BRUSSELS – The European Students’ Union (ESU) calls for more access to education mobility by linking the size of Erasmus grants to the socio-economic background of a student. It also makes a strong fist against the EU Loan Guarantee Scheme, part of the ‘Erasmus for All’ programme, proposed by the European Commission in November 2011.
Allan Päll, ESU Chair said: “We urge for an increase of Erasmus grants as they are largely insufficient. Only students with high or medium family income can afford learning experience abroad. The Public Hearing on the ‘Erasmus for All’ proposal takes place on 27 March in the European Parliament. ESU has urged the rapporteur for “Erasmus for All”, Doris Pack (Germany, EPP), for more attention to the current situation of insufficient grants.
EU Loan Scheme?
Next to an increase and more tailor-made Erasmus grants, ESU calls upon the member states to immediately bin the proposal for an EU Loan Scheme. Päll continued: “We do not think it is a good idea to burden young people with a huge study debt in these economic uncertain times with skyrocketing youth unemployment levels.”
The EU Loan Guarantee Scheme would be made available for students who carry out a Masters degree in another EU country. Sweden and Finland openly support ESU in their bid to get rid of the EU loan scheme and ESU hopes more member states will quickly follow the Nordic footsteps.
According to ESU, replacing grants with loans will have a negative impact on the accessibility of studies abroad. ESU furthermore thinks that it should be the responsibility of a member state to provide the students with sufficient support, and wonders if the member states really want to give their autonomy away to the EU.
‘Erasmus for All’ is part of the Commission’s proposal for the multi-annual budget for 2014-2020 and allocates 19.5 billion euro to education and training, an increase of 70%. It does however not propose to improve the Erasmus grants nor does it propose additional measures to stimulate education mobility in a fair and debtless way.
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Published: 27 March 2012
For more information, please contact:
?Allan Päll, ESU Chairperson: +32/479.591.499 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Marianne Slegers, ESU Communications Manager: +32/473.669.894 or email@example.com