• +48 512084372
  • z.polkowski@ujw.pl

About Erasmus

About Erasmus

What is Erasmus?

            Erasmus is the EU’s flagship education and training programme, enabling two hundred thousand students to study and work abroad each year, as well as supporting cooperation actions between higher education institutions across Europe. It caters not only for students, but also for professors and business staff who want to teach abroad and for university staff who want to be trained abroad. The programme is named after the humanist and theologian Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam (1465-1536) whose travels for work and study took in the era’s great centers of learning, including Paris, Leuven and Cambridge. Like the man, the Erasmus programme places great importance on mobility and furthering career prospects through learning. By leaving his fortune to the University of Basel, he became a pioneer of the mobility grants which now bear his name.
Studies show that a period spent abroad not only enriches students’ lives in the academic field but also in the acquisition of intercultural skills and self-reliance. Staff exchanges have similar beneficial effects, both for the people participating and for the home and host institutions.
In addition to mobility actions, the programme supports higher education institutions to work together through intensive programs, networks and multilateral projects.  The Erasmus Programme (European Region Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students is a European Union (EU) student exchange programme established in 1987. Erasmus+, or Erasmus Plus, is the new programme combining all the EU’s current schemes for education, training, youth and sport, which was started in January 2014. The Erasmus Programme, together with a number of other independent programmes, was incorporated into the Socrates programme 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. There are currently more than 4,000 higher institutions participating in Erasmus across the 33 countries involved in the Erasmus programme and by 2013, 3 million students had taken part since the programme’s inception in 1987. In 2012-13 alone, 270,000 took part, the most popular destinations being Spain, Germany, and France. Erasmus students represented 5 percent of European graduates as of 2012. A number of studies have raised issues related to the selection into the programme and the representativeness of the participants. Such studies have raised doubts about the inclusiveness of the programme, by socio-economic background, the level of study, or academic performance. Thus, one study analyses the financial issues and family background of Erasmus students, showing that despite the fact that access to the programme has been moderately widened, there are still important socio-economic barriers to participation in the programme. Other study argues that the reason why the Erasmus programme misses its mark to reinforce a European identity is that it addresses university students, who are already very likely to feel European. Finally, a study finds out what seems to be an adverse self-selection of Erasmus students based on their prior academic performance, with higher-performing students less likely to participate than lower-performing ones.

Erasmus 2014–2020:

            Erasmus  (2014-2020), also called Erasmus Plus, is the new 14.7 billion euro catch-all framework programme for education, training, youth and sport. The new Erasmus+ programme combines all the EU’s current schemes for education, training, youth and sport, including the Lifelong Learning Programme (Erasmus, Leonardo da Vinci, Comenius, Grundtvig), Youth in Action and five international co-operation programmes (Erasmus Mundus, Tempus, Alfa, Edulink and the programme for co-operation with industrialised countries). The Erasmus regulation was signed on 11 December 2013.


            Students who join the Erasmus Programme study at least 3 months or do an internship for a period of at least 2 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. Switzerland has been suspended as a participant in the Erasmus programme as of 2015, following the popular vote to limit the immigration of EU citizens into Switzerland. As a consequence, Swiss students will not be able to apply for the programme and European students will not be able to spend time at a Swiss university under that programme.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 apply for an additional grant to cover extraordinary expenses.In order to reduce expenses and increase mobility, many students also use the European Commission-supported accommodation network, CasaSwap, FlatClub, Erasmusinn, Eurasmus, Erasmate or Student Mundial, 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.

Andrei Lazarescu
Translate »