Expanding the budget of the erasmus+ programme could provide further impetus to the number of VET mobility projects, says Spain´s education minister who is asking the European Union to multiply by a factor of 10 the budget allocated for the programme in 2021 to 2027.

The suggestion is consistent with Spain´s commitment to the Erasmus programme. With the introduction of the ErasmusPro initiative supporting long term mobility abroad for VET learners, apprentices and recent graduates, Spain is taking up the challenge to increase VET student participation in Erasmus. Applicants can choose between short- or long-term placements (from three to 12 months) to develop job specific skills, get acquainted with the foreign language, the culture and the work environment, and boost their employability.

The advantage of ErasmusPro is the opportunity to fund short advance planning visits (APVs) by staff, between organisations, VET providers and/or companies, supporting interinstitutional cooperation and ensuring better preparation and higher quality for mobility.

The proposal of the Spanish minister – supported by the Italian government – was launched in January 2018 in Rome, when the Alfonso X el Sabio award was presented to Dr Sofia Corradi, known as 'mamma Erasmus', for her contribution to the development of the EU and for being the creator and promoter of this initiative since its inception 30 years ago. The Erasmus programme now extends to 33 countries in Europe, plus 157 in the rest of the world, and covers all education sectors.

Favourite destination for HE Erasmus students

At the beginning in 1987, Spain sent abroad 95 students; this rose to 71 000 in 2015-16. Spain is ranked as the top destination among European students, with 74 000 incoming participants in 2016 in all education sectors, followed by the United Kingdom, Germany and France. Reaching the largest number of outgoing students on a yearly basis, the popularity of Erasmus+ in Spain is well established.

The 30 years of the Erasmus programme have seen participation by 625 300 Spanish higher education students, 114 000 teaching staff from formal and adult education institutions, and 73 100 VET students. Taking into account all the actions financed by Erasmus+, the number of Spanish participants amounts almost to one million people over that period.

The Erasmus+ budget allocated to Spain for 2018 is EUR 206.7 million, compared with EUR 178.2 million in 2017. The education ministry contribution to in 2018 this is EUR 30 million.

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