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In the frame of the Erasmus+ master loans Guarantee Scheme students looking to pursue post-graduate studies, coming from or going to France, will now have the opportunity to apply for inclusive, affordable study loans in the 2016/17 academic year.
Backed by the Erasmus+ programme, and initiated by the European Commission in partnership with the European Investment Fund (EIF) that manages the loan guarantee, the Loan Scheme aims to encourage international degree mobility and exchanges, by widening access to critical funding channels that are impartial to students’ social background or the chosen field of study. (see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, February 2015)
The process kicked off in December 2015, with two French banks Banque Populaire (BP) & Caisse d'épargne (CE) – together BPCE group- and the European Investment Fund (EIF) signing the guarantee agreement. With the necessary communication and IT structures in place and robust, the fund is now fully operational in 2016 to facilitate applications, and to support those graduates aspiring a master degree abroad to gain access to funding. The Erasmus+ Master Loans Guarantee Scheme seeks to raise and spill out up to EUR 3 billion reaching 200.000 students by 2020. Participating banks BP and CE have made available a total of EUR 60 million in loans, combined with the loan portfolio of Spain’s MicroBank,representing the first country to roll out the loans, they currently provide students both in France and Spain with a EUR 90 million strong support system for the academic year 2016/17.
The loan guarantee enables students to span their mobility choice for a cross-border master degree over 33 participating Erasmus+ programme countries. The non-discriminatory and affordable loans are granted for studies at Erasmus Charter Intuitions to sustain quality assurance, and offer several benefits to applicants as: