CESAER has published a statement supporting the European Commission’s (EC) proposal for the Erasmus Programme for the period from 2021 to 2027. We provide recommendations to build on this proposal in order to equip our institutions with the tools to educate the next generation for the 21st century.
We particularly welcome the focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). The ongoing digital revolution is changing the nature of jobs and the demands on workers, therefore the additional focus on rapidly developing fields, such as clean energy, artificial intelligence, robotics, data analysis and the integration of art and design, indicates a positive direction for the programme. The EC should ensure that the calls remain bottom-up and open and that project outcomes are linked to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).
We welcome the proposed openness to global partners through association of third countries and look forward to more details on the commitment of the budget for international cooperation. We call upon the EC to swiftly negotiate agreements with third countries to ensure a wide participation from the start of the programme in 2021.
Despite the proposed doubled budget, the funding for higher education in the proposal will remain at a similar level to the final year of the current Erasmus+. We urge the EU institutions to provide €40 billion for Erasmus to fulfil institutional development needs and cover increasing mobility demands particularly of students from lower socio-economic backgrounds and poorer countries.