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After several months of anticipation, Erasmus+, the umbrella programme for education, training, youth and sport has been finally approved by the European Parliament. During the European Parliament’s plenary session on 19 November the Erasmus+ programme was voted with 632 votes in favour, 29 against and 30 abstentions. Following the European Parliament’s vote, Androulla Vassiliou, Member of the European Commission responsible for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth highlighted at a press conference the value of the Erasmus+ programme.
As already previously reported (see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, October 2013), the Erasmus+ programme will be backed by a budget of EUR 14.7 billion, an increase of 40 % in comparison to the funding of the Lifelong Learning Programme in the previous Multi-Financial Framework (MFF) 2007-2013. Erasmus+ covers all the EU’s education, training and youth programmes such as Leonardo da Vinci (professional training), Grundtvig (adult education), Comenius (school-level education), Erasmus (higher education) and others, which will continue to exist under the new brand label of Erasmus+. Over the next seven years, more than 4 million people will benefit from Erasmus+ funding for higher education (2 million), teaching and training abroad (800 000), vocational training (650 000), youth exchange and voluntary work (500 000) and the new loan guarantee scheme for Master’s level students (200 000). It is estimated that up to 125 000 organisations and institutions will benefit from the EU’s new education programme.
In addition, the Erasmus+ programme will be organised according to three key action areas: learning mobility of individuals, cooperation for innovation & exchange of good practices, and support for policy reform.