The British Council welcomes the news announced yesterday that "Erasmus+", is set to be the EU's next programme for education, training, youth and sport, following an agreement confirmed by Parliament negotiators and the Council on Wednesday. The proposed budget is €16 billion over the next seven years.
The new programme, now officially named Erasmus+, will bring together all the current EU programmes for education, training and youth, and, for the first time, sports initiatives.
The British Council, which hosts the UK’s National Agency for the EU’s current Erasmus, Comenius and Youth in Action programmes, has seen an increase in participation across all these programmes over the last seven years and believes this new programme will offer even more opportunities for future UK participants.
Ruth Sinclair-Jones, Head of EU Programmes and National Agency Director at the British Council, said, “The new programme aims to reach almost double the numbers who currently receive support for education and training opportunities abroad, between 2014 and 2020. This represents a fantastic opportunity for UK participants, especially for our young people, to benefit from a funded international experience and help improve their employability. We know from our ‘Culture at Work’ report, produced in partnership with Booz Allen Hamilton and Ipsos Public Affairs, that employers value intercultural skills almost as highly as formal qualifications. These programmes equip participants with the skills they need to prosper in today’s challenging economic climate.”
Erasmus+ will focus on mobility, cooperation and policy reform. Improvements will be made to support for international study, training, teaching and volunteering opportunities. These improvements will benefit higher education and vocational students and staff, trainees, teachers and students, trainers, young volunteers and youth workers. In the area of sports, the programme will particularly focus on cooperation and activities in grassroots sport.
Since 2007, the British Council has supported over 90,000 UK students through the Erasmus programme and distributed funds of over €447,000,000 through the Erasmus, Comenius and Youth in Action programmes. Over 6,000 school partnerships have been formed under Comenius and eTwinning, enhancing teaching and learning and developing skills for over 100,000 teachers and around two million pupils in the UK. In the non-formal sector, Youth in Action has enabled 50,000 young people to take part in community-level projects with their counterparts in other countries, while 5,000 youth workers have made use of opportunities for professional development.