The Erasmus Programme (European Community Action Scheme for the Mobility ofUniversity Students) is a European Union (E U) student exchange programme established in 1987. It forms a major part of the EU Lifelong Learning Programme 2007–2013.
The Erasmus Program was established to enhance the quality and reinforce the European dimension of higher education by encouraging transnational cooperation between universities. The Erasmus Program, in particular, is designed to foster student and teaching staff mobility in Europe.
Erasmus is one of the major branches of the EU- Lifelong Learning Program (LLP) that covers undergraduate and graduate studies in universities. It would be explanatory to quote from the key objectives of the LLP Program, determined by the LLP Bureau in Brussels:
- To achieve a significant increase in student and staff mobility between European Higher Education Institutions,
- To promote broad and lasting inter-institutional co-operation,
- To contribute to the concept of a people's Europe,
- To contribute to the economic and social development of Europe through the creation of a significant number of higher education graduates with direct experience of intra- European cooperation.
How does it work?
Higher education institutions apply for the Erasmus University Charter (EUC) to the European Commission. The awarding of an EUC gives the institution the right to participate in activities supported by the Erasmus programme. Once an institution receives a Charter, it can apply for funding for activities such as Student Mobility and Curriculum Development projects.
Adopted on 14 December 2006 and spanning the period until the end of 2013, LLP and its Erasmus action are now open to the participation of 33 countries:
- The 28 Member States of the European Union
- The 3 European Economic Area countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway)
- Macedonia, Turkey
About National Agency
The European Commission is responsible for the overall implementation of Erasmus Programme. Actions are managed by national agencies in the participating countries or by Executive Agency for Education, Audovisiual and Culture based in Brussels.