Latest Erasmus+ figures show upsurge in Wales interest

14 February 2017      

New figures issued on 6 February show 63 applicants in Wales were awarded €8.9m in Erasmus+ funding in 2016, compared to €5.1m to 40 successful applicants in 2014. An increase in the number and value of successful schools applications is the main reason for the funding boost. From 2014 to 2016 a total of €20.9 million has been awarded to 149 projects led by organisations based in Wales. Part of this funding supported 4,700 individual placements for learners, staff or young people of Wales to study, volunteer or train abroad between 2014 and 2015, with more people taking part through projects funded last year.

The British Council, in partnership with Ecorys UK, is the UK National Agency (UKNA) for Erasmus+, the European Union programme for education, training, youth and sport. The UKNA published these 2016 funding figures on their website, just a few weeks after the launch of the 30th anniversary of the Erasmus+ programme.

Cardiff Council applied successfully in 2016 for around €1.7m in funding for eight projects involving consortia of schools across Wales.

Emily Daly, International School Linking Officer at Cardiff Council said, “We have been able to draw on the support of the British Council to link with more schools around Wales and involve them in successful bids for Erasmus+, resulting in projects which help the schools to share best practice, internationalise their school, and fulfil the Welsh Government’s education policies. The growing interest in Wales is good to see, and we’re looking forward to starting projects on a range of topics, such as challenging extremism, raising achievement and additional learning needs.”

Ten other schools in Wales share more than €1m for strategic partnership projects, including Cadoxton Primary in Barry, Malpas Church in Wales Junior School in Newport, Ysgol Gymraeg Ffwrnes in Carmarthenshire and Ysgol Llwyn yr Eos in Aberystwyth.

The European Commission has recently launched the 30th anniversary campaign of the Erasmus+ European Exchange programme, which has enabled nearly 600,000 people from the UK to go abroad during the last 30 years. In 1987, fewer than 1,000 pioneering university students from the UK participated in the first year of the original Erasmus scheme.

More than 40,000 people from the United Kingdom went abroad on the Erasmus+ scheme during 2015-16, according to the European Commission’s Erasmus+ 2015 annual report and UK factsheets, an increase from 36,734 people in 2014.

UK enthusiasm for the programme remained high in 2016, with the UK National Agency allocating more than €128 million compared to more than €118 million in 2015. The UK budget is expected to grow to more than €200 million in 2020 in the final year of the current programme.

Ruth Sinclair-Jones, Erasmus+ UK National Agency Director commented, “We are delighted with the increased number of successful applications from Wales in 2016, and we’d like to encourage more and bigger applications across Wales and the UK for 2017, to take advantage of the higher levels of funding available in the 30th anniversary of the programme.” Ruth continued, “2017 is the first year following the EU referendum result and we’d like to emphasise that successful applicants in 2017 will be awarded funding for the duration of their project.”

ENDS

For more information, please contact chris.seal@britishcouncil.org or alison.cummins@britishcouncil.org

Notes to Editors

Sources:

  1. UK National Agency 2014-2016 Application Results tables – 06.02.2017
  2. UK National Agency 2014-2015 Key Actions 1 & 3 Outputs Funded - Placements (estimates) data tables 16-11-2016 
  3. European Commission’s Erasmus+ 30th anniversary resources page

1. About Erasmus+

Erasmus+ is the European Union programme for education, training, youth and sport for 2014-2020. Compared to previous programmes, Erasmus+ significantly increases EU funding (+40%) with an overall budget of €14.7 billion (£12 billion) for the development of knowledge and skills and aims to increase the quality and relevance of qualifications and skills.

Two-thirds of its funding will provide grants for more than 4 million people to study, train, gain work experience or volunteer abroad in 2014-2020 (compared with 2.7 million in 2007-2013). The period abroad can range from a few days up to a year. In the UK, it is expected that nearly 250,000 people will undertake activities abroad with the programme.

Erasmus+ aims to modernise education, training and youth work across Europe. It is open to education, training, youth and sport organisations across all sectors of Lifelong Learning, including schools education, further and higher education, adult education and the youth sector. Erasmus+ provides funding for organisations to offer opportunities to students, teachers, apprentices, volunteers, youth leaders and people working in grassroots’ sport. It will also provide funding for partnerships between organisations such as educational institutions, youth organisations, enterprises, local and regional authorities and NGOs, as well as support for reforms in European countries to modernise education and training and to promote innovation, entrepreneurship and employability.

Erasmus+ succeeds the former Erasmus, Comenius, Youth in Action, Leonardo, Grundtvig and Transversal programmes which ran from 2007-2013.

The programme is managed in the UK by the Erasmus+ UK National Agency, which is a partnership between the British Council and Ecorys UK.

For further information visit www.erasmusplus.org.uk or follow @erasmusplusuk on Twitter

2. About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. Using the UK’s cultural resources we make a positive contribution to the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.

We work with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Each year we reach over 20 million people face-to-face and more than 500 million people online, via broadcasts and publications.

Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. The majority of our income is raised delivering a range of projects and contracts in English teaching and examinations, education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. Eighteen per cent of our funding is received from the UK government.

For more information, please visit: www.britishcouncil.org. You can also keep in touch with the British Council through http://twitter.com/britishcouncil and http://blog.britishcouncil.org/.

3. About Ecorys UK

Ecorys UK, part of the international research, consulting and management services company Ecorys, provides high-quality communication, research and technical assistance services across education, economic and social policy areas. Ecorys employs over 150 staff in the UK specialising in education and culture, employment and labour markets, economic and international development, communications, public grant managed programmes and capacity building. Our mission is to add value to public service delivery through our experience of the entire policy cycle. Further information from www.uk.ecorys.com.