On Monday 30 January 2012, Erasmus student and staff exchange programme celebrated its "silver" anniversary in 2012. Since its launch in 1987, nearly 3 million students and staff have received grants to study or teach abroad or undertake work placements.
Studies show that this experience is invaluable for boosting skills in areas such as language learning and adaptability, which can increase an individual's employability. The scheme helps to promote teaching quality and institutional cooperation.
33 European countries participate in the Erasmus scheme (27 EU Member States, Croatia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey). Demand for Erasmus places strongly exceeds the availability of grants in most countries. The Commission has called for a significant increase in EU support for higher education mobility under its proposed new programme for education, training and youth ('Erasmus for All'), which is due to start in 2014.