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Survey on Erasmus students
Keywords Students, Surveys
Some 80 per cent of the 100,000 students selected each year to take part in the EU Erasmus Exchange Programme are the first members of their family to study abroad, according to a survey carried out by the European Commission. Most of the students come from social milieux with an above-average level of education. But many of the students do not have enough money during their stay abroad, because their home state does not supplement their Erasmus grant. Students from Greece, Italy and Portugal have greatest financial difficulties. Students from Denmark, Finland, The Netherlands, Norway and Sweden have fewest financial problems.
The Erasmus grant represents an average of 22 per cent of students' monthly income, with public grants and loans accounting for 21 per cent and family help 44 per cent. Most of the students say they are very satisfied with their Erasmus studies, from the point of view of both the quality of teaching and the personal benefits of spending time in another country. A more detailed report will appear later in the year.
European Commissioner Viviane Reding intends to bring forward proposals in the autumn which will improve Erasmus students' financial position and make the programme more accessible to people from poorer families. Among the possibilities are lower travel fares for Erasmus students, more support from industry or local authorities, and a loan scheme to help with travel costs.