Erasmus+: ambitious new education programme signed into law
With a simple signature, the revamped version of Europe’s most popular student programme was signed into law on 11 December by EP President Martin Schulz. Erasmus+ boasts a budget of more than €14 billion for 2014-2020, nearly twice as much as its current funding, giving more than four million young Europeans the chance to study or train abroad. The new programme will kick off on 1 January 2014.
Erasmus+ supports 13-30 year old students, trainees, apprentices, volunteers, teaching staff or trainers to seek education, training or even organised sporting activities in other EU countries. The leaders of youth clubs and voluntary workers will now also be eligible for Erasmus+ funding.
Erasmus+ introduces the postgraduate European Student loan guarantee facility, which will provide partial guarantees for postgraduate student loans.
The programme brings together existing education and training programmes Comenius, Erasmus, Erasmus Mundus, Leonardo da Vinci and Grundtvig, maintaining their names as they are already well known. It also includes the Youth in Action programme and for the first time covers sport.
Irish student Laura Hegarty attended the signing. Laura is studying Law and French in Trinity College Dublin and is spending one year at the University of Strasbourg. Asked how she was enjoying her time in Strasbourg, she said "I love it! I'm so lucky to have chosen Strasbourg because of my interest in EU politics." "It has offered me the opportunity to visit the European Institutions and the highlight has been meeting the President of the European Parliament today."