25º anniversary of the Erasmus programme: changing lives, opening minds for 25 years

The Erasmus programme celebrates its 25 anniversary under the theme 'Erasmus: changing lives, opening minds for 25 years', the silver anniversary celebrations'. In particular, more than 250 000 students will benefit from the Erasmus programme this academic year. The celebrations include events organised in the Member States and a conference in Brussels.

Erasmus, the world's most successful student exchange programme, celebrates its 25th anniversary this year with events organised in the Member States besides a conference organised in Brussels. In addition, the "Erasmus ambassadors" from the 33 countries participating in the scheme will be present at many of these events. The ambassadors, one student and one staff member, have been chosen to represent each country, based on the impact that Erasmus has had on their professional and private lives. During a conference in Copenhagen in May, they will present the 'Erasmus Manifesto' which will set out their vision of how the scheme can develop in future.

Erasmus mobility is at the heart of the Commission's strategy to combat youth unemployment by focusing more on skills development. Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, highlights that Erasmus exchanges enable students to improve their knowledge of foreign languages and to develop skills such as adaptability which improve their job prospects. It also provides opportunities for teachers and other staff to see how higher education works in other countries and to bring the best ideas home.

The EU has allocated around €3 billion for Erasmus for the period 2007-13. The most popular destinations for students are expected to be this academic year Spain, France, United Kingdom, Germany and Italy, while the countries sending the most students abroad are expected to be Spain, France, Germany, Italy and Poland.