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30 years of 'Erasmus' exchanges abroad: EC launches mobile application to mark anniversary
The EU has celebrated 30 years of its 'Erasmus' programme. From Erasmus to Erasmus+, 9m people have now benefited from exchanges abroad.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, and European Parliament President Antonio Tajani are leading the 30th anniversary celebrations for the Erasmus programme at the European Parliament in Strasbourg today. To mark the occasion, the Commission is also launching a new Erasmus+ mobile application. Designed for students, vocational learners and participants in youth exchanges, the app will make young people's Erasmus+ experience easier.
President Jean-Claude Juncker said: "Every euro that we invest in Erasmus+ is an investment in the future — in the future of a young person and of our European idea. I cannot imagine anything more worthy of our investment than these leaders of tomorrow. As we celebrate the 9 millionth person to take part, let's make sure we are 9 times more ambitious with the future of the Erasmus+ programme."
Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, said: "Just as each Erasmus+ exchange delivers an enriching life experience — both professionally and personally — 30 years of mobility and cooperation have given Europe an open-minded and entrepreneurial generation of 9 million people who are today shaping the future of our society. By putting Erasmus+ at their fingertips, the new App will bring Europe closer to young people all over the world."
For a programme that will support more than 4 million people to study, train and volunteer abroad between 2014 and 2020, the Erasmus+ Mobile App represents an important improvement. It will guide students, vocational learners and young people throughout their Erasmus+ experience. This will help to make the programme more inclusive and accessible to all. The Commission is strongly committed to building the future of Erasmus+ beyond 2020 together with the Erasmus+ generation to strengthen the programme and ensure that it reaches out to an even wider range of young people.
The Erasmus+ Mobile App will allow participants to:
- Easily track their progress in the different administrative steps before, during and after their stay abroad. Through the app, students will also be able to agree and sign their study agreements online with both sending and receiving universities;
- Share and vote for their preferred tips to help others integrate into the local community; and
- Improve their language skills via a direct link to the Erasmus+ Online Linguistic Support platform, offering online tutored courses and interactive live mentoring.
The first version of the app is already available for both iOS and Android. New features and constant updates will soon extend it to other groups of Erasmus+ participants and make sure the app also covers the future needs of the Erasmus+ generation.
Since the beginning of the original Erasmus Programme in 1987, 9 million people have benefitted from an exchange abroad. Today's celebration in Strasbourg will see the Presidents of the European Parliament and Commission handing over a 30th anniversary symbolic award for the"9 millionth participant" to 33 representatives of the Erasmus+ generation, one from each of the participating European countries. The award ceremony will be followed by debates on the future of the Erasmus+ programme after 2020, involving young people, Erasmus+ participants and organisations, NGOs, Members of the European Parliament, and current and former Members of the European Commission — including those who contributed to the creation of the original Erasmus Programme.
Since its launch in 1987 — with the participation of 11 countries and 3,200 students — Erasmus and its successor programmes have given 9 million people the chance to study, train, volunteer or gain professional experience abroad. In 2014, the Erasmus+ Programme was created, integrating all the initiatives in the fields of education, training, youth and sport, in a single EU framework. With 33 European countries currently participating in the programme (all 28 EU Member States plus Turkey, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein), more than 2 million people have benefitted from an Erasmus+ experience in less than three years.
To involve the Erasmus+ generation in shaping the future of the programme, the Commission has launched the Erasmus+ Generation Online Meeting Point. This website offers young people and organisations the opportunity to engage in debates with youth, education and training experts, propose topics, identify problems, and put forward solutions. The new app complements these efforts.
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