Erasmus+ invests €1 billion in UK overseas study

30 April, 2014

The European Commission has announced it will provide almost €1 billion (US$1.38 billion) over the next seven years to help students from the UK study overseas through the Erasmus+ scheme.

EU Education commissioner Androulla Vassiliou launches Erasmus+ in the UK

The funding will provide opportunities for 30,000 students per year to undertake higher education study overseas, vocational courses, teacher training and volunteer programmes, representing a 50 per cent increase in student numbers compared with the previous Lifelong Learning and Youth in Action schemes that Erasmus+ will replace.

European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, Androulla Vassiliou, said, “Investment in education and training is the best choice we can make for our young people’s future. Erasmus+ is a prime example of the major benefits that EU membership brings for Britain – and especially for the young generation in search of skills that can give them an edge in today’s tough job market.

“An Erasmus+ experience abroad will improve your ability to speak a foreign language, your self-confidence and versatility – qualities that will make you more employable wherever you see your future. The programme also supports measures to improve education and training at all levels so that Europe is a match for the best in the world and can deliver more jobs and higher growth.”

Across Europe as a whole, the Erasmus+ scheme will provide €14.7 billion (US$20.3 billion) funding in grants for over four million people to study, train, take work experience or volunteer overseas.

Matthew Hancock, UK Minister of State for Skills and Enterprises, who launched the scheme alongside Vassiliou, said, “In an increasingly global economy, we need to encourage our young people to study overseas. Erasmus+ will give more young people from the UK the opportunity to experience different cultures, develop crucial language skills, understand other ways of working and give them a global outlook.”

At the launch event, Sir Vernon Ellis, Chair of the British Council, said, “Employers tell us that to compete internationally they need more people with intercultural skills and experience abroad. The British Council’s recently published Broadening Horizons research shows that over one third of UK students are now looking to study abroad. The Erasmus+ programme will address both these needs and in so doing, help secure the UK’s competitiveness in the coming years.”

The Broadening Horizons 2014 report, the second annual research into interest in study abroad among UK and USA students, showed 37 per cent of the 2,630 UK student respondents were considering study abroad, a 17 per cent increase compared with the inaugural 2013 study.

The USA was most likely study abroad destination for UK respondents, chosen by 33 per cent, followed by Australia (nine per cent), France (five), Germany (five) and Canada (four). Only 26 per cent of respondents were aware of government-sponsored programmes to assist study abroad.

Androula Vassiliou introduced the benefits of the Erasmus+ programme in an article in Study Travel Magazine’s ‘View from the desk of...’ section last year.

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