Erasmus+: EU boosts participation of African students and staff in 2019

The EU has invested an additional €17.6 million to support over 8,500 newly selected African students and staff to participate in Erasmus+ in 2019. This increase in Erasmus+ funding is one more step towards the commitment announced by President Jean-Claude Juncker in his State of the Union speech in September 2018 to have supported 35,000 African students and researchers by 2020.

Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics, said: “Empowering young people in Africa is key in building a better future. This means promoting education, and this year, we have focused in particular on boosting cooperation with businesses to ensure that young people in Africa acquire all the skills they need for their professional life. Projects supporting innovative learning methods, entrepreneurship and opening up chances to find jobs in key areas such as food, agribusiness and energy transformation are key features of this year’s selection. This is the plus that Erasmus+ offers.”

Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, said: “Our Africa-Europe Alliance is first and foremost about people. We want to invest in quality education in Africa. We want to strengthen the connections between European and African students and higher education institutions. Giving them the chance to exchange know-how and inspire one another will boost inclusive socio-economic growth, and reduce poverty and inequality. On top of this, it will equip African students with the skills they need to find decent jobs”.

The results of the 2019 Erasmus+ call bring the total number of exchanges between Africa and Europe to 26,247 since the beginning of the programme in 2014 and well on track to meeting the 2020 target of supporting 35,000 people as announced in the Africa-Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobs. This year, 8,555 African and 4,649 European university students and staff will benefit from exchanges in 53 African countries and the 34 European countries that participate in the Erasmus+ programme. Students will be able to stay abroad for up to one year, while staff exchanges last up to two months.