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Member of the European Commission responsible for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth
Another record year for Erasmus
Press statement on presentation of Erasmus statistics 2011-12, Pressroom/Brussels
8 July 2013
I am delighted to announce a new milestone in the history of Erasmus, the European Union's best-known and most popular programme. Today, we are celebrating our 3 millionth Erasmus student since 1987. And I pleased to say that the programme, which has transformed the lives of so many young people, continues to go from strength-to-strength.
The latest figures for the 2011-12 academic year show that we have once again broken the record for the number of students taking part in the programme. In total, nearly 253 000 students in Europe received Erasmus grants to spend part of their studies abroad or to go on a job placement in another country. The number of students choosing a job placement has grown by 18% compared with last year. One in five Erasmus students now choose this option to acquire the hands-on-experience that employers value so much.
I would like to warmly thank the Erasmus Student Network for having selected 33 young people, one for each of the countries participating in the programme, to represent our 3 millionth Erasmus student.
All of them say that their Erasmus experience encouraged them to be more open as individuals, to improve their language skills, to be better able to work with people from different cultures or backgrounds, and to adapt quickly to new challenges.
I wish them the same success in their careers as well-known Erasmus alumni such as my colleague Cecilia Malmström, the European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Prime Minister of Denmark, Jyrki Katainen, Prime Minister of Finland, or Jan Philipp Albrecht, Member of the European Parliament from Germany.
In 2011-12, Erasmus also enabled more than 46 000 academic and administrative staff to train or teach at a partner institution abroad. These exchanges help to improve quality of teaching and learning, and help to open up our universities and colleges to cooperation with the world. In this way, the Erasmus programme contributes to the modernisation of higher education in Europe.
Erasmus+, our new, strengthened programme for education, training, youth and sport, will build on the legacy of Erasmus and contribute to our strategy to combat youth unemployment.
The programme is expected to have a budget of around €14.5 billion for 2014-2020 - 40% more than our current EU and international education mobility programmes. This means 4 million people, mostly under the age of 25, will have the opportunity to study, train or volunteer abroad.