Erasmus Programme

Erasmus Programme

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The Erasmus Programme a.k.a. Erasmus Project is a European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 (EU) student exchange programme established in 1987. It forms a major part of the EU Lifelong Learning Programme 2007–2013, and is the operational framework for the European Commission
European Commission
The European Commission is the executive body of the European Union. The body is responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the Union's treaties and the general day-to-day running of the Union....

's initiatives in higher education.

The Erasmus Programme, together with a number of other independent Programmes, was incorporated into the Socrates programme
Socrates programme
The SOCRATES programme was an educational initiative of the European Commission; 31 countries took part. The initial Socrates programme ran from 1994 until 31 December 1999 when it was replaced by the Socrates II programme on 24 January 2000, which ran until 2006...

 established by the European Commission in 1994. The Socrates programme ended on 31 December 1999 and was replaced with the Socrates II Programme on 24 January 2000, which in turn was replaced by the Lifelong Learning Programme 2007–2013 on 1 January 2007.

Origins of the name


The Programme is named after the Dutch philosopher Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam, known as an opponent of dogmatism, who lived and worked in many places in Europe to expand his knowledge and gain new insights, and who left his fortune to the University of Basel
University of Basel
The University of Basel is located in Basel, Switzerland, and is considered to be one of leading universities in the country...

 in Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

. At the same time, ERASMUS is a backronym
Backronym
A backronym or bacronym is a phrase constructed purposely, such that an acronym can be formed to a specific desired word. Backronyms may be invented with serious or humorous intent, or may be a type of false or folk etymology....

 meaning European Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students.

1987 European Commission proposal


By the time the Erasmus Programme was adopted in June 1987, the European Commission
European Commission
The European Commission is the executive body of the European Union. The body is responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the Union's treaties and the general day-to-day running of the Union....

 had been supporting pilot student exchanges for 6 years. It proposed the original Erasmus Programme in early 1986, but reaction from the then Member States varied: those with substantial exchange Programmes of their own (essentially France, Germany and the United Kingdom) were broadly hostile; the remaining countries were broadly in favour. Exchanges between the Member States and Manuel Marin
Manuel Marín
Manuel Marín González is a Spanish politician, former President of the Congress of Deputies of Spain. He was a long-time member of the European Commission, and President during the interim Marin Commission following the Resignation of the Santer Commission, of which he was a member.-Early life and...

, the responsible member of the European Commission
European Commission
The European Commission is the executive body of the European Union. The body is responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the Union's treaties and the general day-to-day running of the Union....

 deteriorated, and the latter withdrew the proposal in early 1987 to protest against the inadequacy of the triennial budget proposed by some Member States. AEGEE, European Students' Forum, persuades French president François Mitterrand to support funding for the Erasmus programme, a student exchange program financed by the European Commission. In the next few months a compromise was worked out with a majority of Member States, and the Programme was adopted by simple majority in June 1987.

European Court of Justice decision


This method of voting was not accepted by some of the opposing Member States, who challenged the adoption of the decision before the European Court of Justice
European Court of Justice
The Court can sit in plenary session, as a Grand Chamber of 13 judges, or in chambers of three or five judges. Plenary sitting are now very rare, and the court mostly sits in chambers of three or five judges...

. Although the Court held that the adoption was procedurally flawed, it maintained the substance of the decision; a further decision, adapted in the light of the jurisprudence, was rapidly adopted by the Council of Ministers
Council of the European Union
The Council of the European Union is the institution in the legislature of the European Union representing the executives of member states, the other legislative body being the European Parliament. The Council is composed of twenty-seven national ministers...

.

Adoption and growth


The Programme built on the 1981–1986 pilot student exchanges, and although it was formally adopted only shortly before the beginning of the academic year 1987/8, it was still possible for 3,244 students to participate in Erasmus in its first year. In 2006, over 150,000 students, or almost 1% of the European student population, took part. The proportion is higher among university teachers, where Erasmus teacher mobility is 1.9% of the teacher population in Europe, or 20,877 people.

In the past twenty years, over two million students – 60% of Erasmus being female – have benefited from Erasmus grants, and the European Commission aims to reach a total of 3 million by 2012.

Lifelong Learning Programme 2007–2013


The Lifelong Learning Programme 2007-2013 replaced the Socrates programme as the overall umbrella under which the Erasmus (and other) Programmes operate from 2007.

Erasmus and Erasmus MUNDUS



The Erasmus Mundus
Erasmus Mundus
The European Union's Erasmus Mundus programme aims to enhance quality in higher educationthrough scholarships and academic co-operation between Europe and the rest of the world.Erasmus Mundus comprises three Actions:-Erasmus Mundus Joint Programmes:...

 Programme is another, parallel Programme that is oriented towards globalising European education. Whereas the Erasmus Programme is open to Europeans, the Erasmus Mundus is open to non-Europeans with Europeans being exceptional cases. A typical example of an educational Programme under the Erasmus Mundus are EuMAS
Erasmus Mundus
The European Union's Erasmus Mundus programme aims to enhance quality in higher educationthrough scholarships and academic co-operation between Europe and the rest of the world.Erasmus Mundus comprises three Actions:-Erasmus Mundus Joint Programmes:...

 and WISHES
WISHES (Erasmus mundus project)
WISHES stands for Web-based Information Service for Higher Education Students . As a European Project run by nine European institutions WISHES centrally promotes European work and study offers for students worldwide by means of a user-driven web-based information portal.Based on the expressed...

