Erasmus, named after a Dutch humanist and theologian, Erasmus of Rotterdam (1466 - 1536), is the European Commission's programme for Higher Education and HE/FE students, teachers and institutions. It was introduced in 1987 with the aim of increasing student mobility within the European Community, subsequently including the European Economic Area countries, Switzerland and the Candidate Countries of Turkey and Croatia.
In 1995 Erasmus was incorporated into the Socrates programme which supported the European dimension in education from school, to university, and through adult life.
In 2006 the Socrates, Leonardo da Vinci and eLearning programmes came to a close. Erasmus is now one of the four sectoral programmes supported under the EU Lifelong Learning Programme which will run until the end of 2013. A new Programme will then start from 2014-2020.
The British Council was appointed the UK National Agency for Erasmus in the UK in 2006. The programme is now supported by our team based in Cardiff. If you require information on the National Agencies in other European countries, please go to the EU Commission website