Minister praises Erasmus ‘success story’

A revamped version of European student exchange programme Erasmus officially launched in Berlin on Thursday with Germany's education minister praising the scheme as a Europe-wide “success story”.

Minister praises Erasmus 'success story'
Photo: DPA

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Education Minister Johanna Wanka said ahead of the Erasmus+ launch that the new version of the scheme, which has absorbed other exchange programmes including Leonardo da Vinci and Comenius, would further build a bridge between professions and countries.

Leonardo da Vinci offered trainee programmes, while Comenius was open to school children. They will all now be part of Erasmus+.

The scheme offers financial support to young people wishing to study, or work, abroad. Erasmus+ will receive €15 billion by 2020 in EU money – an increase of 40 percent on the old model.

Wanka said that being able to offer young people better financial support would “avoid young unemployment and give the youth of Europe prospects”.

She added that she wanted everyone to be able to have the chance to take part. “Erasmus+ stands for an open and tolerant Europe where people can learn together,” she said.

In Germany, the government estimates that 275,000 students and 150,000 trainees will benefit from internships and connections made while taking part in Erasmus+.

Youth Minister Manuela Schwesig, EU Commissioner for Education and Culture Androulla Vassiliou and President of the Conference of Ministers of Education Sylvia Löhrmann were also at the launch.

“Our goal is to get as many young people as possible in involved in cross-border exchanges,” Löhrmann said. “European cooperation projects not only strengthen peoples' abilities in foreign languages but also make them more competent at moving between cultures.”

SEE ALSO: Is Erasmus really worth its budget boost?

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