.

Participation


There are currently more than 4,000 higher institutions participating in Erasmus across the 31 countries involved in the Erasmus programme and over 2.2 million students have already taken part.

Requirements


To participate in the Erasmus Programme students must be studying for a degree or diploma at a tertiary-level institution and must have completed their first year.

Details


Students who join the Erasmus Programme study do an internship for a period of at least 3 months to an academic year in another European country. The Erasmus Programme guarantees that the period spent abroad is recognised by their university when they come back as long as they abide by terms previously agreed.

There continues to be a language barrier between the countries of Europe. Lectures may be given to ERASMUS students in the native language of the university where they are taking place or in English.

A main part of the Programme is that students do not pay extra tuition fees to the university that they visit. Students can also apply for an Erasmus grant to help cover the additional expense of living abroad. Students with disabilities can also apply for additional grant to cover extraordinary expenses. The disability dimension is a part of EU work to promote opportunities for the disabled.

As in 2002 Brussels agreement, Erasmus programme guaranties all the loan and grant of the student from their origin country. Countries will continue paying loans on the same level as in the origin country, no matter of inflation rate in study-country. Some extra bursses can be applied as well. But tuition fee has to be paid by origin country with the same amount paid-expectation, no matter of price ratio in the study-country.

In order to reduce expenses and increase mobility, many students also use the European Commission-supported accommodation network, CasaSwap, or Erasmate which are free websites where students and young people can rent, sublet, offer and swap accommodation – on a national and international basis. A derived benefit is that students can share knowledge and exchange tips and hints with each other before and after going abroad.

Cultural phenomenon



For many European students, the Erasmus Programme is their first time living and studying abroad. Hence, it has become a cultural phenomenon and is very popular among European students, going on to become the subject of movies such as French film L'Auberge espagnole.

The Programme fosters not only learning and understanding of the host country, but also a sense of community among students from different countries and it can be hard to know what one might expect. The Erasmus experience is considered both a time for learning as well as a chance to socialize.

Tutors are often keen for students of subjects such as Politics or International Relations
International relations
International relations is the study of relationships between countries, including the roles of states, inter-governmental organizations , international nongovernmental organizations , non-governmental organizations and multinational corporations...

 to participate in Erasmus. It is seen as a great opportunity to study abroad while not having the expense of studying outside the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 as the grant available to Erasmus students are not available to those opting to leave the continent to study. Simply having Erasmus on one's curriculum vitae is seen as being a very positive thing because that one word explains the whole experience of studying abroad.

Some academics have speculated that former Erasmus students will prove to be a powerful force in creating a pan-European identity
Pan-European identity
Pan-European identity refers to the sense of personal identification with Europe. The most concrete examples of pan-europeanism are the European Union and the older Council of Europe...

. The political scientist Stefan Wolff
Stefan Wolff
Stefan Wolff is a German political scientist. He is a specialist in international security, particularly in the management, settlement and prevention of ethnic conflicts. He is currently Professor of International Security at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom...

, for example, has argued that "Give it 15, 20 or 25 years, and Europe will be run by leaders with a completely different socialization from those of today", referring to the so-called 'Erasmus generation'.

See also


  • AEGEE
  • Board of European Students of Technology
    Board of European Students of Technology
    Board of European Students of Technology is an international, non-governmental, non-political, non-profit student organisation comprising 90 Local BEST Groups in 30 countries around Europe with more than 3000 active members....

     (BEST)
  • EducationUSA
    EducationUSA
    EducationUSA is a global network of more than 400 advising centers supported by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State...

  • Erasmus Social Network for International Students
  • Erasmus Student Network
    Erasmus Student Network
    Erasmus Student Network is a European wide student organisation. Its goal is to support and develop student exchange. It is composed of over 12'000 members from more than 370 local sections in 36 countries in Higher Education Institutions, including universities, polytechnics, and university...

     (ESN) – Non profit organization for exchange students
  • Erasmusjam
    Erasmusjam
    Erasmusjam refers to a concert which takes place regularly in Valencia, Spain at the Black Note Club. The first musicians playing have been exchange students in Valencia during the academic year 2004/2005....

  • European credit transfer system (ECTS)
  • Fulbright Program
    Fulbright Program
    The Fulbright Program, including the Fulbright-Hays Program, is a program of competitive, merit-based grants for international educational exchange for students, scholars, teachers, professionals, scientists and artists, founded by United States Senator J. William Fulbright in 1946. Under the...

  • German Academic Exchange Service
    German Academic Exchange Service
    The German Academic Exchange Service or DAAD is the largest German support organisation in the field of international academic co-operation....

     (DAAD)
  • TEMPUS
    TEMPUS
    The TEMPUS programme encourages institutions in the EU Member States and partner countries to engage in structured cooperation through the establishment of "consortia". The "consortia" implement Joint European Projects with a clear set of objectives. Such projects may receive financial aid for...

  • European Higher Education Area
    European Higher Education Area
    The European Higher Education Area was launched along with the Bologna Process' decade anniversary, in March 2010, during the Budapest-Vienna Ministerial Conference....


External links