European students urge EU to triple funding for Erasmus+

Róisín Phelan

The European Students’ Union (ESU) and the Erasmus Student Network (ESN) have joined together to urge the EU to triple funding for the Erasmus+ programme.

The funding for 2014-2020 was €14.7bn. 

These two European student organisations launched a joint position paper in Brussels on Friday, October 18th asking for triple of their previous allocated amount. This requested amount would be €44.1bn.

The groups say they need this funding to “ensure a more equal access for a larger group of beneficiaries from all ages” in order to “respond to the high demand of smaller organisations and individual citizens, especially those from disadvantaged groups who will struggle to access and be successful in the current programme.”

Erasmus+ is an EU student exchange programme started in 1987. Over the last 30 years over nine million people have benefited from the programme through exchange, education and training. 

Erasmus+ offer grants to students who are on exchange and supports teaching, research, networking and policy debate on EU topics. 

The sports chapter of the program also promotes grassroots activities in sports.

The Council of Ministers are offering only double the funding for the next program cycle, while the ESU and ESN are requesting triple. The join position paper was written in an attempt to convince the Council to increase the funding to triple.

DCU were awarded the “Erasmus Charter for Higher Education 2014-2020” and agreed to provide guidance, support and assistance to all students DCU students who partake in an Erasmus program. This includes obtaining insurance, visas and accommodation. 

DCU student Eoin Slevin is currently studying in Madrid as part of his Erasmus.

“I think having an Erasmus as part of my degree has really benefited my education,” said Slevin.

Only two months into his time in Madrid, Slevin feels as though he’s “learned more Spanish in the time that I’ve been here than I did in the years I spent studying Spanish in Ireland.”

“Having Erasmus as part of a course definitely makes it more appealing to students… I know people in my course who chose DCU for this reason,” said Slevin. 

Although not all courses involve an Erasmus period, DCU offers formal recognition of time spent abroad for the courses that do, meaning that students receive academic credits that go towards a student’s final grade for their involvement in the Erasmus program.

Róisín Phelan

Image Credit: Wiki Media