The “Erasmus for All” project aims to tackle the low levels of HE student participation in Erasmus mobility exchange by proposing a more economically viable scholarship scheme that will allow any HE students to spend part of their studies abroad in any of the 33 programme countries.
Funding: Erasmus+ Key Action 2 – Cooperation partnerships in Higher Education
Project budget: 399,295 euros
Length: 3 years
The Erasmus programme is considered the most successful mobility programme in the world. However, since its inception in 1987, only 1,7% of the European Union’s population did participate in the programme, showcasing that the programme is still to reach its full potential. Many EU reports and surveys have pointed at lower financial capacity of students and their families to explain low participation in the programme, which directly results in inequitable access to quality Higher Education (HE) studies and future employment opportunities.
The current allocated budget under Key Action 1: Mobility of Individuals of the programme normally allows HEIs across Europe to fulfil the existing demand from the academic community. Nevertheless, the matter under consideration is not the lack of financial support from the programme, but rather that this support itself does not cover in full the student’s basic expenses in the country of destination, making the programme out of reach for many HE students.
The project’s objectives are:
- Build a shared understanding among key stakeholders on the desired trajectory/evolution of the Erasmus+ grant system;
- Engage with policy and decision makers on resource allocation strategies that address the needs of the political goal of widening participation in mobility;
- Keep the topics of inclusion and equity in the policy agenda;
- Provide relevant and in-depth input for the mid-term review of the new Erasmus+ programme.
The consortium aims to fulfill the objectives of the project with the implementation of the following activities:
- Mapping of other scholarship funding models to benchmark for the more advantageous examples of grant schemes. This activity will be complemented by a desk research to extract best practises of other studies in the same field and include the results of the feedback gathered during the E4A Student Social Labs – a series of local events in the partner HEIs to engage Erasmus students in voicing their needs during mobility for a reality-based and co-designed solution;
- Creation of a transdisciplinary scientific Working Group (WG) in charge of considering multiple variables to design a more inclusive grant scheme and publish a report that gathers the methodologies used in developing this proposal;
- Organisation of a small-scale impact study with a pilot-experiment approach using a sample of real Erasmus participants with similar financial conditions (economically disadvantaged), randomly selected and divided in two groups: the first will test the current Erasmus scholarship scheme and the second will test the impact and feasibility of the more inclusive scholarship calculation formula(s) developed previously;
- Draft of a policy paper aiming to make participation more inclusive through a better grant mechanism and to call on the need to prioritise economic inclusion as a way to increase participation in the Erasmus programme through a more equitable scholarship system.
Partners: University of Porto, Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Universita Degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza, University of Pécs, Trinity College Dublin, European University Foundation, European Students’ Union, Conférence des Présidents d’Université.