25 years of Erasmus: connecting Europe since 1987 

Studying abroad thanks to the Erasmus program ©BELGA_BELPRESS_Philippe Turpin  

The EU's student and teacher exchange programme, named after the Dutch philosopher Erasmus, celebrates its silver jubilee this year. Since its launch in the late 80's, nearly 3 million students and teachers have been able to study and work abroad with the help of Erasmus grants.

Erasmus is a part of the EU's Lifelong Learning Programme, which aims to allow Europeans to learn and develop new skills throughout their lives. Erasmus deals with higher education and its general aim is to create a European Higher Education Area and foster innovation in Europe.

The European Commission has proposed extra funding for Erasmus for the next EU funding period of 2014-2020. After 2013 the current Lifelong Learning Programme will be renamed "Erasmus for all". The proposals will be guided through the EP by German Christian Democrat Doris Pack from the Culture Committee.

The 25th anniversary will be marked by a two-day conference on the theme "Erasmus: changing lives, opening minds for 25 years" organised by the Commission with Education Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou and Erasmus ambassadors - one student and one teacher from each of the 33 participating countries. The ambassadors have been chosen based on the impact that the Erasmus programme has had on their lives.