EHEA Website Archive

Work programme 2009-2012

Launch conference of the 25th anniversary of the Erasmus Programme

Other relevant event Brussels, Belgium 30/01/2012 - 31/01/2012

The Launch conference of the 25th anniversary of the Erasmus Programme was held in Brussels, Belgium, 30th - 31st January 2012. Events were organized during the year in the different countries involved.

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Celebrating 25 years of Erasmus

Anniversaries are a time for reflecting on the past and looking to the future.

When EU Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou launched the Erasmus 25th anniversary cel- ebrations in January 2012, there was plenty to look back on. To date, three million students have taken part in Erasmus mobility. The Programme has facilitated new higher education curricula and innovative approaches to learning, teaching and assessment. And it kicked off and underpinned the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS), which ensures that study credits are comparable and portable across borders.

But the 66 Erasmus student and staff ambassadors also wanted to move the pro- gramme on. So they used the launch conference in Brussels to work on an Erasmus Manifesto which sets out 10 points for action (see pages 70-73). From 2014 onwards, the new Erasmus+ Programme will help to meet these aims and ensure that it continues to evolve in line with the needs of society. In this way, it will remain relevant to young people, higher education institutions and employers throughout Europe in years to come.

In this brochure those same Erasmus student and staff ambassadors share their expe- riences of the Programme, how the 25th anniversary was marked in their country and, as the launch date of the new Programme fast approaches, their hopes for its future.

Celebrating 25 years of Erasmus

ERASMUS - Changing lives, opening minds for 25 years

It is remarkable to see how much can change in 25 years. In a quarter of a century, the space of one generation, Erasmus, the best known of all European programmes, has transformed the experience of studying in Europe. It has shown what the European Union can achieve with a clear vision, enthusiasm and a willingness to cooperate. Erasmus has changed the lives of almost three million young people and opened the minds of the first genuinely European generation.

This brochure illustrates how the programme has contributed to the original European vision of bringing together nations by putting people first in the building of a united Europe. Time spent abroad provides opportunities for gaining knowl- edge and skills and, for the young people taking part, a chance to become more confident and self-reliant. This experience gives them the edge in an increasingly competitive labour market and continues to have a positive impact throughout their careers. This can best be expressed in the words of the Erasmus Ambassadors, whose experiences are set out in these pages.

The drive and energy of the staff and students who have taken part has made the Erasmus programme the biggest and most successful student exchange scheme in the world. With a strong brand and the ongoing commitment and interest from higher education institutions and their students across Europe, the programme can only go from strength to strength. The Commission shares this commitment and has recently proposed a significant increase in the resources devoted to the EU education and training programmes. The new Erasmus for All programme, which will be launched in 2014, will build on the legacy of Erasmus by offering opportunities for a further five million people go abroad to study, train or do voluntary work by 2020.

The inspiring stories shared by the Erasmus Ambassadors recall the impact Erasmus makes in young people’s lives and the changes it brings in the work of higher education institutions. They embody the success of the programme over 25 years.

This is a silver anniversary well worth celebrating.

Androulla Vassiliou
European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism, Youth and Sport

ERASMUS - Changing lives, opening minds for 25 years

Published: 30/01/2012 - Last modified: 01/09/2016
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The Erasmus Programme – an EU success story

During the Danish EU Presidency, the Erasmus programme celebrates an important milestone. Throughout the last 25 years, this European success story has sent students to universities the length and breadth of Europe.

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