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Twee miljoen studentenuitwisselingen binnen Europa (en)

Met dank overgenomen van British council, gepubliceerd op vrijdag 31 juli 2009.

Latest figures released today show that the UK remains one of the most popular destinations for students across Europe to spend a year’s study in another country, but that UK students still lag behind their European counterparts in reaping the benefits of a year’s study abroad.

Latest figures published by the European Commission show the United Kingdom is the fourth most popular destination with 15,975 incoming students - Spain remained the most popular destination, receiving 27 831 Erasmus students over the year, with France in second place (20 503), followed by Germany (17 801).

The countries sending most Erasmus students as a share of their student population are Liechtenstein (6.43 %), Austria (1.77 %), the Czech Republic (1.54 %) and Spain (1.41 %). Germany continued to be the biggest sender with 23 553 Erasmus students, followed by Spain (23 107), France (22 556) Italy (17 562), Poland (12,854) and the UK (10, 278).

Poland (652), Latvia (443) and Finland (435) sent the largest number of Higher Education staff and the UK (615), Germany (555) and Spain (480) were the biggest recipients of Erasmus staff.

In the academic year 2007/2008 Erasmus has enabled more than 162 000 European students and 27 000 academics to go abroad to study or teach. For the first time Erasmus has also supported as many as 20 000 students in doing work placements in companies and organisations in other countries and allowed almost 5000 university staff to pursue training abroad. Student exchanges with Erasmus, counting both studies and placements abroad, grew by 5.2 % compared to 2006/07, while the increase for study mobility alone was of 2.1 %. On the basis of these latest figures, it can be assumed that by mid 2009 Erasmus has exceeded the mark of 2 million students.

Erasmus enables students to work or study in some of the very best universities in the 30 other participating countries in Europe. All eligible students get a grant to help cover the extra costs that might arise from living abroad and not pay any tuition fees to the university they are visiting. If they go for a full academic year, they do not pay any tuition fees to their home university or college for that year either.

Simon Williams, Programme Manager for the Lifelong Learning Programme at the British Council, which manages the Erasmus Programme in the UK, said “In the current economic climate the job market should be viewed as an international one, so when students graduate, not only will they be competing with UK graduates, but also with highly qualified graduates from other countries. In this multi-cultural, multi-lingual European job market, the ability to communicate in another language is highly desirable. As well as coming back from their time abroad with academic credits and improved language skills, Erasmus students return highly motivated, independent and confident with more life-skills and something different that will look great on their CV, enabling them to compete more effectively.”

The previous decade had seen a persistent decline in the numbers of UK Erasmus students taking part in exchanges. With the introduction last year of work placements to the Erasmus programme, the British Council, who manages the programme in the UK, has seen around a 40% increase from last year.

Commenting on these figures Ján Figel', European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth, said: "More and more of Europe's students are able to participate in Erasmus exchanges. The fact that the programme has helped 2 million students go abroad for studies and placements since its launch in 1987 makes Erasmus a European success story. Research clearly shows that not only the mobile individuals, but also their educational institutions and society as a whole greatly benefit from such transnational mobility. Now we would like to build on the success of Erasmus and offer such opportunities to all young people who want to go abroad for learning. To this end, we have recently opened a public consultation on the best strategy to achieve this objective."

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For more information including, including briefings and breakdowns of the latest figures by country, and any other inquiries, please contact Paul Melhuish at the British Council Press Office on +44 (0) 20 7389 4871 or paul.melhuish@britishcouncil.org

Notes to Editors


The British Council won the contract in 2007 to manage the Erasmus programme which is the European Commission’s flagship mobility programme that enables student and staff in Higher Education to study or work in another European country. For more information please visit http://www.britishcouncil.org/erasmus

British Council

Marking 75 years in 2009, the British Council is the UK's international cultural relations body.

We work in over 100 countries worldwide to build engagement and trust for the UK through our programmes which support intercultural dialogue, the UK's creative and knowledge economies and help to tackle climate change.

We run international activities in the arts, education, English teaching, science, sport, and governance.

Our work aims to foster the long-term cooperation needed to address global challenges.

Last year we engaged face to face with 13.2 million people and reached 221 million.

We are a non-political organisation which operates at arm's length from government.

Our turnover in 2008/9 was £645 million, of which our grant from the British government was £209 million. The other £436 million was generated from English language teaching, the administration of exams, and delivery of contracts for third parties.

For more information, please visit www.britishcouncil.org

European Commission: The Erasmus programme [including more statistical information.

Public consultation: Green Paper on promoting the learning mobility of young people


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