4178
Denmark
1845
1686
1793
Estonia
304
305
444
France
19365
20981
21561
Finland
3402
3951
3932
Germany
18482
20688
22427
Greece
2115
2385
2491
Hungary
1830
2058
2316
Ireland
1627
1705
1572
Italy
15225
16829
16440
Latvia
232
308
607
Lithuania
1002
1194
1473
Luxembourg
119
138
116
Malta
72
119
130
Netherlands
4241
4388
4743
Poland
5419
6276
8390
Portugal
3172
3782
3845
Slovakia
653
682
979
Slovenia
422
546
742
Spain
18258
20034
20819
Sweden
2656
2667
2698
UK
7973
7539
7214
Iceland
163
221
199
Lichtenstein
7
19
26
Norway
1010
1156
1279
Bulgaria
612
751
779
Romania
2701
3005
2962
EUI[1]
12
10
5
Turkey
-
-
1142
Total
123957
135586
144037

 

Actual Number of incoming ERASMUS Students (by Host Country) 2002/03-2004/05

Host country 
Year
2002/03
2003/04
2004/05
Austria
2836
3161
3536
Belgium
4053
4504
4728
Cyprus
63
62
95
Czech Rep.
971
1298
1946
Denmark
2,887
3393
3880
Estonia
170
166
275
Finland
4433
4929
5351
France
18833
20260
20519
Germany
16106
16863
17273
Greece
1545
1593
1658
Hungary
856
951
1297
Ireland
3473
3584
3649
Italy
10982
12713
13370
Latvia
45
65
150
Lithuania
132
216
388
Luxembourg
13
14
16
Malta
202
250
310
Netherlands
6355
6724
6842
Poland
996
1456
2332
Portugal
3280
3766
4166
Slovakia
131
181
284
Slovenia
129
201
378
Spain
21302
24049
25511
Sweden
5326
6080
6,626
UK
16994
16621
16266
Iceland
171
199
253
Lichtenstein
7
11
17
Norway
1244
1518
1841
Bulgaria
67
89
179
Romania
355
536
602
Turkey
 -
 -
299
Total
123957
135453
144037


[1] EUI : European University Institute Florence
Data source : National Agency final reports


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