Erasmus for all… managers

Nieuws | de redactie
3 mei 2012 | Changing the different European exchange programmes in one ‘Erasmus for all’, is mainly useful from a managerial point of view. Looking at the substance, it might not be such a good idea after all, says ACA director Bernd Wächter.

At the 25th anniversary of the Utrecht Network, a Europeanuniversity cooperation network in the area of internationalisationand mobility, Mr. Wächter used the opportunity to encourage rectorsand university board members to pay close attention to the ‘Erasmusfor all’-proposal that the European Commission has put forward.

According to the European Commission, Erasmus for all is the newprogramme for education, training, youth and sport. Starting in2014, it would significantly increase the funds allocated for thedevelopment of knowledge and skills.

“Erasmus for all is based on the premise that investing ineducation and training is the key to unlocking people’s potential,regardless of their age or background. It helps them to increasetheir personal development, gain new skills and boost their jobprospects”.

Erasmus as a panacea

The Brussels’ based Academic CooperationAssociation (ACA) is somewhat more critical. ACA is afraid that thelack of clarity in the Commission’s proposal will lead the EuropeanParliament and the Council to transform the proposal into “anythingthe current political climate would like it to be – a panacea forall the social problems facing Europe today – and not what theprogramme was originally designed to do.”

The ACA also points to the lack of detailin the ‘Erasmus for all-proposal’, being just “another case of theCommission’s famed ‘constructive ambiguity’ approach.” According toWächter the proposal would do away with any sector-specificsub-programmes and would therefore not be able to allocate money to for instance higher education.

Accountability craze

Wächter: “What drives these reforms is thedrive for managerial efficiency. If they simplify the categories,they can have the same application form. But… if they don’t getthis single form right, they mess everything up. It issimplification at the end of the programme managers, I don’t thinkit will get worse, but I don’t think it will get much bettereither. Accountability craze is the Zeitgeist, there I have nohope.”


Projected key figures
Erasmus for all (2014-2020)

Overall budget



€19 billion (includes €1.8 billion for internationalcooperation)

Overall mobility opportunities

5 million people

Higher education

2.2 million students

Staff mobility

1 million teachers, trainers, youth workers and other staff

Vocational education and training

735 000 students

Volunteer and youth exchange schemes

540 000 young people

Master’s degree loan guarantee scheme

330 000 students

International students

135 000 students

Joint degree grants

34 000 students

Cooperation targets:

Strategic Partnerships

More than 20 000 linking together

115 000 institutions

Knowledge Alliances

200 set up by 2000 higher education institutions andbusinesses

Sectoral Skills Alliances

200 set up by 2000 education and training providers andbusinesses 

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