Today, the European University Foundation, the European Students’ Union and the Erasmus Student Network are launching a proposal for a baseline mobility grant of 500€/month from 2021 onwards. Their declaration builds upon a DAAD proposal from 2019 and is aimed at addressing key issues such as inclusiveness, specification and support.
The Erasmus programme provides an invaluable framework through which our universities create joint educational initiatives, promote innovation in teaching and learning and carry out peer-learning activities. Student mobility cements not just inter-university cooperation, but the European project as a whole.
If Erasmus is a central catalyst to bring about European citizens who are open-minded, civically engaged and resilient to populism, it is essential that the next programme involves a greater number of participants and is more inclusive than is currently the case. For many years, financial obstacles have proven to be the single biggest deterrent to participation in mobility programmes. That is why we call for a reformulation of the Erasmus grants into an inclusive and transparent scheme comprising a universal baseline of 500€/month:
- A 500€/month grant offers a realistic possibility to compensate for the loss of income of working students;
- A simpler grant system enhances transparency and better promotion of the programme;
- A 500€/month grant is more likely to cover subsistence costs in many European cities, as opposed to the 2018 average grant of 336€/month;
- By setting a minimum grant with the option of top-ups, it is possible to reallocate remaining funds and provide more grants every year.