Tuesday. 18.06.2024

The European Union's popular Erasmus educational exchange programme is due to be expanded significantly over the next seven years, under a provisional agreement reached between member states and the European Parliament on Friday.

Funding for the programme is to be increased to 26 billion euros (31.5 billion dollars) from 2021 to 2027, according to the agreement, a boost of 13 billion euros.

The programme would be open to up to 12 million people, tripling the number of participants from its present level and making it significantly more inclusive. It is also due to include adult education.

The expansion is a first step towards increasing funding for education - and should help enable more young people to study abroad, including those who are socially disadvantaged or handicapped who have often been excluded from such opportunities in the past, said Petra Kammerevert, a German Member of the European Parliament and educational policy expert.

The European Parliament and EU member states still have to approve the provisional agreement.

EU agrees Erasmus programme expansion to triple number of students