31.05.2024 | Statements

Statement: Funding for the Erasmus+ programme must be doubled

The National Union of Students in Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences (SAMOK) and the National Union of University Students in Finland (SYL) demand that the Erasmus+ programme budget be doubled for the next funding period. The Erasmus+ budget has increased annually during the current programme period, which means that a considerable increase in the budget will be required in the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2028–2034 in order to maintain the current level.

The European Commission will make a proposal on the EU Multiannual Financial Framework by the beginning of July 2025 at the latest. The Council and Parliament will then formulate their opinions, negotiate, and eventually approve the EU’s long-term budgetary framework.

“Increasing funding for the Erasmus+ programme is particularly important for us in Finland, as the number of foreign exchange periods taken by students in higher education has decreased significantly over the past seven years. We’re genuinely concerned about the reduced degree of internationalisation among students,” says Lauri Kujala, Chair of SAMOK.

In particular, the number of students going abroad for exchange periods of more than three months has decreased significantly in Finland between 2016–2022: a fall of more than 50 per cent among UAS students. The decrease in the number of corresponding mobility periods among university students is around 20 per cent.

In an EU plagued by crises, increased funding will most likely be allocated to areas such as support for Ukraine, a common security and defence policy, and promoting strategic autonomy in the energy sector. The joint debt incurred by the pandemic will also have to be repaid. Budget negotiations are expected to be difficult.

“We hope that policymakers will understand the Erasmus+ programme’s broader significance to the Union. The programme not only directly boosts internationalisation on a personal level, but also indirectly influences the Union’s fundamental values, such as democracy and the principle of the rule of law. Now, more than ever, it’s necessary to promote these values in order to ensure a unified future for Europe,” says SYL’s Chair, Akseli Tiitta.

For further inquiries, please contact:
Lauri Kujala
National Union of Students in Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences (SAMOK)
[email protected]
+358 50 389 1000

Akseli Tiitta
National Union of University Students in Finland (SYL)
[email protected]
044 906 5004