Erasmus is the European Commission's flagship educational programme for Higher Education students, teachers and institutions. It was introduced with the aim of increasing student mobility within Europe. Erasmus forms part of the EU Lifelong Learning Programme (2007-2013).
It encourages student and staff mobility for work and study, and promotes trans-national co-operation projects among universities across Europe. The scheme currently involves nine out of every ten European higher education establishments and supports co-operation between the universities of 31 countries.
Erasmus has developed beyond an educational programme - it has acquired the status of a social and cultural phenomenon. It gives many European university students their first chance to live and thrive abroad. Almost two million students have benefited from Erasmus grants to date, and the European Commission hopes to reach a total of 3 million by 2013.
More information is available at the British Council and the European Student Network websites.