As the Erasmus programme celebrates its 30th anniversary, Education Commissioner Tibor Navracsics told EFE the scheme “increases the possibilities for young people to enter the labour market” and praised it as “one of the greatest achievements of the European Union”.
Graduates with Erasmus experience are twice as successful at finding work than former students who did not participate in the programme, Hungarian Commissioner Navracsics said.
The EU marked three decades of Erasmus by launching a mobile application to improve the experience of Erasmus +, in an effort to make the programme “more accessible and inclusive”, according to the Commissioner.
He added that Erasmus is one of the EU’s “greatest achievements to date”, in which nine million people have been offered the opportunity to study, do work experience, volunteer and undergo training.
“Erasmus has created a generation of people that not only identify with their city or country but also with Europe. It is very important because this generation will play a key role in building an open and resilient Europe of the future,” the Commissioner said.
In terms of how Brexit is set to affect the programme, particularly since the United Kingdom is one of the most popular Erasmus destinations, Navracsics insisted that “at the moment nothing has changed” but it will “depend on the negotiations”.
A symbol of mobility and Europe
Navracsics said that Erasmus + has already become “a symbol of mobility and of Europe” but acknowledged that it has to be advertised and explained better.
“It goes beyond university education. The current programme also funds scholarships, volunteers, teachers, schools, athletes,” he added.
The Commissioner also insisted that Erasmus is more than just an excuse for a holiday for young people and explained that it is a way to prepare them for engagement in social and political activities, as well as increasing their chances of accessing the labour market.
The mobile app launched on 13 June is intended to enhance the programme’s experience and make it more accessible and inclusive.
Navracsics revealed that the app will allow students to track administrative procedures before, during and after their study period abroad, as well as signing agreements. The app hopes to help young people better integrate within their new environments.
He also added that the app will be constantly updated with new features to provide students with the best possible experience.