New evidence shows that Erasmus+, the European Union’s student and staff study and exchange programme, makes students more successful in their personal and professional lives and helps universities to become more innovative, according to two new independent studies released this week by the European Commission.
The large-scale studies – the Erasmus+ Higher Education Impact Study and the Erasmus+ Higher Education Strategic Partnerships and Knowledge Alliances were based on the feedback from nearly 77,000 students and staff and over 500 organisations.
Results show how the programme helps prepare young Europeans for the new digital era and thrive in their future careers. Erasmus+ also boosts innovation capacity of universities, their international engagement and ability to answer the needs of the labour market.
The key findings of the studies are that Erasmus+ helps students find their desired careers and get jobs quicker, it boosts a European sense of belonging, and it supports digital transformation and social inclusion.
Nine in 10 Erasmus+ alumni say they make use of the skills and experiences acquired abroad in their daily work. Erasmus+ addresses skills mismatches by focusing on soft and interdisciplinary skills development businesses need.
More than 90% of Erasmus+ students improve their ability to work and collaborate with people from different cultures and feel they have a European identity.
More than 80% of academics report that their experience abroad has led to the development of more innovative curricula. Moreover, two out of three participating universities stated EU-wide projects also contribute to increasing social inclusion and non-discrimination in higher education.
Other findings show that former Erasmus+ students are more satisfied with their jobs compared to those who have not gone abroad. They also have careers that are more international and are almost twice as likely to work abroad.
Erasmus+ also supports entrepreneurship. One in four cooperation projects contributed to entrepreneurial education and strengthened entrepreneurship. A third of projects helped create spin-offs and start-ups.