Erasmus+ program opens door for rising numbers

Almost 12,000 Greeks of various ages were able to study, train or volunteer abroad in 2014 as part of the European Union’s Erasmus+ program aimed at modernizing the education sector and improving students’ skills.

According to data published by the European Commission on Tuesday, 23.4 million euros was granted to Greece in 2014 to fund some 250 projects in which a total of 11,853 Greeks took part. Almost 4,500 of those were students in higher education who undertook studies or traineeships abroad, which is nearly double the figure from six year earlier.

Thessaloniki’s Aristotle University led the way in sending students abroad, followed by Athens University and the Athens University of Economics and Business. The most popular destination for Greek students was France, followed by Germany, Spain, Italy and the UK.

Some 3,000 foreign students came to Greece to study or train during the same period, with France, Spain and Poland leading the way.

Erasmus+ expands on the previous Erasmus program for student exchanges and has a budget of 14.7 billion euros for its seven-year duration.

“During the first year Erasmus+ has proved a true success,” said EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Tibor Navracsics.

“The impressive number of participants is proof that the program is making a difference in improving young people’s employment prospects, helping them acquire new skills and experiences, and supporting the modernization of Europe’s education, training and youth systems.”

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