The Erasmus+ Master loan scheme will make available € 30 million in new study loans in France. This is thanks to a guarantee agreement signed today by the European Investment Fund (EIF) and the French BPCE bank, with the backing of the EU's Erasmus+ programme. The loans will be open to graduates from France taking their Master's degree in one of the 33 countries participating in Erasmus+, as well as to students from these countries moving to France for a Master's degree.
EU Commissioner Tibor Navracsics said: "Creating fresh opportunities for talented youth means investing in Europe's future. The new Erasmus+ Master loans in France are an innovative way of boosting students' mobility around Europe, allowing our young people to learn new skills and broaden their experience."
The Erasmus+ Master Loan Scheme facilitates access to student loans of up to €12.000 for a one-year Master's course or up to € 18.000 for a two-year Master's course taken abroad. The scheme complements the well-established short-term Erasmus+ study exchanges and offers graduates an easy and affordable way to support studies abroad, regardless of their social background or field of study.
The scheme allows students to benefit from favourable loan terms, thanks to the Erasmus+ guarantee, which spreads the risk between the bank and the European Commission. This means students can apply for the loans with no required collateral, benefit from competitive interest rates and use a delayed pay-back option.
The BCPE agreement is the second agreement signed under the Erasmus+ Master Loan scheme so far. While French universities are already major players in student mobility in Europe, the BCPE loans will help them to further broaden their current offer.
Erasmus+ Master Loans Scheme
The EU’s Master Loan scheme was launched earlier this year by the European Commission and the EIF, calling on interested banks to sign up. It aims to support 200.000 students by 2020 by raising up to €3 billion in loans, thanks to an EU guarantee of more than €500 million. The BCPE deal is the second deal signed under the scheme, and follows a similar agreement signed with MicroBank in Spain in June 2015. The two agreements show that the scheme has identified a notable market gap.
Supporting the modernisation of Europe's education systems and improving students' skills and capacity to ensure meaningful employment is a central aspect of the Erasmus+ programme, which also supports the development of training, youth and sports actions. A study for the European Commission on the impact of the European Union's Erasmus student exchange programme confirms the benefits of student mobility: graduates with international experience fare much better on the job market, and they tend to have stronger transversal skills which are highly valued by employers. The seven year programme (2014-2020) has a budget of €14.7 billion - a 40% increase compared to previous spending levels, reflecting the EU's commitment to invest in these areas. Erasmus+ will provide opportunities for over 4 million Europeans to study, train, gain work experience and volunteer abroad. The programme also supports transnational partnerships among education, training and youth institutions to foster cooperation and bridge the worlds of education and work.
European Investment Fund
The European Investment Fund's central mission is to support Europe's micro, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance. The EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments which specifically target this market segment. In this role, the EIF supports EU initiatives in the fields of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth and employment.
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