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More students study abroad with Erasmus programme

April 18, 2013
Record numbers of students are studying or working abroad with the EU’s Erasmus programme. The Minister for Science, Innovation and Higher Education encourages even more to avail of the opportunity.

More students are studying abroad or interning with an international company via the Erasmus programme, according to the 2012 annual report “EU programmes for Lifelong Learning and Youth in Action” from the Danish Agency for Universities and Internationalisation.

For the study year 2011/2012, the number increased by 547 to 3,315 students.

Minister for Science, Innovation and Higher Education Morten Østergaard is pleased with the growing interest.

- International experience is not just important for the individual student’s development, outlook and language skills. It is also crucial that in the face of global competition, a student gathers cross-border knowledge and experience. It provides insight into other countries’ development, culture and production, and makes graduates more attractive to Danish and international employers, says Morten Østergaard.

University students in particular are industrious recipients of Erasmus study grants, while more and more students from programmes containing a mandatory internship are utilising the opportunity to intern with an international company abroad.

A record number of teachers and other employees at educational institutions are also availing of the opportunity for teaching or training exchanges via the Erasmus programme. This is particular the case for educators at artistic institutions, university colleges and business academies.

A total of 33 European countries participate in the Erasmus programme, which has an annual budget of EUR 459 million and the Danish Agency for Universities and Internationalisation awarded DKK 120 million of these funds to European education collaborations, youth projects and grants in 2012.

However, Denmark returns about EUR 1 million annually to the European Commission in unused funding from the Programme for Lifelong Learning – mostly from the Erasmus programme. Only about 17 per cent of higher education students availing of an exchange programme and Minister Morten Østergaard finds this disappointing.

- I personally believe that our long-term vision should be for all students to have an international element in their higher education. We are looking at this in the government’s upcoming action plan for internationalisation. We have already removed a number of financial and administrative barriers that could prevent someone from realising their study abroad dream. For example, case management has been simplified so that there is an easier and quicker process for a student to intern or study abroad, but we need to do more, says Morten Østergaard.

The Erasmus programme

  • The Erasmus programme strengthens cooperation between higher education institutions in Europe and cross-border cooperation between educational institutions and companies.
  • The programme gives students the opportunity to study in other European universities or intern with a foreign company. It also subsidises exchanges of educators and others education employees between educational institutions and companies.
  • The EU programmes for Lifelong Learning and Youth in Action continue until the end of 2013 after which the European Commission will replace them with a new programme.

For further information please contact:

Erasmus programme: International Adviser Lise Andersen, tel: +45 7231 8927, email: lian@ui.dk

Annual report on the Programme for lifelong Learning and Youth in Action: Special Adviser Lars Kolind Jensen, tel. +45 7231 8898, email: lak@ui.dk

Press Officer Ingeborg Nielsen, tel. +45 2211 0200, email: imen@fivu.dk

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