The program received its name by the humanist and theologian Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam (1465-1536) who traveled in order to work and study in major schools of his time, like Paris, Leuven and Cambridge. Like the character, the Erasmus program places great importance on the mobility and the extension of career personalities through learning. Having abandoned his destination at the University of Basel, Erasmus was a pioneer of the mobility grants which now have his name.
Studies show that a period abroad not only enriches the lives of students in the academic field but also in the acquisition of intercultural skills and self-sufficiency. The exchanges of teachers and non-teaching staff have the same benefits, both for the participants and for the institutions involved.
In addition to mobility actions, the Erasmus program supports collaborative work between higher education institutions through intensive programs, networks and multilateral projects.
Just few programs that were launched by the European Union, have received a similar reception. About 90% of European universities take part in Erasmus and 2 million students have participated in the program since its inception in 1987. The annual budget exceeds the amount of 440 million euros, involving more than 4,000 higher education institutions in 31 countries with more that are waiting to join.
Objectives and actions
Erasmus has become a vehicle for the modernization of higher educations in Europe and has inspired the Bologna process.
The overall objective of the program is to create a Higher Education Area and foster innovation throughout Europe..
Erasmus is part of the European LLP( Lifelong Learning Programme )European since 2007 and has been covering new areas like the placements (transferred from the Leonardo da Vinci program), staff training and education for staff of companies. The program seeks to expand its mobility actions even further in the coming years, reaching 3 million Erasmus students by 2012.
For persons of universities / higher education institutions:
For universities / higher education institutions:
Higher education institutions that want to participate in Erasmus actions must have an Erasmus University Card.The aim of the Card is to ensure a high level of quality in mobility and cooperation by establishing the fundamental principles for all Erasmus actions that participants wish to implement.
The European Commission is responsible for the implementation of Erasmus everywhere and its Directorate-General for Education and Culture coordinates its various actions. Individual mobilities, also called “decentralized actions” are organized by national agencies in the 31 participating countries. The centralized actions such as networks, multilateral projects and prizes “Erasmus University Charter” are directed by the Executive Agency for Education, Audiovisual and Culture based in Brussels..