On this day in 1987, the Erasmus program was born. I want to devote this article to the programme that changes lives, unites people and countries despite any borders.
So what is the Erasmus programme?
Erasmus+ is the European Union programme for education, training, youth and sport. Erasmus+ aims to modernise education, training and youth work across Europe. Through Erasmus+:
- Young people can study, volunteer and gain work experience abroad, to develop new skills, gain vital international experience and boost their employability
- Staff can teach or train abroad, to develop their professional practice, build relationships with international peers, and gain fresh ideas
- Organisations can collaborate with international partners, to drive innovation, share best practice, and offer new opportunities to young people.
The history of the programme:
The programme is named after the Dutch philosopher, theologian, Renaissance Humanist, monk, and devout Roman Catholic, Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam, called "the crowning glory of the Christian humanists". Erasmus, along with his good friend Thomas More, became the center of European intellectual life during the Renaissance. Known for his satire, Erasmus urged internal reform of the Catholic Church. He encouraged a recovery of the Catholic Patristic tradition against contemporary abuses of the Sacraments and certain excessive devotional practices. He famously clashed with Protestant revolutionary Martin Luther on the subject of free will. ERASMUS is a backronym meaning EuRopean community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students.
The Erasmus programme was approved in 1987 as an independently run European Union programme with the aim of supporting student mobility. In 1995 Erasmus became part of the framework education programme Socrates, and the spectrum of its activities was gradually broadened to include teacher mobility and international cooperation among universities. The Socrates/ Erasmus programme ended in 2006, having given over one million students the chance to study abroad. After it the EU “Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP)”, replaced the Socrates programme in 2007. With a budget of nearly €7 billion, the programme, which ran from 2007-2013, funded a range of exchanges, study visits, and networking activities. The activities of LLP continue under the new Erasmus+ programme from 2014-2020.
Erasmus plus nowadays:
Erasmus+ is open to a number of countries across Europe and beyond. These countries are divided into two groups: programme countries and partner countries. The current period of the programme lasts from 2014 to 2020. On 30 May in 2018, the Commission adopted its proposal for the next Erasmus programme, with a doubling of the budget to 30 billion euros for the period 2021-2027.
Erasmus+ is a great programme that provides a lot of opportunities for people from different countries, even if they are not citizens of the European Union. It helps young people from all over the world to travel, get a good education, gain new knowledge and skills, experience unforgettable moments and find a purpose in their lives. Last year I also became part of this wonderful programme, and I am really grateful for that! Happy Birthday, dear Erasmus+!