What is ERASMUS?

The ERASMUS programme provides a framework for the exchange of students and university staff throughout Europe and for the associated cooperation between the institutes of higher education. At present, Switzerland participates only indirectly in the programme, namely by collaborating in various projects on the basis of agreements with EU project coordinators and partner institutes. As of January 2011, Switzerland will become a full participant in the programme, at which stage it will be in the position to play a role in determining the strategic orientation of programmes and to be able to initiate and oversee projects.

What are the aims of the ERASMUS programme?

To foster cooperation throughout Europe at all levels of education
To promote European languages and cultures
To promote the mobility of and cross-border collaboration between teaching staff and students

Where does the name ERASMUS come from?

The programme is named after the humanist and theologian Erasmus of Rotterdam (1465-1536), an indefatigable opponent of dogmatism in all areas of human activities. Erasmus travelled to many parts of Europe in search of knowledge, experience and insight, which were only to be acquired through direct contact with other major humanists of the period. It was thus decided to name the EU programme that aims to promote academic innovation throughout Europe after him.