Freedom of study. Erasmus and other policies to encourage student mobility.

Docente: Irene SÁNCHEZ VÍTORES – European University Institute, Department of Social and Political Sciences

Lingua: Inglese, Italiano


The Erasmus exchange programme started in the 1987 including a very limited number of institutions of 11 countries, almost thirty years later it covers more than 3000 institutions of more than 30 different countries, and it is planning on reaching even further. In its origins, its objectives were fuzzy but they have adjusted over time, covering not only the development of truly European citizens but also the development of individual competences that make participants more suitable for globalized lives.
The scheme of exchanges between universities organized under the umbrella of the Erasmus programme is probably the best know educational policy of the EU, not the only one but still the one that is awarded the largest amount of funds. With the development of the Erasmus for all policy, which aglutinates all the EU’s educational policies, different evaluations have attempted to understand the benefits of such a programme. At the same time, a wide range of voices deeply criticize these exchanges, arguing that public budgets should not pay for university students’ parties.
Combining academic literature, data and my own personal experience as programme manager in an attractive way for students, I will address the following question: are investments on the Erasmus scheme really worth it? Do they deliver what they promised?