The European University Foundation EUF, the European Students’ Union ESU, and the Erasmus Student Network ESN, has launched a proposal: a basic mobility grant of €500 / month from 2021. An increase that fosters greater inclusion, simplicity and strong support for students.

Student mobility is at the very heart of the European Erasmus+ Programme, with millions of students enjoying the possibility of studying abroad. The new generation of the programme is designed to be more inclusive in order to enable more students to benefit from an international experience. It is against this backdrop that the EUF, ESU and ESN have decided to address the issue of the value of the grants awarded. Since 2018, students have received an average of €336 / month, with certain differences from one host country to another (three categories depending on the host country’s level of wealth compared to the home country). Pointing to evidence from a range of studies and surveys, the three institutions are critical of the level of the grants awarded, which they feel continues to prevent too many students from envisaging an international mobility experience.

Why increase the current amount?

  • Work and studies: many students find gainful employment alongside their studies in order to support themselves. For these students, spending time abroad is more often than not impossible in light of their budget. A larger grant would enable them to offset their loss of earnings and to seriously entertain the idea of a mobility experience.
  • Disparate subsidy levels: there are different categories of grant which vary according to the type of mobility, the home country and the destination. German students studying in Portugal as part of the Erasmus programme, for example, receive a larger grant than Portuguese students studying in Germany within the same programme. The Erasmus500 proposal aims to harmonise these categories to ensure greater transparency and provide support for students from more underprivileged socio-economic backgrounds.
  • Reality of costs on site: with the current average grant of €336 / month, it is difficult to cover housing costs, let alone other costs that inevitably arise.  Increasing grants would enable all students to broaden their choice of destination.
  • Greener travel: increasing grants would also enable students to choose a more environmentally-friendly means of transport. At present, most train tickets are more expensive than the corresponding air fare.

What about Switzerland?

With its Swiss-European Mobility Programme SEMP, Switzerland also allows students to enjoy a mobility experience in Europe. The Swiss programme draws heavily on its European equivalent, Erasmus+. Totalling CHF 320 / month (equivalent to approx. €300 - 07.20) for students spending one or two semester in Europe (outgoing), the Swiss grant nevertheless falls below the European average.

Campaign launched

The Erasmus500 proposal must now be examined by the European institutions and member states. It is possible to support the #Erasmus500 campaign via the social networks. More information on the Official Erasmus500 website.