EDUCATION : AT 25, ERASMUS PROGRAMME STILL RELEVANT - VASSILIOU.

 
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At the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Erasmus programme, Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou decided to remind the European Council of the importance of this tool in the fight against youth unemployment.

"Improving skills is one of the subjects at the EU summit. For my part, I am convinced that the Erasmus programme, and the other mobility programmes, can bring a concrete answer to this issue. Erasmus exchanges enable students to improve their knowledge of foreign languages and to develop skills, such as adaptability, which improve their job prospects," said the commissioner for education, culture, multilingualism and youth.

Erasmus' silver anniversary was launched on 30 January in Brussels, during a conference called Erasmus: Changing lives, opening minds for 25 years'. The aim of the conference was to take stock of the current impact of the programme and its future.

The Erasmus programme is the EU's flagship student exchange programme. Created in 1987, it allows students to carry out part of their studies or a work placement abroad in one of the 33 partner countries (the 27 member states of the EU, as well as Croatia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey). Erasmus also supports teacher mobility, language teaching and, since 2007, work placements in companies.

With the exception of Norway (where interest is currently on the decline), Portugal and the Czech Republic (where...

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