New Erasmus programme will benefit Irish students

27 May 2021
By Elaine Murphy

The programme, which has demonstrated that it plays a significant role in helping young people experience Europe will have almost double the funding in 2021 to 2027, with over €28 billion from different sources, compared to the previous seven years when it had a budget of €14.7 billion. MEPs managed to secure an additional €1.7 billion during the final stages of negotiations with the Council.

The new Erasmus+ will offer more tools and resources to support inclusion. Member States along with the Commission must now come up with action plans to improve access to learning and mobility for people who historically have had fewer opportunities to participate – people living with a disability, people living in poverty, in a remote location, people with a migration background, and more.

The new and improved Erasmus Programme has been adopted by MEPs in Europe.

Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune said this programme will offer an opportunity for Irish people to engage more in Europe.. Figures show that more than twice as many EU students come to Ireland for Erasmus, as Irish students go to other Member States. Most recent figures show that about 3,700 Irish students a year go on Erasmus to other EU countries to study; while around 8,000 EU students a year come to Ireland. Since it was first set-up, more than 88,000 Irish students and teachers have had a chance to study and train in other EU countries.

MEP Clune said: “This is very welcome news that the Erasmus Programme is expanding and developing. It has proven to be a hugely successful programme since it was first launched. It offers a great opportunity for Irish people to experience other cultures and educational systems in Europe and it is a big boost to the programme that the budget for the next seven years has almost doubled. This is such a unique programme in terms of its size, scope and global recognition.

Deirdre Clune MEP
Pic Diane Cusack

“We should as a nation engage more in Europe. The programme gives a means of living, working and studying in another country, with financial support and the support of an educational institution. The Erasmus+ programme also improves language and employment opportunities.”

Those who do not have sufficient means to cover the initial costs to take part in the programme such as buying a train ticket or booking accommodation can receive top-up grants, including up-front payments.

Compared to the previous Erasmus+, the new programme will expand to support time spent in a different EU country for up to six months for students in adult education. It will help people of all ages and backgrounds acquire new work and life skills, helping them better adapt to the changes brought about by the coming green and digital transitions as well as the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new Erasmus+ will be simpler and more manageable for applicants, with more user-friendly IT systems and less paperwork. It will offer a special “small-scale partnerships” funding scheme for smaller organisations, such as youth associations and sports clubs.

The programme will also measure its contribution to achieving the EU’s climate spending targets and reduce its own environmental footprint, for example by incentivising climate-friendly means of transportation for participants.

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