WHILE the number of Erasmus student graduates was more than three million in the 2011-2012 academic year, Cyprus recorded the biggest decrease in numbers from the previous year.
A total of 257 Cypriot students participated in Erasmus programmes in the 2011-12 academic year, a 2.7 per cent decrease, seven less than the 264 who took part in the previous year.
Iceland and Romania were the only other two countries that saw a fall in number.
Figures released yesterday revealed that more than three million students have benefitted from EU Erasmus grants since the exchange scheme’s launch in 1987. The statistics, covering the 2011-2012 academic year, also showed that the programme enabled more than 250,000 Erasmus students – a new record – to spend part of their higher education studies abroad or to take up a job placement with a foreign company to boost their employability.
More than 46,500 academic and administrative staff also received support from Erasmus to teach or train abroad, an experience designed to improve the quality of teaching and learning in the 33 countries which participate in the scheme (EU member states and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey).
“The latest record figures, showing that we have exceeded our target of three million Erasmus students, are testament to the enduring success and popularity of the programme,” said Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth.
She said Erasmus is more important than ever in times of economic hardship and high youth unemployment.