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European Commission - Fact Sheet

Erasmus+: another record year in 2017

Brussels, 24 January 2019

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Today, the Commission is publishing the Erasmus+ Annual Report 2017, which covers the fourth year of Erasmus+, one of the European Union's most successful and iconic programmes. Since 2014, it has become broader and more innovative, providing opportunities for study periods, traineeships and apprenticeships for both higher education and vocational education and training students, youth exchanges, volunteering and staff exchanges in all fields of education, training and youth as well as projects in the field of sport. Erasmus+ also continued to become more open to people from disadvantaged backgrounds. In 2017, almost 21,000 disadvantaged students and staff participated in Erasmus+ mobility activities in higher education. This brings the total to over 67,500 disadvantaged higher education participants since 2014, including almost 2,000 participants with special needs.

What were the main developments in 2017?

2017 was a significant year for the Erasmus+ programme, which demonstrated its flexibility in addressing specific policy priorities:

  • 84,700 organisations benefited from funding to be able to carry out 22,400 projects in total.
  • In the field of higher education, more than 400,000 students and staff spent a learning period abroad during the academic year 2016/2017. This takes the total number of people who have benefited in this field since 2014 to more than 1.1 million.
  • More than 158,000 participants were involved in youth mobility projects. The year also saw the introduction of a new simplified format for volunteering activities, the strategic European Voluntary Service, which funded 122 strategic projects for a total amount of EUR 22.3 million and contributed to the successful implementation of the European Solidarity Corps in its first phase.
  • The European Week of Sport 2017reached an unprecedented12 million people through more than 48,000 events in 37 countries. The Commission also launched the Tartu Call on promoting healthy lifestyles.
  • Finally, the 30th anniversary of the Erasmus programme, celebrated throughout the year, helped raise awareness of Erasmus+ and its predecessor programmes in the EU and abroad, laying the ground for an even stronger programme in the future.

Erasmus+ continued to reach out through new or improved digital tools. The Erasmus+ Mobile App launched in June 2017 now has more than 55,000 users. The e-Twinning platform remained the world's biggest teachers' network with more than half a million registered users and Jordan joining other countries in the eTwinning Plus platform. The School Education Gateway and the Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe continued to grow as well.

 

  infographic erasmus+

 

Did more people learn abroad in 2017?

Since 2014, the overall interest in mobility activities across all fields has been growing steadily. In 2017, 797,000 individuals and 84,700 organisations were funded by the Erasmus+ budget for mobility, compared to 725,000 individuals and 79,000 organisations in 2016.

In addition, nearly 4,000 higher education institutions from programme countries were awarded mobility grants, representing a 3% increase compared to 2016.

By enabling almost 2.8 million people to spend a period of learning, training, teaching or volunteering abroad since 2014, the Erasmus+ programme is well on track to meet its target of supporting 3.7% of young people in the EU between 2014 and 2020.

What other projects related to education, training and youth received funding in 2017?

Erasmus+ promotes cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices in the fields of education, training and youth:

  • Strategic Partnerships provide opportunities for a variety of public, private, and non-governmental organisations to run a broad range of activities. Projects can boost innovative, quality and inclusive education, foster training and youth work in a digital environment; help to improve competences through lifelong learning as well as empower young people and strengthen their involvement in communities and democratic processes. For example, in 2017, a total of 1,453 school education projects received funding, while in adult education just over 400 projects were supported.
  • Capacity building actions support the modernisation, accessibility and internationalisation of higher education in partner countries across the world, as well as cooperation and exchanges between partner and programme countries in the field of youth. Under the 2017 call, this action funded 149 higher educational projects and 157 youth projects.
  • 22 Knowledge Alliances (transnational projects bringing together higher education institutions and business) helped develop new ways of creating, producing and sharing knowledge and entrepreneurial skills and competences, involving 240 organisations.
  • The Sector Skills Alliances funded 14 projects designed to identify and address skills needs and the development of skills strategies, as well as to support vocational education and training. 197 organisations were involved. These alliances are transnational projects identifying or drawing on existing and emerging skills needs in a specific economic sector and/or translating these needs into vocational curricula. They are run by a consortium of organisations, mainly with links to the vocational education and training sector.

How does the programme support young people from disadvantaged backgrounds?

In 2017 Erasmus+ continued to fight barriers to mobility by becoming more inclusive for those from a disadvantaged background and those with special needs, through additional financial support. For example, more than one-third of projects in the field of youth focused on inclusion and diversity topics, and youth projects involved more than 65,000 participants with fewer opportunities and special needs – they account for one third of all participants in this area.

In Capacity Building projects, special attention was given to involving least developed countries and including people from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds and those with special needs.

What developments were there in the sport sector?

A total budget of €45.2 million was earmarked for the sport sector in 2017, as the programme focused on grassroots sport with increased support to small collaborative partnerships, which are designed to promote the creation and development of European networks in the field of sport.

In 2017 Erasmus+ financed 162 projects, which covered a variety of sports organisations and stakeholders; involving around 930 organisations from 27 programme countries. This included 10 not-for-profit European sport events.

How does the Commission support higher education in partner countries?

The international opening of Erasmus+ since 2015 continues to be a great success. With the International Credit Mobility action, close to 23,000 grants were awarded to people from partner countries around the world to come to the 33 programme countries. More than 11,000 grants were awarded to people from programme countries to experience learning mobility in partner countries. Over €114.7 million was provided to fund 39 new Erasmus Mundus Joint Degrees. The consortia involved 191 partner universities.

149 new projects were awarded for capacity building for higher education in regions worldwide.

The Jean Monnet activities supported 238 teaching programmes in the field of EU studies at higher education institutions, university chairs, networks, projects, centres of excellence and associations taking place in 30 European programme countries and 69 countries inside and outside Europe.

What data is available on the Erasmus+ projects?

The statistical annex to the 2017 Erasmus+ report offers comprehensive information about the different actions and the budget and commitments available for them, along with detailed information on the number of projects, participants and organisations. Data per country is also available for selected actions.

Qualitative information on the Erasmus+ projects is available through The Erasmus+ Project Results platform, a database giving free access to descriptions, results and contact information for all projects funded under the Erasmus+ programme in education, training, youth and sport. Results can also be retrieved in excel format for further analysis.

For More Information

Press release

Erasmus+: Annual Report 2017, general and country-specific factsheets

*The 33 Erasmus+ programme countries are the 28 EU Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Turkey.

Partner countries are all other countries in the world.

MEMO/19/602

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