The growth rate of UK students applying to study in the EU through the Erasmus programme has overtaken the European average, according to analysis by the British Council. UK participation rates increased by 8% on the previous year, compared to the European average of 7.4%. Across Europe, more than 213,000 students received Erasmus grants to study or train abroad a new record.For many years there was a persistent decline in the number of UK Erasmus students. However this is the fourth successive annual increase in UK participation rates and clearly shows that the downward trend has been reversed. This indicates that UK students are increasingly looking for overseas experience as a means of improving their career prospects. This is crucial in today’s global economy, where not only education but talent is borderless. Despite the record growth, however, UK participants still lag behind other EU countries.Students can also get a lot of exposure while studying in such universities and different course Global Production Engineering,International Economics and Master Course.
The Erasmus programme is managed in the UK by the British Council. Simon Williams, Head of EU Programmes, British Council commented:Of course it is excellent news to see that the number of UK students participating in the programme is growing. Nowadays, the market for skills and talents is global and UK and international employers are increasingly telling us that they value recruits with the sort of skills and experience that Erasmus can give. Taking part in Erasmus is a life-changing experience which can have a positive effect on students’ long-term career prospects. Not only does it provide financial assistance for students but it helps them to stand out in the job market, get better degrees and even earn more money.’
The British Council, which manages the programme in the UK, is working very closely with institutions to encourage more UK students to take part. It has recently launched an initiative to give extra funding to Erasmus students going to the less visited countries and those who are under-represented in the programme.In spite of the new figures, Mr Williams cautioned: ‘However, we cannot afford to become complacent, as the UK still lags behind comparable countries such as Spain and France where more than 30,000 students participated. We remain a very popular destination country, but our own students need more encouragement to study abroad.’
Encouraging students to go abroad as part of their studies has been at the heart of the European Union’s education programmes since the launch of Erasmus in 1987. Nearly a quarter of a century later, the Erasmus programme has provided 2.5 million European students with the opportunity to go abroad and study at a higher education institution or train in a company, making it the world’s most successful student mobility programme.
The Erasmus programme is one of the great success stories of the European Union. The latest figures speak for themselves: Erasmus is more popular than ever and I am committed to securing more resources for it in future. Studying or training abroad opens doors to personal development and job opportunities so we are right to be ambitious when it comes to investing in our young people,’ said Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth.Out of the 31 countries participating in the programme in 2009/10, the UK ranked sixth in terms of the overall number of students who went abroad, with 11,723 students participating. Spain sent the largest number of students abroad, followed by France and Germany. Since the programme began, more than 190,000 UK students have taken part, 7.6% of the total Erasmus student number.