ERASMUS+ to fund over 4 million young people to train or study abroad in the EU

The EU’s new Erasmust+ programme, which will fund grants for students, teachers, trainers and apprentices to study abroad in the EU, was approved by the European Parliament on Tuesday. Youth leaders, volunteers and young sportsmen and women will also be eligible. A new guarantee mechanism will also enable master’s degree students to get cheaper loans to study abroad.

"The Leonardo da Vinci Programme has been around since 1995 and it has been a great success. We are not starting from zero in the fight against youth unemployment and our efforts for training, mobility and the coming together of the Europeans, but we have to take care of the existing programmes and fund them adequately." said rapporteur Doris Pack (EPP, DE).

Erasmus+ will bring together the EU education, training and youth programmes Comenius, Erasmus, Erasmus Mundus, Leonardo da Vinci (professional training) and Grundtvig under a single umbrella, and include sport for the first time. These sub-programmes keep their labels, which are well known to the public.

With a total budget of about €14.7 billion, Erasmus+ will help young people aged 13 to 30 to study abroad and offer master’s degree students a loan guarantee mechanism enabling them to get soft loans ranging from €12,000 (for a one-year master’s degree) to €18,000 (two years), to study in another EU country. Parliament stresses that this mechanism must not replace any existing national grant system or prevent the creation of lending mechanisms at national level.

Erasmus+ will also support new partnerships between teaching institutions and firms. « Knowledge alliances » and « sector skills alliances » should permit training in a real working environment, new teaching approaches and new courses tailored to the world of work.

The result of the vote was 632 votes in favour to 29 against and 30 abstentions.

Procedure: Co-decision (Ordinary Legislative Procedure), 1st reading agreement

Background notes: 
Erasmus+ is the new EU umbrella programme for education, training, youth and sport from 2014 to 2020. It brings together all the existing education and training programmes as well as the Youth in Action Programme, and adds sport, for the first time in an EU programme. Having a single, simplified programme should make management more transparent and easier, ensure swifter access to funding and reduce administrative costs.

The aim is to foster learning mobility in Europe, institutional exchanges and cooperation between educational institutions, businesses, youth organisations, local and regional authorities and NGOs, and promote policy reform in all three fields covered by the new programme.

More than four million young people will be eligible for funding to study, train, carry out volunteer work or take part in youth or sports activities in an EU country other than their own during the programme's seven-year period.

Young people from the age of 13 to 30 will be able to go abroad to study at university, take up a traineeship or an apprenticeship or work as an assistant. They will also be able to teach or gain professional experience in another EU country.

Leaders of youth clubs and other youth workers will be able to get funding for exchanges, training and networking activities. Young people taking part in voluntary work, including through the European Voluntary Service, will also get support under Erasmus+.

Funding will also be available for young people and volunteers going abroad to take part in sporting activities, particularly those aimed at boosting social inclusion and at combatting doping, intolerance and discrimination.

Source: European Parliament

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