Since 2014 Wales has benefitted from nearly €30m of funding from the Erasmus+ programme, according to new figures released by the National Agency responsible for delivering the European Union scheme in the UK.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of Erasmus+ and predecessor programmes, a milestone that is being celebrated at an event in the Senedd in Cardiff on 13 November. The event will be opened by Eluned Morgan AM, Minister for Welsh Language and Lifelong Learning.
So far in 2017 more than €8.6m has been awarded to Wales’ educational, training and youth work organisations, compared to €5.1m in 2014, the first year of the current Erasmus+ programme. This represents a rise of over 68% and there is still one youth funding deadline to be processed, which means the figure could increase even further.
The funds already awarded this year will be shared by 41 Welsh organisations - with €3.5m going to universities, €2.6m to schools, €2.2m to the vocational education and training sector and €362,000 to youth work organisations.
Welcoming this news, Ms Morgan, said: “I’m proud to be sponsoring an event at the Senedd in Cardiff on November 13, celebrating 30 years of the Erasmus+ programme, which features participants from across Wales, such as Colleges Wales and City of Cardiff Council, who have benefitted from the programme.
“It’s fantastic news that the numbers of young people, students and education and training staff estimated to go abroad from Wales on Erasmus+ has also increased, rising from 2,595 in 2015 to 2,903 in 2016.”
Madeleine Rose, Deputy Director of the National Agency, a partnership between the British Council and Ecorys UK said: “Organisations across Wales have been successful in bidding for Erasmus+ funding for a range of worthwhile projects, to improve the education and training landscape and the prospects of thousands of young people.
“The 2018 application deadlines have just been released and funding available to the UK next year is at its highest to date, at around €170m.
“With a Government guarantee in place to honour successful bids, it’s very much business as usual.
“I would encourage Wales to continue to engage with Erasmus+ to help even more of its young people and educational staff to benefit from an international experience.”
Director of British Council Wales, Jenny Scott, added, “Enabling people and organisations in communities all over Wales to learn from and share with their international counterparts is at the very heart of what we do.
“These new figures for Erasmus+ demonstrate the ever-growing interest across Wales’ education and youth training sectors for international exchange, collaboration and partnership.”
An information session on how Welsh organisations can apply for Erasmus+ funding in 2018 is taking place in Cardiff on 21 November. Individuals interested in attending can register on the Erasmus+ website.