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Tenth anniversary of ERASMUS programme

The Community's ERASMUS programme for European cooperation in higher education celebrates its tenth anniversary on 3 December 1997. Launched in 1987, ERASMUS has allowed some 500,000 students and tens of thousands of teaching staff to spend some time in another European countr...
The Community's ERASMUS programme for European cooperation in higher education celebrates its tenth anniversary on 3 December 1997. Launched in 1987, ERASMUS has allowed some 500,000 students and tens of thousands of teaching staff to spend some time in another European country. It has also permitted the development of joint programmes and curricula.

From 3,000 student exchanges in 1987 to 180,000 in 1997, ERASMUS has now become the major facilitator of "Europeanization" in higher education. In addition to encouraging mobility of students and staff, ERASMUS has supported the organization of intensive study courses and developed the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) which ensures that studies undertaken abroad are recognized academically. The programme also supports some 30 inter-university "thematic networks" which aim to develop the European dimension of the subjects concerned.

ERASMUS is now part of the SOCRATES programme which covers European cooperation in all aspects of education. Its reputation, however, remains unchanged, with some 1,500 universities and higher education institutions participating in the 1997/1998 academic year. From 12 countries in 1987, ERASMUS now covers 18 countries. From next year, Hungary, Romania, the Czech Republic and Cyprus will also be able to participate, with the programme opening up to other Central and Eastern European countries in subsequent years.

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